In Memory of
U.S. Army Sergeant Aberdeen, South Dakota
Brown County

July 14, 1930 – October 8, 1952
Died of Wounds in Japan


Emil Bender was born on July 14, 1930, to Martin and Fredericka (Schnabel) Bender in Zeeland, North Dakota. Emil Bender had six brothers: Reiny, Alfred, Herman, Jacob, Reuben, and Gideon. Emil Bender also had three sisters: Ada, LaRue, and Alma. Emil farmed with his parents until they sold out in 1946 and moved to Aberdeen, where Gage Brother’s Concrete Company employed Emil. At the time of his enlistment, he was employed by Johnson Culvert Company. His family remembers Emil as someone who made friends easily and seemed to get along with everybody.

Sergeant Bender was drafted into the U.S. Army on September 27th, 1951. He was trained, came home on leave for a few days during Christmas of 1951, and then was sent overseas in early 1952 as part of the 40th Infantry Division.

On October 5, 1952, Sergeant Emil Bender was wounded in action in Korea. He was evacuated to the Tokyo Army Hospital in Japan. On the same day, two soldiers came to the family’s home in Aberdeen to inform Emil’s parents that he was wounded. They came back on October 8 to tell the family that Emil had died of his wounds that day. He was 22 years old.

Sergeant Emil Bender’s body was returned to the United States and arrived by train in Aberdeen on November 2, 1952. Emil was buried with military honors the next day at Riverside Cemetery in Aberdeen.

He is currently survived by his brothers, Reuben and Jake, and his sisters, Ella Hudson and LaRue Opp.

I will remember the service and sacrifice of United States Army Sergeant Emil Bender.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Hank G. Williams, 8th Grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish , South Dakota, May 25th, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by Mrs. Larue Opp, Aberdeen, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and an obituary sent to us by Pauline Davies, Aberdeen. Profile approved by LaRue Opp, sister.