(DES MOINES) ñ Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in honor of Staff Sgt. Marvin J. “Steiney” Steinford.
On March 24, 1945, Staff Sgt. Steinford, then 22 years-old, left Amendola, Italy with a B-17 “Flying Fortress” on a bombing mission bound for Berlin, Germany. Staff Sgt. Steinford’s plane was damaged by German anti-aircraft fire and he disappeared behind enemy lines in Hungary.
On November 16, 2004, Hungarian authorities notified United States Defense AttachÈ (USDAO) in Budapest of potential American serviceman remains in the city of Zirc, Hungary. Upon further examination of the remains, they discovered identification tags that bore Staff Sgt. Steinford’s name.
Memorial services for Staff Sgt. Steinford will be Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.† Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds has cleared her schedule to attend the service.
The Governor’s directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state. H.R. 692, signed in 2007, requires federal government agencies in the state to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order that the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of a member of the Armed Forces.
Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
Marvin J. Steinford was born August 29, 1922, the son of Herman and Henrietta (Pohlman) Steinford. He grew up in Keystone, Iowa and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, now known as the United States Air Force, on October 31, 1942. He was deployed in December of 1944 and assigned to the 429th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, 15th U.S. Air Force.
Staff Sgt. Steinford married Rosella M. Behrends on October 21, 1943. The two had one daughter, Carol Ann (Steinford) Sansenbach; she survives, along with four grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and on step-great-grandchild, as well as several cousins and nieces.
The U.S. flag flown over the state capitol on the day of the funeral will be presented to Staff Sgt. Steinford’s family at a later date, along with a proclamation honoring him.