Sioux County

Lt. Albert Brunsting


Albert Brunsting
Co. D. Barrack 20
R.R.C. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

Source: Sioux Center News May 15, 1941 p 8

Al Brunsting Will Work In Omaha
Albert Brunsting phoned his parents from Omaha Monday to tell them he will not be obliged to serve in the army ranks for his year of military training, but has an office job in the city of Omaha for the coming year.  He will nevertheless be in the army service.

Source: Sioux Center News May 29, 1941 p 5

Al Brunsting spent four days at the Brunsting home, and returned Saturday night to Omaha.

Source: Sioux Center News June 5, 1941

Rev. and Mrs. Brunsting are spending a three week visit on the west coast.  They were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Brunsting of Hull and also their son, Albert Brunsting, who will now be stationed at Cheyenne, Wyoming with the U. S. Army there.

Source: Sioux Center News Sept. 4, 1941 p 9

Rev. and Mrs. Brunsting received word this past week that their son, Albert has been transferred from Cheyenne, Wyo. to Kelly Field, Texas.  He has received an appointment as a Flying Cadet there.

Source: Sioux Center News Nov. 20, 1941 p 5

Albert Brunsting called his parents, Rev. and Mrs. L. A. Brunsting last Sunday night and reported to them that he was being transferred immediately from Texas to Nevada.  Al was feeling well, and thought he would be ready to fly in possibly two weeks as he had been having regular schooling in text books up to this point.  He will not be home on furlough.

Source: Sioux Center News Dec. 18, 1941 p 6

Graduates From Air School
Cadet Albert Brunsting, son of Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Brunsting of Sioux Center, graduated from the Air Corp Basic Flying School on April 24, 1942 at Gardner Field, Taft, Calif. He will proceed from Gardner Field, Calif. to one of the advanced flying schools for a ten weeks course.  Upon the successful completion of this course Cadet Brunsting will receive a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve.

Source: Sioux Center News Apr. 30, 1942 p 1

Mr. and Mrs. Met De Mots and daughter Arlene left at 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning for Chandler, Arizona where Albert Brunsting is stationed with the Army Air Force.  De Mots and family plan to go on to California to visit with relatives and then will be back in Arizona where their daughter Arlene and Albert Brunsting will be married the latter part of June.  Rev. and Mrs. Brunsting plan to drive down for the wedding.

Source: Sioux Center News May 28, 1942 p 5

Rev. and Mrs. L. Brunsting left on Monday morning for Chandler, Ariz. where their son, Albert Brunsting, who is in the Air Corps, and Arlene De Mots will be united in marriage soon. 

Source: Sioux Center News June 18, 1942 p 7

Lt. Albert Brunsting Graduates and Marries On Same Day
Lt. Albert Brunsting, son of Rev. and Mrs. L. A. Brunsting of Sioux Center, had a big day Tuesday, June 23rd, when he received his commission and "wings" at Chandler, Arizona and was married the same day. 
Lt. Brunsting was united in marriage with Miss Arlene De Mots of Sioux Center, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit De Mots at 6 o'clock Tuesday, June 23rd at the army Chapel at Williams Field, Chandler, Arizona.  The groom's parents and the bride's parents were present.  The marriage ceremony was read by Rev. L. Brunsting, father of the groom. 
The immediate future address of the newly married couple will be announced after graduation.

