Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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The Globe Gazette
of GERMAN GOVERNMENT
Lt. Richard Vaughn First Reported Missing
Now Listed a Prisoner
Second Lt. Richard E. VAUGHN, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. W. VAUGHN, 219 1/2 North Federal, is a war prisoner of the Germans, according to a telegram received here from the war department.
Lt. VAUGH was first reported as missing in action over Austria on May 10. He was a navigator on a B-17 flying fortress stationed in Italy. He was last heard from on May 3.
Lt. VAUGHN has been overseas since January and was first stationed in north Africa. He entered the service on Feb. 14, 1941, and received his silver wings from the navigation school at Hondo, Tex., last October.
The Globe Gazette
Three Sources State He Was Liberated;
Captured a Year Ago
Several messages from various sources have informed Mr. and Ms. R. W. VAUGHN, 219 1/2 North Federal, that their son, Lt. Richard VAUGHN, has been liberated from [a] prison camp in Germany.
The first notice of his release they read in the Chicago Tribune in an interview story carried by that paper on May 3. The reporter had merely listed him among others as having been released from Moosberg in southern Germany. He was the only one named as being from Iowa.
The 2nd message came to the VAUGHNS from the war department on May 15. It stated that Lt. VAUGHN was back then under military control.
Last message received here to the Red Cross on May 22. It stated that Lt. VAUGHN requested that his parents be notified of his liberation.
No direct word from the lieutenant has yet been received. Previous to being transferred to Moosberg, he had been in Stalag Luft 3.
The Globe Gazette
ONG AND WICKRE WERE TAKEN ON 200 MILE MARCH
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.
Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2013
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