Woodbury County

Pvt. Jack M. Wickey

 

 

Two Sioux Cityans Freed by Nazis
Homeward Bound

S. Sgt. Cussen and Pvt. Wickey Arriving on Gripsholm


S. Sgt. Edward E. Cussen, 29, son of Mrs. Edward J. Cussen, 2006 W. Second street, and Pvt. Jack M. Wickey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin A. Wickey, 2600 W. First street, are among the 12 Iowans who will arrive in the United States next week on the Gripsholm, Swedish exchange ship bringing prisoners from Germany, according to an Associated Press dispatch.

Parents of both men here have received notice from the War Department that the men are being returned to the United States.

Pvt. Wickey, 22, was a member of the national guard here and entered the service in 1941. On February 14, he had served three years overseas.

Has Purple Heart.
He received the purple heart after he was wounded in the Sicilian campaign. He also suffered wounds in the African campaign. He was captured in January 1944, in Italy, where he was serving in the infantry in a headquarters unit.

He attended Roosevelt grade school, West junior and Central high schools. His parents had several letters from him while he was a prisoner in Germany. Some time ago a telegram was received stating that Pvt. Wickey was being returned to the United States, Mr. Wickey said.

He has a brother, Kenneth, at home. Parents of Pvt. Wickey could not be reached Thursday night.

Prisoner Exchange.
Aboard the Gripsholm are 463 army officers and enlisted men, 665 United States civilians and 78 Canadian military personnel, the War Department said.

The soldiers were exchanged in Switzerland for German prisoners of war.

The War Department said that leave or furlough would be provided for those physically capable and hospital treatment would be continued for those needing it.

Pay accounts of the soldiers and officers will be settled, necessary clothing will be issued and awards and decorations made to those who have been designated to receive them.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, February 16, 1945 (photo included)

12 Iowans on Gripsholm

Washington, D. C.—(AP)—
Twelve sick or wounded Iowans are aboard the Gripsholm, Swedish exchange ship, which is due to arrive in the United States next week, the War Department announced Thursday night.

Aboard the Gripsholm are 463 Army officers and enlisted men, 665 United States civilians and 78 Canadian military personnel, the War Department said.

The soldiers were exchanged in Switzerland for German prisoners of war.

The War Department said that leave or furlough would be provided for those physically capable and hospital treatment would be continued for those needing it.

Pay accounts of the soldiers and officers will be settled, necessary clothing will be issued and awards and decorations made to those who have been designated to receive them.

Next of kin of the following Iowans have been notified they are returning aboard the Gripsholm:

Cpl. Hollis E. Baker, Inf., Carbon, Iowa;
Pfc. George C. Barger, Inf., Laurens, Iowa;
Second Lt. Clyde V. Cassill, AC, Lenox, Iowa;
Cpl. Clifford M. Olerich, CE, Carroll, Iowa;
Staff Sgt. Edward E. Cussen, AC, Sioux City, Iowa;
Lt. Laurence B. Higgins, Inf., Clarinda, Iowa;
Staff Sgt. Sam D. Humphrey, AC, Clinton, Iowa;
Staff Sgt. Winston E. Lowe, AC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
Staff Sgt. Thomas R. McDonald, AC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
Pfc. Rufus P. E. Nanke, Inf., What Cheer, Iowa;
Second Lt. Warren L. Van Eschen, AC – Mrs. John Van Eschen, mother, Ackley, Iowa;
Pvt. Jack M. Wickey, Inf., Sioux City, Iowa.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, February 16, 1945

Former School Chums Home After Being War Prisoners

Jack Wickey and Cpl. Howard Wilkinson, friends since they attended Roosevelt grade school together, arrived home recently after being prisoners of war at opposite sides of the earth.

Young Wickey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Wickey, 2600 W. First street, was taken prisoner by the Germans at Anzio, January 26, 1944, and Cpl. Wilkinson, son of Mrs. Clara L. Watts, 908 Pierce street, was captured by the Japanese at Corregidor May 6, 1942.

Both young men were seniors at Central high school when they entered service.  Cpl. Wilkinson enlisted in the regular Army February 13, 1941, and left San Francisco for the Philippines the end of March the same year. He was a gunner and relayer in the 60th coast artillery corps, anti-aircraft, when he was captured at Corregidor and sent to Bilibid prison at Manila. From there he was sent to the various Japanese camps on Luzon with a work detail which helped build airports for the Japs.

Sent To Various Camps.
On September 21, 1944, while he was working on a runway at Camp Murphey with a work detail, he was wounded in the foot when American planes bombed the camp. That evening he was taken to the hospital at Bilbid where he remained because of his foot injury and because of malnutrition until he was liberated February 5, this year.

He was taken to Queason institute in Manila for 10 days, then to Leyte for a week, and finally to New Britain where the wounded were brought aboard ship for the United States. For seven days he was in Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, from where he was released April 17, and he was home in Sioux City, April 18. After his visit here Cpl. Wilkinson will go to the hospital at Clinton, Ia., where he will receive medical care.

Mr. Wickey, a member of the Iowa national guards, left Sioux City for Camp Claiborne, La., in February, 1941, and went overseas with the unit in February 1942, spending several months in Ireland, Scotland, and England before taking part in the African campaign.  Then his 34th (Red Bull) division took part in the Sicilian campaign during which he was wounded. Then came the landing at Anzio, when he was captured. He was serving in a headquarters unit of the infantry.

Five of the 13 months he was a German prisoner, he spent in a hospital with malaria which he contracted while he was in Africa. He was in a hospital in Berlin from June to September, and then from December to January, where he was located when his name was placed on a prisoner’s exchange list. He arrived home April 19, just one day later than his friend, Cpl. Wilkinson.

Source:  The Sioux City Journal, April 30, 1945 (photo included)