Army Badge
  • Name: Bernard "Barney" Dean LeClair
  • Location of Birth: Nashwauk, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: August 26, 1917
  • Date of Death: August 2, 1972
  • Parents: Wilfred LeClair & Elva (Henry) LeClair
  • High School and Class: 1937 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: S SGT (Staff Sergeant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In:
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: December 26, 1945
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Bernard Dean LeClair
    Race: White
    Age: 23
    Birth Date: August 26, 1917
    Birth Place: Nashwauk, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Taconite, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: October 16, 1940
    Employer: Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co., Coleraine, Itasca, Minnesota
    Weight: 135
    Height: 5-6
    Complexion: Dark brown
    Eye Color: Hazel
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Wilfred F. LeClair, father, Taconite, Itasca, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: (undated) – “Bernard LeClair writes from Biak Island – “Dear Folks: How are you? I am fine and am anxious to get home. They haven’t told us anything yet, but the rumors are that the 80-point men are to start moving in a week or so. Four of us went together and bought a Jap jeep which cost us $20 apiece. We use it to go to our meals. We have two miles to walk to each meal. We also use it to go to camp shows so it’s worth the money and saves a lot of walking in the heat and hitchhiking. She’s O.K. except for shrapnel holes and machine gun holes. We got a blow torch and welded the hood and fenders on and nailed some store boxes in for seats. It’s a pretty swell job. It rains here every day. I sure will be glad to get off the equator – no more tropics for me. I started to wash today, but got rained out. There’s no special news, but I hope something happens soon. I got a card from the good old Taconite Club. Tell them thanks for everything. They have been grand. Please write often and give me all the news. Love, Your Son, Barney.”

    Newspaper article: The Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota – November 16, 1944 – “Dear Club: Received two very nice cards from you today and thanks a lot. Brick sure looks good and his crew; also the gang in front of the pool hall. I don’t know where you got the idea of sending cards with pictures on them but it sure is a swell idea. I haven’t been home for two and one-half years and I had forgotten what the guys look like. I wish I were standing with them. Well, maybe we will all be home soon. The one I really spotted was Joe and his cigar. Haven’t any news from this side but want you to know I appreciate everything you folks have done. I’m glad I come from a good little town with a bunch of swell people. I hope I can see you soon. Sincerely, Barney.”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Bernard LeClair married Ruth Steager in 1941 in Minnesota. He was an electrician for the Cleveland Cliffs Mining Company and a retired fireman.

    Barney died in Aitkin County, Minnesota and was buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Coleraine, Minnesota (Block 143). He is survived by his wife, Ruth; one son, Dan; three daughters, Irene (John) Marrow, Patricia (Charles) Spoden, and Donna (Jeff) Apitz; five grandchildren; two brothers, Bill LeClair and Del LeClair; two sisters, Cecelia (Harley) Evans and Frances (Luke) Decoster; and a number of nieces and nephews.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):