Byron Van Raden 1901-1918
Posted By: Joe Conroy (email)
Date: 5/15/2010 at 22:11:45
The Carroll Times
14 Mar 1918
Byron Van Raden Victim Of Hun Bullets
Second Carroll County Boy to Lay Down His Life on the Altar of Democracy.
Resident of Lanesboro
Victim Was a Member of the "Rainbow Division," Composed of Iowans, and Lost His Life in the First Battle These Troops Engaged In.
Byron Van Raden, of Lanesboro, has joined Merle D. Hay in the last long sleep "Somewhere in France." He is the second Carroll county boy to lay down his life on the altar of world-wide democracy, and in this supreme sacrifice the terrible conflict in which we as a nation are now engaged is brought vividly to our attention.
Particulars of how this hero laid down his life are not known at this time. His name was included in a casualty list given out by the war department last Saturday afternoon, and which also contained the names of several more killed and wounded, many of whom are thought to be from this state.
Byron Van Raden was a member of the One Hundred Sixty-eighth infantry, formerly the Third Regiment, Iowa National Guard. This regiment was a unit in the famous "Rainbow Division," and has been in training in France for several months. Just recently this regiment took over a sector on the trench line, and this is believed to have been the first conflict in which they have been engaged. Fourteen other Iowa men laid down their lives in the engagement, and twenty are reported wounded. In the action described by bulletin from the war department, the Germans are reported to have entered the American trenches and later to have been driven out by a counter attack. The Americans engaged are especially commended in the report from the French officer commanding that sector, the American troops engaged having been supported by French units.
Deceased was without a doubt the youngest soldier in the "Rainbow Division." While at home with his parents in Lanesboro, Rev. A. W. Armstrong was the family pastor, and we are indebted to him for the following data:
"Byron Van Raden, of Company B, 168th U. S. I., who gave his life in action at Lorraine, France, on March 5th, 1918, was born on a farm just east of where the town of Lanesboro now stands, July 11, 1901. His parents are Benjamin Van Raden and Mrs. Rosa Van Raden, residents of the town from its beginning. He leaves three sisters and a little brother. Freman R. McCoy, a school mate of his, had been at Waterloo, where he enlisted in the Rainbow Division; coming home young Van Raden at once desired to enlist, sought earnestly the consent of his parents, which was loyally given, and on the second of April, 1917, he went to Des Moines where he enlisted. Several letters have come to the family, telling of his experiences, all richly freighted with love, and of his desire to prove a good soldier. Byron united with the church in Lanesboro, in April, 1912, under the pastoral service of the late Rev. Cox. He had many friends; he was a member of the pastor's Sunday school class, and the friends of the family turn very tenderly toward the bereaved ones in their great sorrow. A public memorial service has been announced to be held for him in the church next Sabbath morning."
To the bereaved relatives of this young martyr who has laid down his life in the cause for which we as a nation have consecrated ourselves, The Times wishes to join the loyal citizens of the county in a sincere expression of sympathy and condolence.
Carroll Obituaries maintained by Michael A. Miller.
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