Branch: U. S. Army

   Rank:  Private First Class

   Status: Killed in action

   Date of Service: WWII

   Home Town: Nora Township

Martin Forsberg’s headstone in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu

Martin Forsberg was born December 24, 1918 in Nora Township, Clearwater County, Minnesota, to parents Carl J and Anette B. Emerson Forsberg.  Carl Forsberg had immigrated from Sweden in 1893 and Anette was born in Wisconsin of Norwegian immigrant parents. The couple met and married in 1902. Carl was a farmer. When he wasn’t working a farm of his own, he was working as a farm laborer for another owner.  By 1910, Carl and Anette had three daughters: Alma, Anna and Claire. Daughter Agnes came along in 1914 and Martin, their only son and the youngest child in 1918.

Martin was only four years old when his mother died.  He attended country school in Nora Township through the eighth grade. When he reached his majority, Martin left for Minneapolis and found a job working for Wright Manufacturing Company. He was working there when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 in Minneapolis. He was 5’10” tall, 170 pounds, with hazel eyes and brown hair. He listed his 25-year-old sister Agnes as his next of kin. She was working as a maid at the Lake Julia Sanitarium in Puposky, Minnesota at the time.

It is not known whether Martin enlisted in the Army or was drafted, but by the fall of 1942 he was a member of the 147th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division.  The 37th Infantry Division arrived in the Fiji Islands in June, 1942 to fortify the islands against possible invasion. From there they moved to Guadalcanal. The Japanese had begun to construct an airfield on the north coast of Guadalcanal which presented a threat to Australia. The U.S. Marines landed on the island in August of 1942 and secured the airfield without too much difficulty, but holding the airfield for the next six months became one of the most hotly contested campaigns in the entire war for the control of ground, sea and skies. Guadalcanal became a major turning point in the war as it stopped Japanese expansion.

The specifics are not known, but PFC Martin Forsberg was killed in action on Guadalcanal on January 30, 1943. His body was initially buried in Guadalcanal Cemetery in the Solomon Islands. It was disinterred and transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu on February 28, 1949.  His name, regiment and division are inscribed on a flat granite stone. Martin Forsberg was 24 years old.