Winnebago County

Ernest C. Vaale



Five North Iowans Presumed to Be Held Captive by Japanese


Sailors, Marines in U. S. Outposts Thought Captured by Enemy

WASHINGTON, (AP) – The navy disclosed Thursday that 56 Iowans, including 30 enlisted naval and marine corps men and 26 civilians, are presumed to be prisoners of war of the Japanese. Five North Iowans are included on the list. They are:

ERNEST CHRISTIAN VALE, naval pharmacist’s mate third class, of Lake Mills [Winnebago Co.], taken at Wake Island;

EARL R. HANNUM, marine technical sergeant (aviation), of Floyd [Floyd Co.], taken at Wake Island;

FLOYD ELLIS JAMES, marine corporal, of Thornton, [Cerro Gordo Co.] taken at Wake Island;

GEORGE DONALD MOLLOY, marine sergeant, of Marble Rock [Floyd Co.], taken at Wake Island;

GORDON J. KRYSEN, of Calmar [Winneshiek Co.], a civilian taken at Wake Island.

The sailors and marines were stationed in United States’ outposts in the Pacific and in China at the time of the Japanese attack Dec. 7, the report said, while the civilians all were working on defense construction on Wake Island.

The navy said it is difficult to determine the exact status of all persons stationed at those locations because of the disruption of communications at the time of the attack.

“From available lists and information up to or near the time of attack, those persons not otherwise accounted for are presumed to be prisoners of the Japanese,” the statement said.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Thursday, Feb. 19, 1942

Spelling of last name should be Vaale.

Chief Hospital Corpsman Ernest Christian Vaale died June 1, 1999 and is buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN.