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