North-central Iowans are mourning the loss of an Iowa National Guard member of the Mason City-based 11-33rd Transportation Company. 21-year-old Specialist Johsua Knowles of Sheffield was killed Thursday when the convoy he was traveling in near the Baghdad airport was struck by enemy mortar fire. The attack took place Thursday afternoon at around 2:15 Iraqi time. Knowles graduated from SCMT High School in 1999 and enlisted in the 1133rd Transportation Company as a motor transport operator. 32-year-old Specialist Peter Bieber of Nora Springs was an occupant of the truck and also was injured. Bieber was evacuated to an Army field medical facility in Baghdad and eventually transported to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Bieber suffered shrapnel wounds to his back and right leg, and the bones in his left hand were shattered. Knowles’ body will be escorted back to Sheffield, where funeral arrangements are still pending at this time.
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