Keokuk County

Pfc. Rufus P. E. Nanke


Mrs. Otto Kitzman of this place received word the first of the week that her nephew is reported missing in Italy on Oct. 19. She received the word from his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Nanke, farmers near What Cheer. Rufus Nanke was their only son. We understand he was with an engineer corps.

Source: West Bend Journal, November 4, 1943

Washington, April 26—(INS)—The War Department announced today the names of 539 soldiers who are held as prisoners of war by Germany.

The list included from Iowa:
2nd Lt. Clyde V. Cassill, Lenox; 2nd Lt. Richard E. Davis, Ft. Dodge; Pfc. Myron E. Dobbertin, Mason City; S/Sgt. Dave E. Lynch, Cedar Falls; Pfc. Rufus P. E. Nanke, What Cheer; T/Sgt. Lloyd R. Nordstrom, Davenport.

Source: Atlantic News Telegraph, April 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

Rufus Paul E. Nanke died Jan. 2, 1985 and is buried in Green Mountain Cemetery, Boulder, CO.