Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Saturday, May 15, 1943, Page 7

Globe-Gazette Diary ~ Saturday, May 15

Wedding bells rang this week for Elizabeth "Betty" HAKES and Aviation Cadet Donald HARRER. The Mason Cityans were married in Omaha and will live in Marfa, Tex., where the bridegroom is taking advanced training as a pilot in the army air corps.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Thursday, September 16, 1943, Page 13


Lt. and Mrs. Donald HARRER of Kearney, Nebr., are visiting their parents, Mr. and Mrs. George HARRER, 153 Crescent drive, and Mr. and Mrs. Lee P. LOOMIS, 320 1st street southeast.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Friday, February 15, 1944, Page 8


Flight Officer and Mrs. Robert G. HARRER, the former Katherine BURKE, who have been visiting their parents, Mr. and Mrs. George HARRER, 153 Crescent drive, and Dr. and Mrs. T. A. BURKE, 328 Pennsylvania S. E., return this week to Camp Maxon, N. Car., where he is an instructor in the glider service. Camp Maxon is the center where the final phases of training for the air borne commands is carried on. Mrs. HARRER will remain in Mason City for the time being.

A brother, Aviation Cadet Jerry HARRER, left Tuesday for the naval flight training center at Olathe, Kans., after a week's visit at the parental home following the completion of this pre-flight training at Iowa City naval pre-flight school.

The 3rd brother, Lt. Don G. HARRER, a B-17 co-pilot, now in England, has been actively engaged in a number of raids which the 8th army air forces have made over the continent during the last 4 weeks, according to letters received from him by his family. Mrs. Don HARRER, the former Betty HAKES, is visiting at the present time in Muscatine.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Tuesday, April 18, 1944, Page 13

Lt. Don Harrer Now German War Prisoner

Lt. Donald G. HARRER, son of Mr. and Mrs. George HARRER, 153 Crescent drive, is a prisoner of war of the Germans, according to word received Tuesday by his wife, Mrs. Betty HAKES HARRER, 310 First S. E., through the International Red Cross.

Lt. HARRER was reported by the war department as missing in action following the bombing raid on Frankfurt, Germany, Feb. 11. He was co-pilot of a flying fortress with the U. S. 8th air force stationed in England. He had been overseas since Christmas time.

The Mason Cityan entered the service in January, 1942, and received his training at San Francisco, Marfa, Texas, Kearney, Nebr., and Sioux City air bases. He was last in Mason City last November.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, July 10, 1944, Page 11

Three Unseen Babies Born to Fighting Men Overseas

Three Mason Cityans - 1 a prisoner of the Germans, one fighting on the Normandy beachhead and the 3rd with the army air forces in England - became fathers over the weekend.

A 7 pound 3 1/2 ounce son was born at Park hospital Sunday to Lt. and Mrs. Donald G. HARRER. Lt. HARRER has been a prisoner of war since the bomber of which he was co-pilot went down over Germany Feb. 11. Mrs. HARRER, the former Elizabeth HAKES LOOMIS, is making her home with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lee P. LOOMIS, 320 1st S. W.

First Lt. and Mrs. E. W. LYNCH are the parents of a son, Michael Dennis, born Friday at Mercy hospital. The baby, whose father is with the allied invasion forces in France, weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces. Mrs. LYNCH is now living with her husband's family at 330 1st N. W.

Anthony, the 8 pound 13 1/4 ounce son of Lt. and Mrs. Meyer TUPLER, was born Saturday at Mercy hospital. His father, now stationed at an army air base in England, is the husband of the former Laura HEIDENRY, who is making her home with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James HEIDENRY, 1217 N. Adams.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Tuesday, August 08, 1944, Page 10


Mr. and Mrs. George Harrer Grandparents 3 Times in Month

Mr. and Mrs. George H. HARRER, 125 Crescent drive, parents of the "flying HARRERS" of local renown, are of the opinion that the stork is well on his way toward outflying their air-minded sons.

