Henry Orval Dahlen

Army Badge
  • Name: Henry Orval Dahlen
  • Location of Birth: Winona, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: April 11, 1914
  • Date of Death: KIA - October 23, 1944
  • Parents: Norman Dahlen & Nellie (Olson) Dahlen
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: TEC 4 (Technical 4)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: July 22, 1942
  • Place Sworn In: Tacoma, Washington
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Bronze Star
    Purple Heart
    Good Conduct Medal
    European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star
    Combat Infantryman's Badge
    Honorable Service lapel button

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Washington
    Name: Henry Orvil (sp) Dahlen
    Race: White
    Age: 26
    Birth Date: April 11, 1914
    Birth Place: McGrath, Minnesota
    Residence Place: Seattle, King, Washington, USA
    Registration Date: (no date)
    Employer: Northern Pacific RR, Tacoma, Pierce, Washington
    Weight: 160
    Height: 5-10
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Blonde
    Next of Kin: Norman Dahlen, father, Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota

    WW II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
    Name: Henry O. Dahlen
    Birth Year: 1914
    Race: White
    Nativity State or country: Minnesota
    State of Residence: Washington
    County or City: King
    Enlistment Date: July 22, 1942
    Enlistment State: Washington
    Enlistment City: Tacoma
    Branch: Branch immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
    Branch Code: Branch immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
    Grade: Private
    Grade Code: Private
    Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
    Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
    Source: Civil Life
    Education: Grammar school
    Civil Occupation: Semiskilled miners & mining machine operators
    Marital status: Single, without dependents
    Height: 69
    Weight: 148

    Newspaper article – Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota – Nov. 9, 1944 – “HENRY O. DAHLEN KILLED IN GERMANY OCTOBER 23 – In Service Two Years Last June, Son of Norman Dahlen – News received Monday from his wife [Mary Davies Dahlen] in Seattle, coming to her from the War Department announced the death of Henry O. Dahlen, only son of Norman Dahlen of near Bovey. The family lived in Wabana until recent years and Henry Dahlen is survived by his father and five sisters. His mother died in March of 1930. His youngest sister, Marion Dahlen, is a senior at Greenway high school, where Henry also attended school, as well as his sisters who are now married. The message to Dahlen’s wife, to whom he was married in Seattle in June of 1942, just before he enlisted, told only that he was killed in action over Germany, the 23rd of October. He was a member of the army signal corps. Henry Dahlen was born in April of 1913 in Winona. The family moved to Wabana in Itasca county in 1927. In 1934 Henry went to Seattle to work, remaining there until he enlisted. He had been overseas since February of 1943. His father and sisters are well known and have many friends in the county. The sisters are these: Mrs. Herbert Polzin (Ruby) of Lawrence township; Mrs. Alex Trboyevich (Doris) of Bovey; Mrs. Arnold Vann (Mavis) of Bovey; Mrs. Joseph Schwartz (Beatrice) of Bovey and Miss Marion Dahlen, who lives at home with her father, recently moved to Lawrence township.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - November 10, 1944 - "Norman Dahlen received word Monday from Mrs. Henry Dahlen of Seattle, Wash., that her husband, Sgt. Henry Dahlen had been killed in action October 23rd somewhere in Germany. Henry Orvill Dahlen was born in Winona in 1913, and moved with his parents to Wabana in 1927. In 1934 he went to Seattle, Washington, where he was married in June of 1942. Sgt. Dahlen was in the Army Signal Corps, and has been overseas for 21 months. He leaves besides his wife in Seattle, Wash.; his father of Lawrence Lake; five sisters, Mrs. Herman Polzin of Lawrence Lake, Mrs. Alex Trboyevich, Mrs. Arnold Vann, Mrs. Joseph Schwartz, all of Bovey, and Marion at home."

    Henry Dahlen is buried in Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery Memorial, Leige, Belgium (Plot G, Row 7, Grave 64).

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    This newspaper article appeared in the Bloomington Sun, Blomington, Minnesota on April 19, 2001:

    Soldier’s family gets medals 56 years after they were awarded
    Grieving father turned away Army officials in 1944
    The Bloomington family of a World War II soldier recently received the medals he had earned – 56 years after his death. U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn., presented the medals to the family of Henry Orval Dahlen, a U.S. Army Tech 4 from McGrath, Minn., just prior to a town meeting in Burnsville on April 12. Bea Schwartz of Bloomington, Dahlen’s sister, represented the family in accepting the awards, said her daughter, Eileen Schwartz.
    When U.S. Army officials arrived at the family home in October 1944, with the news that Dahlen had been killed in action, his father, Norman Dahlen, was so overcome with grief that he turned them away without accepting the medals, Eileen Schwartz said. “He just shooed them away,” she said. “He couldn’t accept it at the time.”
    Family members began researching Henry Dahlen’s military record several years ago, Eileen Schwartz said. “We knew Uncle Buddy had medals coming to him; we just weren’t sure what they were,” she said. Ultimately, it was determined that Henry Dahlen was entitled to a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, a Combat Infantryman’s Badge and an Honorable Service lapel button.
    Henry Dahlen served with the U.S. Third Army and was killed Oct. 23, 1944. His remains were interred at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium, she said. Family members had a difficult time obtaining official records of Dahlen’s service, especially since some were destroyed in a fire at a federal records center in St. Louis, according to Eileen Schwartz.
    In addition to the medals, the family also received a U.S. flag of the type used in formal military burial services, Eileen Schwartz said. She said the medals will become deeply cherished keepsakes for the family.
    Compiled by Harvey T. Rockwood

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):