Albert Joe Brunner was born on July 29, 1922 in Adams County, Decatur, Indiana. His father was Herman Brunner and his mother was Hazel Sapp. He had a brother named Lester who was two years older than him, and another brother named Billy Dale, who was two years younger than him. They lived in Berne and Geneva, Indiana most of their lives.

Albert Brunner went to Jefferson Center school and later Pleasant Mills High School for three years before dropping out. Albert and his brothers were needed at home to help out on the farm at home. Though they worked on the farm, all the brothers were lanky. Albert was 67 inches tall and weighed in at only 125 pounds. Eventually Albert began working in an unskilled position processing dairy products.

Brunner2.jpgAlbert Brunner went to Toledo, Ohio to enlist in the war on November 12, 1942. He joined the Army and went into the 302d Cavalry Reconnaissance Sq. They had campaigns at Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea and Leyte, Luzon. His troops was directly dealing with the Japanese and allowed the Americans to get a foothold on that side of the world next to their enemy. When the 302d Cavalry Reconnaissance Sq. was sent across the Pacific they found themselves in New Guinea patrolling the coastal lines on Manus Island. In the final destruction of the Japanese, the 302d Cavalry Reconnaissance troop demonstrated its skill in hunting and ambushing an enemy in unknown and difficult territory. The troops then moved on to Leyte which they captured by the end of December in 1944. While in Leyte the 1st Cavalry was given the mission to rescue almost 4,000 American civilians interned at Manila by the Japanese. The 302d Cavalry Reconnaissance Sq. helped to form a flying spearhead on the rescue mission. They eventually overtook Manila also, which had been the main objective while in Leyte. After Manila was capture they then moved on to Luzon. The 302d Cavalry Reconnaissance Sq. took part in the liberation on of the Philippines from the Japanese. This was the beginning of the end for the Japanese. With the constant onslaught and fighting, eventually the Japanese were ready to surrender because of their lack of artillery and munitions to fight back.Brunner3.jpg

Albert Brunner was killed in action on March 31,1945 at the Battle of Luzon in the Philippine Islands. He was temporarily buried in the U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery in Batangas, Philippine Island. His body was later taken and reburied at Berne, Indiana in the M.R.E. cemetery. He's brothers carried on the family legacy but have both passed away. Bill had two daughters who survived him. His other brother Lester had three daughters and two sons to carry on the Brunner name.

Albert Brunner was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the American Defense Campaign, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign, Good Conduct, WW2 Victory, Philippine Liberation, and the Purple Heart. He served in nine battles that gave him one leaf and four stars decorating his Asiatic Pacific Campaign ribbon. He was never wounded in combat until the day he was killed in action and earned the Purple Heart.

Information researched and collected by Miranda Lockwood, 2015.


"Capturing of Outlying Islands." Last Stages. United States Army, 28 June 2001. Web.11 Nov. 2015.

Fifer, Nancy. "Albert Brunner." Personal interview. 22 Nov. 2015.

Indiana Historical Bureau, comp. Gold Star Honor Roll: Adams County. Bloomington:Indiana War History Commission, 1949. Print. Vol. 1 of Indiana in World War II.

National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army EnlistmentRecords, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.