In Memory of
Herbert E. Brandt
Parker, South Dakota
May 29, 1918 – July 4, 1944
Killed in Action on Fourth of July Hill in Saipan
Herbert Brand was born at Parker, South Dakota, May 29,
1918, to Henry and Agnes Brandt. Herbert “worked for the state highway
department for two years around Keystone and Mt. Rushmore and then went to the
west coast. After Pearl Harbor, he went to the Hawaiian islands on construction
work, remaining there for about a year.” Herbert married Ida Flathers in October
of 1940, at Grass Valley, California.
Herbert joined the Marine Corps in April of 1943. He was
in boot camp in San Diego, California. He then was assigned to Company E, 2nd
Battalion, 24th Marine Division that was being combined with the 4th
Marine Division. Marine Pfc. Brandt was sent to Namur Island on February 1,
1944, as a rifleman. He was wounded, recovered, and later rejoined his unit. His
division went to Maui and he wrote in his album:
Families on the island threw open their
doors to the marines and will
be gratefully remembered by hundreds of men of the Fourth for their
gracious hospitality. Citizens of Maui proved that ‘Aloha’ was more
than a word. The Fourth soon became ‘Maui’s own’ and the traditional
island slogan ‘Maui No Ka Oi’ became ‘Maui Marines No Ka Oi,’ which
meant Maui Marines Are Best.
After training Herbert
found some free time and visited his brother Loyd who was training for the same
campaign. The 4th Division was to join with other divisions of the
“Task Force.” They were headed for the Marianas Islands; the day of the invasion
of Saipan was June 15, 1944. Marine Pfc. Herbert Brandt was killed in action on
July 4, 1944, at “Fourth of July Hill” in Saipan.
His nephew and namesake,
Douglas Herbert Brandt, remembers reading the official letter sent to his
grandmother describing Herbert’s death. Douglas remembers it like this:
Herbert was an Assault troop rifleman. He
and his squad
were assaulting a Japanese machine gun position on 4th of
July Hill at Saipan when he was hit by machine gun fire
and killed. His comrades were very sad to lose such a fine
Herbert was “an extraordinary fellow.” His was also
considered “a very patient, caring, gentle man, and loved by all.” His brother
Loyd was eight years younger and was very close to Herbert; he even said that
Herbert was like a father to him. This soldier, brother, and friend is missed by
Before he died, Herbert, in a letter
home to his mother, said
I hope everyone is fine back there, give them all my regards
and tell the people to keep on turning out the ammunition
back there, and we’ll have this thing wound up soon. Please
don’t worry, Mother.
We would like to note that the Brandt family had not one
but six sons in the Marine Corps. Herbert was the only brother who was killed in
WW II. We thank the Brandt family and all the families who lost “boys” to the
entry was respectfully submitted by Terra Ketchum and Alicia Rath, 8th
Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, May 6, 1999.
Information for this entry was provided by Loyd Brandt, brother of Herbert, and
Douglas Brandt, nephew of Marine Pfc. Herbert E. Brandt.
Rest in Peace.