Carl H. Ihlefeld

1923 - 2008


Their Story

Carl H. Ihlefeld was born on June 6, 1923, in Walcott Iowa. He was the fourth of five children born to William and Louise Ihlefeld. As a child, Ihlefeld attending numerous “country” schools, and he later graduated from Pershing, No. 7 after completing eighth grade. The nearest high school was twenty miles away, and Ihlefeld had no way of getting there, so he did not attend high school. He instead began working for various farmers in his area. In October of 1943 Ihlefeld was drafted to fight in World War II. He began basic training at Camp Blanding in Florida, which lasted thirteen weeks. Afterwards, he left for Camp Shanks in New Jersey, where he prepared to deploy to England.[1]

On June 6, 1944, famously known as D-Day, Ihlefeld and his regiment boarded a boat bound for Utah Beach in Normandy. The following day, they joined the 4th Infantry Division in battle. The goal of this invasion was to take over the city of Cherbourg in France. The following month, Ihlefeld and his regiment were assigned to General George S. Patton’s Third Army.[2]

Next, the Third Army entered Paris to liberate the city from German control. This regiment was of the first to enter Paris, which earned them the Presidential Citation. From here, Ihlefeld and his regiment continued to Belgium, and then to Germany. When the army entered Germany, their goal was to take control of the main road from Hurtgen to Durenand. This attack took place on November 16, 1944.[3]

On December 16, 1944, Ihlefeld fought in another famous battle: Battle of the Bulge. This attack was launched to take back the city of Luxemburg. Ihlefeld was awarded the Purple Heart after a piece of shrapnel pierced his chin during the battle. He was bandaged on site and after the conclusion of the battle the unit was sent to France to rest for about ten days. On October 23, 1945, Sergeant Carl H. Ihlefeld was discharged from the army.

A couple years later, Ihlefeld met Marilyn Frerkes, and they were married on December 8, 1951.[4] For the next 6 years, the couple farmed in Iowa. In 1957, they moved to Wisconsin and became dairy farmers. In 1999, the couple retired and became foster parents to a total of 6 children. On January 5, 2008, Ihlefeld passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield. He was survived by his wife, Marilyn, his brothers, and several nieces and nephews.[5]


[1]Carl H. Ihlefeld, “Carl H. Ihlefeld ‘Purple Heart Recipient,’” n.d.,

[2]“Carl H. Ihlefeld ‘Purple Heart Recipient.’”

[3]“Carl H. Ihlefeld ‘Purple Heart Recipient.’”

[4]“Carl H. Ihlefeld ‘Purple Heart Recipient.’”

[5]“Carl ‘Charlie’ Ihlefeld,” Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), 9 January 2008, p. 17,