Neil A. Webster

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Neil Ace Webster, 95, of Guttenberg, died Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, at the Guttenberg Care Center. 

Visitation was before services at the church.

Funeral services were Friday, Feb. 5, at the United Methodist Church, Guttenberg, conducted by Rev. Michael Jackson.

Interment was at Guttenberg City Cemetery.

Arrangements were handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Guttenberg.

Neil was born on Dec. 7, 1920, in Waucoma to Neil and Hazel Webster. 

Neil graduated from the Waucoma High School in 1938. He met his future wife, Elizabeth, while a sophomore in high school and dated through school years. Neil went to New Orleans, La., in 1939 to radio school and received 1st Class Phone and 2nd Class Telegraph license upon graduation. He then was transferred to a small radio station in Greenwood, Miss., as a transmitter attendant at seven dollars a week. Neil left that job after a short time and joined the Army Air Corps and was sent to Hickam Field in Hawaii, where he worked as a Control Tower Operator earning 21 dollars a month. Neil was assigned to the control tower at the time of the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941, but at that specific time, Neil was in Tripler General Hospital with a hand injury and couldn’t find anybody to release him back to his base until Dec. 8. 

After hitching a truck ride back to base, Neil was reassigned as S/Sgt. Chief Control Tower Operator at Christmas Island, Feb. 1942, 2000 miles due south of Honolulu in grade of S/Sgt. However, after seven uneventful months he applied for and was accepted to Signal Corps Officer School and graduated on Dec. 31, 1942, as 2nd Lt. Signal Corp. Neil was then assigned to 1029th Signal Co.; 97th Service Group at Ft. Dix.

In 1943, Neil took a short leave of absence and returned to Waucoma and married Elizabeth on June 14, 1943, and had an extremely short honeymoon in Mason City. Liz and Neil proceeded to the Ft. Dix area to live for a very short time and then Neil went overseas to England to join up with the 20th Fighter group in Kingscliffe, England while Liz took the train back to Waucoma. 

A short time later, the 97th was divided in two, and the second half, with Neil as C.O. of the 1029th Signal Co. Det. A. and the rest of the 97th (later 442nd ASG) went to Worminford to assist the 55th Fighter Group. Neil was then assigned to Kaufbeuren, Germany immediately following the end of hostilities to reinstall communication facilities. However, after 30 days, Neil was sent back to the United States with high points towards discharge, but he decided to stay in the Army Reserve on inactive duty. Sometime later, he was transferred back to what is now the Air Force. At this time, Neil and Liz moved to Guttenberg and became active in city politics. He was an elected councilman, later served as Mayor for a combined total of 16 years of service for Guttenberg. In the early days, Neil was involved with radio and TV with his brother Bob. After Bob left and moved to Jackson, Miss. with his wife Rebecca, Neil installed the cable television system in Guttenberg and the third in Iowa. 

Neil was very involved with the State Cable, he was elected as President of the Iowa Cable Association and later served as President of North Central Cable Association. During this time, Elizabeth was active with several activities in the community. She was choir director and organist for the Methodist Church for over 50 years. Through the years, Neil stayed in contact with the 55th/442nd Groups as the Vice President. Neil spent his later years locating past military friends of the Hickam Field Control Tower group of Dec. 7, 1941, and was successful. Neil would make trips to Omaha for the 55th SRW birthday celebration in February. He then attended reunions of the AACS in Kansas City, the 55th Fighter Group/442nd ASG reunion in New Orleans and the Signal Corps reunion which kept Neil very busy. Neil left this earth for heaven with one last message for all Americans.

“Remember Pearl Harbor”

Neil leaves behind him a son, Walter (Nancy) Webster of Dubuque; a niece, Jeanne Annis; step-sister, Mary Anne Webster and many, many friends.

Neil was preceded in death by his parents; wife; two siblings, Robert Webster and Dorothy Johnson.

In lieu of flowers and all styles of sympathy, memorials are preferred so they may be distributed to organizations that held a special place in Neil’s heart. Please send memorials to 3509 Asbury Rd., Dubuque, IA 52002.

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