Source: Sioux Center News June 25, 1942 p 1

De Mots - Brunsting
Arlene Elizabeth De Mots, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit De Mots of Sioux Center, was quietly united in marriage with Lt. Albert Brunsting, son of Rev. and Mrs. L. Brunsting at Williams Field in Arizona last Tuesday, June 23, 1942.
The double ring ceremony was performed in the army Chapel at Williams Field by the groom's father, Rev. L. Brunsting of Sioux Center at 5 o'clock in the evening.  Attending were the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit De Mots, the grooms mother, Mrs. Brunsting and a friend of the groom, Steve Ligino, who was commissioned the same day.  The Women's Club of Chandler, Ariz. had graciously arranged beautiful bouquets of flowers in the Chapel which was in use all day long. 
The bride was pretty in a black sheer street length dress trimmed with lace and a black hat to match with pleated lace around the brim.  She wore a corsage of gardenias.  Black patent leather shoes and white kid gloves completed her costume.  The groom appeared in the new Air Corp uniform issued to him upon receiving his commission earlier in the day.  His best man, Steve Ligino, likewise wore his new uniform. 
After the wedding a prayer was offered by Chaplain William Walker Jr. for the newly married couple.  Then the parents and the bride and groom drove to Mesa, Arizona for a three course wedding supper.
Lt. and Mrs. Albert Brunsting left for Phoenix, Ariz. that night.  They had to report back at 8 o'clock the next morning (Wed.) but did not get orders until Thursday.  They are now in Salt Lake City, Utah where he was sent by the U.S. Air Corp following his commission. 
The newly married couple are both college graduates, Lt. Brunsting having received his B.A. degree at Central College at Pella, Ia. in June, 1941 and Mrs. Brunsting received her B.A. degree from the University of Iowa in June, 1942.

Source: Sioux Center News July 2, 1942 p 4

Lt. Brunsting Transferred To Massachusetts
Lt. Albert Brunsting, son of Rev. and Mrs. L. Brunsting, has been transferred from Wendover, Utah to Massachusetts, arriving in Massachusetts on August 3rd.  Mrs. Albert Brunsting travelled from Utah to Sioux Center arriving here on Monday afternoon at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit De Mots.  Lt. Brunsting's squadron was ordered to leave the ground Saturday in Utah and the orders were secret which means that they may not be opened until they have left the field.  A few squadrons had left before the 369th which was Lt. Brunstings and when this squadron came along the runway there was one plane missing which was Lt. Brunsting's since the engine had failed to work.  The six planes had taken off and circled about awaiting this plane so they could get into formation and proceed.  Soon the second engine caught fire.  The other planes proceeded under orders and Lt. Brunsting's plane was repaired.  During reparations, Lt. Brunsting suggested that Mrs. Brunsting who was ready with the car at the field, start for home.  She arrived at the home of her parents in Sioux Center and was relating the experience when the telephone rang and Lt. Brunsting was calling from Omaha.  He said that the plane started some two hours later and that over Denver they were forced down and were grounded two days from Saturday noon to Monday noon.  He was refueling in Omaha and would take off with a nine man crew at 3 o'clock and would arrive in Massachusetts at 9 o'clock August 3rd. 

Source: Sioux Center News Aug. 6, 1942 p 8

Excerpts From Albert Brunsting's Letter Home
Dear folks, Everything is going along smoothly here.  Last Sunday I had off so we got to go to church together and then went to Amherst to see the Van Roekels and really had a swell time.  They showed us the town after a delightful picnic lunch.  This town is a madhouse.  The Legion is having their convention here.
We have been doing very little flying of late due to the fact that they have taken all our old ships and we are awaiting the arrival of our new ones which we will take across.  We did however run some patrols over the Atlantic, usually around Nova Scotia.  Then we made an assimilated attack on Philadelphia one day.  We were up to 27,000 feet in heavy clouds, the temperature dropped to about 22 degrees below zero centigrade.  Two of our motors froze up and another went out so we dove on down to cooler air.  It was an exciting adventure and served its purpose with a lot of good experience.
The Life magazine this week has a picture of a B-17 instrument panel which you might care to see.  Shows about half of the stuff.  They are a good safe plane, in fact the very best.  All those B-17 raids over Germany in the past week suffered no casualties.  We are not sure just when we leave but very likely in a couple of more weeks.  ~Al and Arlene Brunsting

Source: Sioux Center News Aug. 27, 1942 p 2

Lt. Al Brunsting Leaves U.S.
Rev. and Mrs. L. Brunsting of Sioux Center were notified this week that their son, Lt. Albert Brusnting, has left this week Monday for unknown destination across the ocean.  Lt. Brunsting has been stationed at Westover Field, Mass. He left in a large bomber which holds 9 men.  Relatives are anxiously awaiting word of his safe arrival.

