Army Badge
  • Name: William Russell Lander
  • Location of Birth: Coleraine, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: September 23, 1912
  • Date of Death: April 25, 1988
  • Parents: William J. Lander & Mary A. (Mager) Lander
  • High School and Class: 1931 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1933 Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: PFC (Private First Class)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: January 12, 1942
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: November 14, 1945
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: William Russell Lander
    Race: White
    Age: 28
    Birth Date: September 23, 1912
    Birth Place: Coleraine, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Coleraine, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: October 16, 1940
    Employer: Oliver Iron Mining Co., Coleraine, Itasca, Minnesota
    Weight: 160
    Height: 5-10
    Complexion: Dark
    Eye Color: Hazel
    Hair Color: Black
    Next of Kin: Annie Lander, mother, Coleraine, Itasca, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – October 20, 1944 – “Somewhere in Guinea, September 30, 1944. Dear Ann: A friend of mine here in our outfit gave me a Grand Rapids paper and I seen your picture and read the article about you writing to the Service Men. How’s the Sweet Shop business? I do not suppose there are many of the old gang around there any more. I hope it won’t be long before we can get back. The New Guinea campaign was over September 1st. I guess our last landing finished it up, but we are still getting a few Japs, mostly stragglers trying to get off the island. Our outfit has accounted for a lot of Japs. Sure hope the war is over soon in Europe and maybe we will get a break over here. I got a letter from Robbins. He’s doing pretty good in Italy. Wish I was over there instead of in this jungle. We get beer now and see a show quite often. Say hello to the Bovey gang, also your brother Johnny, if you see him. As ever, Wm. R. Lander.”

    Newspaper article: Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota – April 26, 1945 – “The 6th Infantry division has set a record for continuous combat against the Japanese on Luzon and probably for the entire Southwest Pacific theater of operations, according to a press release passed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters recently. Pfc. Russell Lander, one of the first Coleraine boys to enter the service in 1941, is a member of that division and is at present in a rest camp in the Philippines. The 6th, commanded by Brig. Gen. E. E. Hurdis, completed its 78 straight days in the line against the enemy on Luzon. It was one of the four divisions which landed at Lingayen Gulf on S-day January 9 and was the only one which at one time or another did not pull out of the line for a rest. The 6th, called the “Sight-seeing” division because it travelled all over France in the First World War, has killed more than 9,000 Japs on Luzon, and destroyed or captured vast quantities of enemy equipment, including 62 medium and eight light tanks, 19 armored cars, 76 ammunition dumps and 432 caves housing enemy troops and supplies. The division played a prominent role in smashing the southern flank of the heavily fortified Shimbu line in the Sierra Madre mountains east of Manila. Since beginning its offensive against the line last Feb. 21, the 6th has accounted for more than 4,800 counted Jap dead, and left hundreds of others buried in caves in the wake of its advance.”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    William Lander served in the U.S. Army during WW II in New Guinea with the 1st Infantry. He married Agnes Hachey in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 1952. He had worked for U.S. Steel (USX) in Coleraine as a Cost Accountant for 41 years retiring in 1975. He was a member of the American Legion of Coleraine and the Coleraine Senior Citizens Club.

    William died in Itasca County, Minnesota and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Coleraine, Minnesota (Block 140). He is survived by his wife, Agnes; two sisters, Violet Lander & Marvel Hutchings; and fifteen nephews and nieces.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):