Woodbury County


Plymouth County

S/Sgt. Donald R. Bensley




Bride Is Former Western Union College Student

Baskets of pale pink, yellow and white gladiolas and asters with palms graced the altar at Wesley Methodist church in Sioux City for the wedding at 8 o’clock Thursday evening, September 14, of Miss Irene Frances Paulsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Paulsen of Hinton, and Staff Sergeant Donald R. Bensley, son of Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Bensley of Sioux City. Miss Margaret Anne Brown was maid of honor and Lieut. Paul F. Paulsen was best man. The bridesmaids were Lois Bensley and Norma Jean Bryant. The ushers were Jos. Hagenbart and Leon Danderand. The double ring ceremony was performed by Rev. Arthur Dyson at a candlelight service.

Janet Bensley, sister of the groom, and Janet Eberly, niece of the bride, dressed in pink and blue, were candle bearers. Betty Jane Eberly, dressed in white net over pink, was flower girl, and James Bensely, cousin of the groom, was ringbearer, wearing a miniature uniform. Miss Mildred Fish, during the service, sang “Because” and “The Lord’s Prayer,” accompanied by Miss Alta Haugen, organist.

The bride wore a brocaded white taffeta dress with sweetheart neckline, leg o’ mutton sleeves and fingertip length veil and carried a bouquet of white roses tied with blue ribbon. The maid of honor wore a dress of ice pink taffeta with matching accessories and the bridesmaids wore yellow taffeta with pink net. The mother of the bride wore a soldier blue dress with navy accessories and the groom’s mother wore a black dress with gold accessories.

A reception was held in the church parlors with about 150 guests in attendance and refreshments were served.

The bride and groom left on a wedding trip to Spirit Lake. The bride’s going away gown was a lavender wool suit with black accessories. The bride is a graduate of Lawton high school and attended Teacher’s College at Wayne, Neb., and Western Union college in LeMars and is engaged in the profession of teaching.

The groom is a graduate of East high school in Sioux City. He recently returned from Italy and has been in service overseas for the past twenty-eight months. 

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, September 19, 1944


With the Fifth Army, Italy: S/Sgt. Donald R. Bensley, whose wife lives at Hinton, and Sgt. Bernard A. Dandurand, and Cpl. Leon R. Dandurand of 716 Court St. in Sioux City, and brothers of Emil Dandurand of LeMars, were all members of the 185th Field Artillery battalion that helped soften up the German lines at Bologna. The 185th is a unit of the Red Bull Division, and has served overseas since April, 1942. They fought all through North Africa, including Fandouk Pass and Hill 409. Later they fought near Salerno, Italy, before being transferred to France. They have had 500 days of combat duty.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, April 30, 1945

Three Men in Fifth Army In Italy

S/Sgt. Donald L. Bensley, whose wife lives on Route 1 Hinton, survey and instrument sergeant, Pfc. Carl Zimmerman, truck driver, and Pfc. Harley Zimmerman of Kingsley, are members of the 185th Field Artillery battalion, part of the big gun team softening up Germans before Bologna as the Fifth Army’s current offensive got underway in Italy.

The 185th’s 155-millimeter howitzers fired 100-pound shells with a skill acquired through 500 days in combat. They’ve pumped nearly 150,000 rounds into enemy lines in Tunisia and Italy.

The 185th, a unit of the 34th “Red Bull” Division, went overseas in April, 1942, served in Northern Ireland and England and entered combat for the first time February 19, 1943, in North Africa. The battalion served throughout the Tunisian campaign, including battles at Fondouk Pass and Hill 609. AT one time, its B Battery had gun crew operating among the doughboys, a squad of infantrymen serving as security patrol for the artillery positions.

The 185th joined the Fifth Army late in September, 1943, near Salerno, Italy. In 53 consecutive days, the battalion fired more than 15,000 shells at Cassino, where A Battery alone shot up 240 rounds in 10 minutes.

The howitzers were fired with their minimum powder charge last summer in the neighborhood of Tarquinia, where targets were only 2000 yards from the guns. C Battery was subjected to German machine-gun fire in that area and, at one time, the big howitzers were made to change aim in excess of a right angle.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert D. Offer of Washington, D.C., commands the 185th.

Source: LeMars Sentinel, May 4, 1945