WWII Gold Star soldier: Theodore Rickerl
There were 403 people from Story City who served in the military during World War II. Of those 403, 15 men lost their lives while in service. The Story City Historical Society is paying tribute to these 15 soldiers in the Herald near the anniversary of their death. The Gold Star soldier we are honoring today is Theodore Rickerl, who died in Germany on April 10, 1945.
Theodore was born in Story City on March 21, 1922. He graduated from Gilbert High School in 1940 and attended Iowa State College for a year. While at Iowa State he took a course in war work which qualified him for work at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank, California, and worked there until he entered the service on Nov. 23, 1943.
In November 1944, Theodore completed his flight training as a tail-gunner at Biggs Field near El Paso, Texas. He also received his pilot’s training at the state college in Bozeman, Montana. Shortly after, he was sent to overseas service in England and Germany. On April 10, 1945, he was killed in action during a mission over Germany. Sergeant Rickerl was awarded the Air Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters. He is memorialized at the Tablets of the Missing, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Hombourg, Belgium, and Saint Peter and Paul Cemetery, Boone.
Theodore was the son of Frank and Julia Rickerl who lived in Story City. Besides his parents, Theodore left behind brothers George, Quintin and Herman, and sisters Veronica, Christine, Cecelia and Bernadetta, as well as numerous family and friends who mourned his death.
As we remember Theodore Rickerl and all of our Gold Star soldiers throughout this year, let us not forget that they gave their all for liberty and peace. To learn more about all of the Story City WWII veterans, visit the historical society's website at storycityhistory.org.