Nick G. Vasos: Son, Brother, Uncle, Friend
Uncle Nick was my father’s youngest brother. He was killed in action on November 8, 1942 in Fedala, Morocco on the first day of the Allied invasion of North Africa. I only knew him through photos and the many saved letters written after he enlisted in the army in 1941. He was handsome and everyone liked him. Family and friends were devastated by news of his death at age 24.
Because of his early, tragic death everyone in the family was interested in keeping Nick’s memory alive. I wrote a story about him for the local paper and created a book of his letters. He was the first soldier from Carroll County to be killed in WWII. To honor him we donated photos, letters and the Purple Heart he received posthumously to a special exhibit installed at the Carroll County Historical Museum in Carroll, Iowa for him.
My older brother, Don searched for and found Carl Duncan, Nick’s good friend in the 30th Infantry Division. Another brother, Joe, a cinematographer and Don visited Carl, filmed and interviewed him about Uncle Nick. Carl was not just a good friend, he was next to Nick when he was killed. Carl heard his last words, “Oh Baby.”
The interview with Carl, Nick’s photos and letters and segments from a 1938 film of a family wedding with Nick as the best man were combined to pay tribute to Nick’s memory in the film “Nick G. Vasos: Son, Brother, Uncle, Friend”.
The video with sample copies of the letters and photos of exhibit at the Carroll County Historical Museum can be viewed at Roots IAG.
The original letters from and to Nick have been donated to Chapman University, Center for War Letters in Orange, California and can be viewed there by interested researchers.
American Military Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia