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PFC Glenn William Halvorson was killed in action on Luzon, the Philippine Islands on January 30, 1945.
Born in Hoffman, Minnesota on October 27th, 1915, Glenn was the son of Thomas and Betsey Halvorson. He was a 1933 graduate of Hoffman High School. While attending school, he learned the printing trade at the local newspaper. After graduation, he worked for local newspapers in Center, Colorado, Little Falls, Minnesota and American Falls, Idaho. In early 1939, Glenn attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he completed a course of study in linotype operation. After successfully finishing his studies at Dunwoody, he worked for a time for The Record in Excelsior, Minnesota. Glenn then moved to Hopkins, Minnesota were he was employed at the Hennepin County Review until his induction into the Army on February 23, 1942.
Glenn received his basic training at Camp Forest, Tennessee. He was assigned to the 129th Infantry Regiment of the 33rd Infantry Division. The 129th was later detached and attached to the 37th Infantry Division. On November 13, 1943, Glenn and the 129th arrived on Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands of the Southwest Pacific. While on Bougainville, the 129th helped to repel several Japanese attacks. Due to his actions in combat on Bougainville, Glenn was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge. (Note: I have not yet received any of his records and so am relying on local newspaper articles from that period which mention his CIB award.)
On January 9, 1945, the 129th, as part of the 37th ID and along with other divisions, participated in the invasion of the Philippine island of Luzon at Lingayen Gulf. On January 26, 1945, Glenn and the 129th participated in the assault to capture Clark Field and subsequently Fort Stotsenberg. By January 30th, the 129th had achieved their objectives at Clark Field and had entered Fort Stotsenberg. It was during the fighting in Fort Stotsenberg that Glenn gave the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow soldiers, his family, and his country. The circumstances were related to his mother in a letter from Capt. Harvey W. Mattingly of "E" Company, 129th Infantry Regiment:
My Dear Mrs. Halvorson:
Allow me to extend my heartfelt sympathy to you in your great loss. I realize there is nothing I can say or do to alleviate your grief. I wish to tell you the circumstances surrounding Glenn's death, however, for I feel that such an account may be of comfort to you.
Our unit was making an attack on Japanese held positions a Fort Stotsenburg (sic), Luzon, Philippine Islands, on the afternoon of January 30. When the platoon of which Glenn was a member was held up by enemy machine gun fire, Glenn, who was serving as a scout for his platoon, crawled forward to determine the source of the enemy fire. To accomplish this he had to expose himself and in so doing he was mortally wounded.
Glenn was interred with full military honors in an American Cemetery here on Luzon, Philippine Islands, and burial rites were conducted by an Army Protestant Chaplain.
To those of us who knew Glenn so intimately and had fought with him on previous combat missions his passing was a hard blow. He was an outstanding soldier and was ever thoughtful of his fellow men. His actions, both in combat and garrison duty, brought credit to himself and served as an inspiration to others.
The officers and enlisted men of this company also join me in expressing their deepest sympathy to you.
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Glenn's remains were returned to Minnesota in 1948 and he was reburied in the family plot at Bethel Cemetery near Hoffman, Minnesota. Glenn was preceded in death by his father; two half-sisters and one half-brother. He was survived by his mother; his brother, PFC Norman Halvorson; two half-sisters and one half-brother.
His brother, Norman, served with the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion in North Africa, Italy and Central Europe. Norman survived the war. When he passed away in 1998, Norman was buried alongside his brother.
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Be at peace, soldiers. We thank you for all you sacrificed.