The Restored Burlington Northern Depot & WWII Memorial Museum
Military related issues, on the War and Home Fronts, 1941 thru 1960

         Montgomery County, Iowa, Citizen-Soldiers,
            Killed in Action during the Korean War,
             25 JUN 1950 – armistice 27 JUL 1952


                               Korean War Project

"Bodies of some 400 Korean civilians lie in and around trenches in Taejon's prison
     yard during the Korean War in SEP 1950.   The victims were bound and slain by
     retreating Communist forces before the 24th U.S. Division troops recaptured the
     city SEP 28.   Witnesses said that the prisoners were forced to dig their own trench
     graves before the slaughter.   Looking on, at left, is Gordon Gammack, war
     correspondent of the Des Moines Register and Tribune (AP Photo/James Pringle)."    

Korean War: 1950
US Army Center for Military History  (281 pp, .pdf)

Korean War:  1951 – 1953
US Army Center for Military History  (328 pp, .pdf)

                                        A Korean War Chronology
by Anthony J. Sobieski


    The True Glory, Academy award-winning video from WWII, on the Allies
        winning the European Western Front Theatre of War (1:20 hours).

Pulitzer Prize-winning  An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943  

     by Rick Atkinson, excerpts of which centers on Robert Moore and his men

       from Montgomery County, Iowa.   Follow the soldiers from their drilling

           in the Villisca, Iowa, town square, to landing on the Algiers beaches,

             U.S. infantry and armor withdrawal at Faïd Pass, heavy casualties

              on Hill 609, and ultimately capturing the Axis troops in Tunisia.
 Click to read 10 pp + 4 maps about Major Moore & North Africa Campaign


   DOD  video “The Big Picture”, part 1 of 2 - destruction of the French Fleet in Oran,
    Algeria, to Field Marshal Montgomery engaged in the bitter battle for El Alamein.

   DOD video “The Big Picture”, part 2 of 2 – after El Alamein, the Afrika Korps

       and Italian forces battle the British Eighth Army, the Free French, the
    American 1st Army, of which the 168th Infantry Regiment and the 34th
Red Bull Infantry Division were components, plus other Allied forces.  
      They fought on thru Sened Station, Faïd & Kasserine Passes, Sbeitla,
      Fonduk el Aouareb, Hill 609, and finally the Axis surrender in Tunis.


After-action Battle of Sidi bou Zid report on the North Africa Tunisia Campaign
in which soldiers from Montgomery County, Iowa, as part of the 168th Infantry
Regiment, 34th 
Red Bull Infantry Division, participated.  Extract of which follows:

"Time of attack: 0730 hours [01 FEB 1943].   At this juncture about 50 German
dive bombers suddenly appeared and started raining bombs down on the troops.  

No anti-aircraft artillery was available!    Only the 30 and 50 caliber machine guns
mounted on half-tracks and tanks, all of which went into action, as well as many
of  the rifles of the Infantry.   The desert was soon littered with burning tanks
and half-tracks.  

Several planes plummeted to earth in flames and many white parachutes dotted
the sky as some were able to jump before going down.  

After dropping their bomb loads, the Germans withdrew."

“The enemy attacked at 0630 hours [14 FEB 1943] with two divisions of Panzers,
the 10th and the 21st.   The German Group Commander of the Panzer Divisions
was General Schmidt.   The enemy first hit DJ. Lessouda [ Djebel Lessouda (644 m) –
a bold butte with excellent observation over the wide stretches of plain which
encircle it ] with two battalions of tanks, one from the north and one from the east.

The heavy north westerly wind had been blowing all night, during which the
tanks moved up in the face of the wind without their noise being detected.  

Patrols had been ordered out every night by higher authority, in spite of the fact
that there was but a restricted sector to patrol in the front.   It was obvious to
anyone that the enemy could locate the patrols and grab them at any time that
they might wish to do so.  


One patrol stationed near FAÏD PASS on Saturday night was never heard of
afterwards.   Outside of one or two patrols to capture prisoners, it appeared
that the patrols were unnecessary.   Quite often most of them were killed,
as the Germans would lie in wait for the patrols after the first couple of nights.  

