Albert John Neilssen

1924 - 1993

Marine Corps.

Their Story

Albert John “Al” Neilssen was born on March 10, 1924, in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois the son of Albert Frederick Neilssen and Mary Elizabeth “Mae” Iterron.

The Neilssen’s moved to Davenport, Iowa between 1924 and 1930 according to the 1930 US Census.[1]  Al graduated from St. Ambrose Academy, the future Assumption High School in 1943.

Al was drafted into the US Marine Corps and entered service on July 22, 1943. He was assigned to an under water demolition unit that was trained to disarm mines and other explosives.[2] Al’s training was preparing him to remove and disarm mines in Tokyo Harbor. The dropping of the atomic bombs caused the Japanese surrender and the mine removal was done by the Japanese who placed them.[3]

Al left the Continental US on November 22,1943 and returned on December 28, 1945.

He was involved in the Marshal Islands campaigns.[4]

After returning to Davenport after the War, Al went to work for Landrite Troy Apparatus Co., Davenport. He retired in 1989 as a salesman for National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Al and Mary Ellen Peters were married on May 14, 1949. They had three children, Patricia, James, and Nick.

Mary Ellen was born on August 3, 1919, to Leonard and Harriet (Stahl) Peters, in Davenport.

Mary Ellen was employed as an Administrative Assistant for many years at the former Bendix Corporation in Davenport, retiring in 1985. She was a “Pink Lady” with the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, a member of the former “Masques”, a charter member of the Quad-Cities Chapter of the Sweet Adelines women’s chorus and participated with her daughter in the Cedar Rapids Chapter of the Sweet Adelines. She especially enjoyed crocheting.[5]

Mary Ellen and Al are both interned at Rock Island National Cemetery. Al proceeded Mary Ellen in death on April 10, 1993, and Mae followed him on April 15, 2005. They are together in plot Q-538.[6]

[1] 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

[2] Interview James Neilssen, son of Albert John “Al” Neilssen, Telephone, 5/9/2023.

[3] IBID

[4] Iowa Bonus Application Form for Albert J Neilssen, Claim Number 33172, Downloaded 5/9/2023

[5] Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 17 May 2023), memorial page for Albert John “Al” Neilssen (10 Mar 1924–10 Apr 1993), Find a Grave Memorial ID 66289856, citing Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island, Rock Island County, Illinois, USA; Maintained by Paul Mack (contributor 47145486).

[6]  IBID