|Pvt. Melvin Nordlund was killed in action at the Battle of Attu.|
Melvin F. Nordlund never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 3, 1917 in Washington. His mother was born in Finland and his father was born in Sweden. They came to America in 1912. His father worked as a wood veneer laborer. Melvin had one older brother, three younger brothers, and three younger sisters. By 1940 Melvin had completed four years of high school and was employed as a mail carrier for the US Postal Service.
He travelled 800 miles from home to Monterey, California to enlist in the army on March 10, 1942.
He was a private in Company C, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, Alaska Defense Command.
While the Battle of Midway got most of the attention in June 1942, the Japanese also invaded the Alaskan island of Attu at the same time. The 4th Infantry Regiment was given the mission of removing the Japanese army from the island. Pvt. Nordlund and the rest of the 4th IR landed on Attu on May 10, 1943. It was still covered by deep snow. The Japanese held the high ground which the Americans had to assault at a high cost of life. The 4th IR achieved the goal of taking over the high ground on May 27. Recognizing their hopeless position the Japanese made a desperate thousand man suicide banzai attack two days later. That was the day that Pvt. Nordlund was killed in action.
His remains were returned to be buried at Mountain View Memorial Park, Lakewood, Washington.
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