Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project
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.
The Globe Gazette
Two Mason City veterans, Pfc. Alex S. DIETZ, 20 9th N. W., and Pvt. (sic) Sherman E. WICKRE, 524 20th S. E., have reproted to the army ground and service forces redistribution station, Hot Springs, Ark., for reassignment. They recently spent 60-day furloughs at their homes.
Captured during combat action in Italy, Pvt. DIETZ was a prisoner of war for 11 months and wears the silver star and the E. T. O. ribbon. Prisoner of war for 5 1/2 months, Pvt. WICKRE saw action in Germany and wears the purple heart and E. T. O. ribbon with 1 battle star.
Prior to entering the army, Pvt. WICKRE was employed by the I. C. Bolson Co., Decorah, and Pvt. DIETZ by the J. E. Decker and Sons Packing Co., Mason City.
Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2013
Return to Cerro Gordo County Honor Roll
Return to Military Index Page Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page