Source: Sioux Center News Sept. 10, 1942 p 8

Lt. Brunsting Cables Home
Mrs. Albert Brunsting arrived home Saturday from Cleveland, Ohio, where she had been visiting relatives since she left Westover Field, Mass. after her husband, Lt. Al Brunsting was sent via a large army bomber across the ocean to Europe.
Tuesday a cable from Lt. Brunsting told of his safe arrival.  Address is: Lt. Albert Brunsting, ASNO 726189, 369th Sqd., 306 Bomb. Gr., APO 875, c.o. Postmaster, New York City, N.Y.

Source: Sioux Center News Sept. 17, 1942 p 11

Mrs. Albert Brunsting left Friday morning for Wichita, Kansas where she will remain with friends and plans to be employed. 

Source: Sioux Center News Oct. 15, 1942 p 3

Lt. Brunsting Writes Home
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Lt. Al Brunsting to his parents Rev. and Mrs. L. Brunsting of Sioux Center.
New Address:
Lt. Albert Brunsting
306th Bomb. Grp., 369th Sqd.
APO 634
A.S.N.O. - 726189
c.o. Postmaster
New York City, N. Y.
Items, There is a postal tie-up in our neighboring village.  Our Postmaster seems to have an enormous amount of mail without adequate help to dispense with it.  All day it has been dreary and wet out of doors.  This morning we all went to classes and various phases of battle.  Naturally we expect action in the near future, but it really isn't too dangerous.  Even right now would not be soon enough for me to get back home.  We certainly did not have too easy a time of it.  We are kept very busy learning things which are imperative to future operations.
Nothing real surprising has come over us as yet, although we will not have to wait long before such may be.  Our trip over the Atlantic was not so eventful.  We landed here in England without too much notice of a war going on in a close vicinity, except for an extremely dark countryside at night, and there are evidences here and there of past bombing raids.  There really isn't too much to worry about, and certainly we are not afraid.  I am still in God's hand.  Flying conditions here are a great deal better than in the United States, which of course is natural and indeed helpful.
Living conditions are good altho not complete as yet, but they will be soon.  We have individual rooms and they really are cozy.  They are arranged somewhat differently than in the States.  For instance we do not have steam heat, but instead we have little coal burners, which are very comfortable but a great deal of work.  However if the weather does not become too severe in the winter we will manage very nicely. 
Our flying field is scattered over quite an area, making locomotion quite a problem for me until today.  Today the government came one step closer by equipping us all with bicycles, and I received one.  It is a light job and extremely high, but in very good shape.  It is certainly a great aid and I would not be able to get along without it anymore. 
Customs here in England are naturally different, but do not conflict too greatly.  The language is fortunately like ours except for inflections and choice of words, with added slang.  But it is all practically understandable and few difficulties are experienced.  As soon as you master their rather easy monetary system you are okay.  Later on I will be able to tell you more.
when you write to me please tell me about current events, the weather, what you are doing and changes that have come about, anything and everything.  If you have questions ask them and if I am allowed I will answer them.  I never knew of the greatness of love for home and Sioux Center until now.  Also say "hello" for me to everyone and I certainly would appreciate letters and more letters.  I may have to be a little slow in answering but I will try my best.  Good night for now.  Love, Al
Rev. Brunsting Meditates
I was working in the garden this afternoon.  My grandchild Marjory Lou was with me.  A great giant four motor bomber flew overhead from the northeast to the southwest.  I looked up.  I thought. I meditated. I saw.
The man we look up to.  We know that in the world's hour of crisis there rises a man or group of men; so destined by God; to defy, to fight and to defeat a common foe.  It is so today.  We look up to these men.
We are challenged today strongly in the air, and rising to give the answer are thousands upon thousands of our young men with a purpose.  Their grail is the freedom of the world.  Their steeds are of steel and they wheel in deadly combat amid the meteoric dust.
No one has even lived who knows the equal of their courage.  And no people have ever had a stouter barricade against a foe.  As our aviators fling themselves into the ultimate and decisive battle ground - the sky, soaring with them are the hopes of the homes and the churches.
They are fighting in a new realm where the thinking of man is large.  They see at first-hand how small the earth is.  They easily fly around it.  They see how petty and futile fences and boundaries are.  They see how inadequate the old measures of yardsticks are.  And they see how pinched is yesterday's concept of Geography. 
When their heroic task is finished, may they then return home and may they live in their world of tomorrow.  May then the bombers and fighters which they used in the war, be followed by planes of peace.  And may the air vibrate with promises of better things to come.  - A Dad

