Humboldt County

Cpl. Clare Nielsen



Parents Hear That Clare Nielsen is Safe Thru Red Cross

(Republican-Independent News Service)
(From Another)
—Mr. and Mrs. Niels Nielsen have heard through the Red Cross that their son, Clare, is safe. The report stated that Clare is safe and in good health, but his location was not disclosed.

The Nielsens had not heard from Clare since his Christmas greetings were sent to them by telegram December 24.

Source: Humboldt Republican, April 17, 1942


At least two Humboldt county youths in the service of the United States were said to be on Corregidor, stronghold that fell to the Axis powers recently. One is Clare Nielsen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen, of Rutland. The other is Dudley Wyatt, son of Mrs. Fern Wyatt, of Hardy.

Telegrams were sent to the parents of both boys informing them that the boys may be prisoners of the Japs. It is said that the telegram to Mrs. Wyatt from the Navy department announced that Dudley was reported as missing since the fall of Corregidor.

Source: Humboldt Republican, May 15, 1942 (photo included)

Clare Nielsen Jap Prisoner

Word has been received from the War Department by Mr. and Mrs. Niels Nielsen that their son, First Class Private Clare Nielsen of the U. S. Marines, is a Jap prisoner of war in the Philippines.  Private Nielsen was among the Marines that left China for the Philippines just before the outbreak of war.  He was in the Philippines when the island fell into Japanese hands.

Clare was a member of the graduating class of 1939.

This was the first news about Private Nielsen that his parents have received for over a year.

Source: Humboldt Independent, March 30, 1943

Washington, (AP)—Five Iowans who previously had been listed a prisoners of war were reported as safe Friday on a Navy casualty list.

Six other Iowans were listed as dead and two as missing.
The list included:
Safe—Pfc. Harland R. Johnson, New Sharon; Pfc. George L. McShane, Storm Lake; Pfc. Clare W. Nielsen, Rutland; Gunner’s Mate Elmer L. McFadden, Adair; and Seaman 1/c Dale J. Tiefel, Dubuque.

Dead—Fireman 2/c Glenn L. Burns, Ottumwa; Seaman 1/c Robert H. Kallansrud, Fort Dodge; Seaman 1/c Cecil L. Pickering, Ollie; Machinists’s Mate 3/c Floyd V. Turner, Atlantic; Seaman 1/c Arlo M. Link, Diagonal; and Seaman 1/c Eldon R. Noelting, Greene.

Missing—Seaman 2/c Chris A. Jensen, Sioux City, and Fire Controlman 2/c Dale M. Siefken, Rockford.

Source: Council Bluffs Nonpareil, September 22, 1945


Cpl. Clare W. Nielsen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Niels Nielsen of Rutland, wrote the following account of his experience in the Marine Corps and Japanese prison camps.

Enlisted in the U.S.M.C. Jan. 9, 1940.  After a brief training period at San Diego, Calif., he was transferred to Mare Island, California navy yard. Here, he was stationed almost a year before leaving for Shanghai, China.

In Shanghai, he found life both interesting and enjoyable.

For the protection of American lives and property, arrests were frequently made against certain acts of terrorism thought to be instigated by Japanese.

As the situation became more tense between Japan and America, the fourth regiment evacuated Shankhal for the Philippine Islands. Approximately two days after Pearl Harbor was attacked, they defended a P. B. Y. seaplane base.

After a withdrawal through Bataan to Corregidor, they (the 4th regiment) functioned as part of the beach defenses of much bombarded Corregidor. Later, on May 6, 1942, Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese.

They were interned in a make-shift prison on Luzon, P. I., along with thousands of American army and navy personnel. Conditions in that camp were horrible—the death rate reached sixty per day and then began to decrease as their own administration and Red Cross aid improved conditions with the camp, until the death rate was reduced to perhaps one or two per day.

Soon afterwards, they transferred to Niigotta Japan prison camp, where living was again horrible and even more suffering because of severe winters. Like the other camp, conditions slowly improved until liberation on August 15, 1945.

Source: Humboldt Republican, November 23, 1945 (photo included)

Clare Wester Nielsen was born Feb. 2, 1921 to Niels and Katrine Wester Nielsen. He died Nov. 28, 2018 in Raleigh, NC.