Mason City Globe-Gazette

Mason City, IA

12 Jan 1945





Incident Involving Mason Cityan Related

(Iowa Daily Press War Corespondent)

With the 5th Army in Italy (IDPA) -- Pvt. Virgil D. Grindle, Thurman, recently was awarded the silver star for gallantry in action with the 1st armored division of the 5th army. Grindle, an engineer, and 4 comrades volunteered to go forward and remark a clear lane through a field, which was indistinguishable because of an incessant enemy artillery fire. The quintet was force to take cover several times but performed the job, enabling the 5th army armor to move through the gap and hurl shells directly on German positions.

Tech. Sgt. Arnold F. Brehmer, Peterson, got the bronze star for heroic achievement in action in the 34th divisions. Brehmer kept his observation post in operation and brought heavy mortar fire on the enemy after his company withdrew, because a shortage of ammunition, during the counterattack. When his wire communications was severed, he used an abandoned field artillery observation radio, although he knew nothing about its operation. When the nazis drew closer to him, he crawled to an exposed ledge and held them at bay with hand grenades until a force of doughboys arrived.

Lt. William C. Fruehling, Fort Madison, was promoted from 2nd lieutenant recently in reward for excellent soldiering as a mortar platoon leader in the 133rd infantry of the 34th division.

Maj. Jacob Magnani, Mason City, in an up front post, answered a telephone an enlisted man would have ordinarily.

Speaker on the other end of the line unloosed talk, which moved the major to ask his identity.

"What do you mean it's none of my business who you are?" were the next words I heard the Iowan speak. I am Major Magnani."

He heard only the click of a hastily hung up combination transmitter and receiver after that.

Maj. Magnani is excepted home the latter part of this month or the first part of February, according to a letter received here Thursday. It was his Christmas letter and he said he was waiting to get to port. It will be 3 years in February that he went overseas.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, January 12, 1945

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