Source: Sioux Center News Oct. 22, 1942 p 8

Albert Brunsting, son of Rev. and Mrs. L. A. Brunsting of Sioux Center is "missing in action".  His parents received a telegram Monday morning from the Adjutant General of the U. S. Army which said:
"the secretary of war desires me to express his deep regret that your son, second lieutenant Albert Brunsting, air corps, has been reported missing in action in the Western European area since Jan. 3.  Additional information will be sent you when received. (signed) Adjutant General
The action in which Lt. Brunsting, a pilot on a huge B-17 bomber, took part is very likely the one which appeared in local papers on January 5 under a "London, England - A.P." story which Rev. Brunsting clipped from his paper.  This A.P. story said in part:
London, England, January 5 - A.P. -  United States Flying Fortresses which raided St. Nazaire in German-held France Sunday, Jan. 3 shot down 33 Nazi fighters.  Seven American bombers were lost.  The Daily Express said, 70 expert American pilots and airmen were lost in the raid.  One pilot was quoted as saying, "Two planes in the middle of our formation were hit.  One blew up in the air; the other went down in flames.  We thought we saw the crew of the burning machine bail out.  We kept in tight formation and plunged through a curtain of fire right up to the target".
In letters written from England Albert cautiously hinted that he was taking part in long range raids over the European continent.  In his last letter to his parents he enclosed a clipping from an American paper printed in England which gives a vivid picture of how the plane crews prepare for their raids.  We quote the clipping:
"The day of an air raid generally begins at five.  The officer gave the word, "It is clearing".  That means it.  After breakfast pilots, navigators and bombardiers huddle in a group.  The major goes with his pointer over the map to the target exactly.  He gives the bombing altitude, the bomb load, the takeoff time and the estimated return.  A half hour passes.  The major holds up his hand.  "The time - there is absolute quiet as the crewmen prepare to synchronize their watches, - "thirty-seven seconds past, thirty-eight seconds, thirty-nine seconds -"  If there is anywhere deathly like quiet, the silence before the takeoff oftimes is it.  This is the zero hour, the tensest moment perhaps, not knowing who would be there again a few hours later."  On the field the bombers are made ready.  The last bomb load has been installed, the ships are warmed up.  Now the group takes off each on his own split second, nothing must go by mischance with these heavily loaded bombers.  Soon they gain altitude and they are off in the clear blue.  The officer mutters, "I hope they all come back".
Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit De Mots left immediately by train for Wichita, Kansas, to break the news to their daughter Arlene, who had not yet been notified of her husband's fate.  The young couple was married last June 23rd, at Williams Field, Chandler, Arizona.
Albert Brunsting was among the first to be drafted and left in April, 1941 for the service.  In September of that year he joined the Army Air Corps and after training for a year, was sent across in September, 1942, with his headquarters in England.  He piloted a flying fortress, and has been in active combat for the past several months. 
Al has not been in Sioux Center since September, 1941, but his parents saw him at his wedding in June.  Last fall, when he was on his way east shortly before going across to England, the plane he was on developed motor trouble and stopped for a few hours in Omaha for repairs.  Al called home by telephone then.  But he has written regularly and his parents received a letter dated December 14 and which arrived last Saturday evening which must be a great consolation to them and to his other relatives. 
Al's letter written December 14th and received here Jan. 2:
"For a week I have not written, not because I was not there in thought, but I spent a week in the hospital.  Nothing serious and I am all over it now.  I ran a little fever for a while so they kept me in and gave me a good cure.  So I am ready to fly again either tomorrow or the next day.
I cannot give detailed accounts of our activities.  I will enclose a clipping.  The air raids prove pretty thrilling.  Bern has seven hard months before him and I know he will enjoy it immensely.  All your children are now married.  I believe you are not disappointed and we will do everything in our power to keep it so.  It is all due to a fine upbringing, and so far if anything is accomplished it casts itself back to our parents; we owe everything to you and realize that fact.  We don't thank you very often perhaps but we do realize it and appreciate everything that was and is being done for us.  We were indeed fortunate to be born in a wonderful environment under marvelous parents - we think the world of you. 
Our contact with the war is very direct but we do of course not live under the fire.  When we go out on a long raid we either come back to safety and fame or .....  We carry on long range raids from the air, so really never come in contact personally with destruction, we leave it in our wake, below and behind us.  All we see are those who may catch it in our formation.  We do our work at great altitudes of many miles where the air is thin and a heavy airplane is hard to handle. 
All the pictures and snapshots are swell, and the letters help so much from all the friends.  My religious life is copied as far as possible to my upbringing.  Procedure of course through necessity has been changed but the thought and essence is still the same and that is what counts.  My faith is stronger than ever before so I have nothing to fear.  Goodnight and take it easy, everything will turn out alright.
Love, your son, Al
The news that Albert Brunsting is missing in action is a great sorrow to all the people who know him and who know his family.  He is the first boy from this community reported missing.  We join his people with a prayer that he parachuted to safety and that one day he may come back home.

