In Memory of
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
Bernard N. Brende
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Minnehaha County
November 4, 1921 – July 22, 1944
Died aboard the U.S.S. Elmore at Guam, Marianas Islands

Bernard N. Brende

Bernard N. Brende was born on November 4, 1921, in Faith, South Dakota, to Joseph and Karen Brende.  Bernard was part of a large family, having three brothers and two sisters.  The Brende family moved to Sioux Falls in 1929.  Bernard was attending Canton Academy and was employed at Sand Lake Game Preserve near Aberdeen when he enlisted with the Marine Corps on August 7, 1942.

Brende served within the continental United States from August 7, 1942 through February 22, 1943.  He was then sent to serve overseas and was last stationed on the U.S.S. Elmore.

During the war, the Marianas Islands contained major Japanese airfields and defenses.  In June of 1944, the Islands were attacked by the U.S. with a great air battle, and the U.S. Marines opened one of the greatest naval expeditions ever attempted.  This mission to invade Saipan, Tinian, and Guam in the Marianas Islands was known as Operation Forager.

On June 4, 1944, the U.S.S. Elmore, APA-42, with PFC Brende on board, got underway from New Guinea for the invasion of the Mariana Islands.  On July 21, 1944, the U.S.S. Elmore landed troops in the assault on Guam.  Private First Class Bernard N. Brende is thought to have been seriously wounded during this important invasion and died on July 22, 1944, aboard the USS Elmore, which had “remained to embark casualties, which she carried to Entiwetok.”

Guam was liberated by the U.S. Marine 3rd Amphibious Corps on July 21, 1944, after a thirteen-day pre-invasion bombardment.  After the Marianas Islands were liberated in that summer of 1944, the islands served as bases for the B-29 “Superfortress” bombing campaign against the Japanese home islands. 

This entry was respectfully submitted by Michelle Garrels, Tenth Grade, Sioux Falls Christian High School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, April 5, 2002.  Information for this entry was provided by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, South Dakota Veterans Bonus Records, and historical websites of the U.S.S. Elmore and the Marianas Islands.