Russell Earl Volk, World War II CasualtyPorter County Data on World War II Casualties . . . .

Russell Earl Volk
Sergeant, 652nd Battalion
Date of Birth: October 3, 1924
Date of Death: March 13, 1944
Burial: Calvary Cemetery, Portage, Porter County, Indiana
Cause of Death: Land Mine (training exercises at Camp Robinson, Arkansas)
Date of Enlistment: March 13, 1943
Hometown: Garyton
Note: Russell E. Volk's twin brother, Richard L. Volk was also killed while serving in the military during World War II.

Newspaper Notices:

2 North County Men Give Lives In War

Two Porter county men have been added to the casualty lists of World War 2, it was learned today.

Pfc. Robert Appleman, living north of Crocker in Portage township, was killed Monday along with eleven other soldiers when a supposedly harmless land mine exploded at Camp Joseph Robinson, near Little Rock, Ark. Fourteen others were injured, four seriously.

Reported missing in action on the Italian front is John Poparad, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Poparad, living west of Chesterton. Poparad has been missing since Jan. 22, according to a telegram received Sunday night by his parents. He entered the service last May from Valparaiso and has been overseas for several months.

Ten men were killed outright by the blast in which Appleman met death. Two others died a short time later. The explosion occurred during a demonstration of mine installations but details were withheld pending an investigation by an army board of inquiry.

All the material used in the demonstration, which also included instructions in handling and removing mines and booby traps, was supposed to be relatively harmless.

The men were members of the 652nd Battalion commanded by Lt. Col. Gerald A. Albrecht, of Jackson, Tenn., which was transferred from Louisiana last month.

Others among the dead were Sgt. Jack K. Wareham, Denver, Ind.; Corp. Pearl W. Allen, Jr., Winslow, Ind.; Corp. Lawrence E. Bachman, Monon, Ind.; Pvt. Orgal L. Collard, Newland, Ind.; and T-5GR Russell E. Volk, Gary, Ind.

Appleman, who is past 18 years of age, is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Appleman, of near Crocker. The father is employed in Chicago and was not at home when neighbors called at the Appleman home. Mrs. Appleman, who was canning meat, did not know of the tragedy to her son. She said she had not been notified. It is believed this was due to the fact the family has no telephone and any notice telegraphed would have to be relayed.

According to Crocker advices the family had resided in that vicinity for the last two years. Besides Robert the Applemans have two sons, John and William, in the service. Both are with the Navy overseas. There are also two sons at home and a married daughter living in Virginia.

The body will be brought back to Crocker for funeral services and burial, it was said.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; March 14, 1944; Volume 17, Page 1, Columns 1 and 2

Sgt. Volk, Mine Blast Victim, Lived in Garyton

Another Porter county man was a war casualty in a land mine explosion which occurred Monday at Camp Robinson, Ark., which also claimed the life of Pvt. Robert A. Appleman, of Crocker, it was learned today.

He was Sgt. Russell E. Volk, of Garyton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Volk. Volk and Appleman and ten other soldiers of the 652nd Battalion, were killed in the blast which occurred during a demonstration of a supposedly harmless land mine.

Volk lost his life one year and a day after he was inducted. He was graduated from Portage township high school in 1942 and was employed in the Gary sheet and tin mill before entering the army. He was home on furlough two weeks ago.

Volk's twin brother, Richard, is now serving in the southwest Pacific.

Volk is survived by his parents, three sisters, Pauline, Helen and Mary, and a second brother, Andrew Jr. who lives at home. The body will be brought back to Garyton for burial.

Pvt. Appleman is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Appleman of Crocker. Two brothers of the young soldier, John and William, are serving overseas. There are aslo two sons at home and a married daughter in Virginia. The body will be brought back for burial.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; March 16, 1944; Volume 17, Page 1, Column 6

Return to List of Porter County World War II Casualties

Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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