Source: Sioux Center News Jan. 14, 1943 p 1 & 4

The Quiet Hour
I am writing for all of us.  For Arlene, Art and Frieda, Harlan and Margaret, Bern and Allie, the De Mots, Mrs. Brunsting and myself.  When first the yellow envelope was brought here with the message of the War Department that Al was missing in action, it seemed as though everything gave way.  But the whole community stood by and does still stand by and we beg to continue as you promise.  In the words from a letter we received from Al last week Thursday, "tell all the people they have treated me really swell", we tell you, how you treated us.  Bernard, who is engaged in a defense plant in Trenton, took it courageously that his brother was missing.  We were a bit alarmed for him, since he was sworn in for the same type of work.  His wife Allie who will soon join him there was with us for the weekend.  The De Mots went over to Arlene in Wichita and so brought her the news, and she returned with them and that helped so much. 
The letter to which I referred was written day before Christmas.  He says that so many letters had reached him, also gifts and cards, and it is just wonderful to be remembered by so many people.  We feel that too in these days. 
But let me continue from Al's letter a bit.  "I am collecting all the pictures you sent me and have many of them on the wall.  Sometimes I think if it were not for Arlene and all those tokens of love I do not know what my attitude would be.  I am really anxious to come home and thank everyone personally.  For although I receive much mail, and it helps so much, yet that does not change my anxiousness in getting home.  But we will just have to wait it out.  I told Arlene that if you receive a message that I am missing in action, that it may mean just this, that I am a prisoner of war.  Do not worry!"
"Tell Ed, the Editor, that he is running a very good News Paper, and I really enjoy getting every copy no matter how late it comes.  It covers so many things that letters could not possibly cover.  The Messages are good.  Thank you so much."
"Dad, you put an inset picture in an air mail letter that came through just grand.  It is a clever idea and more things could be worked out via the same method.  Your approaches to letter writing mother, are novel.  It almost makes a person feel that you are right here in the room with me.  I like your picture behind the writing desk writing a letter to me.  I also like the picture of dad and mother, behind them the radio with our wedding picture.  Dad, your bits of philosophy and psychology are much appreciated.  Your description of the book of Dr. Sadler is very true.  It takes situations like ours to really discover the value of trusting God and Prayer.  Prayer is a psychological something, but it goes much deeper than that.  I know a lot of boys who could not see any value in prayer until they got into a tough air raid to make them see it and know it."
"Wish I could have been at Bern's wedding.  He did the right thing, I know by experience.  Arlene has done everything in the world for me.  If and when Bern gets into actual combat he will have happy memories and an added incentive to fight and come back home.  And that naturally will be the happiest day in a man's life."
"That picture in Life magazine is not me.  I don't think the fellow even looks like me.  I hope I don't disappoint you."
"I must go to bed now.  I am getting a bit sleepy.  Letters for home and to Arlene always get a bit longer than I had figured they would.  Please say "hello" to everyone for me.  And tell them they all have treated me really swell."
"Love, your son Al"
I really have little to add, but that we feel as he does in this letter.  The community has stood by, and is standing by and you have promised to stand by.  What more can we ask.  Letters come from near and far.  And they all help so much, won't you just continue?  And if we are able to experience this by God's providence to help others, we shall try to accept that challenge.  You have been so kind and so wise in your help as though you were especially guided that way.  God bless you all.  ~Mr. and Mrs. Brunsting

