Dean "Pinky" Mervin Herdman

Navy Badge
  • Name: Dean "Pinky" Mervin Herdman
  • Location of Birth: Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: December 7, 1924
  • Date of Death: July 16, 1979 (54 years old)
  • Parents: Robert J. Herdman and Ada Blanche (Wilson) Herdman
  • High School and Class: 1942 - Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1948 - Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
    1 year at North Dakota State University, North Dakota
  • Highest Rank: PHM 3 (Phamacists Mate Third Class Petty Officer)
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: March 19, 1943
  • Place Sworn In: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Date of Discharge: April 8, 1946
  • Place of Discharge: United States Naval Personnel Separation Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    May 1, 1943 May 1, 1943 Naval Training Station, Farragut, Idaho
    May 1, 1943 July 1, 1943 United States Naval Hospital, Seattle, Washington for training
    July 1, 1943 October, 1943 United States Navy Convalescent Hospital at Sun Valley, Ketchum, Idaho where he was trained for physcial therapy
    October, 1943 October, 1943 Transferred to base hospital at Shoemaker, California
    October, 1943 May, 1945 Served on USS Heywood for rest of his enlistment
    April 8, 1946 Honorable Discharge
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    Dean served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946.

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - October 1, 1943 - "Dear Friends: Just a few lines to let you know that I am still receiving the Bovey Press regularly and to thank you for sending it. I sincerely appreciate it and am sure the other fellows feel the same way. I have been stationed here in Seattle for the past month at the Naval Hospital, and expect to stay here indefinitely. That is if Uncle Sam does not change my plans. I am eligible for transfer at any time. Well, how was Farmers' Day? I am sure it was a success. Sure wish I could have been there to help you celebrate it. Maybe we all can be home for the next one. I wish to thank you again for sending the Press and hope this finds everyone in good health. As ever, Dean Herdman."

    On September 2, 1945 on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri the Peace Treaty was signed with Japan. The U.S.S. Heywood was in Tokyo Harbor and Dean Herdman was on board. That was a story that he told many times. Shortly after the ceremony was over, the Navy started moving POWs on board for the trip back to the U.S. The crew didn't have the proper things to feed these very sick POWs (chocolate and pork) which only made them more ill.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Following his service, Dean was employed by the Pickands-Mather Mining Company and had worked at the Danube, Mahoning, West Hill and Tioga Mine operations. He was presently employed as Office Services Supervisor at Hibbing Taconite. Dean was active in the Bovey, Minnesota community and civic affairs, serving on the Bovey City Council and acting as Bovey City Clerk for a total of nine years.

    He married Delores Aiton in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on May 26, 1951.

    Dean was a member of the Ponti-Peterson VFW post and Lawrence Lake American Legion post. An active Mason, he was presently Master of the Canisteo Lodge 271 at Coleraine, Minnesota, member of the North Star Shrine Club, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Scottish Rite Bodies, Duluth, Minnesota and Aad Temple of the Shrine, Duluth, Minnesota. He was also a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, Lodge 1061 in Bovey, Minnesota.

    He died on July 16, 1979 as the result of a traffic accident on Highway 169 East of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

    Survivors include his wife, Delores; three daughters, Mrs. David (Nancy) Warneke, Mrs. H. (Denise) Townley, and Mrs. James (Janet) MacNeil; one son, Robert J.; his mother, Mrs. Ada Herdman; one sister, Mrs. Allen (Bette) Sigfrinius; two brothers, Lloyd and LeRoy; and three grandchildren.

    Buried in Lakeview Cemetery at Coleraine, Minnesota (Block 146).

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):