In Memory of
Co. B, 184th Infantry
Martin Luther Bjertness
Eureka, South Dakota
McPherson County
June 18, 1917 -- May 4, 1945
Killed in Action on Okinawa

Martin Luther Bjertness

Martin Luther Bjertness was born to Elisabeth Bjertness on June 18, 1917, at Forest City, Iowa. His family and he later moved to South Dakota, where Luther, as he was known to family, attended Eureka High School. Later he attended Lutheran Bible School at Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and then Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.  Martin’s family included two sisters, Victoria and Adelaide, a brother, Sigurd, who later enlisted in the Navy and was also a casualty of WW II, and a brother, Harold, who died as a teenager. Luther, according to his memorial bulletin, was “always of cheerful and happy disposition and made friends wherever he went.” His sister, Adelaide, remembers, “He was a loving, kind person with a unique sense of humor.”

Martin enlisted in the Army in June of 1941. After basic training, Martin was sent overseas where he served two years with Co. B, 184th Infantry, 7th Army Division.

His unit served in combat at Kiska, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, and Okinawa and thus, Bjertness was awarded four campaign stars.  On May 26, 1945, the Bjertness family received the following telegram:                               

The Secretary of War desires to express his deep regret
that your son, TEC5 Bjertness Martin L. was killed in
action on Okinawa May 4th, 1945.

Before he was killed, Martin wrote in a letter home, “I do know for certain that the Lord has been with me, and so putting my faith and trust in Him, I have really nothing to worry about....”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Dustin Trowbridge, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, November 22, 2000.  Adelaide Bjertness Stenehjem, Williston, ND, sister of Martin Bjertness, provided information for this entry.