Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Colonel 1
Birth:
01 Jun 1918 1
Utica, Nebraska 1
Death:
06 Sep 2000 1
San Diego, California 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Robert Leslie Bereuter 1
Birth:
01 Jun 1918 1
Utica, Nebraska 1
Death:
06 Sep 2000 1
San Diego, California 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Colonel 1
Service Start Date:
1939 1
Service End Date:
1968 1

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Sources

  1. Contributed by sakdog044
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Stories

Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941

Commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1939, Bob Bereuter was assigned to Fort Huachuca, Arizona.  In August, 1940, he was stationed with the 27th Infantry Division (the "Wolfhounds") in Oahu, Hawaii.

The morning of Dec 7, 1941, Bob and a friend were supposed to be sailing on Pearl Harbor.  For some reason, they decided not to go that day, a decision that no doubt saved their lives.  The sound of aircraft awakened him at 7:55 that morning. 

  The moment he saw a single-engine Japanese aircraft,  Bob knew he needed to act quickly.  As one of the first Army officers to arrive at Wheeler Field as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, then- Lt. Bereuter ordered his men to break down the locks on stored machine guns and ammunition.  With the weapons mounted on rooftops, Bob later recounted he and his men were credited with shooting down a Japanese plane.  One man suffered leg wounds in the process. 

Bob's later career 1950-1968

In the early 1950's, Bob Bereuter was among the first NATO forces stationed in Izmir, Turkey after World War II.  From 1954-1957, he headed the ROTC unit at the University of Nevada at Reno.  Subsequent assignments took him to Seoul, Korea, the Pentagon, and Heidelberg, Germany, where he served as assistant comptroller for USAREUR (U.S. Army Europe).  He retired in 1968 and worked until 1975 for San Diego's engineering department.

During his 29 year military career, Bob rose to the rank of colonel and for his service received a Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, and two Purple Hearts.

 

 

 

 

From the European Front in World War II

Bob Bereuter and his driver, Morris Fuhrman, headed to the front one morning.  At the front, Bob asked for the commanding officer and he was told that the captain and radio man were reconnoitering up front and were under fire.  Bob and Morris crawled forward to a shell hole that was holding the unit's CO and the radio man.  Just as they got there, German artillery came in, followed by German tanks with infantry support.  All were advancing across an open field.  Bob asked for the artillery maps and called a battery for fire support.  Bob said that he would direct them and began calling in yardage...200...100...90...80...When Bob got to 50 yards, the Amercan AND German artillery were dropping on their position.  Bob was still standing up, looking out across the field, telling the artillery to "keep firing and don't stop!".  Meanwhile, Morris, the captain, and the radio man were all fighting to reach the bottom of the shell hole.  Suddenly, Bob yelled "Cease fire!".  It became deathly quiet.  Morris stood up and saw dead Germans and burning tanks all around them; the remnants of the German attack were retreating.  Bob looked at the captain and said "After them and don't let them dig in!".   He then said to Morris "C'mon, lad, let's go."  Later, Morris asked Bob how he could keep his head above the hole with all the artillery coming in and Bob replied "If I didn't do it, who was going to do it?   It didn't matter, because we were all dead men anyway because the Germans weren't going to take prisoners."

(story supplied by D. Fuhrman)

A comic moment in post-war Germany ca. 1945

Bob Bereuter and Morris Fuhrman were driving down a road trying to find a certain town.  They spotted an older German man walking along the road.  Morris could speak fluent German, so Bob told him to pull over but then Bob said "I'll ask him for directions."  Bob began asking the gentleman for directions, but as Morris put it, Bob's German was not the best.  Bob continued to try, but the German could not understand him.  Finally, the old man looked at Bob and said in perfect English "Perhaps if you speak English, I may be able to help you?"  Bob looked at Morris and said "Don't you dare laugh!"

(story supplied by D. Fuhrman)

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