Cerro Gordo County

Cpl. Francis D. Nugent


Pvt. Francis D. Nugent has arrived safely in North Africa, according to word received by his wife who lives at 1304 Taft southwest. He entered the service in October, 1942, and was sent to Camp Hood, Tex. He was at Camp Pickett, Va., just before going across. He was employed at the Jacob F. Decker and Sons Packing company before he was in the Army.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, July 17, 1943

Cpl. F. D. Nugent Missing in Action Over Italy, Dec. 15.
Letter Received Here Written the Day Before He Was Stated Missing

Mrs. Betty M. Nugent, 1304 Taft S.W., received a telegram Thursday from the Secretary of War stating that her husband, Cpl. Francis D. Nugent, had been missing in action in Italy since Dec. 15. The message signed by the adjutant general read:

“The secretary of war desires me to express his deep regret that your husband, Tech. 5th Grade Francis D. Nugent, has been reported missing in action since Dec. 15, in Italy. If further details or other information are received you will be promptly notified.”

Corporal Nugent’s last letter received here was written on Dec. 14, the day before he was reported missing. In it he said that it “was really hot” there and he “didn’t mean the weather.” Before going to Italy where he had been for about 4 months, he had been on duty in Africa and Sicily. He went overseas last May. As a civilian he was employed at the Jacob E. Decker & Sons plant.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, January 6, 1944 (photo included)

Cpl. Francis D. Nugent War Prisoner of Germans
Had Been Reported Missing in Action in Italy, Dec. 15

Cpl. Francis D. Nugent is a prisoner of war of the German government, according to a telegram received by his wife, 1539 Wilson S.W., from the War Department.

“A report just received through the International Red Cross,” read the telegram, “states that your husband, Tech. 5th Grade Francis D. Nugent, is prisoner of war of the German government. Letter of information follows from the provost marshal general.”

Cpl. Nugent was previously reported missing in action in Italy on Dec. 15, 1943, according to a telegram received by Mrs. Nugent on January 6, 1944. Nothing further had been heard of his whereabouts until the present information came. He has been overseas since last May. As a civilian, he worked at the Jacob E. Decker plant.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, March 28, 1944 (photo included)

35 Cerro Gordo Men Killed in Action in 2 ½ Years of War

Memorial Day this year marks almost 2 ½ years since the United States entered World War II. Of the more than 11 million men serving with the U.S. armed forces at home and overseas, it is estimated that Cerro Gordo county has contributed 4,100 men.

Repatriated from a German prison camp and scheduled to arrive on the Gripsholm in June is Cpl. Francis D. Nugent, the first serviceman from the county to be exchanged as a prisoner of war.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, May 30, 1944

Cpl. Nugent, Repatriate, Is Home From Hospital
Came On Gripsholm From Germany Last June, Leg Amputated

Cpl. Francis D. Nugent arrived Sunday from the Percy Jones general hospital, Battle Creek, Mich., where he has been a patient since being repatriated last June. He is visiting his wife at 1304 Taft S.W., and other relatives here. He will return to the hospital at Battle Creek at the end of his 30-day furlough.

Cpl. Nugent was first reported as missing in action over Italy on last December 15. Later, in March, word was received that he had been taken a prisoner of war of the Germans on that date. After coming to the States on board the Gripsholm, he was taken to the hospital at Battle Creek. Relatives visiting him there then learned that his left leg had been amputated below the knee.

Before entering the service in October, 1942, Cpl. Nugent was employed at Decker’s. His sister, Evelyn, and brother, Raymond, live in Mason City.

Source Mason City Globe-Gazette, Sept. 25, 1944 (photo included)

Mason City Amputee Killed in Minnesota in Car Collision
Brother, Wife of Vet Suffer Minor Injuries; Minnesota Man Killed

Funeral services for Francis D. Nugent, 28, of 730 16th N. E., who died about 7:10 p.m. Saturday as the result of injuries received in an automobile accident about 10 ½ miles south of Albert Lea, Minn., will be held at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Catholic church, with Father P. J. Behan officiating.

The Rosary will be said at the Meyer funeral home at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Burial will be at St. Joseph’s cemetery.

