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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Saturday, October 16, 1943, Page 7

Ongs Receive Address of Son
Who Is Prisoner of War in Germany

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver ONG, 123 President court, were informed Saturday by the Provost Marshal General, Washington, D. C., that their son, Staff Sergeant Phil ONG, is a prisoner of war in Germany. A wire to that effect had been received by them on Sept. 18, but they had been unable to communicate with him up to this time.

Now with the new information from the Provost Marshal General, they have his address. The information came through the International Red Cross Division. Communications with Sergeant ONG were inclosed (sic) with the message.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Tuesday, November 16, 1943, Page 5


Receive Oak-Leaf Cluster for Son
Prisoner of War in Germany Since Sept.

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver ONG, 123 President court, were presented the air medal with the Oak Leaf Cluster here, Sunday, by Maj. J. T. Leonard, from Headquarters 80th college training detachment, Cedar Falls, for their son, Staff Sgt. Phil W. ONG, officially reported a prisoner of war in Germany by the provost marshal in October. Earlier, in September, if had been learned through the Red Cross of his internment in Germany.

Major Leonard had written the ONGS that he would be in Mason City Sunday and would bring the medal to be presented then or later at a more elaborate ceremony as they preferred. The ONGS chose to have it presented here.

In presenting the award, Major Leonard read the citation letter signed by John A. Sanford, colonel air corps chief of staff from headquarters. It said:

"For exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in 5 separate combat missions, over enemy occupied continental Europe. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by these officers and enlisted men upon these occasions reflect great credit upon themselves and the armed forces of the United States.

"By command of Brigadier General F. L. Anderson."

Staff Sergeant ONG has also been awarded the Purple Heart and holds a previous air medal.

"If we could get a letter from him it would be worth more to us than the medal," said Mr. ONG. "We haven't heard from in at all."

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Friday, December 31, 1943, Page 0

Writes From Prison Camp

Mr. and Mrs. O. W. ONG, 123 President court, Thursday got their first word from their son, Staff Sgt. Phil ONG, now a prisoner of war in Germany, in a letter written Aug. 27. He writes:

"Here are a few words you will be glad to get. I am well and all right but a prisoner of war. Anyone's address you know write and let them know that I am all right. Mother, go to the Red Cross and find out what you can send me. I will send you an address as soon as I can. Now, don't worry; everything is all right."

His address is Staff Sgt. Phil W. ONG, American P. O. W. No 113300, Stalag Luft No. 3, Germany; Stalag No. 7 A, Germany, via New York. All letters must be entirely of a personal nature.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Tuesday, May 29, 1945, Page 1


S-Sgt. Phil Ong Prisoner 21 Months;
Pfc. Dietz a Year

Letters received here Tuesday bring news of 2 more Mason City prisoner of war recently liberated from German prison camps.

A letter from S/Sgt. Phil ONG, the first news of him in 6 months, states that he had been released from 17-B in Krems, Austria. The letters from Pfc. Alex J. DIETZ bring word of his release from Stalag 7-A near Moosburg, Germany.

"Am feeling great. Preparing to leave for the states soon," was the message received by S/Sgt. ONG'S parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver ONG, 123 President court.

S/Sgt. ONG had been held by the Germans as a prisoner for 21 months. More than a year ago he had written home saying he was "sitting and wondering when the war would be over."

Pfc. Alex DIETZ, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob DIETZ, 20 9th N. W., was taken in Italy by the Germans last June. He wrote that he hoped to be home soon. That he was glad to be able to write letters without someone standing over him to see what he was writing.

DIETZ has 3 brothers in the service: S/Sgt. George in Galveston, Tex.; S 1/c Henry in the Philippines; and John with the coast guard in California.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
June 20, 1945, Page 11



Dietz Winner of Silver Star;
Lt. Vaughn War P.O.W. Since May, 1944

Among Mason City's liberated prisoners of war to arrive home from the Jefferson Barracks, Mo., reception center within the last few days are Lt. Richard VAUGHN, S/Sgt. Phil ONG, Sgt. Sherman E. WICKRE and Pfc. Alex DIETZ. all are unanimous in that the best thing about coming home is "just being there."

Lt. VAUGHN, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. W. VAUGHN, 219 1/2 North Federal, was met at Nora Springs early Sunday morning by his parents. He will be here on a 60-day leave after which he will go to Miami Beach, Fla. He had been held by the Germans since May 10, 1944.

S/Sgt. ONG, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver ONG, 123 President court, arrived in Mason City Saturday. He says he was a lot more fortunate that many. Wounded at the time his plane was shot down by fighter planes, he was taken prisoner by some German civilians and given first aid by 2 Catholic sisters before being taken to a German hospital. He was held at Krems, Austria, for a little more than 21 months. He reported that he had taken part in the 200 mile march from his camp when the Russians advanced in that area. It took them 18 days. They were not taken to another camp but marched into a woods that had a large strip cut around the outskirts. They were released from this place on May 3 by American soldiers who captured the German units there.

Sgt. Sherman E. WICKRE, whose wife, Esther, lives with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nels LANDGREN, 524 20th S. E., has been here several days, and by this time is fairly well acquainted with his 6 month's old son, John Edwin, whom he is seeing for the first time, also getting reacquainted with his 2 daughters, Ruth and Rachel. Mrs. WICKRE reports that "he looks good." Sgt. WICKRE was in the same camp as Sgt. ONG and with him in the "march." They carried some food with them while on the march, as well as all their other belongings. Some food was acquired along the way by trading such things as cigarets (sic) for some food. Sgt. WICKRE had been a prisoner since last November.

Pfc. Alex DIETZ, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob DIETZ, 20 9th N. W., holder of a silver star for gallantry in action in Italy, reported he "hadn't suffered much." A prisoner of the Germans since last June, he spent only about 2 weeks in the actual prison camp. He said that they could volunteer to get "out of the fence" to work and he got out to live with some Bavarians. He had been at Stalag 7-A near Moosburg, Germany.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Saturday, July 06, 1945, Page 11

Elias Kelroy Nominated for Legion Post Commander

Elias KELROY, prominent in Legion activities for a number of years, was nominated for commander of Clausen-Worden post of that organization for the coming year at the July meeting held Thursday night. . . .

S/Sgt. Phil ONG, turret gunner on a bomber, told of his experiences in German prison camps, pointing out the fate of the prisoners would have been a sad one had not Red Cross parcels come through regularly.

Sgt. ONG, who was accompanied by his father, O. W. ONG, at the meeting, stated he made several attempts to escape, but was returned to the camp each time with periods of solitary confinement as punishment.

American prisoners of war, he said, fared better than most other nationalities, particularly Russians, thousands of whom died in camp becuase they did not get sufficient food. . . .

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2013



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