O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Woman’s Club and members of Girl Scout Troops from Marie Schaefer School (Troops 820, 563, 505, 913 and 637) celebrated the life and service of U.S. Army Corporal Laverne E. Bernhardt at the club’s monthly flag ceremony Saturday morning.
Bernhardt was born in O’Fallon on August 10, 1920 and was inducted into the U.S. Army at Scott Field on October 12, 1942. He received basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington and then went to California for desert maneuvers before going overseas for duty in January of 1943 during World War II. He was attached to Company A, 337th Infantry, 85th Division and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained on May 18, 1944.
On October 13 of that same year, Bernhardt was killed in action when struck by an enemy mortar shell fragment near Bologna, Italy. His body was temporarily buried in a military cemetery in Italy before he was returned to O’Fallon on August 20, 1949. His services were held the next day at the O’Fallon Evangelical and Reformed (UCC) Church and his full military honored burial was at College Hill Cemetery in Lebanon.