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WWII POW from Beach laid to rest in ND Veterans Cemetery

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 6:45 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Harold Halstead was a father and a husband, a lawyer and an avid follower of politics.

But it was his bravery during World War Two that earned him his final resting place at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.

Harold Halstead was a 20-year-old farm boy from Beach when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Three years later he found himself gunned down in Germany.

As a bugle blares taps, and soldiers present the American flag, Halstead’s family say he would’ve appreciated the honor of being buried next to his brothers and sisters in arms.

“Deeply honored, deeply honored. I think Hal would love it, feel very appreciated and feel deeply humbled by it,” said Marie Halstead.

Halstead was co-piloting a B-17, on a mission to take out an oil factory, when his plane took fire. The Nazis captured him, and held him prisoner for nine months.

“He didn’t have enough to eat, and most times were somewhat hungry. He said that’s a terrible feeling, you never forget about it,” said Marie Halstead, Harold’s wife.

General Patton’s forces liberated him, and after the war he came home, went to law school and had children.

“He was just a good guy. He liked people. He liked a good laugh, you know, that’s what he was kind of all about. He could be serious, don’t get me wrong, but he liked a good laugh,” said Harry Halstead, Harold’s son.

Halstead’s wit kept his friends and family laughing, but it was also a way to get a message out of Germany.

Halstead got one letter back home from a prisoner of war camp. It said Ole had crashed a truck going into town. That let his parents know what happened. Well, he survived and made it back home, where he lived to 96 years old.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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