Mr. Nugent died in the wreckage of a car he received from the U. S. government as an amputee. He had survived many months of action in Africa, Sicily and Italy, imprisonment by the Germans for 6 months, and the loss of a leg.

The crash in which he was killed occurred as he was driving north on highway 65. In the car with him were his wife, Betty, their 11 month old daughter Judy and Nugent’s brother, Albert, all of Mason City.

The Nugent car was sideswiped by one driven by Erling Reierson, 34, Rochester, Minn., as he attempted to pass another southbound car, according to Freeborn County Deputy Sheriff Carl Lindahl. Reierson also was killed in the accident. Lindahl said the other car was driven by Francis Thompson, Northwood farmer.

Mrs. Nugent and Albert Nugent both were injured and taken to Naeve hospital, Albert Lea. The baby was unhurt. The two adults were not dangerously hurt and were brought to Mercy hospital, Mason City, by ambulance. Albert was reported to have suffered 3 broken ribs and cuts about the face and head. They were reported improving Monday.

Both cars were a total wreck, according to Sheriff Lindahl. Nugent received his new Oldsmobile last Dec. 4 as part of the government’s compensation to him for loss of his left leg below the knee.

Mr. Nugent is survived by another brother, Raymond, 315 19th N.E. and 6 sisters, Miss Evelyn Nugent and Mrs. Leon De Rock, both of Mason City; Mrs. Gaylord DeBuhr, Rockford; and Mrs. William Bender, Mrs. Joseph Kroc, and Mrs. Louis Kroc, all of Austin, Minn.

Reierson’s body was still at the Bonnerup funeral home in Albert Lea. Reierson formerly lived a Kensett and funeral services will be held there, it was stated. He is survived by his wife and his mother, Mrs. Sophia Reierson, Kensett.

Nugent entered the Army in October, 1942. He was taken prisoner in Italy Dec. 15, 1943, and held by the Germans until his repatriation on the Gripsholm in June, 1944. He spent some time in Percy Jones hospital, Battle Creek, Mich., before being released from service. He had been employed since returning home in the office of the Mason City Brick and Tile company. He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He was born Aug. 11, 1918, in Mason City and had resided here throughout his lifetime, except for the time he was in the service. He was married to Betty Jane Muhlstein, June 6, 1942.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, March 31, 1947 (photo included)

Military Rites Give at Local Cemetery

Funeral services for Francis D. Nugent, 28, who died Saturday of injuries received in an automobile accident, south of Albert Lea, Minn., were held Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Catholic church, with Father P. J. Behan officiating.

Mrs. A. C. Frisk and Mrs. C. F. Garland were in charge of flowers.

Attending the services from out of the city were Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kroc and family, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Kroc, Mr. and Mrs. William Kroc and family and Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Kroc, all of Austin, Minn.; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Parent, Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Miss Ruby Muhlstein, Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Florence Eiker and son, Maurice, and Mr. and Mrs. Ted Dorkendorf, all of St. Paul, Minn.; Ernest Kroc, Mrs. Burdette Snyder and Michael O’Leary, all of Austin, Minn.; Mrs. Margaret Muhlstein, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Roggemann, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Muhlstein and Mr. and Mrs. Neil Hansen, all of Rockwell.

Mr. and Mrs. Clause Carstens, Burchinal; Mr. and Mrs. Howard Miller, Neola, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. John Jenkins, Albert Lea, Minn.; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rusley, Eagle Grove, Iowa; Mrs. Tillie Errett and Mrs. Mae Griffen of Lawler, Iowa; and Mr. and Mrs. George Fritz, Oakland, Iowa.

Pallbearers were V. D. Veyle, W. M. Gregerson, Robert Logue, C. R. Pearson, A. C. Frisk and Walter Wieland. Ushers were Jerome Chute and Richard Casey. Interment was at St. Joseph’s Catholic cemetery.

Military rites were held at the graveside. The color guard consisted of Warren Brown and Joe Rex, color bearers, Bob Carroll and Chuck Coyle. The firing squad, under the command of Bill Clausen, included Paul Fritz, Paul Brown, John Reardon, Kenny Hutzell, Leo Danehy, Ed Claus, and Frank Waychus. John Pinta was bugler and Elias Kelroy presented the colors.

The Meyer funeral home in charge.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, April 3, 1947