World War II Gold Star soldier: Richard Nelson

Hannah Haack, Intern, Story City Historical Society
Special to the Herald
Richard Nelson died in Germany on Oct. 4, 1944.

​There were 403 people from Story City who served in the military during World War II.  Of those, 15 men lost their lives while in service. The 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 Richard Nelson, who died in Germany on Oct. 4, 1944.

Richard was born near Roland, on Dec. 1, 1910. He entered the Armed Forces on Jan. 18, 1944, and received his basic training at Camp Blanding, Florida. In July 1944, he left for overseas duty. On Oct. 4, 1944, he was reported missing in action in Germany. It was later determined that Staff Sergeant Nelson had been killed in action on that day.

A memorial service was held at Bethel Church on Sept. 20, 1945. Richard was temporarily buried in France. In 1949 his body was brought home and buried in the Story City Cemetery in Story City.

Richard was the son of Thorwald and Ellen Nelson who lived in Roland. Besides his parents, he left behind brothers Leonard, Wilbur, and Eldrige, as well as a sister, Mrs. William Proffit. Additionally, he left behind his wife, Pearl, three sons, Donald, Gene, Robert, and a daughter, LeDonna. Numerous friends and family also mourned his death.

As we remember Richard Nelson 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.