Missing Person: US WWII Hero: Merchant Marine Duane Roy Dreher (b. 1922) – Missing Since 1955 (Aged 33)

During WWII – Duane (Dwane) Roy Dreher – served as a Merchant Marine on multiple ships, including the USS. Stephen F. Austin, the Barbara Frietchie and the John Wanamaker. Dreher, a coxswain with the United States Navy Reserve (then called the United States Naval Reserve), travelled to many countries during his convoy trips, at one point using his own ship and personal gun to down two Nazi German aeroplanes. He would later dedicate the two downed aeroplanes to two of his relatives killed in the war. One of Dreher’s ships was even frozen in the Soviet Union for months and he was well cared for in Russian seamen’s hostels waiting for the thaw. I have featured this brave man on my blog because he served with the Russian Arctic Conveys during WWII which took much needed supplies to the USSR – a staunch ally of the UK and US in the fight against Hitlerite fascism! Furthermore, Dreher spoke with respect about the suffering the Soviet people went through as he saw it with his own eyes whilst staying in the Northern USSR!

In 1945, Dreher returned home to the United States, where his wife and son, Harold were waiting. The marriage didn’t last, however, and the couple divorced in 1947. Dreher remarried shortly thereafter and had two more children, Leanna and David, in 1952 and 1953, respectively. US Navy veteran Dwane Roy Dreher, 33, went missing after last being seen around 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, 1955, by his father in Mason City, Iowa. Dreher’s vehicle was found near the Winnebago River — all his belongings still inside — the following day. According to NamUs (the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System), an unconfirmed sighting of Dreher was noted around noon on Nov. 8, 1955, the same day officials located Dreher’s vehicle. The man who may have been Dreher was said to have been walking north on South Federal Avenue in Mason City. Reports said Dreher had mentioned that he was traveling to Chicago.

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