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WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 11, 2013, 08:23 PM

A piece of WWII history returns into the hands of a Moorhead family

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- A Moorhead man and his grandson have quite the war story to tell. And even though it is from World War Two, a new chapter has been written in the life of Private Gordon Strom.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- A Moorhead man and his grandson have quite the war story to tell. And even though it is from World War Two, a new chapter has been written in the life of Private Gordon Strom.

Gordon died in the war. His two brothers survived. But decades after the war, comes a letter from a family in Germany. A bracelet has been found. Engraved. With the name of Gordon Strom.

Gordon Strom was just 19 when he died. Fresh out of Moorhead High school and briefly NDSU, he was one of the three Strom brothers serving in World War Two. Gordon was the baby.

Arnold Strom/Gordon's Oldest Brother: "When we went in, we never thought Gordon would get in because he seemed so much younger, but the war lasted too long."

Gordon would be serving with the army, fighting the Germans.

Arnold: "An 88 shell is what dropped in a foxhole of my brother."

March of 1945.

Arnold: "One of them lived for a few hours, but Gordon was killed instantly."

Shortly after his death, Gordon's family would get a letter from his fellow soldiers...

Arnold: "Corporal."

...talking of his bravery.

He often took chances he would not have to take because Gordon said he did not think he would not survive the war. He didn't.

Arnold and his brother Glenn would learn of his death.

Arnold: "I found out by mail."

Weeks after he died. They would stay in the war.

Arnold: "You get the first letter and you find out it is pretty tough right then."

Then recently, Gordon's brother, Arnold, now 90, still living in Moorhead, would get a phone call.

Arnold: "I said, no, I think I will pass. I thought it was a joke."

Someone saying they had found Gordon's bracelet buried in an old foxhole.

Arnold: "I dropped it, because I did not think it was true."

Arnold could not believe it, but his grandson was curious. Nick Pladson was able to get back in touch with the German family, and soon the bracelet would arrive in Moorhead, back in the hands of Gordon's family.

Arnold: "I thought is this real? for all these years."

Arnold is the only one alive now. His two fellow veteran brothers gone. The bracelet is a piece of the past. The baby brother who went off to war. Now forever remembered.

Arnold: "Good momento."

Private First Class Gordon Strom. Died fighting for his country, coming home from the war, a teenager, who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

And Arnold Strom of Moorhead hopes to give the bracelet to his grandson, who did a lot of the work to make the connection with the family in Germany that found it.

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