In Memory of
Navy Seaman
Howard Wallace Bedford
Lake Wilson, Minnesota
Listed as a Minnehaha County Casualty
October 20, 1925 — February 16, 1945
Killed in Action on Corregidor

Howard Wallace Bedford

Howard Wallace Bedford was born to Fred and Ella Bedford at Lake Wilson,  Minnesota, on October 20, 1925, the second of five children. Howard spent his youth at Lake Wilson, where he went to a little church, serving as an acolyte.  While attending school at Lake Wilson, he delivered milk for the local dairy. Howard’s younger brother Keith remembers that they drank ice cold milk before deliveries. 

After graduating from Lake Wilson High School in 1943, Howard worked as an apprentice baker. Howard’s sister Arlyss remembers that he was known as “such a personable young man with a ready smile, a pleasant word and twinkling eyes.”

Howard went to boot training at Farragut, Idaho.  He received additional training  at Memphis, Tennessee, and Fort Pierce, Florida, then was assigned to the Amphibious L.C.S. at Norfolk, Virginia; from  there he went to Portland, Oregon.

Navy Seaman Bedford was sent overseas on his birthday, October 20, 1944, and headed for Pearl Harbor, then New Guinea, and Subic Bay in the Pacific Theater.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Howard W. Bedford was killed at Corrigidor on February 16, 1945, during a surprise attack. The telegram to his parents read, in part:

The Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son Howard
Wallace Bedford Seaman First Class USNR was killed in action while in the
service of his country. The Department extends to you its sincerest sympathy
in your great loss. His remains were interred in an Allied Cemetery on an island
in the Pacific pending cessation of hostilities.

Originally buried in the U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery, Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands, his body was brought home in October of 1948 and reburied at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD, where his parents had moved to. At Howard’s funeral, the priest completed the Mass by saying, “Greater love hath no man than that he gave up his life for a friend.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Aaron Marple, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, November 8, 2000. Information for this entry was provided by Arlyss A. Bedford Johnson, Marshall, Minnesota, sister of Seaman Howard Bedford.