In Memory of
Army Technical Sergeant
John Robert Conde
Bridgewater, South Dakota
McCook County
October 19, 1920 – June 8, 1944
Killed in Action in England

Memorial dedication horizontal image rule

John Robert Conde was born October 19, 1920, in Monle, Iowa.  John was the son of Archibald and Ruth Conde.  He had three other siblings, Harold, Betty, and Grace.  John graduated from high school in 1938 at Earlham, Iowa, and then the Conde family moved to Bridgewater, South Dakota, where John’s father became the pastor of First Presbyterian Church.  Then a few years later the family moved to Pierpont, South Dakota, to pastor another church.

John visited Des Moines, Iowa, when he was 20 and entered the service while he was there.  He then went to CCC camp in Rapid City for training.  He earned the rank of Technical Sergeant in the Air Force.  He was stationed in the Aleutians.  During this time he was decorated twice, the first time he was given an air medal with two oak leaf clusters and the second adornment was given for bravery under fire.  He was later stationed in England.

On June 8, 1944, Technical Sergeant John R. Conde was serving as the radio operator on the airship “Double Trouble” for a bombing mission.  He had been on 21 previous missions over Europe. The mission was cancelled after his ship was already airborne, but his pilot asked to be allowed to stay in the air to give his navigator some practice.  During the flight, the aircraft hit the ground, became airborne again and then crashed about a mile away.  Twelve 500-pound bombs detonated on impact killing all aboard instantly.

Sgt. Conde’s mother received this message from the Major General J. A. Ulio on June 23, 1944:

I know the sorrow this message has brought you and it is my hope that in
time the knowledge of his heroic service to his country, even unto death,
may comfort you.

John was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. His father died several days later, on July 12, 1944. I will remember the service and the sacrifice of Technical Sgt. John R. Conde.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Amanda J. Muir, 10th Grade Honors English, West Central High School, Hartford, South Dakota, February 22, 2002.  Information for this entry was provided by Mike Stowe, Accident Reports, 1322 Main Street, Millville, NJ  08332, the SD bonus record application, and by newspaper clippings.