Coming from the north and the east the two forces of German tanks closed on
DJ. LESSOUDA.   Through his field glasses Colonel Drake counted eighty-three
German tanks in front of DJ. LESSOUDA.   At daylight there were flashes of gun
fire from the two German forces direct on the position.  


This almost instant action destroyed all seven of the American tanks with
Lt Colonel Waters.   There were a few pieces of armored artillery which were
knocked out at the same time.  

One company of infantry out on the desert dug-in in front of DJ. LESSOUDA
was immediately overrun.   What became of the infantry in those holes was
never known, though two or three men from that company said that the men
could be seen lying in the fox holes and the enemy tanks would put a track
in the fox hole, turn around on them and crush the soldier into the ground.  

The remainder of the battalion was back in the hills just outside of
DJ. LESSOUDA and later, under [ Major Robert R. Moore, commander
of the 2nd Battalion,168th Infantry Regiment ] Major Moore, about
half of them got through to the American lines.”

             Read after-action reports, in their entirety, covering period from
          bivouac at El Biar, Algeria, Battle of Sened Station, actions at Djebels,
    Lessouda, Ksaira, and Garet Hadid, to POW camps in Germany and Poland.

                        Colonel Thomas D. Drake, 02 APR 1945:


             An after-action report on the Italian Campaign:
"Company "F" [of the 168th Infantry Regiment] reached the crest
of hill 1168 at first light [24 SEP 1944].   A dense fog has settled
on the mountain-top.  Captain Frank M. Cockett, Company Commander,
ordered the 1st Platoon to out-post the Company position...Before the
Platoon had time to organize a position...the enemy had set up a
machine gun and opened fire, forcing the Platoon to withdraw a short
distance and dig in.   No position was secure on the hill that day. 

With the limited visibility, the enemy could infiltrate through the thick
undergrowth to within a few feet of a position before being detected. 
One German walked within ten feet of a position before he was
observed and fired upon.  The enemy persisted in his attempts
to infiltrate the Company's position throughout the day.  

A prisoner reported that the men of his group wanted to surrender
but after that their officer had threatened to shoot anyone of them
who made the attempt.   

Whatever the truth of this report, the Germans continued to run
toward the Company's position with their hands up, some with
the hope of being captured, and others only to drop and fire."   

   Read more after-action reports in The History of the 168th
      Infantry Regiment (from 01 SEP 1944 to 30 SEP 1944).

Kasserine Pass Battle, 30 JAN 1943 – 22 FEB 1943, in which
more than 200 U.S. tanks were destroyed, nearly 4,000
American troops captured, and 10,000 Allied casualties
compared to Axis 2,000.  
The 168th Infantry Regiment was
engaged in key facets of the battle and the soldiers from South-
west Iowa suffered accordingly as dead, wounded, and POWs.

Overview of the Kasserine Pass Battle  (25 minute audio)

       WWII photos of Tunisia terrain, from To Bizerte with the
        II Corps 23 April – 13 May 1943,
first published 1943,

     one of a series of War Department studies showing soldiers
     “…the part they and their comrades played in achievements
       which do honor to the record of the United States Army.”

US Army Center for Military History compilation of operational
   reports, (Allied and Axis), unit histories, personal accounts,
          maps, ordnance, doctrine and lessons learned:  (187 pp)  (168 pp)  (187 pp)  (131 pp)  (167 pp)  (180 pp)


The Nazi “88” Made Believers,
by Chaplain (Major) Harry P. Abbott, USA, 1946, excerpt:

“Message to Servicemen and Servicewomen…Many of you have
traveled through the inky darkness of night with no light of
any kind, not knowing what the next movement had in store
for you, as has the writer. 

Many of you have seen your buddies go to their untimely end
in making the supreme sacrifice; many of you have spent
sleepless nights moving up to the front; many of you have
lived a part of your lives in foreign lands and have dodged
bombs and bullets and German “88s” as has the writer; many
of you have lived gone without the luxury of a good meal,
and have lived on C-rations and K-rations for weeks and even
months; many of you have had to sleep in muddy open fields,
in puptents, or live in tanks or planes; many of you have
traveled over the country-side of hostile nations, always
pressing on, and when going the wrong way your hearts
were made heavy, such as were ours at Kasserine and
at other places; many of you have gone to almost the
breaking point and have reached the stage where you
felt that it didn’t matter; and yet now we are returning
to all the things that we dreamed of while were overseas.”
                 Read the book in its entirety here

The M2A1 105mm howitzer (US Army training film, 20 minutes) –
       the most commonly utilized US Army field artillery piece
  during WWII
   Depending upon shell, maximum range 14km.                                   


