Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Obituary ~ PFC Donald Rex Ford

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
November 20, 1943

KILLED IN ACTION

Mr. and Mrs. O. E. FORD, R.F.D. No. 1, Clear Lake, received word Thursday from the war department that their son, PFC. Donald R. FORD, of the U.S. marines, had been killed in action in the Pacific war area. The message stated that further information would arrive.

Besides his parents, Private FORD is survived by a sister, Mrs. William [Cleone] ZIMMER, Le Mars, 3 nieces and a nephew.

The nephew, born Thanksgiving day, was named for his uncle who had expressed the hope that a son would be born to the family. His last letter home was written Nov. 16 on board ship.

Cut courtesy of Clear Lake Reporter.

NOTE: Donald Rex FORD was born near Forest City, Iowa on April 11, 1915, the son of Orville Elmer and Ada Pearl (NAUMAN) FORD. PVT FORD was interred at Memorial Park Cemetery, Mason City.

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PFC Donald Rex FORD was killed on the first day of the Battle of Tarawa, fought in near the Gilbert Island from November 20 - 24, 1943. It is believed that PVT. FORD was in the first landing on Betio Islet on the 20th. This Battle was the first time the U.S. faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing. Well-supplied and well-prepared, the 4,500 Japanese fought almost to the last man which exacted a heavy toll on the Marines. The importance of capturing Tarawa was in a strategic location at the gateway of the U.S. drive through the central Pacific toward the Philippines. The Japanese were dug into a labyrinth of pillboxes and bunkers which were interconnected with tunnels and defended by wire and mines. The 2nd Division of the U.S. Marine Corps were assigned the task of dislodging this force, resulting in a battle that produced one of the fiercest and bloodiest in Marine Corps history.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Friday, February 11, 1944, Page 3

Parents Get Posthumous Award to Son

Ventura – Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Ford received the Purple Heart awarded posthumously to their son, Pfc. Donald R. Ford of the marine corps who was killed in action in the South Pacific Nov. 20.

They also received the presidential unit citation ribbon bar with blue enameled star for service in action against the enemy in the Solomon Islands.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, February 16, 1944, Page 14

Gets Purple Heart

Mr. and Mrs. O[rville]. E. Ford, R. F. D. No. 1, Clear Lake, have received the purple heart decoration awarded posthumously to their son, Pfc. Donald R. Ford of the marine corps, who was killed in action in the South Pacific. News of his death arrived Dec. 24, 1943.

Mr. and Mrs. Ford also received the Presidential Unit Citation ribbon bar with blue enameled star for service in action against the enemy in the Solomon Islands.

Private Ford enlisted in the marines in March, 1942, and had been overseas about 20 months, taking part in the Guadalcanal siege and actions in the Solomons. He had received 3 medals for marksmanship as a gunner on a 60-mm. field gun.

Mr. and Mrs. Ford are planning a memorial service for their son to be held at the Methodist church in Garner Easter Sunday. Further announcement will be made.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 05, 1944, Page 4

Memorial Planned

A memorial service for Pfc. Donald R. Ford of the U. S. marines, son of Mr. and Mrs. o. E. Ford, living southwest of Clear Lake, will be held at the First Methodist church, Garner, Easter Sunday at 2:30 o’clock. News of the death of Pvt. Ford in the Pacific area was received by his parents Dec. 24, 1943.

The family requests no flowers but anyone wishing to honor the memory of Pvt. Ford may designate his gift for the Soldier’s Memorial fun in Clear Lake, the First Methodist church memorial chime in Garner or the Navy Relief fund. Envelopes may be handed to the ushers.

Navy Mothers Will Attend
Memorial at Garner Sunday

Clear Lake – Members of the Clear Lake Navy Mothers will attend the memorial services for Pfc. Donald R. Ford, a marine killed in action in the south Pacific last November, at the Methodist church in Garner Sunday afternoon.

Members are to meet at Legion hall Sunday at 1 o’clock. Those needing transportation are asked to contact Mrs. O. J. Pierce, commander, phone 295-LJ, and those having cars are requested to let Mrs. Pierce know how many they can accommodate. Those having uniforms are asked to wear them.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Friday, April 07, 1944, Page 08

Memorial Service for Garner Marine Sunday

Garner – A memorial service for Donald Rex Ford, who was killed in action in the southwest Pacific in December, will be held at the Methodist church Sunday at 2:30 p. m. The family requests no flowers but anyone wishing to honor Donald’s memory may designate a gift to the soldier’s memorial fund at Clear Lake, the Methodist church memorial chimes in Garner, or the navy relief. Envelopes may be handed to the ushers at the service.

Donald was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Ford of Clear Lake, formerly of Garner. He was graduated from the Garner high school with the class of 1933, joined the marine corps reserve in 1942. He went through the Solomon island campaign. His last letter was written to home folks Nov. 16. He had not been home since going into service.

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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, April 12, 1944, Page 7

$49 Given for Lake Soldier’s Memorial

Clear Lake – The sum of $49 was allocated to the Soldier’s Memorial fund of Clear Lake by friends paying tribute to Pfc. Donald Ford at the memorial services at Garner Sunday afternoon. The parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. D. Ford, had requested that no flowers be sent but indicated 3 funds to which persons wishing to honor Private Ford, a marine who lost his life in the Pacific area last November, might give whatever sum they wished. Many families living south of Clear Lake in the Ford neighborhood and several of Clear Lake attended the services.

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2011; updated March of 2013

 

 

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