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  Nels Le Roy Bach

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 posthumously.

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.