In Memory of
Navy Radarman Third Class
Darrell Archie Bricker
Artesian, South Dakota
McCook County
March 31, 1916 – August 9, 1944
Killed in Action in the English Channel

Darrell Archie Bricker

Darrell Archie Bricker was born on March 31, 1916 in Artesian, South Dakota.  Darrell was the only child of Zoe and Victor Elmer Bricker.  Darrell graduated from Artesian High School in 1933. Darrell married Lorraine Hope Sweeney in 1935 at Woonsocket, South Dakota.  Together they had three children. They were Arlen born in Artesian, South Dakota, Marlyn born in Alexandria, South Dakota, and Dennis born in Mitchell, South Dakota.  

Navy Radarman Third Class Bricker was stationed in the English Channel on the PT 509.  The PT 509 was part of Squadron 34. Squadron 34 also included the PT 500, PT 503, PT 507, and PT 508. The duties of Squadron 34 included performing escort duty, rescue missions, and taking part in the D-Day invasion. On August 9th, 1944 the patrolling squadron was engaged with a convoy of German minesweepers.

According to the logs of Squadron 34…

“9 August 1944, this striking force made its first contact with enemy shipping.  PTs 508 and 509 were on patrol off Point La Corbeire, Isle of Jersey.  At 0530, a convoy of six enemy ships, believed to be enemy M-class minesweepers was picked up by the vectoring ship.  The visibility at the time was approximately four-hundred yards.  PTs 503, 500 and 507, also on patrol were vectored into the area, made contact, fired torpedos and retired.  PTs 508 and 509 were also vectored toward the target and made a torpedo attack.  PT 509 after firing its torpedos, opened fire on the enemy craft at close range.  One explosion, as a result of torpedo fire was heard and one vessel suffered damage by PT gunfire.  PT 508 retired after firing her torpedos and when she heard PT 509 engage the enemy with gunfire she discovered that the PT 509 was directly in her line of fire toward the enemy, as a result PT 508 could not immediately open fire.  PT 508 heard PT 509 say over the radio “I am directly in the middle” but when she had circled about to port, she found no trace of the PT 509.”

Navy Radarman Third Class Bricker lost his life on PT 509. Intelligence reports indicate that 4 German M-class minesweepers suffered moderate to heavy damage as a result of PT 509’s gunfire at point-blank range.  According to the command of Squadron 34, “The officers and men of PT 509 carried out the task assigned them in the highest traditions of the United States Navy.”

At the time of his death, survivors of Darrell Bricker included his wife, Lorraine, and his three children. In 1949, Lorraine married Charles Janisch.

 John Haensel, 12th Grade, West Central High School, Hartford, South Dakota, March 4, 2002 respectfully submitted this entry.  Jerry Bricker of Ethan, South Dakota, cousin of Navy Radarman Third Class Darrell Archie Bricker provided information for this entry.