Muscatine County

Cpl. Robert Tadewald


Young Men Are Held In Enemy Prison Camps

Source: Muscatine Journal & News-Tribune, December 30, 1943 (photos of POWs are published in this issue)

Prisoner Ranks Expand As War Grows Intense In France and Germany

Hopes for an eventual happy reunion at the conclusion of hostilities with father, brother, son or husband, initially reported as “missing in action” has been spurred in a number of homes in Muscatine and nearby communities in southeastern Iowa and western Illinois by later information, advising that the missing service man was listed as a prisoner of war.

Anxious hours of hopeful waiting after official information listing men as “missing in action” has been followed in repeated instances by such data during the past year, as it was in former years of World War No. 2, as the number of men who have become members of the “Barbed Wire Legion”—prisoners of war—has increased.

Then, for families and for the members of the Barbed Wire Legion, as well, has followed a second interval of waiting—until through the channels of the International Red Cross, letters and communications have been re-established.

This, in turn, is followed by further waiting—waiting for that day when peace will return and the guns of war are silenced—when long days of confinement in distant camps and restriction of privileges will come to an end and families and friends may be reunited.

As the period of America’s participation in the war has lengthened, so has the number of men listed from this community as prisoners of war.

For some, stationed in the Pacific theater of action, three years have passed in prison camps. For others, captured in other fields of action, one year in a prisoner of war camp is stretching to a second. Others, participating in more recent actions, have spent lesser periods in prison camps.

From some of these men, relatives have received fairly regular, although restricted letters, advising of their treatment, the receipt of certain items of clothing, food and for recreational purposes through the Red Cross. From others only scratches of information have been received.

From official sources and from members of their families, brief sketches of the following men reported as prisoners, have been obtained:

CPL. ROBERT TADEWALD—Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Tadewald, 704 Walnut street, were advised that their son, Cpl. Robert Tadewald, was being held as a prisoner of Germany since May 1, 1943. He was listed as missing in action on Feb. 17, 1943. He was in Ireland and then North Africa before being taken prisoner.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Friday, December 29, 1944

Cpl. Robert Tadewald, German Prisoner, Will Reach States Shortly

Cpl. Robert Tadewald, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Tadewald, 704 Walnut street, who has been held a prisoner of war by Germany for two years, will be back in the states in early March.

The War Department Wednesday listed the names of 21 Iowans who are among the first non-combatant troops repatriated in this war. The group will arrive at Charleston, S.C., from Marseilles.

The non-combatants, who the War Department said are not treated as prisoners of war and are repatriated as quickly as possible, consist of medical department officers and enlisted men.

Also included in the list of Iowans was T/5 Melvin R. Owen, whose father, Ralph E. Owen, resides at Tipton.  The others were from scattered points in the state.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, February 22, 1945

22 Iowans Home from Nazi War Prisoner Camps

Des Moines—Thursday was homecoming day for 22 Iowans who have been released by the Germans after many months in war prisoner camps.

All of the men were from medical detachments, which, according to Pfc. Robert J. Houghton, Des Moines, probably figured in the explanation of their release. None was wounded.

“We were just 75 lucky men the Germans said could go home.” Houghton said. “I don’t understand it myself.”

He said the Iowa men who returned with him were Melvin Owen, Tipton: John Ondrejka, Fort Dodge; B.K. Smokstad, Monroe; H. Bilterman, Aver; Benjamin Salvetore, Fort Dodge; Marion DeVries, Orange City; Dale Reichert, Fort Dodge; Verne Seidel, Waterloo; Avron Gaulke, Dows; Joe Hayes, Correctionville; Charles Slavens, Cincinnati; John Terris, Dubuque; Russell Sparks, Maxwell; Charles Minor, Lamoni; Vincent White, Marshalltown; Morris James, Newton; John Spiegel, Sioux City and Clifton Warner, Des Moines.

Delayed but on the way home, he said, were Robert Tadewald, Muscatine and Ansel Maughler, Troy. The group also included Richard Clarke, who entered the army from Des Moines but who now lives at Millersburg, Ind.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, March 9, 1945

Robert William Tadewald was born Aug. 17, 1915 to Ernest E. and Helen Josephine Callahan Tadewald. He died Aug. 10, 1968 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Muscatine, IA.