Within the past month - to the day - senior HARRERS have become grandparents 3 times. All of the new grandchildren are boys: all were born to members of the flying HARRER clan.

Heading the list of new arrivals was John Jerome WALLACE, son of Lt. Jack WALLACE and the former Dorothy HARRER, who was born July 6.

Next came Thomas Lee HARRER, son of Lt. Donald G. HARRER and the former Betty HAKES LOOMIS, who arrived July 9.

Sunday, the 3rd new HARRER appeared on the scene - the 6 pound 12 ounce son of Flight Officer Robert H. HARRER and the former Katherine BURKE. He, as yet, is not officially named, since his grandparents were still trying Monday afternoon to get in touch with his father at Camp Maxon, N. Car., to obtain approval of the name his mother has tentatively chosen for him.

One might go so far as to say that the 3rd-generation HARRERS are air-borne. Or might one?

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, February 14, 1946, Page 14


F/O Robert G. HARRER has recently arrived overseas in England and his brother, Lt. Donald HARRER, war prisoner of the Germans now a year, has been awarded the air medal.

Robert has just received a brief orientation course designed to help him adjust himself to life in a combat zone, and was soon to be transferred to his permanent station from which America's fighting planes cover the advance in Germany, it was stated in a communication received here from a U. S. strategic air force station in England.

Announcement of Donald being awarded the air medal was received from the war department recently and the decoration was sent here to his wife, Mrs. Betty HAKES HARRER. Donald is in the German prison camp, Stalag Luft No. 1 in the Baltic area. The last letter received from him was dated Nov. 24. In a letter written previously, dated Oct. 18, he mentioned that he had just received the pictures and news of his baby son born last July. A cablegram sent in July had never reached him but he was the "happiest man in Kriegland" upon receiving the news and pictures, he had written.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
May 04, 1945, Page 11


Three airmen from this community are known to have been prisoners of war in the large prison camp for American flyers at Barth, which according to a Russian communique Thursday, has been liberated by the Russians.

The airmen are Lt. Donald G. HARRER, son of Mr. and Mrs. George HARRER, 1160 Maple drive, whose wife, Betty HAKES HARRER, and son Tommy live with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. P. LOOMIS at 320 1st S. E.; Lt. Melvin J. SPENCER, son of Mr. and Mrs. K. W. SPENCER, 1222 President N. W.; and Flight Officer Roy B. MARTIN, son of Mrs. Cecil PALMETER MARTIN, Clear Lake.

Lt. HARRER and Lt. SPENCER have been prisoners of the Germans since Feb., 1944, and F/O MARTIN since last September.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, May 28, 1945, Page 1


Lts. Ray Clough and Don Harrer Expect to Be in the States Soon

News of the liberation of 2 more Mason City prisoner of war that has long been awaited here came over the weekend to the Ray F. CLOUGH and Donald HARRER homes. Letters received by their respective families stated that they were in France waiting shipment to the states.

"At present I am at a camp near the French coast awaiting shipping orders for the U. S.," Lt. CLOUGH had written. "I hope the wait won't be too long. The problem of evacuating us ex-POW's is really tremendous.

"The army generally has service records of all personnel but of course we have none. That is problem number 1. Then we must be fed, clothed, housed, deloused, examined, treated, cataloged, etc., far into the night. But the army is doing all it can to speed our return," wrote Lt. CLOUGH.

"With the publicity which was given to some POW camps in Germany you may have wondered about my treatment. I think it is useless to write a description when I can tell you myself in several weeks. However, as officers we received much better treatment than some and in addition the camps of the Luftwaffe were generally better than camps under the wehrmacht or SS," Lt. CLOUGH wrote.

Two letters received by Mrs. Betty HAKES HARRER on Monday from her husband, Lt. HARRER, followed a telegram that came from the war department on Sunday stating that he had been returned to military control.

