Army Badge
  • Name: Harold Russell Cyrus
  • Location of Birth: Blabon, North Dakota
  • Date of Birth: September 10, 1912
  • Date of Death: May 18, 1998
  • Parents: John Cyrus & Alma (Ellefson) Cyrus
  • High School and Class: 1930 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1932 Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: MSGT (Master Sergeant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: February 27, 1942
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: September 10, 1945
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Bronze Star

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Harold Russell Cyrus
    Race: White
    Age: 28
    Birth Date: September 10, 1912
    Birth Place: Blabon, North Dakota, USA
    Residence Place: Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: 1940
    Employer: King Lumber Co., Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota
    Weight: 130
    Height: 5-8
    Complexion: Ruddy
    Eye Color: Gray
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: John Cyrus, Rt. 1, Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - October 30, 1942 - "Gentlemen and Mrs. Dargan (the lady who addressed the card): Thank you kindly for the lovely birthday card. A "thank you" seems too little to send, but it's the best that I can do under the circumstances. Mail is certainly appreciated here; in fact, that is one thing that all of us keep looking forward to - and, of course, the end of the war. My friends have been doing a fine job of letter writing and I hope they keep it up. I wish I could tell you all there is to tell, but the state of war prohibits that; but I can promise you that I will be glad to answer questions after this is over. We have fine food and plenty of it, the best medical care in the world and the best sheltered army in the world, all furnished by the best country in the world - standing for all the freedoms inherited by man. Bear with us and the good old Stars & Stripes will fly higher than ever. Thank you again for the card, and best of luck to all you and your organization. Yours truly, Harold R. Cyrus."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - November 1942 - "Bovey Service Club: Your Christmas package containing gum, candy, tooth paste, eversharp pencil, deck of cards, wash cloth, and sewing kit arrived this morning. A simple "thank you" seems so little to send in return, but it's the best that I can do. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. And, too, please be sure to convey my thanks to the Bovey Girl Scouts for having included one of their sewing kits in your gift box. It's certainly appropriate and I certainly appreciate it. A needle and thread comes in handy sometimes. Of course, you realize that I can send no news, so that leaves me with practically nothing to write about. Some day, maybe I can answer some of the questions you may have in mind. In closing I thank you again for your thoughtfulness and kindness and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Yours truly, Harold R. Cyrus."

    Newspaper article - Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - January 8, 1943 - "Dear Members: Thank you very much for the Christmas package which contained 3 bars of candy, 3 packages of gum, a deck of cards, tube of tooth paste, a tin of Lucky Strikes, the Bovey Girl Scout sewing kit and a wash cloth. I certainly appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness and, too, please thank the Girl Scouts for their sewing kit. I certainly wish that I could send you news from here, but that is entirely out of the question. Since we can send no news, it makes our letters more or less limited. In closing, I thank you for your gift and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Yours truly, Harold R. Cyrus."

