Dale Adolph Kunkel

Dale Adolph Kunkel

Oyens, Plymouth County, Iowa, USA
Death 4 Jun 1945 (aged 26)
Burial Le Mars, Plymouth County, Iowa, USA
Plot CALVARY_A_118_1
Memorial ID 37302532 View Source
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Le Mars Sentinel, IA, Friday, June 22, 1945, pg. 1, col. 1

Was Injured In Combat In Germany On March 13

Mrs. Dale Kunkel received word from the war department Wednesday morning advising her that her husband, Pvt. Dale Kunkel, died of wounds June 4 in a hospital in England. Pvt. Kunkel was injured in combat on March 13 in Germany and had been transferred to England for hospitalization.

Pvt. Kunkel entered the service on March 31, 1944, and went overseas last January. Prior to entrance into the service he was employed for six years by the Plymouth Co-op Oil Co. He was station manager in Le Mars for some time and in October, 1943, moved to Kingsley where he was manager until called into the service.

Dale Kunkel, son of Frank Kunkel of Le Mars, was born on a farm in America township in December, 1917, and grew to manhood in Plymouth county. He attended school in Le Mars and on June 10, 1940, he was united in marriage at Oyens, Iowa, to Miss Delores Masuen, who with two sons, Kenneth and Ronald, survive him. He is also survived by his father and the following brothers and sisters: Arthur of Remsen, Ed of Kingsley, Felix of Sioux county, Mrs. Albert Mayrose of Alton, Mrs. Agnes Thill of Remsen, Mrs. Caroline Langel of Le Mars, Mrs. Nick Kneip of Le Mars, Mrs. Lawrence Nuebel of Remsen and Mrs. Donald Wernli of Vancouver, Washtington. His mother preceded him in death on January 4, 1941.


Le Mars Sentinel, IA, Monday, May 18, 2009

Dale Kunkel will never be able to tell his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren the stories of what he saw and how he served in World War II.

But today a new stone marks his grave.

It tells the story he cannot.

On Friday, along with 50 family members and friends, Dale's sons, Ronald and Kenneth, placed a new grave marker on his grave in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars.

Etched in the stone is Dale's story.

A member of the 394th Infantry Regiment of the 99th Infantry Division, Dale bid his two sons and wife goodbye and left for war in the early 1940s. He would return in a flag-draped casket.

In General Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group, Dale's units took the brunt of the German offensive.

At the Battle of the Bulge on Dec. 16, 1944, Dale fought with his fellow soldiers, wounded and surrounded, holding back the final big German offensive in WWII. The Allied forces, including Dale, went on to take the Bridge by Remagen, the last standing bridge over the Rhine River. The Allied forces' success meant 8,000 U.S. troops, plus tanks full of supplies, could cross into the German heartland.

That was Dale's final battle.

On March 13, 1945, in the fight for the bridge, Dale became one of more than 400,000 American soldiers to die in WWII.

Only two months later, May 18, 1945, Allied forces declared V-E Day, victory in Europe. The German forces had surrendered.

Now, 60 years later near Memorial Day, Dale's family and friends gathered at his second grave site -- he'd been buried in England for five years and was brought home in 1949 -- to honor his memory.

Commander Larry Baer and the American Legion Wasmer Post provided military honors, including "Taps" and a 21-gun salute.

"We're showing our respect for a veteran who gave his life. We've done military funerals before, but we've never done this," he said of the ceremony marking the new stone.

Richard Masuen, one of Dale's fellow soldiers, walked slowly to the microphone and spoke.

He shared a memory of the time Dale turned to him and asked him to make a promise.

"He said, 'Take care of my boys if something happens,'" Masuen said.

Years later, Masuen would be the man to set Dale's original grave stone in Calvary Cemetery.

"I visit the grave -- and it's always been a little stone," Masuen said, saying it didn't do Dale's service justice.

Ron said he hoped the new stone would better fit the man he was proud to call "father."

"This stone will continue to tell the story of these brave soldiers for 100 or 150 years," Ron said.

"It's recognizing that generations -- the greatest generation -- meant something. There are so few left," he added. "We're proud to be able to do something so future generations will identify with them. They may not have known him, but now they know of them and how they served."


Le Mars Sentinel, IA, Friday, June 14, 1940, pg. 1, col. 4


A pretty June wedding was celebrated at St. Catherine's Catholic church at Oyens, Monday, June 10, at 8 o'clock a.m. when Miss Delores Masuen, daughter of Mrs. Charles Masuen of Oyens, became the bride of Dale Kunkel, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Kunkel of Le Mars. Rev. H. Rolfes officiated at the solemn high mass.

Attending the couple were Miss Marita Masuen, sister of the bride, and Richard Kunkel, cousin of the groom.

The bride was beautifully attired in a floor length gown of white tulle with a bolero jacket of the same material. She wore a three-quarter length lace edged veil made with a beaded crown and a throw-veil over the face. Her only ornament was a pearl necklace, a gift of the groom. She chose for her bouquet white roses and swansonia.

The bridesmaid wore a floor length gown of pink net trimmed with blue bows. Her headdress consisted of two ribbons, blue and pink, tied in a bow. She wore a wrist corsage of various colored sweet peas.

A wedding breakfast was served to members of the immediate family at the home of the bride's mother.

The bride attended grade school at St. Catherine's school at Oyens and recently graduated from Central high school in Le Mars.

The groom attended St. Joseph's Catholic school in Le Mars and is employed at the Plymouth Cooperative oil company.

After a short wedding trip to Dubuque they will make their home in Le Mars.