In Memory of
U.S. Navy Lieutenant
Edward Grover DeLong
Springfield, South Dakota
Bon Homme County
August 20, 1915 – July 2, 1942
Killed as a Japanese Prisoner of War in the Garden of Lie Boen Yat

Edward Grover DeLong

Edward Grover DeLong was born August 20, 1915, to Arthur E. and Sarah DeLong.  Edward attended State College for a year before entering the Navy Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. After graduating, Edward entered active service in the U.S. Navy in 1937.  Edward married Helen Ris on August 26, 1939, at Stanford University in California.

Lt. DeLong was sent overseas in August of 1941. On January 30, 1942, the Lead Daily Call reported, “Edward DeLong, lieutenant, junior grade, from Springfield, S.D., returned with ten naval men from a perilous mission behind the Japanese lines on the Bataan peninsula on the night of January 18, accomplished their mission and then found themselves faced with the job of returning individually to their base.”

The article goes on to say that while trying to get back to base, DeLong encountered a native with a bayoneted rifle. After a moment of startled silence, the native spoke first, saying, “Hello, Joe,” which DeLong said, “were the sweetest words I ever heard.”

On September 25, 1947, the Navy Department wrote to Mrs. DeLong; the letter said, in part:

It is with deepest regret you are now informed that information has been
received showing that your husband was killed in the garden of Lie Boen
Yat, Saris Manado, the Celebes on 2 July 1942. According to evidence
received … your husband, together with a fellow officer, was attempting
to escape from Mindanao Island, Philippine Islands, in a native boat. They
were captured on the Island of Bangka, North Celebes, and were taken by
the Japanese to Manado, where they were executed and buried in a common
grave.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Daniele Hall, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, October of 2000 and updated 2002.  Information for this entry wad provided by Mr. Clark Thomas, curator of Springfield Historical Society, and by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus payment, and the Lead Daily Call.