In Memory of
U.S. Army Air Corps Sergeant
Arlo Marxen Colbeck
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Minnehaha County
April 27, 1921 – December 17, 1944
Killed in Action in the European Theater

Arlo Marxen Colbeck

Arlo Marxen Colbeck was born April 27, 1921, in Kenneth, Minnesota, to John and Agnes Colbeck. He had an older brother, John. Before his entry into the service, Arlo had been a resident of South Dakota for thirteen years.

On September 2, 1943, Arlo Colbeck entered active service at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota.  After his Air Force training at Laredo, Texas, Sergeant Colbeck was sent overseas on May 17, 1944, as part of the 15th Air Force.

On December 17, 1944, Sergeant Arlo Colbeck was reported missing in action when his B-24 Liberator bomber failed to return from a bombing mission. Several letters from the War Department, the Army Air Force Headquarters, and the Fifteenth Air Force were sent to Arlo’s parents, keeping them aware of his status. On December 18, 1945, the War Department sent a letter containing these words:

The record concerning your son shows that he  was a crew member of a
B-24 (Liberator) bomber which departed from Torretto Field, Italy, 17
December 1944, on a combat mission to the Odertal Oil Refinery, Germany.
During this mission your son’s plane was severely damaged by enemy
aircraft and was last seen at about 11:55 a.m. in the vicinity of Zuckmantel,
Germany, when it went down in a spin and disappeared into the overcast.
Your son has not been seen or heard from since that time.

In 1947, the Colbecks received notice of Arlo’s burial location in France. However, it is believed his body was later returned to the United States for reburial.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, Fallen Sons State Coordinator, Spearfish, South Dakota. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus payment and by information received by  Cleone Leistra, Roosevelt High School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.