Hamilton County

S/Sgt. Robert E. Simpson



5 sons of George E. and Mary Walterman Simpson served in the U.S. Army in World War II -- Webster City, Iowa.

Five Simpson brothers, sons of Mrs. Mary Richardson of this city, are serving in the army of the United States, although one, the youngest, Staff Sgt. Robert E., 21, is now listed as missing in action in Italy.

Three of the brothers have been in service for three years, two of them serving outside the United States. Robert, who was reported missing Oct. 18, while with the 34th infantry in Italy, left for service, with the Iowa National Guard from this city in February, 1941. He has been overseas since early in 1942.

With MacArthur: Sergeant Hio J. Simpson, 23, is a three-year-veteran and is now located with Mac Arthur’s forces in the Philippines, being among the first of the Yank troops to enter Leyte.

Sergeant Floyd H. Simpson, 28, is the other three-year serviceman, being located now at the engineer base depot at Granite City, Ill.

At Denver Hospital: Private George S. Simpson, 30, went into the army about a year ago and is now located at Fitzsimmons general hospital, Denver, Colo., where he is receiving medical training.

Last to enter service was Pvt. Marion Simpson, 27, who was inducted Nov. 28 at Fort Snelling, and is now taking his basic training. His new address has not yet been reported.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Dec. 18, 1944 (photo of the brothers included)

Fifth ING Casualty Lost in Action in Italian Sector

Staff Sgt. Robert Simpson, son of George and Mary Simpson of this city, is missing in action in Italy according to the War Department message received by his parents.

Missing since Oct. 18, Sergeant Simpson was a section leader with the Iowa National Guard unit from this city attached to the 34th “Red Bull” infantry division.

This makes the fifth Hamilton county serviceman to be reported missing in action in the Italian zone since Oct. 16.  All were members of the National Guard unit, which left Webster City in February, 1941, and trained at Camp Claiborne, La., before being convoyed overseas in January, 1942.

In addition to Sergeant Simpson, the following men have been reported missing in telegrams received here since last weekend:
Staff Sgt. Alvin Fisher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Fisher, Webster City;
T. Sgt. Arthur Philbrook, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Philbrook, Webster City;
Pvt. Myrl Ray, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ray, Webster City;
Pfc. Robert Read, brother of Hadley Reed, Stanhope.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, November 8, 1944 (photo included)

Webster City Sergeants Had Been First Listed As Missing.

Two Webster City soldiers, reported missing in mid-October, are now listed as prisoners of Germany, according to telegrams received over the weekend by their parents.

Monday morning, Mrs. Mary Richardson received a War Department message that her son Staff Sgt. Robert E. Simpson, was now a prisoner of war.

Sergeant Simpson, one of five brothers now in service, was reported missing in action, Oct. 18, 1944, in Italy. A member of the Iowa National Guard which left this city for duty in February, 1941, he has been overseas since January, 1942.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Fisher of this city have received word that their son, Staff Sgt. Alvin Fisher, previously reported as missing in action in Italy, is a captive of the German army.

The War Department message was received by the soldier’s parents Saturday night and was the first news of their son which they had received since he was reported missing, Oct. 18, 1944.

Sergeant Fisher left for service in February, 1941, with the Iowa National Guard company from this unit and has been overseas with the 34th “Red Bull” division since January, 1942. He was serving as a leader of a mortar squad at the time he was captured.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, January 2, 1945

T. Sgt. Philbrook and Pfc. Dilley Had Been Missing 

Two more Webster City soldiers, previously reported missing in action in Germany and Italy, have been reported prisoners of war in messages received here by relatives.

Mr. and Mrs. Bert Philbrook have been notified by the War Department that their son, T. Sgt. Arthur C. Philbrook, a member of the 34th Infantry, was a captive of the nazis after having been reported missing since Oct. 18, in Italy.

This makes the third out of four Webster City Iowa National Guardsmen to be listed as prisoners after being announced as missing since mid-October.  Staff Sgt. Robert Simpson and Staff Sgt. Alvin Fisher were announced Tuesday to be prisoners of war. Official word on the whereabouts of Pvt. Myrl Ray, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ray, has not yet been received.

Mrs. Lawrence Dilley received word Wednesday that her husband, Private First Class Dilley, missing since Oct. 4., in Germany, is now a nazi prisoner.

Private Dilley, who has been overseas since August, was wounded in action Sept. 16, while serving with his infantry unit.  He reported back for duty at the front Sept. 20, and then was listed as missing Oct. 4. The Webster City serviceman has been in the Army since December, 1943.

Source:  Daily Freeman Journal, January 3, 1945


Mrs. Mary Richardson, of this city, who last week received at letter from her son, Staff Sgt. Robert Simpson, that he had been freed from a nazi prison camp, has received an official government notice from J. A. Ulio, adjutant, that the sergeant has been “released to military control and is being returned to the United States in the near future.” 

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, May 29, 1945

Marjorie Knutson Bride of Robert E. Simpson in Church Ceremony Friday

The Universalist Church in Webster City was the scene of the wedding Friday afternoon of Miss Marjorie Lois Knutson, daughter of Emil and Alice Hill Knutson, of Waterloo, to Staff Sgt. Robert Earl Simpson, youngest son of Mrs. Mary Richardson of this city.

Dr. Effie McCollum Jones officiated in the single ring ceremony at 2:30 o’clock. Garden flowers decorated the church.

Attending the bride was Miss Betty Larson of Eagle Grove and Sgt. Hio J. Simpson served his brother as best man. Howard Knutson was usher.

Entered Service.
The groom, Sergeant Simpson was educated in the Webster City schools and entered the service with Co. E. of the National Guard in February, 1941, going to Camp Claiborne, La.  After being transferred to Ireland in February, 1942, he participated in the north African and Italian campaign, and was taken prisoner by the Germans Oct. 17, 1944, in Italy. Released April 29, 1945, he returned to the United States on June 3, 1945. He is to report soon to Hot Springs, Ark., and expects to receive a discharge from the service, after which he and his bride plan to make their home in this city.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, June 30, 1945


Robert E. Simpson, 68, of Waterloo, formerly of Webster City and the Kamrar area, died Saturday, Oct. 20, at his home. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 10:30 a.m. at the Grace Lutheran Church in Waterloo.

Mr. Simpson received his education in rural Hamilton County schools, and in Webster City. He was a member of the Co. E, 133rd Infantry Red Bull division from Webster City, serving in the ETO, where he became a POW during World War II.

After returning to Webster City, he married Marjorie Knutsen of Waterloo. He was employed by Crossroads Ford in Waterloo for many years before he retired.

He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, Waterloo; two daughters and two granddaughters.

Mr. Simpson was the brother of Irene Seiser and Hio Simpson, both of Webster City.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Oct. 23, 1990