Carroll Daily Times Herald

Carroll, IA

02 May 1945




Daring Trip For Iowans In Germany

By Frank Miles
(Daily Times Herald War Correspondent)

In Germany (IDPA) -- Sgt. James J. Constantine, Fort Dodge, and four comrades of a 78th division infantry company were ordered at night to cross the Sieg river and bring back a prisoner from among German soldiers there. They started to wade the stream. It was too deep and swift. All narrowly escaped drowning returning to the shore. Sergeant Constantine found a rubber boat. The patrol climbed in and paddled across.

After creeping along the enemy bank they came to the end of a street. A sentry challenged. A GI who spoke the language, mumbled some words. Thinking they were Jerries, the sentry let them pass. For an hour and a half, with their squirt guns poised, they prowled around looking for a lone nazi to seize and had to give up.

If they had tried to row the boat back to their side the drift would have taken them to a point where discovery would have been certain. A GI member of a reinforcing squad on the American bank, tied the end of a wire to a tree, dropped the coil around his neck, and swam over to the boat. Sergeant Constantine and his buddies then drew themselves across.

"We were sure sorry to miss but none of those guys were running around loose," grinned the Iowan when we met at his company's forward command post.

Taking advantage of concealment, the sergeant and I walked 500 yards from there to an old house from which a machine gun outfit was operating behind a hedge along a road by the river. From a hole in the roof we looked directly into the German town and I could see where Sergeant Constantine and his patrol had been.

Constantine, 21 year-old son of John D. Constantine, Ft. Dodge, a private in World War I, attended Ft. Dodge high school and Wentworth military academy; joined the army in December of 1942, and landed overseas on January 31, 1945.

"I am going back to Fort Dodge, get married and go into business," he smiled.

T/Sgt. Don J. Tracy, Estherville, was on duty at the company headquarters.

When I told my name at battalion headquarters a young soldier said:

"You couldn't be from Iowa, could you?"

He was Captain John Masterpole, Oelwein, the battalion adjutant, who proudly showed me a picture of his two-year old daughter, "Kathy".

T/Sgt. George R. Turek, Sioux City, who was born in Austria, was there, too. His father, Harry Turek, was in the Austrian army during World War I, and came to America shortly after it ended.

"Sioux City" was the reply when I asked the youth where he was going after he was discharged.

Lt. William Moore of Brookstone, Ind., a staff officer, and Sgt. Glendon Woods, Red Oak, came in. Moore was born in Carroll. His father, Howard D. Moore, lives at Mt. Pleasant, and he is a nephew of A.B. Chamber, and a cousin to Hek Ross ,both of Des Moines.

Sgt. James R. Ganoe, Scranton; Pfc. Ivyel Landes, Danville, and Pvt. Wayne W. Dale, Armstrong were in the area.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, May 2, 1945

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