Mason City Globe-Gazette

Mason City, IA

23 Nov 1944




Meets Iowans in Former Hog Sty

(Iowa Daily Press War Correspondent)

With the 5th Army in Italy (IDPA) -- The 3 -inch guns on 2 of 5 American tank destroyers, emplaced on a slope extending from a mountain crest, were hurling shells through rain and fog at nazi positions across a valley.

Two GIs of the inactive crews were sitting on a cot in the cellar of a nearby house. The room once had been a hog sty. Ears of corn on strings between 2 posts were near the door.

"Hi ya fellows, how're you doing?" I greeted.

"so,so but I know places I'd rather be," grinned one.

"Homes one of them?" I ventured. "Where do you live in the states?"

"Winterset, Iowa," was the reply.

He was gunner Leonard Binns.

"My buddy here's from Iowa, too," he said.

Gunner William Allgood, Grundy Center, was the buddy.

I shook hands with both.

"And the commander of my tank is an Iowan," Binns continued. "He's down there in it doing something or other."

We waded out through the mud. A tall, rugged youth stuck out his head, then climbed out of the machine at call from Binns.

He was Dale Grierson, Lohrville.

"Jerries are not bothering us much here now, but they knocked out one of our tanks over near Livergnano this morning." Grierson informed. "None of our guys was hurt."

Robert Adela, West Des Moines, was the diver and Lester Daniels, Garner, was a gunner of the disabled tank.

Allgood said Dale Callaway, Eldora, was another tank driver in their outfit.

While eating noon chow an hour later at an infantry regimental command post a quarter of a mile away, my companion, Jack Bell, war correspondent for the Miami Daily Herald, and I heard 2 enemy shells burst close to the tanks.

"The Jerries would like to blast those fellows out of there," said the commander of the headquarters company at the post, "but they are pretty well protected."

The 5 tank destroyers were all right and the one Grierson and Binns helped man, was firing, Bell and I noted on our return.

Wounded doughboys from a company, which had been ambushed were being brought into the aid station at the CP when we were in it.

Word that more litter bearers were needed at the scene of the clash sent away a young 2nd lieutenant and about 20 GIs in jeeps.

Sgt Delbert F. Pearson, Sibley, was among the hospital corpsman attending the victims.

Pfc. Myron Alvestead, Jewell, was a litter bearer, then up in the battle lines.

Lt. Harrison Harding, Des Moines, public relations officer of the 34th division, has returned to duty after 12 weeks in hospitals recovering from injuries received when a motorcycle he was riding was sideswiped by a truck near Leghorn. He has been overseas since February of 1942.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, November 23, 1944

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