On This Day 25-FEB 1945, We Honor a Fallen Hero

Charles “Ross” Sederwall was born 31-OCT 1925. He entered Wentzville Public School in 1939.  His father was Clarence Gustav Sederwall (1901-1975) and his mother was Drucella Maude Williams (1901-1976).  He had three siblings: Eugene, Chester and Evan.  He graduated from Wentzville High School in 1943.  When he registered for the draft, the family and his residence was 1110 Powell Street in St. Charles MO.  He was attending the University of Missouri in Columbia at the time.

The Wentzville Union reported on 4-MAY 1945, “Ross entered the school in 1939.  The school was proud of his record.  He was studious and gave his lessons all of his attention.  Some of his school activities were basketball, track and baseball.  He played the violin in the school band.  His favorite sport was football, he loved to play it, and knew how.  His sportsmanship was excellent.  He could take all the kidding his schoolmates could give him and more.  He disliked no one in school and in turn was liked by all the boys and girls in school.”

Ross enlisted 4-JAN 1944.  He stayed in touch with the school even after he joined the Marines.  He wrote Miss Woods (a teacher), to save his 1944 Year Book and asked for one again this year.

Sederwall was a PFC in the 26th Marine Regiment, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Division.  The 5th Marine Division landed on Iwo Jima on 19-FEB 1945.  Initially the 26th Regiment was held in reserve.  The division sustained so many heavy initial losses, that the 26th Regiment had to be released as the division reserve.  The Battle of Iwo Jima was fought from 19-FEB to 26-MAR 1945. The 36-day battle for Iwo Jima resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead.

Marine Corp Headquarters initially notified Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Sederwall that their son had been wounded in action 25-FEB 1945.  They were later notified he had died of his wounds the same day.  A memorial service was held 22-APR 1945 at 2:30 PM in St. Charles.  The newspaper reported, “An appropriate program has been prepared by the Boy Scouts and Young People’s Classes of the Sunday School of which Ross was a member.  His body was later sent home and buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Charles.  His brother Seaman W. Eugene Sederwall is serving with the Pacific Fleet.

Charles “Ross” Sederwall is honored and remembered at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.