Mason City Globe-Gazette

Mason City, IA

15 Feb 1945




Iowa Sergeant Given Legion of Merit Medal

By Frank Miles

With the Fifth Army in Italy (IDPA) -- Master Sergeant Lawrence C. Youngblut, of Oran, Fayette County, Iowa, has been awarded the legion of merit. Presentation was made by the commanding officer of the 34th division, Maj. Gen. Charles L. Bolte. The award was for the period from June 15, 1942, to Sept. 9, 1944.

The Citation reads:

"Master Sergeant Youngblut assisted in the reproduction of plans for the invasion of North Africa. The efficiency with which he carried out these important duties quickly won him the confidence and trust of his superiors. Landing with the assault force headquarters at Algiers, in November, 1942, he quickly organized his section, placing it in an efficient operational status, and operated it as such during the entire Africa campaign, with speed and perseverance during all critical periods.

"Shorty after his division landed in Italy, Sergeant Youngblut was appointed chief of the movement control section. Exercising personal initiative, he assisted in routing and scheduling all vehicular movements in the division. Often, under heavy artillery fire, he made forward reconnaissances of the division road net to insure better planning and control.

"At Anzio beachhead, as operations sergeant, Sergeant Youngblut had the responsibility of moving troops from the constant shell pounded port to unit bivouac areas. With notable alertness and laudable personal supervision, these movements were made without casualties."

The conscientious, zealous young Iowan entered the army in Des Moines on April of 1941, trained with the 168th at Camp Claiborne until November, then was transferred o the 34th divisions' military police. He arrived overseas in February of 1942 and was assigned to a division headquarters staff section the following June.

Mrs. Mildred Youngblut, his wife lies in Waterloo.

Three Iowa soldiers of the 35th division homeward bound on furloughs were Sgt. LeRoy Jacks, Council Bluffs; Sgt. Robert E. Lakin, Newton; and Cpl. Donal L. Burgoyne, Ida Grove. Jacks, Chief clerk in the divisions special troops section, is a former Iowan national guardsmen and was in the Tunisian and Italian campaigns. Richard Jacks, a brother, is in the navy. Lakin was federalized in February of 1941, and as a medic participated in the Tunisian and Italian campaigns and own the Silver Star for gallantry in action at Edda Khila in North Africa. Jack and Richard, brothers, are in the navy in the South Pacific. Burgoyne, in division medical supply, was in the Tunisian and Italian campaigns.

Capt. Beatrice A. Parker, Fall River, Mass., 19 months overseas and now in the radio section of public relations of Allied Field Headquarters, was commissioned at Fort Des Moines on October 17, 1942, and was there 2 weeks after that. When this was written she was up front in the 5th Army in North Italy making records of interviews with fighting men for War Department use, withstanding the cold, snow, ice and jeeping over roads and trails in the Apennine mountains as well as most of the men. Before entering the army she was a newspaper reporter employed by the Fall River Herald News.

"I shall ever be grateful for the cordial treatment I was accorded by the people of Iowa whom I met when I was there," she smiled, "and I hope to see the state during a spring after the war is over for I believe it would very be beautiful then.

Captain Parker, a small young woman of tremendous energy, has served in North Africa and France besides Italy.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, February 15, 1945

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