Herbert "Herb" Duane Mortenson

Army Badge
  • Name: Herbert "Herb" Duane Mortenson
  • Location of Birth: Langdon, North Dakota
  • Date of Birth: September 21, 1944
  • Date of Death:
  • Parents: Herbert M. and Marie E. Mortenson
  • High School and Class: 1962 - Grand Rapids High School, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • College: 1966 - Coyne Electronic Institute, Chicago, Illinois
    2012 - Oak Hills Christian College, Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: SPEC 5 (Specialist 5)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: January 10, 1968
  • Place Sworn In: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Date of Discharge: December 22, 1969
  • Place of Discharge: Fort Dix, New Jersey
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    January, 1968 March, 1968 Basic Training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
    March, 1968 July, 1968 Advanced Individual Training at Fort Ord, California
    July, 1968 December, 1969 B Company, First Battalion, 54th Infantry Division (B.I.54) at Bamberg, Germany
    January, 1974 Honorable Discharge and separation from Reserve Duty Obligation
  • Military Awards:
    National Defense Service Medal - Expert M-14
    Certificate of Completion for Basic Combat Training - March 15, 1968
    Certificate of Training CS3 Maintenance Reporting and Management System (TAERS) - July 19, 1968
    Honor Graduate of Communications Electronic Department (Organizational Maintenance of Field Radio Equipment Course SIG 9-E) - October 11, 1968
    Honor Graduate of Communications-Electronics Department (Communications Chief Course SIG 29-E) - April 11, 1969

    Certificate in Biblical Studies from Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji, Minnesota. - May, 2012

  • Military Highlights:
    The second picture shows a 55-gallon drum of Napalm gas. It simulates a small nuclear weapon. We could feel the heat 600 meters away.

    After a cold miserable basic training at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, I found myself at Ford Ord, California. What a pleasant change. In both Fort Campbell and Fort Ord we were trained on the M-14, semi-automatic, gas operated rifle (excellent weapon). The M-16's soon replaced the M-14. After Fort Ord, I arrived in Bamberg, Germany by way of the replacement center in southern Germany. My unit was B Company 1st Battalion, 54th Infantry Division of the 4th Army (B.1.54). Originally trained as a rifleman (MOS11BRAVO), I was sent to Radio Repair School in southern Germany where I earned a promotion to SP4 (E-4 pay grade). After briefly returning to my unit, I was again sent to school for Communications Chief when I earned another promotion to SPEC 5 (E-5 paygrade). I enjoyed my Army/Germany time. Never finding myself in an "enemy fire" situation, I was always thankful.

    As I approached my discharge, the Army offered me either a $ 10,000.00 re-enlistment bonus or 102 week school, where, if successfully completed, I would have been a W.O.1 (warrant officer) and assigned to a missile guidance unit or something similar. This was in December, 1969 and Vietnam was in full force which meant I probably would have found myself in Southeast Asia, if not sooner than later. I considered the 102 week school seriously but opted to become a civilian instead. On December 22, 1969, I was separated from active duty at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

    I served my country to the best of my ability and have been amply compensated ever since. Uncle Sam owes me nothing. I was needed, called, and served proudly.

  • Wars Involved:
    European Theatre (Germany)

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Returned to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, married, and spent over forty-five years self-employed.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):