In Memory of
Navy Ensign
Sigurd Johan Bjertness
Eureka, South Dakota
McPherson County
June 4, 1922 --October 24, 1944
Killed in Action in the Leyte Gulf of the Philippines

Sigurd Johan Bjertness

Sigurd Johan Bjertness was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 4, 1922.  He had two sisters, Victoria and Adelaide, and a brother, Martin “Luther” Bjertness, who was also a casualty of WW II.  Sigurd graduated from Eureka High School in Eureka, South Dakota, in 1939, and then entered Concordia College in Minnesota in the fall of that year.  At college, Sigurd participated in sports, music, and journalism while keeping good grades. In his senior year he was elected student body president, and he had a lot to look forward to. Sigurd’s plan, according to his sister, was to become a Lutheran pastor.  However, before he could graduate, Sigurd felt the call of duty to his country, so he enlisted in the Navy. 

Sigurd Bjertness graduated from Northwestern University as an ensign.  After five days’ leave, he was assigned as an officer to a landing craft, the L. C. I. 1065.

Navy Ensign Sigurd Johan Bjertness gave his life while in the Leyte Gulf on October 24, 1944, when a kamikaze plane hit his landing craft, washing Ensign Bjertness into the Pacific Ocean.  Navy Ensign Sigurd Johan Bjertness was reported missing until the following May when he was declared killed in action.

Dustin Trowbridge, Eighth Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota respectfully submitted this entry on November 3, 2000.  Adelaide Bjertness Stenehjem, sister of Sigurd Bjertness, Eureka, SD, provided information for this entry.