North High School Wall of Honor
Donald Edward Cook
Class of January, 1944
Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953. PAGE IN PROGRESS
Donald Edward Cook
Donald Edward Cook graduated from North High in the January, 1944 class. His next of kin was shown as Mrs. Maude E. Cook, 1521 18th Street, Des Moines, IA. Don was drafted into the US Army at Camp Dodge, IA on April 11, 1944. His service number was 37695004.
Donald Edward Cook
Year x Rank/Event x Status
January, 1944 x x x Graduated from North High School
April 11, 1944 x Drafted/
US Army
x Drafted at Camp Dodge, IA. 304th Infantry; *76 Infantry Division.
date x US Army
x Two months of Boot Training . Where?
date x US Army
x Training. Where? Was he at Camp McCoy, WI?
November,1944 x US Army/
x Train to eastern city (probably to Camp Myles Standish in Massachusetts) for boarding of vessel.

Nov. 23, 1944-
Dec. 4, 1944

x US Army x The 304th Infantry plus a Division Headquarters Party sailed on the SS Brazil. The 304th reached Southampton, England on December 4, 1944.
date x Stationed x To France, **Belgium, Germany.
March 27, 1945 x Awarded x Purple Heart. Injury and location unknown.
July 15, 1945 x US Army x Returned to United States
February 12, 1946 x Discharged
x Mustered out at Jefferson Barracks, MO.
date x Employed x Where and when?
1953-1985 x Employed x Des Moines Fire Department. Retired as Captain in 1985 after serving 32 years.
date x Civilian x Living in Des Moines.
September 9, 2010 x Deceased x Buried in Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery, Des Moines, IA
Troops at Myles Standish before deploying to Europe.
SS Brazil from Myles Standish in Massachusetts to Southampton, England
arriving December 4, 1944
photo of Don Cook
in the field
photo of Don Cook
in the field
*76th Infantry
Deployment of the 76th Infantry:
Training & Activation
Intensive training began 12 April 1943 Advanced training July 1943 at A.P. Hill Military Reservation near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Winter training September 1943 at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin (Skis, snowshoes, toboggans, snow tractors, snow goggles, winter camouflage suits, Eskimo parkas, etc.) Simultaneously advanced training group moved November 1943 to Northern Michigan near Watersmeet. Winter training experts from Mountaining Training Center at Camp Hale, Colorado gave special training program. Additional winter training began at Ottawa National Forest near Watersmeet, Michigan on February 19, 1944. Temperatures dropped to -28 deg F.

Four exercises were conducted during which the 385th Infantry Regiment (headquartered in Pori, Michigan, opposed the division as an enemy force.

12 March 1944, the division returned to Camp McCoy.

7,000 troops were taken from the 76th to build up forces for D-Day during April 1944.

November 1944, trains headed to Camp Myles Standish in Massachusetts for staging before transport to Europe. On Thanksgiving Day 1944, three transports sailed from Boston Port of Embarkation to Europe.

The 304th Infantry plus a Division Headquarters Party sailed on the SS Brazil. The 304th reached Southampton England on 4 December 1944.

The 385th Infantry crossed the Atlantic on the SS Sea Owl. The 385th reached Southampton on 4 December 1944.

The 417th Infantry sailed on the SS Marine Raven. The 417th docked at Plymouth 4 December 1944.

The remainder of the division sailed from Boston on 10 December 1944 aboard the Coast Guard operated transport SS Richardson. The SS Richardson docked at Clyde River near Grenoch, Scotland 12 December 1944.

The remainder of the Division Headquarters sailed from New York on 4 December on the Dutch liner New Amserdam.
The 76th Infantry Division arrived in England, 20 December 1944, where it received additional training. It landed at Le Havre, France, 12 January 1945, and proceeded to the Limesy concentration area. The Division moved to Beine east of Reims and then to Champlon, Belgium, 23 January, to prepare for combat. Relieving the 87th Division in defensive positions along the Sauer and Moselle Rivers in the vicinity of Echternach, Luxembourg, 25 January, the 76th sent out patrols and crossed the Sauer, 7 February, and breached the Siegfried Line in a heavy assault. The advance continued across the Prum and Nims Rivers, 25–27 February. Katzenkopf fortress and Irrel fell on the 28th and the attack pushed on toward Trier, reaching the Moselle, 3 March. Driving across the Kyll River, the Division took Hosten, 3 March, Speicher on the 5th and Karl on the 10th; swung south and cleared the area north of the Moselle, crossing the river, 18 March, near Mulheim. Moving to the Rhine, the 76th took over defenses from Boppard to St. Goar and crossed the Rhine at Boppard, 27 March. It drove east and took Kamberg in a house-to-house struggle, 29 March. A new attack was launched 4 April and the Werra River was reached the next day. The attack continued in conjunction with the 6th Armored Division; Langensalza fell and the Gera River was crossed, 11 April. Zeitz was captured after a violent struggle, 14–15 April, and the 76th reached the Mulde River on the 16th, going into defensive positions to hold a bridgehead across the Mulde near Chemnitz until VE-day.

**Liege, Belgium
The Germans returned in 1940, this time taking the forts in only three days. Most Jews were saved, with the help of the sympathising population, as many Jewish children and refugees were hidden in the numerous monasteries. The German occupiers were expelled by the United States Army in September 1944 but Liège was subsequently subjected to intense aerial bombardment, with more than 1,500 V1 and V2 missiles landing in the city between its liberation and the end of the war.
**Donald Edward Cook
Text coming..
Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery, Des Moines, IA
Donald Edward Cook
US Army

US Army Seal

76th Infantry Divisiion

Combat Infantryman's Badge

Photo of Donald Edward Cook in uniform coming

Rifleman's Badge

Driver's Badge
(l-r) American Theater Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Purple Heart;
(l-r) American Theater Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Purple Heart;
Victory Medal WWII; EAME Theater Ribbon w/3 Bronze Stars;
Bronze Stars are for three Battles and Campaigns: Ardennes, Central Europe, and Rhineland

(1) The World War II Army Enlistment Records contain information on more than nine million indivdual enlistments. These records can be found online at

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: Donald Edward Cook's 1944 class page is:
Died 09/09/10. Member of American Legion and AMVETS.
Music: "Wind Beneath My Wings"
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