Plymouth County

S/Sgt. Lowell Betsworth





Had To Play Hide and Seek With German Machine Gunners

Leo B. Betsworth of Wichita, Kansas, where he is a tool designer in an aircraft factory, has received an interesting letter from his brother, Lowell Betsworth, a member of the old LeMars “Fightin K” Co. Included in the letter was a German 5-mark note which Lowell had found on one of the battle fields, in addition to a good little German automatic. But Lowell kept the automatic, for possible use against the former owners. The letter says:

Tunisia: A few lines this afternoon to let you know I’m still well. I’m still in the same place, sort of taking it easy.
We are allowed a few more privileges in writing, so I am going to relate to you some of my personal experiences and mention a few of the towns that may bring back memories from your reading them in the papers. First starting off I may mention some of the escapes I had.

Once, I remember as plain as if it had happened minutes ago, was when I was pinned to the ground by a machine gun barrage. To my left, maybe 10 feet, was a hump of earth, maybe 14 inches high and five feet long. Well, I crawled to this spot and tried to seek cover from the bullets. No sooner had I got behind the bank when a burst started, whistling over my head. Then it stopped, so I figured I would try and spot the gun’s position. No sooner had I raised my head above the level of the bank when here there came another burst, this one cutting about 6 inches off the bank about a foot and a half from my head!

Another time I will never forget was the time the Germans were firing at us from the front, flank and rear all at the same time.

Another time I was caught unaware in an artillery barrage and was knocked unconscious for a couple of hours. Another time 10 of us were behind a little hill when a group of shells hit among us, wound 7, and again I came out.

One good thing is that the Germans had a lot of dud shells that didn’t explode.

Lee you may hear lots of stories about how you can dig a hole while under enemy fire. They’re most likely all true. I’ve seen them dug from every position by the use of mess kit lids and bayonets.

One thing, THEY NEVER GET DEEP ENOUGH. If things are quiet for a while the digging stops, but as soon as shells light close everyone commences throwing dirt.

A few of the towns and places you probably read about were Sibibia, Sibeitia, Hej El Aliecen, Fiad Pass, Hill 609, Mateur and El Djebel. If you recall these you will know something of the fighting that I have been in.

There isn’t any of it I care to remember for long, so that’s why I’m writing a little while it’s fresh in my mind, because, AS FAST, AS POSSIBLE, I’M GOING TO CAST THOSE MEMORIES ASIDE.

Have picked up a few good souvenirs. One is a little automatic German pistol, and some German money. Will send you some of the “Jerry” money.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, August 16, 1943

NEWS of the Boys in the Service.

Staff Sergt. Lowell Betsworth, a member of Co. K, 34th Division, arrived home Thursday evening on 20-day furlough.  Lowell was with Co. K on the front lines in Italy when he was notified of his furlough. He has been in many of the big battles in Africa and Italy. He does not know where he will be reporting at the end of his furlough, but will receive his orders from Washington, D. C.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, January 4, 1944

Among the servicemen of Plymouth county who have recently been home, or now at home are: James L. Wolf, Remsen; Leonard E. Witt, LeMars; Raymond J. Wilmes, LeMars; Wm. G. Spies of R. F. D. 7, LeMars; Ed. J. Sitzmann, LeMars; Alvin E. Schuette, Craig; Lieut. Woodrow E. Peterson, LeMars; Bob M. Mulder, LeMars; Sam E. Sittler, James; Dennis J. Lennihan, LeMars; Abra E. Koenig, LeMars; Don J. Ahmann, Remsen; Ervin R. Varenhorst, RFD 3, LeMars; George B. McKowan, LeMars; LeRoy Ahmann, Remsen; Henry Treinen, Remsen; Florian P. Stoffel, Remsen; Gilbert C. Raveling, LeMars; Paul A. Schlesselman, LeMars; Paul F. Byrds, Hinton; Albert Rosenau, Merrill; Lowell Betsworth, LeMars; John E. McGovern, Remsen; Roy E. Johnston, Remsen; Elmer Joseph Theisen, Oyens. Some of these have been previously mentioned in the Globe-Post—others not. Service men and women are invited to drop in at The Globe-Post office and get a souvenir pencil, or something, in exchange for a news item about themselves.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, October 16, 1944