In Memory of
Army Pfc.
Robert Lee Bellach
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Minnehaha County
April 25, 1924 --April 3, 1945
Killed in Action on Cebu Island, Philippines

Robert Lee Bellach

Robert Lee Bellach was born on April 25, 1924, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Herbert and Clara Bellach; he had two siblings. He went to grade school at Lincoln and Emerson and graduated from Washington High School with the class of 1943. In his spare time Robert liked to hunt and fish, according to his brother, Richard.

Robert was drafted in June of 1943 and completed infantry training at Fort McCellan, Alabama, where he received training as a radio operator and a bazooka gunner.  Pfc. Bellach was sent overseas to the Pacific theater of operations. He engaged in combat on the islands of New Guinea and Bougainvillea in the South Pacific.

On April 3, 1945, on the island of Cebu in the Philippines, Army Pfc. Robert L. Bellach was killed in action by enemy fire. Eighty-five percent of his outfit wiped out in the battle. Robert had earned nearly enough points to rotate home when he was killed.

Although first buried on Cebu Island, Robert’s remains were returned home after the war and reburied in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Sioux Falls.  For his service Robert received four awards: Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Combat Infantry Badge.

Mary Herreid, whose brother was a close friend of Robert’s, remembers, “Our neighborhood was not the same when the war ended and Bob wasn’t one of the survivors that came home.”

This soldier profile was respectfully submitted by Will Barnes and Julia Doyle, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, SD, December 5, 2000.  Information was provided by Richard Bellach, Sioux Falls, SD, brother of Robert Bellach.