In Memory of
Richard R. Bertram
Colome, South Dakota
June 27, 1923 -- April 10, 1945
Killed in Action at Okinawa
Richard R. Bertram was born in Boyd
County, Nebraska, on June 27, 1923, to a large family, which consisted of his
parents, Frank and Bertha Bertram, seven brothers, Larry, Vern, Franklin, Guy,
Harold, Allen, and Willis, all of whom also entered the service except for
Willis. Richard also had six sisters, Earlene, Mildred, Joyce, Lois, Maxine,
Richard entered the service on June 20,
1944, as a private. Private Bertram received basic training at Ft. Leonard
Wood, Missouri. He was then sent overseas on January 4, 1945, and served with
the infantry for three and a half months, first in the Philippines and then on
Okinawa as part of the 382nd Infantry Regiment, 96th
Infantry Division. His total service was ten months.
Richard’s last letter home contained
these words in reference to a meeting with his brother, Allan, somewhere in
The way Allie and I got
together was: I wrote Allie a letter and put Inner Islands
on it. He received the letter in a day or so and then came right over in an
I was sitting on my bed, thinking how close I am to Al and can’t even get a
to see him. Just then the door slammed and I looked up, and there was a
with an Air Corps insignia on him. Gee! was I tickled. He thought I had really
grown up. My buddy really thought we were lucky.
Army Pvt. Richard R. Bertram was wounded
in action on April 10, 1945, on Okinawa, and died the same day aboard a ship and
was buried at sea. Pvt. Bertram was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously, for
“military merit and for wounds received in action.” He also was awarded the
Bronze Star. He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American
Cemetery in the Philippines.
I will remember and respect the service
and sacrifice of Pvt. Richard R. Bertram.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Steven R. Aldrich, 8th
Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, November 3, 2000.
Information for this entry was provided by Dorothy Bigelow, Colome, SD, and
Mildred Kaiser, Winner, SD, sisters of Pvt. Richard R. Bertram.