In the letters to Mrs. HARRER, dated May 15 and 17, Lt. HARRER had written that he had been released by the Russians on May 1 and had stayed at Barth until May 13. They were then flown in B-17's from nearby army camps to France. He had speculated that he would be home by June 5 or 10.

Lt. CLOUGH had been a prisoner of the Germans since October 1943. He had recently been moved from Stalag Luft 3 to Stalag Luft 7-A at Moosburg near Munich.

Lt. HARRER was taken prisoner in February, 1944, and was at Stalag Luft No. 1 in the Baltic area.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
June 19, 1945, Page 11


Tells How Russians Entered Camp in Cossack Fashion

It was a great day at the George HARRER and Donald G. HARRER homes Tuesday and it started way before 5 o'clock in the morning, for at that time the 2 families were already waiting at the station in Manly for the train from Jefferson Barracks, Mo., to come in, bringing as one of its passengers, Lt. HARRER, recently liberated prisoner of war.

Included among those who met the train were his wife, and his young son, Tommy, whom he had never seen, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George HARRER, his sister, little Miss Mary Ellen HARRER, his sister-in-law, Mrs. Robert HARRER, and Mrs. Betty HARRER'S parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lee P. LOOMIS.

Lt. HARRER, a little thinner than usual but looking fine, arrived in New York Friday and reached the Jefferson Barracks reception center Monday morning. He had been liberated by the Russians from Stalag Luft 1 at Barth, Germany, when they entered that camp on May 1. He had remained at the camp until May 13 and during that time had learned some of the Russian tactics.

The lieutenant told how the Russians came into the camp, friendly, but in typical Cossack fashion - unorganized, yelling, and on every type of vehicle imaginable. There were horses, bicycles, trucks, jeeps, and anything on wheels. No. 2 had uniforms alike, he said.

The apparent lack of organization in this wild advance Russian army is purposeful, said Lt. HARRER. They come into the enemy territory ahead of the regular organized units for the purpose of creating terror.

They drove hogs and cows into the camp saying, "There you are; help yourself - anything the Germans have got, you can have." And so the internees had to do their own butchering.

The camp at Barth was among the best situated of the camps, only 40 miles from the Red Cross supply center at Lubeck, though toward the last, through some change in the organization, they were receiving no supplies, said Lt. HARRER.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
June 21, 1945, Page 15


The cameraman found everybody happy at the Lt. Donald G. HARRER home at 114 1st N. W. And there's good reason.

The lieutenant, a prisoner of war when his son Tommy was born last July 9, came home this week to find him a boy any dad could be proud of. And no less credit goes to the little fellow's mother, Betty HAKES HARRER, who seems to have done right well by him.

Tommy's particular interest at this moment was in the big black box that he figured the photographer brought out just for him. (Lock photo, Kayenay engraving)

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
June 28, 1945, Page 22

Tell of Life in German Prison Camps

The story of life in a German prisoner of war camp was related to the Mason City Lions club Wednesday noon by 2 recently returned Mason City pilots, Lt. Ray E. CLOUGH and Lt. Don HARRER. Dr. Harold MORGAN introduced the pair and conducted the interview.

Both told of the circumstances under which they parachuted down from the Flying Fortresses, CLOUGH on a flight to Schweinfurt and HARRER on the return from a bombing mission over Frankfurt.

Compliment was paid to the Red Cross for the part it played in getting food through to them during their time in prison and to the Y. M. C. A. for its role in supplying equipment for entertainment.

Bob HAMILTON, home on leave from naval duty at 29 Palms, Cal, spoke briefly. He is a member of the Mason City Lions club and in his talk he referred to the contrast of attitude toward service men as between the seaboard area and Iowa.

"I really feel as if I'm in God's country in getting back to Iowa," he said.

Guests of the club included Ward HAMILTON, Clem KRIZ, Lt. Ron RANSON, all of Mason City, and W. H. SCHUBERT of Waterloo.

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2013



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