Louisa County

S/Sgt. John Rabenold



Sgt. Rabenold Is Nazi’s Prisoner, Relatives Learn

Columbus Junction—Staff Sgt. John Rabenold, who was reported missing in action May 29 over Germany, is a prisoner of the Germans according to word received by his wife at Ottumwa. Sgt. Rabenold was born at Letts in 1920.

He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Rabenold, of Oskaloosa; a nephew of Mrs. Ralph Morris, of Columbus Junction; his father is a nephew of Edgar Rabenold, of Columbus Junction; and he is a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Adams, of Ainsworth.

Mr. Rabenold was ball-turret gunner on a Liberator bomber and had been awarded the air medal.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 14, 1944

Prisoner Ranks Expand As War Grows Intense In France and Germany

Hopes for an eventual happy reunion at the conclusion of hostilities with father, brother, son or husband, initially reported as “missing in action” has been spurred in a number of homes in Muscatine and nearby communities in southeastern Iowa and western Illinois by later information, advising that the missing service man was listed as a prisoner of war.

Anxious hours of hopeful waiting after official information listing men as “missing in action” has been followed in repeated instances by such data during the past year, as it was in former years of World War No. 2, as the number of men who have become members of the “Barbed Wire Legion”—prisoners of war—has increased.

Then, for families and for the members of the Barbed Wire Legion, as well, has followed a second interval of waiting—until through the channels of the International Red Cross, letters and communications have been re-established.

This, in turn, is followed by further waiting—waiting for that day when peace will return and the guns of war are silenced—when long days of confinement in distant camps and restriction of privileges will come to an end and families and friends may be reunited.

As the period of America’s participation in the war has lengthened, so has the number of men listed from this community as prisoners of war.

For some, stationed in the Pacific theater of action, three years have passed in prison camps. For others, captured in other fields of action, one year in a prisoner of war camp is stretching to a second. Others, participating in more recent actions, have spent lesser periods in prison camps.

From some of these men, relatives have received fairly regular, although restricted letters, advising of their treatment, the receipt of certain items of clothing, food and for recreational purposes through the Red Cross. From others only scratches of information have been received.

From official sources and from members of their families, brief sketches of the following men reported as prisoners, have been obtained:

STAFF SGT. JOHN RABENOLD—Reported missing in action on May 29, 1944, Staff Sgt. John Rabenold of Columbus Junction was listed as a prisoner of Germany later according to word received by his wife at Ottumwa. Sgt. Rabenold was born at Letts in 1920.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Friday, December 29, 1944

John Ervin Rabenold was born Feb. 2, 1920 to Harry E. and Marie H. Adams Rabenold. He died Mar. 15, 2002 and is buried in Jackson Township Cemetery, Montezuma, IA.

Source: ancestry.com