In Memory of
U.S. Navy Machinist’s Mate, Third Class
Norman Lee Bondurant
Buffalo Gap, South Dakota
Custer County
December 8, 1921 – February 20, 1945
Died of wounds received in action at Iwo Jima

Norman Lee Bondurant

Norman Lee (Tubby) Bondurant was born on December 8, 1921 in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota to T.W. and Nell Bondurant.  Mr. Bondurant attended the Grieves School in Custer County and the Buffalo Gap High School, which he graduated from in 1940.  He was active in all school activities and was a member of the basketball team. 

After high school graduation, Machinist’s mate, third class Bondurant attended an aviation mechanics school.  Upon completion of this course, he was employed by the Consolidated Aircraft Company in San Diego for two years.  Later, he worked at the Basic Magnesium Corporation in Las Vegas.  There he joined the navy in August 11, 1943.  He had basic training at Camp Perry, Virginia and was sent to other camps for further training and completed at Port Hueneme, California.  In November of 1943, he came home on a short furlough, which was the same time as his sister, Sgt. Helen Bondurant.  They were both shipped out soon after that.  He was stationed in Hawaii and later went with the Fourth Marine division further into the Pacific.  His parents received a letter from him dated February 3 in which he said he would not be able to write home so often. 

Machinist’s mate, third class Bondurant died of wounds received while in action in the Pacific theatre on February 20, 1945.  He was then buried at sea.   He is on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He received the Purple Heart.

Survivors at the time of Bondurant’s death were his parents; three sisters – Mrs. George Anderson and Hazel Bondurant of Hot Springs and Sgt. Helen Bondurant in the Philippines; and two brothers – Joe, who was in Europe with the armed forces and Charles, who was in Buffalo Gap.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Jane Heck – English teacher at Lemmon Jr/Sr High School.  Information for this entry was provided by an application for SD Veteran’s Bonus, the World War II Honor Roll, articles from the Rapid City Journal dated 3/18/45 and 3/9/45, and an article from Custer County Chronicle dated 4/15/45.