The American Forces in Action series of War Department
 studies, first published during WWII or soon thereafter

    Faïd and Kasserine Passes Battles – an overview,
           maps, and documents for further research.


       The 168th Infantry Regiment in World War II


The 168th  Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division,
      5th Army,
in the hand-to-hand battle for Mount
              Pantano, Molise, Italy, in 1943 –
    “A terrain where only the brave would go”
                             (31 pp  .pdf).

Gene Hoskinson’s mementos from across Europe
         during World War II, as a combat soldier
 (1 p, .pdf)


                World War II in colorized photos  (facebook)

     Technical Sergeant ELVIN L. MORITZ, “the soldier’s soldier”,

         Company F, 168th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division.  

     Follow his combat experiences from Operation Torch, the landing

         in North Africa, to Sened Station, Faïd and Kasserine Passes,     

           Fondouk el Aouareb, and Hill 609 in Tunisia, then on to      

         Salerno, Anzio, Cassino, the Nazi defensive Caesar C Line,

                and on to the north of Rome. 
(36 pages, .pdf)


         Listen to Iowans and watch videos about their:
WWII stories from the war front and home front, courtesy of
 Iowa Public TV.  Segments about the 168th Infantry Regiment
         and 34th
Red Bull Infantry Division begin at 8:00


      A mother’s courage in the face of wartime  (1 page .pdf)

 WWII Allied Leaders and nations

WWII Axis leaders, their Clients & Protectorates,
                          and Puppet states.

Extensive resources
on WWII Allied and Axis aircraft, tanks
and land vehicles, artillery.  Plus propaganda & censorship,
critical battles, military equipment production, London Blitz.

An advertisement from a German periodical during WWII:

  “Everything should go well for all!

  Yes, things should be even better!

  Everyone should be able to work without worrying.

  All should be able to afford to travel, to fill
  their homes with beautiful things, and to fulfill
  their heart’s desires, both large and small.

  That is what Germany wants!

  For itself and for all the countries in Europe of good will.

  Together, we will work to secure and raise the standard of living!

  That is what Germany is fighting for.

  And only a German victory will realize the
  goal of a European economic community.

  Dujardin: For years Germany’s largest brandy distillery”

        WWII history of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, from
       Ireland to Algiers, thru Tunisia, and the costly Italian Campaign:                

Excerpts and notes (19 pp .pdf) from James Bacque’s Other Losses,
     wherein he writes about deaths which Axis soldiers incurred in
      Allied Western Front prison camps during the final weeks of
        the Third Reich (JAN 1933 – MAY 1945), and afterward.


    Great Plains Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, located
at the Council Bluffs, IA, airport.  Visit the Museum and Hanger
     containing 1,200 Allied and Axis artifacts from WWII.


"[The 4th Infantry Division] having pulled back for a rest period
after the Hurtgen Forest's death factory, he [Private Gail F. Parker
of Red Oak and Villisca, Iowa] suddenly found himself in the
middle of another chaotic firefight and yet another deadly battle.  
This time, though, the Germans were throwing everything they
had into a forward assault to break the American front line."
       Read about Parker's experiences from enlistment at
           Camp Dodge thru the Occupation of Germany.
   (16 pp, .pdf)

     Stories and interviews by WWII veterans are at tankbooks,

                  including oral history audiobooks:


Extensive database of WWII people, places, events,
equipment, photos, articles, videos, maps, timelines.



Red Oak waits – waits for its youth to come back”
(LIFE Magazine, 13 SEP 1943):

“The town of Red Oak, Iowa, seat of Montgomery county, sits comfortably on one

of the Missouri’s tributaries – the East Nishnabotna.  It is one of those larger,

softer reproductions of a New England village that the pioneers left behind them

all across the continent… In Red Oak today there are only older people and children. 

