In Memory of
Glenham, South Dakota
August 3, 1917- June 23, 1943
Killed in Action in England
Ervin Bohlander was born
north of Glenham, South Dakota, on August 3, 1917. His parents were Jacob and
Christine Bohlander. He has four brothers and two sisters. They are Jake, Art,
Bert, Al, Hilda and Edna. Two of his brothers were in the service at the time
Ervin was. Bert served in Italy and Art served but stayed in the United States.
Ervin lived in Glenham his whole life and attended Glenham High School. His
interests and activities were music and basketball. He graduated from Glenham on
May 12, 1938. His only employment was farm work. He did not get married, but he
was engaged to Agnes Hardcastle. Some personal memories of the soldier are that
he was fun, loving, and happy- go-lucky.
Ervin was drafted at
Walworth County in April of 1942. He was trained at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He
trained as a radioman and a gunner on one of the big four-motored bombers. He
went to England in March 1942. Before he went to England, he was last stationed
in Salina, Kansas. Ervin was in the 533 bombing squadron and the 381st
Bombardment Company and also he was in the group of the Army Air Corps.
First Lieutenant Robert E. Thayer wrote a letter
I wish to state that Ervin was in my department from the day it
was organized until his death. He was one of the finest men that I have ever
met, clean, neat, courteous, and every inch a soldier. He was indeed an
example for all personnel of the department. Allow me to extend our deepest
sympathy to you and your sister.
Ervin died on duty in the
air while they were on a bombing mission. In a telegram the Commanding officer
Robert E. Thayer wrote that T/sgt. Bohlander was killed while in the performance
of his duties. Thayer wrote this telegram to William G. Hardcastle who received
it on December 3. The survivors at the time of his death were his mother, his 2
sisters, his fiancée Agnes Harcastle, and Jack, Art, Bert and Al, his brothers.
Ervin was buried at the American Military Cemetery located in Hamm, Luxembourg.
And then on June 1, 1949, Ervin’s grave was moved closer to his family, when he
was buried at Zachary Taylor Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Shealon
Wessel, 11th Grade, Mobridge High School, Mobridge, South Dakota,
December 21, 2001. Information for this entry was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Al
Bohlander, Mobridge, South Dakota, brother and sister-in-law of T/sgt. Ervin