Tag Archives: World War II

SSgt. Maurice L. Fevold – MIA since 1944

From the Commander:   Although this Airman was not an AMVET, I felt it was appropriate since on several occasions I have mentioned the job the JPAC team and the dedication of the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command does.  This is an example of why the U.S. is special; we never stop looking for our POW/MIA’s.

This was provided through the Iowa National Guard and the office of Col. Greg Hapgood, Public Affairs Officer.

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Nearly 70 years after completing his final bombing mission, Staff Sgt. Maurice L. Fevold is returning home to Iowa.
Fevold, a 21-year old Badger/Eagle Grove, Iowa native was assigned to the 599th Bomber Squadron, 397th Bomber Group (Medium), U.S. Army Air Corps. On Dec. 23, 1944, the first day of aviation operations for the Battle of the Bulge, Fevold, along with five other crew members, took off from Saint Quentin, France onboard a B-26G Marauder bomber aircraft to attack an enemy-held railroad bridge in Eller, Germany. Their aircraft was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire near Seffern, Germany, which borders Belgium. A total of 10 U.S. aircraft were recorded as lost in the vicinity of Seffern during this specific mission.

Fevold, the aircraft’s armorer-gunner, and the entire crew were officially declared deceased on Dec. 23, 1944, but their remains were never recovered. In November 2006, the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command – Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC) received information of a possible aircraft crash site near Allmuthen, Belgium. In March 2007, a JPAC Investigation Team surveyed the purported crash site, where human remains and physical evidence were recovered in 2012 by JPAC personnel.

In 2014, JPAC’s Research and Analysis Group concluded a historical association existed between the artifacts and human remains recovered at the Belgium excavation site and Missing Air Crew Report #11985 from World War II. Mitochondrial DNA testing positively identified the remains as belonging to Fevold and other crew members from the missing aircraft.

Maurice Fevold was born Feb. 21, 1923 near Badger, Iowa to John and Carrie (Thorson) Fevold. He grew up in the Badger/Eagle Grove, Iowa area and was a 1941 graduate of Eagle Grove High School.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Jeanette Prime. He is survived by great nephews and great nieces: William Bushman of Missouri; Robert Sweeney of Hawaii; Michael Sweeney of Washington; Vicki Riley of Iowa; and Shelly Everheart.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. at Bruce Funeral Home, followed by interment at the Blossom Hill Cemetery, Badger, Iowa (located northeast of Badger on 110th St. and Racine Ave.), with full military honors provided by the Iowa National Guard. The public is welcome to attend the visitation, funeral, and graveside service.

Battle of Aachen, Germany

From the Commander:  I picked this for October’s military history as my father came to Europe and Germany towards the end of the war and talked of the towns and area where this battle took place.  He could speak and understand some German, so he was utilized to help communicate with the thousands of German prisoners at the end of the war.

Aachen Cathedral or Kaiserdom, built by Charlemagne in 805 AD.

Aachen Cathedral or Kaiserdom, built by Charlemagne in 805 AD.

The Battle of Aachen was a major conflict of World War II, fought by American and German forces in and around Aachen, Germany, between 2–21 October 1944. The city had been incorporated into the Siegfried Line, the main defensive network on Germany’s western border; the Allies had hoped to capture it quickly and advance into the industrialized Ruhr Basin. Although most of Aachen’s civilian population was evacuated before the battle began, much of the city was destroyed and both sides suffered heavy losses. Aachen was the first German city to be captured by the Allies in the form of the 1st, 9th, 29th, and 30th Infantry Divisions, the 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions, with elements of the 28th Infantry Division as reinforcements. The German commander there had planned to surrender the city as American troops neared and encircled it, but when this was discovered Hitler had him arrested and his unit replaced by three full divisions of the Waffen-SS, the most elite fighters Germany had to offer. The superiority of American artillery, as evidenced by the pockmarked remains of the city, was what allowed for American victory, though at a heavy price of 2,000 Americans lost and 3,000 more wounded. German forces surrendered on 21 October 1944 resulting in 5,000 new German prisoners of war.  The battle ended with a German surrender, but their tenacious defense significantly disrupted Allied plans for the advance into Germany.

German prisoners in Aachen

German prisoners in Aachen

The ancient, picturesque city of Aachen had little military value in itself, as it was not a major center of war production. Its population of around 165,000 had not been subject to heavy bombing by the Allies. It was, however, an important symbol to both the Nazi regime and the German people; not only was it the first German city threatened by an enemy during World War II, it was also the historic capital of Charlemagne, founder of the “First Reich”. As such, it was of immense psychological value. The mindset of the city’s defenders was further altered by the different attitude the local population had toward them as they fought on home soil for the first time; one German officer commented, “Suddenly we were no longer the Nazis, we were German soldiers.”

For more information, see the full article at Wikipedia.org: The Battle of Aachen