In Memory of
Army Private
Richard R. Bertram
Colome, South Dakota
Tripp County
June 27, 1923 -- April 10, 1945
Killed in Action at Okinawa

Richard R. Bertram

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, and Dorothy.

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 Hawaii:

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 airplane.
I was sitting on my bed, thinking how close I am to Al and can’t even get a pass up
to see him. Just then the door slammed and I looked up, and there was a Sergeant
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.