When the war came the young men enlisted.  They did not wait to be drafted. 


They distressed the urban intellectuals by their seeming unconcern with war aims

and idealogies.  But ideologies do not need to carry brand labels or be formidably

unintelligible.  These boys had a system of beliefs – not simple indeed, but very

old and deep-lying, which require them to fight, as their fathers and grandfathers

did, as soon as it becomes clear to them that trouble is rolling down their land. 

Their war aims are to stamp out that trouble, to see for themselves Berlin and

Tokyo as captured capitals – and then come home…Meanwhile Red Oak waits –

waits for its youth to come back. 


‘Return to normalcy’ is not a suspect phrase there.  It means simply when the

young men and women are home again, and the stores that the draft and the

shortages have closed reopen, and
the children go to bed in their parents’

new small houses, and early evening is a bustle of shopping and young laughter. 

Evenings are quiet now.  The grandparents’ tend to drift to the green near the

courthouse.  It is a pleasant place for talk or a game of checkers, in summer. 


And big in the center, much bigger than the plaque which lists the dead of 1917-18,

stands the boards that give the names of the Red Oak men in the service. 

The dead are marked plainly, but every father and mother in Red Oak can tell you

too just who has been wounded or taken prisoner.” 

                 WWII TODAY – follow the war as it happened,
          01 SEP 1939 thru 02 SEP 1945, updated DAILY  (website)

                   U.S. Marines carrying a deceased comrade, JUN 1944,
                                        Saipan, Mariana Islands

 World War II & the American Home Front  (198 pp .pdf),
A National Historic Landmarks Theme Study, National Park Service,
U.S. Department of the Interior, OCT 2007, pp 76-77:

“Despite nearly unanimous support for the war effort, government leaders

worried that public willingness to sacrifice might lag in a long war. 

In 1942 President Roosevelt established the
Office of War Information (OWI),

which took charge of domestic propaganda and worked with Hollywood

filmmakers and New York copywriters to sell the war at home…The messages

were simplistic…A description of a small town in Iowa, written [1] shortly

after the war
…reflects one of those myths: ‘the home town we dreamed of

overseas; rich and contented, with chicken and blueberry on Sundays,

for whose sake some said we were fighting the war.’.”

note 1: [ Red Oak Hasn’t Forgotten by Milton Lehman in Saturday Evening Post,
 17 AUG 1946, p 14 ]

“Homecoming”, one of the most enduring images from World War II,
symbolized the hopes of a generation whose men fought in that war.  
Read about the war hero Brigadier General Robert Ross Moore and
the family in that image:

 “An American Story – The Life and Times of a Midlands Family –    
From WWII to Vietnam,The Life of Our Nation Reflected in 4 Iowans” 
(27 pp .pdf)


         excerpts from History 158th Infantry Regiment, North African Campaign, 08 NOV 1942 to 15 MAY 1943
                                                        by Lieutenant Colonel Robert R. Moore
              page 13: "Colonel [Thomas D.] Drake [Regimental Commander, 168th Infantry Regiment] issued instructions
              [on 06 FEB 1943] to all officers that no one would leave the line under fire.  They would be ordered back to
              the line by an officer and if they disobeyed they were to be killed at once.

              'Teach all personnel to hate the Germans and to kill them at every opportunity.  I will notify you when
              I want prisoners taken.' "

              page 17: "Monday morning, February 15, our positions [2nd Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment,
              commanded by Major Robert R. Moore] were again shelled by artillery which kept up about every  
              two hours all day long....  We were entirely surrounded by this time.  We could see many foot
              troops north of us and tanks south and west of us....  After about two hours of battle, our tanks
              were driven off to the south and west....

             At dusk on Monday, a plane identified as an American P-40 flew over our positions and dropped a
             message...  'You are to withdraw to position to road west of Blid Chegas where guides will meet you.
             Bring everything you can.  Signed: General Ward.'....

             Our movement was to start of 2200 hours....  All prisoners, including the walking-wounded, and litter
             cases...  had been instructed that if they made one false move or noise of any kind to attrack (sic)
             enemy attention, that they would be bayoneted on the spot."

