The Pacific battles of World War II were fought on hundreds of islands with hard to pronounce names. Chances are good that the young men who fought there had never heard of them before.
Private First Class Bert R. Noorda was born on January 8, 1919, the son of Bertus and Alida Vanderberg Noord. He was raised in Ogden in a home at 2832 Monroe.
He served an LDS mission in Holland in 1939. The missionaries were evacuated three months later when World War II broke out in Europe. He finished in the Central States Mission. After his release he married Arline Hunt and shortly after entered the army. He was able to come home in January of 1944 and see his wife and son, Steven Ray.
The island of Palau was on the way to the Philippines and General MacArthur’s promised return. Anguar was a tiny island, only 3 miles long. In 1944 the Japanese had 1400 troops on the island. The Battle of Angaur began on September 11, 1944. The 322nd Infantry Regiment of Pfc Noorda landed on September 16th. ‘They were caught in dense terrain, infested with Japanese machine guns nests and snipers.’ The objective was to capture ‘the Bowl’ a hill on the northwest of the island, where the Japanese would make their last stand. By September 25th the Americans had penetrated the Bowl. In a last ditch effort to hold on, 300 Japanese soldiers fought for three more weeks.
Ppc Noorda was killed in action on October 14, 1944, on the tiny island, 7,000 miles from his family.
His body was returned to Utah and memorial services were held on Sunday, December 17, 1944. The article said he was survived by his parents, his widow, and two sons, an infant who was born after his wife received the news of his death.
He is buried in the Aultorest Cemetery.