Source: Sioux Center News Jan. 21, 1943 p 4

Sergt. Wilbon Elliot Writes Of Lt. Albert Brunsting
On January 20th Mrs. Albert Brunsting cabled Albert's friend Mr. Elliot in England.  Mr. Elliot was well acquainted with Albert and Arlene both. He too is married and his wife is living in Detroit.  On Feb. 13th and answer was received.
"I just received cablegram in regards to Albert Brunsting.  I am telling you the truth and all I know.  We don't know where he is, and as yet we don't have any report, but every day we are getting unconfirmed reports and confirmed reports.  We are looking every day for a report from Lt. Brunsting and his crew; whether they were killed in action or prisoners of war or in enemy territory."
A dozen or more letters are on the way or have arrived in England and other points and to these we may or may not have some answers.  The following communication is so heartening that I wish to share it with you.
"Every Sunday since January 3 the Rev. Brady of Denver, Colo. stood in his pulpit and preached a sermon calling his congregation to hold firm in their faith in the goodness and mercy of God.  The minister's heart was heavy with sorrow that his son, Capt. John Brady, 23, with the American Air Force in England, had been reported missing after a raid over Europe and his plane had failed to return.  Monday, Feb. 8th his heart was filled with joy and Rev. Brady reported, "My son, whom we thought lost and dead lives, a prisoner of war now, but he will return some day."  That news lifted a cloud of sorrow.  The anxious father and mother are satisfied that the news is authentic because it comes from a member of the party who returned to his base in England.  It is to the effect that they saw the men bail out over occupied French territory.  Being trained airmen, knowing the use of parachutes, they doubtless landed safely to face their captors.  Brady's son was congratulated by the King of England (since Albert was also congratulated, these two airmen may know each other and may have met).  Brady flew 8000 feet when the engines went out and he was forced to jump for his life.  Speaking of this ordeal Rev. Brady said,
"Never have I known the full meaning of faith, nor the obligation to preach it, as during these months of suspense when we were afraid John was dead, but hoped, always hoped, that he was alive.  There is no reason to doubt it now."
It is quite natural that we wrote this minister.  For our experiences run so parallel; only that we are now still in the dark, as to the whereabouts of our son.  Could it be that he too is still living?  It would seem, when I look at his picture, that he says, "dad, just keep faith, keep carrying on, did I not write you, that I needed you when I came back?"  And did he not write to Arlene, "when you get a report that I am missing it may just mean that I am a prisoner of war".  When he told me he would like to enter the Air Corps my heart trembled but he said, "dad, I am trying to do what you preach, this is my responsibility as I see it and we trust God, whose plan is overall".
Well, son, and Arlene, God bless you.
~Rev. and Mrs. Brunsting

Source: Sioux Center News Feb. 18, 1943 p 2

Mrs. Arlene De Mots Brunsting arrived home from Wichita, Kans., where she was employed in a defense factory.  She has joined the WAVES and is awaiting her call.  Her husband, Albert Brunsting, was reported missing in action January 3rd.

