Johnson County

Sgt. Donald C. Regan



Eight Iowans on List of Prisoners Held by Japanese

Washington D.C.—(AP)— Eight Iowans were included Thursday on a war department list of 789 U. S. soldiers who are held prisoners of war by Japan. 

The prisoners and their next of kin: 

Cpl. James J. Attey, jr., parents Mr. and Mrs. James J. Attey, Boone. 

Pvt. Donald L. Evans, mother, Mrs. Maurine Evans, Marion.

Capt. Milton R. Morgan, father, O. L. Morgan, Logan. 

Pvt. Lester Peterson, mother, Mrs. Mary Peterson, Modale.

Pfc. Frederick R. Podeyn, father, Fred Podeyn, Fort Madison.

Staff Sgt. Donald C. Regan, mother, Mrs. Genevieve Regan, Iowa City.

Pvt. George F. Van Houten, mother, Mrs. Cora Lambert, Sioux City. 

Pvt. Oliver K. Wetzel, father, George Lewis Wetzel, Spencer.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, July 1, 1943 

Number From Area Included On Missing Lists; Safety of Some Subsequently Reported

“Missing in action.”
Official notifications from the war and navy departments, bearing this saddening information about a loved one, have come to a number of homes in this area since the Pearl Harbor attack back in the waning days of 1941.

For some relatives, this opening sentence was followed by happier information in the course of time. For others, where no further details have been received, only the hope will come, revealing the safety of a loved one.

For, in a number of cases, some of the men who were reported as missing in action were later reported to have rejoined their combat units, or rescued by comrades.  Others, subsequent messages related, were being held prisoners by enemy countries and have communicated with relatives.

Others, about whom their commanders have had no additional information to relate, have, after an interval, been declared officially to have been killed in action.

And, for the parents and relatives of some, the suspense of waiting has continued month after month, as they clung to the hope that no news may be good news and that some day, soon if possible, a message may clear, reporting that the absent member is alive and well.

From official lists issued at intervals, augmented in instances by information obtained from relatives and friends, the following information relative to those from this area who have been reported missing in action was obtained:

Sgt. Don Regan, serving with the U. S. Army Air Corps, who was reported missing in action in the battle of Corregidor, was listed as a prisoner of the Japanese, it was learned here in a message May 18, 1943. He was a grandson of Mrs. Mary Regan of 1013 Lucas street.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, December 30, 1943

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:

SGT. DON REGAN—Serving with the U. S. Army Air Corps, Sgt. Don Regan was reported missing in action in the Battle of Corregidor and was listed as a prisoner of the Japanese in a message May 18, 1943. He is the grandson of Mrs. Mary Regan, 1013 Lucas street. His mother lives in Iowa City.

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

Donald C. “Don” Regan was born May 2, 1919 to Charles J. and Genevieve Mary Shay Regan. He died Aug. 3, 1984 and is buried in Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Davenport, IA.