In Memory of
Otis Conner Bryant
Peever, South Dakota
Roberts County
August 25, 1909-October 24, 1944
Killed in China Sea

Otis Conner Bryant

Otis Conner Bryant was born in Rome, Indiana, on August 25, 1909, to Mary and Otis Bryant.† Mr. Bryant had a brother Chester and a sister Mildred.† His parents divorced when he was four years old and his mother and the children went to live with his aunt and uncle who moved to Ithica, Nebraska.†† In the fall of 1914 they moved to about one mile southeast of Peever, South Dakota.† His mother remarried in July of 1915 to Henry Pomrenke.† Mr. Bryant remained with his aunt and uncle and started school in Peever.† In the spring of 1916 Mary and her new husband moved west to homestead in Perkins County, South Dakota, near the town of Lemmon, South Dakota.† It was here that nine more children were born to Mary.† Mr. Bryant finished his schooling sometime in 1929. He lived in Perkins County until the late 1920s when he left the family farm.†

Mr. Bryant joined the military service in about 1930 in New Mexico and was stationed in Hawaii for a time.† In the spring of 1938 Capt. Bryant sent his mother a telegram saying he had married a girl named Marjorie and they had a son Michael.† Capt. Bryant and Marjorie also had a daughter Patricia.† Josephine Pomrenke Bubak, Capt. Bryant's half-sister, remembers that Capt. Bryant's family didnít know where he had gone after he moved away from home.† Capt. Bryantís mother, Mary, had to contact the Red Cross in order to locate him.† She was told he was stationed in Hawaii. She decided to send him a big layer cake and packed it in popcorn.† Even though mail was slow Capt. Bryant wrote that he and his buddies enjoyed the cake.

In the spring of 1942 Capt. Bryant was sent to the Philippines where the Japanese took many prisoners including Capt. Bryant.† He survived the Baatan Death March, and eventually he was placed on board a Japanese ship.† The ship was not marked as a Prisoners of War ship and other Americans, not knowing American POWs were on board, sank the Japanese ship. Capt. Bryant was declared missing in 1943.† In June 1945 the family was informed that Capt. Otis Conner Bryant had died October 24, 1944.

Capt. Bryant has a tablet at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines.† He earned a Purple Heart for his sacrifice in the Armed Forces.†† One half-brother and three half-sisters presently survive Capt. Bryant: Wallace Pomrenke; Josephine (Mrs. Stanley) Bubak; Rose (Mrs. Leo) Fleischhacker; and Daisy (Mrs. Alfred) Fleischhacker.

I will always remember Capt. Otis Conner Bryant and what he and all of the others have down for our country and me.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Michelle L. Behrns, 12th Grade,

Sisseton High School, Sisseton, South Dakota, February 27, 2002.† Information for this entry was provided by Mrs. Elsie M. Fitz, niece of Capt. Bryant and Mrs. Josephine Bubak, Capt. Bryantís half sister and Roberts County Veterans Service Office.