In Memory of
Army Private First Class
Nels Le Roy Bach
Arlington, South Dakota
Kingsbury, South Dakota
December 9, 1925 – June 22, 1945
Killed in Action at Okinawa
Nels Le Roy Bach was born on December 9, 1925, in Brookings
County to Axel and Ebba Bach. He had six sisters: Ann, Helen, Gladys, Irene,
Mabel, and Alice, and one brother: John. Le Roy, as Nels was called, went to
school at Quinn in Badger Township and then Arlington High School. After Le Roy
graduated in 1942, he farmed with his father. In his spare time, Le Roy enjoyed
hunting and fishing. His brother and sister, John and Alice, remember Le Roy as
“an exceptional older brother.” John recalled hunting and fishing together,
while Alice has memories of a “kind and loving” brother who helped others.
Le Roy Bach was drafted and entered the service on
September 28, 1944. Le Roy completed basic training at Camp Hood in Texas and
was granted a short leave before being sent overseas. As part of the 96th
Infantry Division, Pfc. Bach was shipped to Okinawa in the Pacific theater in
February of 1945.In March of 1945, Le Roy wrote home from Hawaii, encouraging
his family to send their letters to him via airmail so that he would receive
them quicker. He also described his Army buddies to his family.
On June 22, 1945, Private First Class Nels Le Roy Bach was
killed in action on Okinawa. Although originally buried on Okinawa, his remains
were returned to the United States after the war, and he was buried in the
Arlington Cemetery in Kingsbury County. Pfc. Bach was awarded the Purple Heart
LeRoy’s surviving siblings are Ann Freese, Tacoma,
Washington; Helen Petersen, Arlington, South Dakota; Alice Johnson, Holman,
Wisconsin; and John Bach, Renville, Minnesota.
Active in Arlington’s annual Memorial Day celebrations, Le
Roy’s parents annually commemorated the service and sacrifice of their beloved
son, Nels Le Roy Bach.
This entry was
respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, Fallen Sons State Coordinator,
Spearfish, South Dakota. Information for this entry was provided by the Bach
family, via Deb Van Hove, Parker, South Dakota, niece of Le Roy Bach.