In Memory of
U.S. Army Sergeant
John Henry Bergstrom, Jr.
Lead, South Dakota
March 4, 1915 – December 3, 1944
Killed in Action at Huertgen Forest, Germany
John Henry Bergstrom, Jr. was born on March 4, 1915, at
Willard, Montana, to John and Ida Bergstrom. He grew up in Baker, Montana,
attending country schools and Baker High School, where he was graduated in 1936.
John was interested in sports, especially Golden Gloves boxing. Brother Roy
Bergstrom remembers John’s reputation for “three first round KO’s.” He also
enjoyed horses, farming, and bowling. John came to Lead, South Dakota, as an
employee of Montana-Dakota Utility Gas Company. John was “friendly and helpful
to all, mechanically minded, industrious, and honest.”
John Bergstrom entered active duty on February 16, 1942, at
Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Roy said that John volunteered shortly after Pearl Harbor
and was trained at Little Rock, Arkansas, and at Texas, where he trained other
recruits. He came up through the ranks: Private, PFC, Corporal, and Sergeant.
On April 8, 1944, at Little Rock, John married Betty Sue Fitzbugh. Sergeant
Bergstrom was sent overseas to the European theater on May 2, 1944, because he
“insisted on going to Europe, landing at Utah Beach on June 6, 1944.”
Sergeant John Bergstrom battled his way to Paris, France,
and then into Germany, where he was killed in a “bloody fight” in the Huertgen
Forest on December 3, 1944.
He was part of Company K, 22 Infantry Regiment, 4th
Infantry Division. Bergstrom was awarded “several Purple Hearts and one Silver
John Bergstrom died before his daughter, Sheila Jan, was
born on December 29, 1944. After the war, John’s body was returned to the United
States for reburial.
This entry was
respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, Fallen Sons State Coordinator,
Spearfish, SD. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a
SD veteran’s bonus payment, Service Record: Lead and Community, and Roy
Bergstrom, Belgrade, Montana, brother of Sgt. John Bergstrom.