Muscatine County

Pvt. Layman Saltsman


Saltsman and Owen Reported Held Prisoners

A War Department dispatch from Washington, D.C., through the United States, today listed the names of Pvt. Layman Saltsman, of Muscatine, and Tech. 5th Grade Melvin R. Owen, of Tipton, as interned prisoners.

The Journal, through information obtained from the families of the young men, had previously reported their status in news stories.

Technician Owen is interned by Germany at Transit camp No. 25, Capua, Italy, and Pvt. Saltsman is interned at Stalag 58 in that country.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, June 14, 1943

Young Men Are Held In Enemy Prison Camps

Source: Muscatine Journal & News-Tribune, December 30, 1943 (photos of POWs are published in this issue)

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:

PVT. LAYMAN SALTSMAN—Listed as missing in action on Feb. 17, 1943, Pvt. Layman Saltsman was reported as a prisoner of Germany on April 27, 1943, his father, Cal Saltsman, 710 West Second street, was advised. He had been overseas since March of 1942 when captured.

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