Source: The Alton Democrat Apr. 9, 1943 p 8

Lieutenant Albert Brunsting Missing In Action, Western European Area
Dear Albert: - There are now fifty stars on our church service flag.  The stars are blue and we are proud of every one of the noble souls that each star represents. 
But we were so shocked, Albert, when the telegram came on January 11th.  That is now three months ago and we have not heard from or about you since.  Only that some letters we sent you were returned and each one had that same statement: "missing in action".  The telegram to which I refer read as follows:
"The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your son, Lt. Albert Brunsting, Air Corps, has been reported missing in action in the Western European Area since Jan. 3rd.  Additional information will be sent you when received".
That message brought tears to our eyes as a community and as a church.  Yes, it brought sorrow to our souls, Albert.  We are trusting that under God you did your best and also now are so doing.  You did what you could as long as you could.  And you did it for us. 
Now, please don't think that we are forgetting about you, because we cannot get word to you.  Don't think either that we are not doing our very best, under God, to shorten this war.  Time creeps along so slowly, I know.  But sometime it will end. 
Albert, you paid a great price.  We know you worked hard for many months to become master of that great flying fortress, we are proud of you.  You went into the combat with a great faith.  You went where you were told to go and where you belonged.  This is truly the place where each man, woman and child belongs.  We are sharing with you, boys, every one of you. 
You hazarded your life, Albert, and so will all you fellows, and that represents the best we have.  You are noble and great souls.  God protect you, while we here are doing our best, at home.  We hope you all may be spared. 
This little quiet hour will soon be forgotten, but you never.  You are our sons.  You are written upon our memories and in our hearts!  God bless you all, while you do your best there and we here.  You are splendid sons, loving husbands, understanding friends. 
~L. A. Brunsting

Source: Sioux Center News Apr. 15, 1943 p 6

Captain Writes of Al Brunsting's Last Valiant Battle With Enemy Planes
The following letter was received last week by Rev. and Mrs. L. A. Brunsting from Captain John T. Stark in England.  In it he tells how Lt. Albert Brunsting's plane plunged into the ocean during a running battle.
April 27 - "I am taking the liberty to answer your letter because I was a friend of "Al", so please do not consider this an official communication.  The most I can tell you is that Al and his crew left the target with their plane crippled after dropping their bombs.  Their plane wasn't able to keep up with the rest of the formation, and they tried to give them as much cover as possible from enemy fighters, but just couldn't lag along slow enough.  Your son's crew kept up a very gallant fight until their plane was seen to hit the water.  This is a very hard and crude way to put it, but you wanted the truth and that is it.  If I can be of any other further service to you, please don't hesitate to write me.  Your son's personal effects are on their way back to you, going through channels.  My sincere sympathy goes to you with this letter.  I am a friend of Al."  John T. Stark, Capt. A. C. (England)

Source: Sioux Center News May 13, 1943 p 1

Al Brunsting's captain writes to Mrs. Brunsting as follows:  This letter was dated in England, May 25, 1943:
Dear Mrs. Brunsting:
First of all let me congratulate you on your decision of joining the WAVES.  I am sure that it was the proper thing to do and Al would be for it 100 percent.  It will keep you busy and at the same time you'll be helping the cause come to a head and explode. 
Insofar as Al's plane is concerned I want you to know that the fellows that were in the tail end of the formation saw the plane hit the water and submerge - no-one was seen leaving the plane.  They were having a running fight with the Jerrys until the last gun sank out of sight. 
Sincerely, John T. Stark, Capt.

Source: Sioux Center News June 10, 1943 p 10

Legion Present Citation To Families Of Wounded Or Missing
The Rev. Brunsting family and the John Kroon family were this week presented with Silver Star Citations in recognition of their respective sons services while on duty in the armed forces of our country. 
The citation reads as follows:
This Silver Star Citation is awarded for devoted Service to  Our Country which resulted in wound or disablement in line of duty while a member of the armed forces of the United States.
whose patriotic unselfish sacrifice was incurred during the war period beginning Dec. 7, 1941.
This citation is presented to his family by the entire American Legion membership.  Signed by Adjutant Henry Wissink, and Commander Ed Te Veltrup of the James Doornink Post No. 199".
Should the war department announce Lt. Albert Brunsting's death, the family will then receive a subsequent gold star citation.

