Kossuth County

Pfc. Donald V. Thompson


Pfc. Donald Thompson Died in Japanese Camp

Algona—Memorial services for Pfc. Donald V. Thompson, only Kossuth soldier to die a prisoner of the Japanese, were held at First Lutheran Church with the Rev. E. K. Nelson delivering the eulogy.

Local representatives of veteran’s organizations and auxiliaries attended in a body.

Gail Haase, brother-in-law of the dead soldier, pinned a gold star on the church service flag.

Pvt. Thompson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Theo Thompson, was born on a farm near Renwick, June 5, 1919. The family moved to Algona in 1931 and Donald was graduated from high school here in 1936. Dec. 14, 1939, he enlisted in the air corps and was trained at March Field, Cal., and Chanute and Scotts Field, Ill.

Alerted for overseas in October, 1941, he wrote his parents, Nov. 4, 1941, from the Philippines. They received one other letter from him dated January, 1942. That was the last word they had from him.

In September, 1942, they received official government notice that he was missing, and for almost 3 years they had no other communication till Aug. 3, 1945, when a government telegram informed the parents their son was dead. A confirming letter 3 days later said he had died July 4, 1942, from dysentery and malnutrition in a Japanese prison.

Any information about him has been meager. It is now known that he had been missing since the Fall of Corregidor, May 7, 1942, and he had been at Bataan which fell April 9, 1942.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, August 29, 1945

Donald Vernon Thompson was born June 5, 1917 to Theodore O. and Osta Louise Larson Thompson. He died July 4, 1942 and has a cenotaph in Rose Hill Cemetery, Eagle Grove, IA and is memorialized at the Walls of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery, Taguig City, Philippines.

Pvt. Thompson served in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, Headquarters Squadron, 19th Bomber Group, Heavy and was MIA and became a Japanese POW and died in Cabanatuan POW Camp in the Philippine Islands.

Sources: ancestry.com; abmc.gov