Linn County

S/Sgt. Winston E. Lowe



Washington, D. C. –(AP)—The War Department disclosed Saturday the names of five Iowans held prisoners of war. They were:

Interned by Germany—Tech. Sgt. Ernest K. Harker, Okoboji; Staff Sgt. Winston E. Lowe, Cedar Rapids; and Staff Sgt. David L. Rees, Scranton.

Interned by Japan—Pfc. Roy W. Newman, Webster City, and Pfc. Glen E. Teel, Columbus Junction.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, July 11, 1943

According to Sgt. Howard F. Wood, formerly of Grundy Center, Iowa, four Cedar Rapids men are among 78 Iowa men held in a German prison camp, Stalag XVII B, located at Krems, Austria. Sgt. Wood left the camp as an exchange prisoner, returning to the United States on the Gripsholm. The Cedar Rapids men in the camp are David Blodgett, Winston Lowe, Robert Vollbrecht and Thomas McDonald. Sgt. Wood said he left camp on July 26 and that all the Iowa men were well and reasonably happy under the circumstances. They are kept busy with their theater, library, studies and sports. They are receiving Red Cross packages regularly each week.

Source: Cedar Rapids Tribune, October 26, 1944

12 Iowans on Gripsholm

Washington, D. C.—(AP)—Twelve sick or wounded Iowans are aboard the Gripsholm, Swedish exchange ship, which is due to arrive in the United States next week, the War Department announced Thursday night.
Aboard the Gripsholm are 463 Army officers and enlisted men, 665 United States civilians and 78 Canadian military personnel, the War Department said.
The soldiers were exchanged in Switzerland for German prisoners of war.
The War Department said that leave or furlough would be provided for those physically capable and hospital treatment would be continued for those needing it.
Pay accounts of the soldiers and officers will be settled, necessary clothing will be issued and awards and decorations made to those who have been designated to receive them.
Next of kin of the following Iowans have been notified they are returning aboard the Gripsholm:
Cpl. Hollis E. Baker, Inf., Carbon, Iowa;

Pfc. George C. Barger, Inf., Laurens, Iowa;

Second Lt. Clyde V. Cassill, AC, Lenox, Iowa;

Cpl. Clifford M. Olerich, CE, Carroll, Iowa;

Staff Sgt. Edward E. Cussen, AC, Sioux City, Iowa;

Lt. Laurence B. Higgins, Inf., Clarinda, Iowa;

Staff Sgt. Sam D. Humphrey, AC, Clinton, Iowa;

Staff Sgt. Winston E. Lowe, AC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;

Staff Sgt. Thomas R. McDonald, AC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;

Pfc. Rufus P. E. Nanke, Inf., What Cheer, Iowa; 

Second Lt. Warren L. Van Eschen, AC – Mrs. John Van Eschen, mother, Ackley, Iowa;

Pvt. Jack M. Wickey, Inf., Sioux City, Iowa.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, February 16, 1945


Mr. and Mrs. Frank Harker have had word of their son, Tech. Sgt. Ernest K. Harker, a German prisoner of war, through a Cedar Rapids man, Winston E. Lowe, who has just returned to the States. St. Sgt. Lowe is being cared for at the Halloran General Hospital at Staten Island, New York, after being returned to this country after internment in Germany. Sgt. Lowe’s letter dated February 27 read in part as follows: “I have just returned to this country from internment in Germany and would like to let you know that, to the best of my knowledge at the time of my leaving which was less than six weeks ago, your son was in good health and anxious to return home as soon as the war with Germany is over.

Through the results of the American Red Cross, and I do mean the American Red Cross, living conditions were not too bad, but mail and parcels are greatly appreciated. The personal parcel situation is a matter of luck. In some cases they get through in other cases they seem to be held up some place. However, in most cases, eventually parcels will catch up with the prisoner of war.

I knew your son very well thru many months of living with him under trying conditions, but I can say with some degree of accuracy that he is definitely all right and trying to occupy his time with many little hobbies.”

Another letter that has been received by the Harkers recently came from E. A. Bradunas, Major in the Air Corps, and chief of the notification branch of the Personal Affairs Division. In his letter he enclosed a list of those who were in the bomber with Harker at the time he was reported missing in May 1943. In his letter he stated that information has been received that indicates that Sgt. Harker was the engineer aboard a B-17 bomber which departed on a mission to Lorient, France, on May 17, 1943.

Source: Spirit Lake Beacon, March 15, 1945