Source: Sioux Center News Aug. 26, 1943 p 1

Rev. Henry Poppen sent a message to his friends and family here last April 29th, 1943 from Kulangsu, Amoy, China where he was a prisoner of the Japanese.  The message arrived here the day after Christmas, 1943, three weeks after Dr. Poppen himself had returned to this country aboard the Gripsholm.  The message which was addressed to Rev. Brunsting, read thus:  "Greetings congregation, family.  Appreciate continued prayers.  Well, Food-Funds ample in own residence.  Return uncertain.  Abiding God's will.  You are constantly remembered with full sympathy."  The message bears the stamp of the Swiss consulate and of the International Committee at Shanghai, China.

Source: Sioux Center News Dec. 30, 1943 p 1

The Quiet Hour
Relative to our son, Lt. Albert Brunsting, we promised a statement.  On January 11, just one year after we received the telegram that he was missing, we received two boxes from the War Department.  At that time they also sent us a letter, telling us in strong language to carefully keep all his stuff, for they hoped it might be all returned to him someday.  We were appointed custodians.  His status the letter said, was still "missing".  We did not open the boxes.
On February 18 a statement came from the War Department saying that "your son Lt. Albert Brunsting is "presumptive" dead".  On that day we opened the boxes.  They contained most of his personal belongings except those things he was wearing, and a few other things were not there.  They contain some things that did not belong to him.  There was also a letter half finished, written to Art and Frieda, in which he expressed strong longings for his dear ones, "I am so lonesome at times, I hardly know what to do.  I am not so much interested how the New Year begins (he wrote that letter New Years Day, 1943) but what it holds in store for us.  I do long to go home and see my dear ones."
There is a legal side to this thing.  The War Department has stricken his name from the official list - and they call that "presumptive dead".  The War Department is through with him.  It would only be a burden to carry him any longer.  They do not say that he is dead, but they clear the channels legally.
There is a parental side to this thing also, he is our son.  He has been as a son of whom the Doctor said, "critically ill, the crisis may come at any moment".  And there it stayed and stays.  The doctor says the son cannot live, but he does not say that he is dead, and the parents CANNOT arrange for and have a funeral.  Parents do not say he IS dead, when the War Department says, "presumptive dead".  Cold intellect may say, "why hope, there is no chance".  But the parental instinct does not so conclude.  And Al asked us to hold on, not to give up hope. 
There is a legal side, there is a parental side to this thing.  I hope that no one need go through an experience of a "missing son".  But if you do this will be your experience, at least it is ours.  Let me restate that last sentence.  I hope that no one who reads these lines need to endure the suffering of a "missing son", but if you do you will share with us, that the parent holds on to every little straw he can see.  And why should he not?
It is not easy to write these lines.  Only the sympathetic understanding of this unique Christian Community makes me write, and that out of a sense of gratitude to you all. 
Rev. L. A. Brunsting, dad

Source: Sioux Center News Mar. 2, 1944 p 3

Legion Changes Name Of Post To Doornink-Brunsting Post

The local Legion Post formally voted to change its name from the Doornink Post to the Doornink-Brunsting Post. The change was in honorable memory of Albert Brunsting, son of Rev. and Mrs. L. A. Brusting, who was the first local boy to give his life in WWII.

Source: Sioux Center News May 16, 1946 p 1

Albert Brunsting was born Oct. 24, 1918 to Luke A. and Margaret De Jong Brunsting. He died Jan. 3, 1943/FOD Jan. 3, 1944 and is memorialized at the Tablets of the Missing, Brittany American Cemetery, Montjoie Saint Martin, France.

2nd Lt. Brunsting served in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps 369th Bomber Squadron, 306th Bomber Group, Heavy and was MIA/KIA over the English Channel. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.