POW/MIA Recognition Day is third Friday of September
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed across the United States on the third Friday of September each year. Though not a federal public holiday in the United States, National POW/MIA Recognition Day is a national observance.
This Friday, Sept. 21, is 2018 POW/MIA Recognition Day, a day on which many Americans pause to remember the sacrifices and service of those who were prisoners of war (POW), as well as those who are missing in action (MIA), and their families.
All military installations fly the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag, which symbolizes the nation’s remembrance of those who were imprisoned while serving in conflicts and those who remain missing.
Many members of the U.S. military who were from or had ties to Sabetha and the surrounding communities in Nemaha County, Brown County and southeast Nebraska were POWs of the Germans or Japanese during World War II.
News about those listed below was reported in The Sabetha Herald or other area newspapers during and/or in the years immediately following the war, and/or are listed on their respective county casualty list or Honor Roll. Some have been featured in The Herald since 2002, as indicated by an asterisk (*) in front of their names.
Most were liberated, but several men listed below, who were prisoners of war of the Japanese, died in captivity, as indicated by a double asterisk (**) after their names.
Harry “Kit” Beatty, who was a POW in Germany during World War II, was not from the local area at the time of his service. He moved to Sabetha in September 2014 and was featured in the June 8, 2016, issue of The Herald.
The information listed below includes each POW’s name, service, which country’s forces took him or her prisoner, and location captured:
Donald Binns, Navy, Japanese, Guam
Eddie Blocker, Army Air Forces (AAF), Germans, Holland
*Lee Blunier, Army, Germans, Italy
William Bower, Army, Germans, Germany
Stanley Burczak, AAF, Germans, Romania
Samuel Cashman, AAF, Germans, Germany
William Christian, AAF, Germans, France
Joseph Christman, Army, Germans, Belgium
Orville Edman, Army, Japanese, Philippines
*Dean Fenton, Army, Germans, Italy
Miguel Fierro, Army, Japanese, Philippines**
Edgar Goslin, Navy, Japanese, Philippines**
Rex Graden, AAF, Japanese, Philippines**
*Robert Griffith, AAF, Japanese, Philippines**
*Howard Halbert, Army, Germans, Germany
Arlie Higgins, Army, Japanese, Philippines**
Merle Hobbs, Navy, Japanese, Dutch East Indies
Frank Irey, Army, Japanese, Philippines
John Kohn, Army, Germans, France
*Andrew Leuthold, AAF, Germans, Germany
Warren Mayer, Army, Germans, Germany
*Rose Rieper Meier, Army, Japanese, Philippines
Arthur Pacha, AAF, Germans, Germany
Garold Peck, AAF, Germans, Yugoslavia
William Schock, AAF, Germans, Denmark
Melvin Shellhorn, Marine Corps, Japanese, Wake Island
*Lawrence Sigmund, Army, Germans, France
Mark “Sonny” Smith, Army, Japanese, Philippines
Albert Stahl, Army, Japanese, Philippines
Robert Thompson, Navy, Japanese, Philippines
Glenn Woodall, Army, Germans, Tunisia
Further research of area newspapers and casualty lists is an ongoing project, and more names may be added to this list in future years.
Anyone with information about any of these military members who have not been featured in The Herald is asked to contact Patty Locher by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by mail (please include your phone number and/or email address) to The Sabetha Herald, P.O. Box 208, Sabetha, KS 66534. If enough information, along with photos, can be gathered on any of those listed, they may be featured in The Herald in future years.
Patty Locher4 Posts
Patty Locher is a contributing writer for The Sabetha Herald, specializing in military features. She lives in rural Sabetha with her husband and many pets. They have two grown children.