              Letter of Commendation to the 168th Infantry Regiment, for
           their actions in the Faid Pass sector.  Included is a map dated
               26 FEB 1943 showing Pichon, then behind Axis lines,
                               and Sbiba, behind Allied lines.

 Home Movie of The Homecoming surfaces sixty-five years after the 
                            Pulitzer-Prize winning photo  
(.pdf, 7 pages)

                           Read about a reunion of soldiers in 
 Company M, 168th Infantry Regiment,  (3 pp, .pdf)
and their WWII experiences in North Africa and Italy

Tunisian Victory video (1:20 hours) – American and British landings
     at Casablanca, Algiers, Oran, to the Tunisian Eastern Dorsales,
  Faïd and Kasserine Passes, Mareth Line, Hill 609, ending in Tunis.


          M3 (Lee 1) medium tank, 75mm in sponson; additionally, 4x30 caliber,
   1x37mm.   40 km/hour, crew of 7.   First delivered to US Army 24 APR 1941.


From Pulitzer Prize-winning No Ordinary Time (1), pp 436-7:  “It had been

a long struggle for the Allies, longer than expected.  After the first flush of victory

n French North Africa, the Allied drive on Tunis had come up against the fierce

resistance of reinforced German forces under the leadership of the great ‘Desert

Fox’, German General Erwin Rommel.   On February 20, at Kasserine Pass,

Inexperienced American forces had encountered their first blitzkrieg attack by

German tanks, artillery, and dive-bombers.  

Though the Americans fought bravely, they were outmaneuvered by the seasoned

German troops: their defense of the pass was ill-conceived, their tanks were

under-armed, their equipment was inferior, their training for the removal of mines

was inadequate, and their air-ground communication were faulty.

The Germans broke through the pass, destroyed a large cache of weapons, and took

thousands of American prisoners.  Two weeks after the battle of Kasserine Pass, a

telegram addressed to Mrs. Mae Stifle on Corning Street arrived at the Western

Union Station in the small town of Red Oak, Iowa, population six thousand.  

‘The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that
your son

Daniel Stifle…is missing in action.’   Fifteen minutes later, a second telegram

arrived, telling Mrs. Stifle that her second son, Frank, was also missing in action.  

A few minutes later, Mrs. Stifle’s daughter, Marie, received word that she had lost

her husband, Daniel Wolfe.

As the evening wore on, the telegrams kept coming until there were twenty-seven.  

The Gillespies on Second Street had lost two boys – Charles, twenty-two, and 

Frank twenty.  
 Duane Dodd and his cousins, the two Halbert boys, were missing.

The families gathered in the lobby of the Hotel Johnson, next door to the Western

Union Station, and tried to make sense of what was happening.  Someone recalled

seeing something in the papers about a difficult engagement at a place called

Kasserine Pass, but it would take weeks for the people of this small town to come to

understand that their entire National Guard unit had been destroyed in a single


Red Oak had suffered a disproportionate loss, greater
 than any other town in the 

United States. 
 Only two years earlier, the members of Company M had marched 

on their way to war; now their names were listed side by side on the official

casualty list.

As the evening wore on, the telegrams kept coming until there were twenty-seven.  


Red Oak, Iowa, was the ‘hometown we dreamed of overseas,’ one serviceman

wrote after the war, ‘rich and contented, with chicken and blueberry pies on Sundays,

for whose sake, some said, we were fighting the war.’    Looking up main street, one

could see the newly painted store fronts of J. C. Penney and Montgomery Ward, the

sandstone structure of the Hudson State Park [ rather, perhaps Houghton State Bank,

NW corner of 3rd and Coolbaugh Streets ], and across the way, the Green Parrot, an

ice-creamparlor full of young people.   On the road into Red Oak was the Grand

Theater, where farmers from surrounding towns brought their children on Saturdays 

for a double feature.
   Everyone in this small town knew someone on the list.


By March, the Americans had recovered from their reversal at Kasserine Pass and

were pushing forward aggressively.   By April, with General Patton in command,

American troops has finally joined up with General Montgomery’s Eighth Army,

having started two thousand miles apart.   The Axis forces were driven eastward and

trapped in the Tunisian tip, where they surrendered.   Nearly a quarter-million

Germans and Italians were taken prisoner.   The Allied victory in Africa was


(1)    By Doris Kearns Goodwin, Copyright 1994.  Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 

New York, USA.   Used by permission of Beth Laski & Associates.   All rights reserved. 


