Emory E. St. John

   Branch: U. S. Army


   Status: Died in Service

   Date of Service: 1944-1945

   Home Town: Roy Lake

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Emery Eugene St. John (Indian name Ah begahwegahbow) was born October 17, 1917 in Roy Lake, Minnesota to parents David (Indian name Ke zhe bah gwon abe) and Josephine Durant St. John. Both David and Josephine were members of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe Indians.

Emery grew up in White Earth with his siblings George, Emma, James and Louisa St. John and his half-siblings Daniel, Dean, and Mary Jane Ottershaw.

Emery registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 when he was 23 years old. He was living in Lengby at the time and was 5’8” tall, 150 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

It is not known at this time what date Emery was inducted into the Army, but he was sent to be a part of Rifle Company B, 345th Infantry Regiment, 87th Infantry Division.

The 87th trained at Fort Jackson, South Carolina until October, 1944, when they received their overseas orders. They left New York on October 17, 1944 and arrived in England on November 12, where they trained for nearly a month. They landed in Le Havre, France in the first few days of December where they almost immediately went into action taking Fort Driant, five miles southwest of Metz, France.

The 87th Division was moving into Germany when German Field Marshal Von Rundstedt launched his offensive in the Ardennes Forest, now called the Battle of the Bulge. During this period the 345th assisted in taking the villages of Amberloup, Bonnerue, Gerimont, Jenneville, Pirompre, Remagne, Moircy, Vesqueville, St. Hubert and Tillet.

On February 6, 1945, the 345th Infantry breached the Siegfried Line, beginning the Division’s campaign in the Rhineland and the thrust across Hitler’s Germany.

Pfc. Emery St. John never got to see the end of the successful campaign. He was killed in action on February 28, 1945. His body was returned to the U.S. at the end of the war and interred in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, not far from that of his half-brother, Dean Ottershaw, who had been killed three months earlier in action in Leyte. Their mother Josephine became a Gold Star Mother twice over.

Emery St. John was 27 years old.