Homer Nelson - Private First Class
- Purple Heart
Year at ISU: 1945
Private First Class Homer Gurton Nelson was born to his parents, Gurton N. and Mildred Thompson Nelson on May 8, 1923. He had two sisters: Mrs. James D. Kirk of Waterloo, Iowa, and Mrs. Duane C. Shaw of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Maxwell, Iowa and became a member of the Methodist Church there at a young age. Many of his friends called him "Sonny" as he grew up. He participated in the 4-H Club, sports and music. He graduated from the Maxwell Consolidated High School in 1941.
Homer left Iowa State College in 1943 to join the Army Air Forces as a radio operator in the Signal Corps. He trained at technical schools in Chicago, Illinois; Madison Wisconsin; and Smyna, Tennessee. Before his death, his air group was stationed in North Africa for a short time after leaving the United States. He went missing in action after his troop transport, the SS Rohma that was enroute to India, was torpedoed off the coast of Djidjelli, Algeria. He was later confirmed killed on January 6, 1944.
His parents received his posthumously awarded Purple Heart. His body was brought back to the United State after the war. Services were held in June 1948 and he was buried in the Iowa Center Cemetery with the American Legion presiding.