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