Hamilton County

Lt. Harold W. Laugerman





Lt. Harold Laugerman in Vivid Description of War Zone.

A vivid view of life on the presently quiet Anzio beachhead in Italy is given in a letter received from Lt. Harold W. Laugerman, son of Mrs. Oscar Laugerman of this city, who is stationed there with an artillery unit and has been overseas for the past ten months.

Sketches from Lieutenant Laugerman’s letter, written Feb. 20, follow.

“At last I am permitted to tell you that I’m sitting on the Anzio beachhead. I guess the censors decided that since the Jerries know we’re here, you might as well share the secrets, too. Of course nothing can be said about the fighting, but I can say that the fellows have one eye cocked on Rome—which the right map will show you is not too far away.

“Remember those newsreel shots of Mussolini pitching hay with his farmers? Well, this is the place. It’s all low rolling marsh land drained by a network of canals. Good for farming, I guess, but the poor soldier who digs a few inches too deep for his foxhole is likely to wake up in a well full of muddy water.

Good Farm Country

"I told you this is a good farm country. That’s both good and bad—depending on how much sympathy you have for a lot of the ‘dago’ farmers caught in the middle of a battlefield. The farmer’s livestock certainly have served us well on occasions.

“Every once in a while a chicken gets tangled up in barbed wire (tough break!) or a cow steps on a land mine and we have a feast. Even at their toughest, a battlefield steak makes the mouth water.

Then there’s the story about the herd of sheep grazing peacefully in no-man’s land. The shepherd has taken off to some safer spot, but the 100 odd sheep continue to grow fat and wooly under the watchful eyes of his sheep-dog who faithfully tends the flock, with scorn for both Americans and Germans.

Spring Very Near

“It’s late in February and, without knowing anything about the Italian seasons, spring does seem very near. True, we can see the snow on the mountains and at night the cold does bite right through the blanket, but in the morning when the sun comes out we are beginning to see birds—singing away just as if the world were still the same and this spring were going to be no different than the last one.

“It’s those silly little things, like the birds singing, like the Italian woman feeding her baby 200 yards from a Long Tom gun, like that dog herding his sheep in no-man’s land—it’s those insignificant little things that remind me how unnatural this business of modern warfare really is and how desperately we’ve got to fight to get the thing over with.

“Keep those letters coming. I would skip a meal anytime for a letter from home."

Source: Webster City Freeman, Webster City, IA - Apr. 3, 1944


Lt. Harold W. Laugerman, son of Mrs. Oscar Laugerman of this city, was wounded recently in action with the 7th Army along the Rhine river and is now in a hospital in Italy, according to a letter received here by his mother.

Lieutenant Laugerman is attached to an infantry unit which took part in the invasion of France.

The Webster City officer was wounded this spring in Italy when his outfit engaged in the severe Anzio beachhead fighting.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Oct. 6, 1944


Lt. Harold N. Laugerman of this city, is home on leave from the army hospital at Springfield, Mo., where he has been receiving medical treatment for wounds suffered in France for which he was awarded the purple heart and oak leaf cluster. He has undergone eight operations since returning to this country from a year’s service overseas.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - May 16, 1945


Harold William Laugerman was born Aug. 29, 1914 to Oscar and Dina Wellard Laugerman. He died Feb. 8, 1994 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Lt. Laugerman was wounded at the Anzio beachhead in Italy and was wounded again in France.

His Obituary: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Feb. 10, 1994

Harold Laugerman, 79, Webster City, died Feb. 8, 1994 at Hamilton County Public Hospital. Services will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with the Rev. Mark Bucchop and Vicar Randy Rappe officiating. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery. Graveside military services will be conducted by the American Legion Post 191. Visitation is after 4 p.m. Friday at the Foster Funeral Home until 11:30 a.m. Saturday when the casket will be taken to the church.

Harold William Laugerman, son of Oscar and Dena (Welland) Laugerman, was born Aug. 29, 1914 on a farm near Williams. He attended rural school near Williams, graduating from Williams High School in 1931. He farmed for several years.

On July 20, 1942, he married Lillian Buntenbach at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

In February 1942, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He served with the U.S. Army Infantry as a staff sergeant. He later was commissioned at a second lieutenant and served in Sicily, Italy and France. He received combat injuries and was hospitalized in the United States in October 1944. He was discharged in January of 1946 as a first lieutenant. He received several decorations and citations including the Purple Heart. Following his discharge, he formed Laugerman Construction Company in 1947. He retired in 1978 due to failing health.

He is survived by wife, Lillian; daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Wayne Wahlert of Williams, sons and daughters-in-law, David and Marcia Laugerman of Des Moines, Dean and Rose Laugerman of Waconia, Minn., and Duane and Jolene Laugerman of Iowa City; nine grandchildren; sisters, Lucille Larwick of Ames and Gladys Dyvig of Webster City; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and two sisters

He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, a 49-year member of American Legion Post 191, Farm Bureau and the Webster City Senior Citizen’s Club.

Sources: Daily Freeman Journal and ancestry.com