                      Map of Crossing of the Volturno River,

                   Italy, by the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division,
                      including the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions
                     of the 168th Infantry Regiment, 5th Army.


Excerpts from Strategy for Defeat The Luftwaffe 1933 - 1945 (3 pp,  .pdf)
               Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive ! – preserving the legacy
                              of America’s “Greatest Generation”  



From War’s Long Shadow, 69 Months of the Second

               World War
, anthology of 50 contributors.  
ed Charlotte Popescu, Cavalier Paperbacks, 2002:

James Romine, a gunner with the 8th USAAF, parachuted from his
doomed aircraft over Germany, on 10 FEB 1945, and was shot
in the leg by small arms fire from the ground as descending. 
A portion of his interview follows:

“I was taken prisoner by SS troopers who forced me to walk
on my injured [bleeding heavily] leg to a village about two
and a half miles away.   Had I at any point come across with
the information they sought I’m sure they wouldn’t have
gone to the trouble of taking me prisoner.

Before we got to the village I sat down and refused to walk
further, so they held a confab and sent for transportation
to carry me the rest of the way.   There was a German first
aid station in the village, but they merely took a look at my
wounds and replaced the bandages I myself had put on.

The SS officers proceeded to question me for several hours,
then stripped me of all my clothing, wrapped me in a blanket
and took me about 16 kilometers by horse and wagon to a
point somewhere west of the Rhine.   We arrived at a German
evacuation hospital, where there were about 300 wounded
Germans and where they left me for a day and night with
no medical attention.

Then we started on another trip further into Germany, to
the finest hospital one could ask for anywhere – large,
modern and shining.   Here at last, I thought, was a
chance to have my wounds dressed.

Instead, they tossed me into a small room in the attic of the
three-storey hospital along with nine other American Infantry
boys, two of whom were to die during my three days there.
There were four legs left among those nine men in that room,
their stumps were raw and uncared for.

We lay on filthy straw mats, lice-covered and nauseous from
the indescribable stench that hung over the room.   The daily
diet consisted of coffee and a piece of black bread in the
morning and at night a small cereal bowl of potato soup.
SS men came in periodically to question me further;
how they could endure entering the room is beyond me.

   The cruel deaths which those fellows were left to face,
      amid supposedly civilised surroundings where all
       medical facilities were at hand, is a testimonial to
       German brutality that will never be forgotten by
               those of us who lived to relate the facts.

After three days of futile questioning the Germans put
me in an ambulance and drove me across the Rhine to
a waiting train, the carriages of which were painted
white with red crosses and which, I found out later,
were loaded with ammunition for the Russian front.

I was laid in a carriage, with a foot-deep layer of horse
horse manure and straw as a mattress.   Inside with me
they put a Polish pilot who spoke very little English
and for six days we lay there with no water to drink
and just two or three sandwiches during the whole trip.
The train was stopped several times by American
planes but they were fooled by the red crosses and
it wasn’t strafed.”

National WWII Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  Designated by the U.S. Congress at the official World War II museum

Thousands of online images, videos, & articles, accessible by
             branch of service, theater of operations, and topics.  
                           The Museum incorporates the
                Institute for Study of War and Democracy.

    Memorial Day 2020: Seventy-Five years after World War II,
                      their Sacrifice continues to be Remembered  
 (15 minute  video)

 Registry (work in progress) of U.S. Service Veterans:   (National WWII Memorial)

            by Yvor Winters, November 1944

     Who should dare to write their praise

     Do so in the plainest phrase.
     Few names last, where many lie;
     Even names of battles die.
     These will stand for many more:
     Wake, Bataan, Corregidor,
     Attu, and the Coral Sea,
     Africa, and Sicily;
     Callahan, who ran his ship
     To the very cannon’s lip.
     Men, devoid of name and hour,
     With direction gathered power;
     Stripped of selfhood, each must be
     Our hostage to Eternity.

    North Africa American Cemetery in Tunisia honors
 more than 6,000 Americans who died in World War II

              The Restored Burlington Northern Depot
                         & WWII Memorial Museum