Hamilton County

Fred Lester Wilson




Local Youth Reported Lost In Action in North Africa.

Fred Lester Wilson, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wilson of this city, is missing in action in North Africa since Feb. 17, according to a war department message received Monday by his parents.

The youth left Webster City in 1941 as a member of Company E, undergoing training at Camp Clairborne, La. He was later transferred to North Ireland, then to England.

January Message

The missing soldier was evidently one of the first contingent of men in the huge convoy which opened the North African drive and was last heard from by his grandmother in January at which time he was well and in good spirits.

According to reports reaching here, on Feb. 17, a battalion of soldiers including many Iowans reached allied lines after being cut off two days while guarding minefields at Djebel Essouda, eight miles from Faid Pass where the Germans broke through in central Tunisia.

Wilson was the second soldier known in Webster City to have been reported missing since Feb. 17 and may have been taken prisoner. The other missing man is Ivan Evans, husband of Mrs Lauretta Callery Evans of this city.

Born Here

Wilson was born in Webster City and has lived here nearly all his life. He has two brothers in the service—Darold at Fort Worden, Wash., and Glen, now at Camp Polk, La. Several brothers and a sister are still living in this city and another sister lives in Emmetsburg.

The youth is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Wilson of this city and of Sandler Walterman of Kamrar.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, March 9, 1943


Fred Wilson and Roger Groves Liberated From Nazi Camps.

Word of the freeing of two more members of the Iowa National Guard company from this city and additional information concerning another has been received here by relatives.

A V-mail letter from Pvt. Fred L. Wilson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wilson of this city, brings word that he has been liberated by American troops after more than two years of imprisonment.

In the letter Private Wilson said that he was liberated May 3 in Shomberg, Germany by the Seventh armored division, and at the time the letter was written, was waiting for a plane to take him to France and to a ship for the homeward trip. He hoped to be home in a week or ten days.

Wilson was captured by the Germans on Feb. 14, 1943.

Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Groves of near Stanhope have received a letter from their son, Sgt. Roger Groves, who was captured July 1, 1944, in Italy. The sergeant stated that he was well and in American hands.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ray have received two telegrams from their son, Pfc. Myrl Ray, who was previously reported freed in a dispatch received by the Des Moines Register. The telegraph messages stated that the Guardsman was well and hoped to see his parents soon.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, May 23, 1945


Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wilson of this city received a telegram Monday, from their son, Pvt. Fred L. Wilson, saying he had arrived in the states after being released from a German prison camp recently. His parents received word from the war department Sunday stating that he had been sent back to the states and would be given an opportunity to communicate with his parents.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, June 4, 1945


Two more members of the Iowa National Guard company from this city are home on 60-day furloughs after being returned to the states following their release from German prison camps.

Sgt. Ray Christenson, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. T. Christenson of this city, a prisoner of the Germans since last July, is home on a well-deserved furlough. The sergeant was captured in Italy during some of the most bitter fighting of the Italian campaign.

Pvt. Fred L. Wilson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wilson of this city, is back to visit with his family after being released from 27 months of imprisonment by the nazis. Wilson was liberated May 3, having been a prisoner since February 1943.

Both men will report back to Hot Springs, Ar., upon completion of their furloughs.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, June 11, 1945

Fred Lester Wilson was born in 1921.

He was reporting missing action in North Africa Feb. 17, 1943. He was captured and held as prisoner of war by the Germans.

His Obituary: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - May 16, 1966

Fred L. Wilson Dies Suddenly

Fred L. Wilson, 45, died suddenly Saturday morning at the home of his mother, Mrs. Fred (Mata) Wilson, 1417 Third St. His death was attributed to a heart attack.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Foster Funeral home with the Rev. A. E. Rau officiating and with burial in Graceland cemetery where military services will be held.

Fred Lester Wilson, son of Fred and Mata Walterman Wilson, was born March 25, 1921, at Webster City, and was reared and educated in this community.

He served in World War II from 1941 to 1945 and was a prisoner of war for 27 months at the Stalag prison camp in Germany. After his discharge from service, he returned to Webster City and was employed for a number of years as a plumber and electrician at the former L. V. Mills Plumbing Co.

He was united in marriage in 1945 to Mary Simpson and to this union two daughters were born, Mrs. Robert (Marcia) Day and Judith Ryan, both of Webster City.

Besides the two daughters, he is survived by one grandson, his mother; four brothers and five sisters, Carol Wilson, Waterloo; Glen Wilson, Webster City, William Wilson, Waterloo, Alvin Wilson, Belleflower, Calif, Mrs. Martin (Edith) Kohn, Vancouver, Wash., Mrs. Raymond (Delores) Barnes, Woden, Iowa, Mrs. Boyd (Mary) Heslop, Webster City, Mrs. William (Ruth) Bright, Badger, Iowa, and Mrs. Gary (Inez) Ewing, Belleflower, Calif., and a number of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father March 18, 1966, by four brothers and three sisters

Mr. Wilson was a former member of the American Legion.

Sources: Daily Freeman Journal and ancestry.com