    Newspaper article - Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - March 19, 1943 - "Dear Friends: Thank you very much for the Valentine (addressed by Mrs. H. S. Barnes, Sr.) and also for the Bovey Press. Of course by the time the paper reaches me, it is quite old, but no matter how old it is, it is still news to me and very welcome indeed. I compliment you on your fine work. You can be assured that every card, greeting, letter, gift, and paper that you send to those who are so far from home is appreciated. At least, that is the way I feel about it and I'm sure that the rest of the fellows feel the same way. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with my brother, Irvin, (he worked at Muotka's Hardware in Bovey) at a designated place. I cannot correlate a date with a place- but it was out here in the Pacific. It certainly was nice to see a member of my family. More letters to write and no news that can be told now. Many thanks for your letters and greetings. To all of you, my greetings and best wishes. Sincerely, Harold R. Cyrus."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - May 21, 1943 - "San Francisco, Calif., April 7, 1943. Dear Friends: Thank you kindly for your letter giving me the news from home - even the weather - it brings back pleasant memories. I have had the good fortune and great pleasure of meeting my brother, Irvin, out here in the big wild Pacific. Although our visits have been limited to but two short hours at this office, it certainly has been a pleasure for me to visit with him. Right now we are planning to meet at a prearranged place and try to spend two days together; but under the circumstances, we can't be too sure of that. You know - here today - gone tomorrow. The Bovey Press has been coming through fine. I save each one and give it to my brother whenever I see him. He enjoys the Press just as much as I. We both enjoy the Service page. I see this letter must end. My greetings and best wishes to all. Sincerely, Harold Cyrus."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – February 11, 1944 – “Australia – Dec. 26, 1943 – Dear Friends: Two days ago I received a package of stationery from you that had evidently gotten wet because all the paper was stained and all the envelopes were sealed together. I am trying to salvage the airmail stamps that were enclosed. By all means, don’t feel too badly about it, because I do appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness. The stationery was not a total loss, because, since paper is so scarce, I stapled the sheets of paper together and cut all the envelopes open to be used for scratch pads in the office. I also received a card from you, which I shall send on with my address to the Reader’s Digest, telling me that you have subscribed to the Reader’s Digest for me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a grand gift. I have been receiving the Reader’s Digest for the past year and certainly have enjoyed it. I certainly hope that it can continue to find its way to me. Many letters left to answer. Thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness. The season’s greetings to you and yours. Sincerely, Harold R. Cyrus.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - September 22, 1944 - "Somewhere in New Guinea, August 15, 1944. Dear Mr. Wagner: Thank you for your letter with all the Bovey news that arrived today. It's certainly a grand feeling to be remembered way out here. You can fully realize what an important item a letter is to those who have been gone so long and so far away from home. Your two paragraphs about your garden was of interest to me because as I read your letter, I could very easily visualize the gardens we had at home. It also brings into view all of the grand places in Minnesota with the lakes and beautiful autumn coloring that only Minnesota has. In order to remove all doubt from your mind, I can truthfully say that the Bovey Press and Reader's Digest has always reached me and in very good condition, too. I always read both the Press and the magazine from cover to cover with much enjoyment. Mr. Wagner, at the bottom of your letter the Bovey Service Club asks, "Could you give the Club suggestions on more ways we could help?" There doesn't seem to be much that can be done now, and I feel that most of the men will be satisfied and happy if they can return to their homes and jobs there by obtaining the security that each desires. I truly feel that I'll be happy if I can return to my home and my job. The job need not be one of enormous salary, but one of stability that we may plan for the future that looks so bright to us who have been gone so long. Possibly that in itself sounds like a "big order." Nevertheless, I hope that it can be true. To you and those who have been so generous with your kindness and thoughtfulness, I send my greetings and best wishes. Sincerely, Harold R. Cyrus."

    Newspaper article: Grand Rapids Herald-Review, Grand Rapids, Minnesota - January 31, 1945: "Given Bronze Star. Sergeant Harold R. Cyrus of Grand Rapids has been awarded a Bronze Star medal for meritorious achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy at Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea and Leyte Island in the Philippines. His wife received an official copy of the citation which accompanied the award a few days ago.
    Before the planning phase of the Philippine campaign, all senior officers of the Division Chemical Office in which Sgt. Cyrus serves were either on leave or furlough, leaving him the senior officer of the unit. During two weeks of planning and preparing, Sgt. Cyrus capably and efficiently performed the duties of a Master Sergeant, and a Chief Clerk, thus aiding the Division Chemical officer in getting ready for the campaign. Sgt. Cyrus' work during this time was declared a conspicuous contribution to the success in equipping units of the Division landing teams with chemical munitions and supplies. He landed with the Division officers on A-Day. His energy, efficiency and cheerful devotion to duty under hazardous and adverse conditions make him an outstanding soldier, according to the citation.
    Before entering the army, Sgt. Cyrus was employed by the King Lumber Company. His wife is working in the office there for the duration."

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Prior to military service, Harold Cyrus served as chief clerk for 34 months for the US Forest Service, F-13 in Civilian Conservation Corps Company 702 in Bena, Minnesota.  He married Agnes Holum in 1941 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  After discharge from service in 1945, he was employed by King Lumber Co. for 18 years as credit and collection manager.  He then became business manager for North Star Clinic for 20 years.  Harold was a life member of the American Legion Post No. 60, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1720, Disabled American Veterans Post No. 13, all of Grand Rapids, and the 24th Infantry Division Association; a member of the Itasca Historical Society and the Minnesota State Historical Society.

    Harold died in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and is buried in Itasca Calvary Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Minnesota (Plot I-F-38-0-6).  He is survived by his wife, Agnes; daughter, Mary Brennan; son, David Cyrus; sister, Elaine Johnson; brother, Gordon Cyrus; and four grandchildren.  Preceding him in death were his parents, John and Alma Cyrus.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):