Muscatine County

Arthur A. "Bud" Bersch

~Published DesMoines Register, Jan. 2, 1944

 

 

Navy Issues First “Casualty” Lists

The Navy’s first official casualty list, issued on the 5th, contained the names of Arthur Anthony Bersch and David Alonzo Leedy.

This was the first of a series of “official reports” which came to next of kin during the month.

Messages of DEATH, Word of Valiant Soldiers, Sailors “Missing in Action,” Brought Sadness to Families Here

“The Navy deeply regrets……”
Messages addressed to a number of Muscatine county parents or next of kin of men in the service of their country, carrying this sad phrase or one similar to it from army or marine corps officials, have brought sorrow to a number of homes in this area in the slightly more than 12 months since Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor and Manila.

Muscatine county me gave their lives for their country in that initial attack, which plunged the nation into a globe girdling war.

In Thick of Fight.
Muscatine county men have figured in most of the history making engagements which have been recorded since that date. Some have escaped, unharmed, but in other cases, engagements with the enemy have been followed by official notices of men either killed in action, missing in action, or taken prisoner and gold stars have replaced those of blue on service flags in the community.

The war was less than a month underway when the first notices of casualties were received in this community.

Met Death At Outset.
The same month which saw the attack on Pearl Harbor brought word to the parents of Arthur A. Bersch and David A. Leedy at this city that their sons were missing in action. Both had been in the navy at that port. Bersch was a seaman first class. Leedy was a fire controlman, second class.

Source: Muscatine Journal News-Tribune, Dec. 30, 1942 (photo included)

IOWA’s HONOR ROLL
Here are more Iowans who have been killed in action. The final line beneath each picture gives the geographical location in which the man was killed. Additional Honor Roll pictures will be carried on future Sundays.

Source: The  Des Moines Register, Sunday, January 2, 1944  (photo included)

WARTIME LISTS OF KILLED IN ACTION
BRING TRAGEDY TO ADDITONAL HOMES
Year End Review Edition

Sorrowful news, in the form of messages advising the next of kin of the death of a loved one somewhere in the service of their nation, came to an increasing number of homes in Muscatine and vicinity during 1944 as the country’s military operations against enemies on World war No. 2 proceeded on an accelerated pace. Emphasis upon the tremendous cost of warfare in human lives was called in repeated instances, by official messages, relating that men from this community had made the supreme sacrifice while following the flag with the respective branches of the armed services. News dispatches from the scenes of history –making engagements recorded in the third year of this nation’s participation in war were followed, in the course of a brief lapse of time, and with distressing regularity, by official notification to the effect that someone from this community was included among those who had given their lives.

But brief bits of information were available, in most instances, for the bereaved relatives of servicemen whose deaths were written into the record during this third year of the war. The date, the theater of action, perchance a note to the effect that the serviceman had been buried in an American cemetery abroad- and but little more were ordinarily included. Subsequently, in instances, letter from companions in service, or others in close association, gave additional details. For some, whose death occurred while in service in this country, funeral services were conducted when bodies were returned to the home community for burial. For others, who died on foreign soil, memorial services were conducted at various churches of their affliction.

Community memorial services, honoring those whose lives were given in the service of their country were conducted at the Muscatine high school auditorium Sunday, Nov. 26, with representatives of various pastoral organizations participating establishing a custom of holding on the last Sunday afternoon of each month, similar memorial service for the community’s war heroes.

Brief sketches of those who gave their lives in the service of their country since the outbreak of the war, compiled from causality list and information obtained from relatives follow:

ARTHUR A. “BUD” BERSCH, Seaman First Class
The son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Bersch, Muscatine, Seaman Bersch was killed in action in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. He entered service with the U.S. navy in October, 1940.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Friday, December 29, 1944

140 Have Made Supreme Sacrifice in Muscatine Area In War Against Axis Powers; Many Reported Wounded

Arthur A. “Bud” Bersch, S 1/c, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Bersch, killed in action, Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.

Source: Muscatine Journal, Victory in Europe Edition, May 7, 1945