In Memory of
Army Pfc.
Gordon Julian Brubakken
Hillhead, South Dakota
Marshall County
February 4, 1920 -- February 18, 1944
Killed in Action at Anzio Beach Head, Italy

Gordon Julian Brubakken

Gordon was born February 4, 1920, at Hillhead in Marshall County, South Dakota, to Erick and Carrie Brubakken. When his father died, Gordon was only 15 but took on added responsibilities for raising his siblings; Gordon worked several jobs in Hillhead and worked for the WPA to help support his family. His sister, Mae, remembers that the type of blue jeans Gordon wore on special occasions was an imitation of trousers worn by Navy men, complete with a white shirt.

On April 9, 1942, Gordon was inducted into the Army and went to Kentucky for basic training. On January 21, 1943, Pfc. Brubakken was sent overseas but was stranded on the Bermuda Islands for three weeks due to a shipwreck. Brubakken arrived in North Africa in March of 1943,where he was immediately engaged in action.  Just before Christmas in 1943, Gordon wrote:

It really would be a blessing if we could sing Peace
on Earth and Good will toward men. It would be
the greatest gift a person could ever receive, and
I’m sure if everybody would turn their hearts to
God and pray, it wouldn’t be long before we could
sing it.

After he fought in Africa, Pfc. Gordon Brubakken went on to Italy and was killed in action on Anzio Beach Head on February 18, 1944, only two weeks after his 24th birthday.  Although originally buried at the US Military Cemetery in Italy, Gordon’s remains were returned to the United States after the war and buried at Tronjheim Lutheran Cemetery in Marshall County on August 25, 1948. His sister, Mae, remembers the day quite well when Gordon’s body was returned, accompanied on the train by a soldier. She said, “It is indescribable to state how I and other family members felt at the sight of the flag draped coffin.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Kris Klunder, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish South Dakota, November 22, 2000.  Information for this entry was submitted by Olga Swenson, Langford, SD, and Mae Rye, Aberdeen, SD, sisters to Gordon Brubakken.