Medals and Badges Pfc. Aldahl probably won
James A. Aldahl’s father was John, the son of Torkel and Julia Aldahl, born May 15, 1873 in Udolpho township, where he attended school, completing his education at a school in St. Ansgar, Iowa.
Sophia Aldahl Bolstad, James’ mother, was born December 29, 1885 at Trempleau County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Bretha Wathe and Andrew Bolstad. She attended school in Trempleau County. On March 7, 1911 he was married to Sophie Bolstad of Independence, Wisconsin at Trempleau County.
The family home was established in udolpho township, later they moved to Barron, Wisconsin, where they resided for five years, then Minnesota again drew them to this city and vicinity, with a few years spent in Owatonna.
Three children came to the Aldal home: three boys Torkel Bernard Aldahl (July 7, 1914 – 21 October, 1980); James Arnold Aldahl (February 14, 1916 - April 15, 1945); Carl (1917 - 1918). James’ father died in March of 1919. He was survived by his wife Sophie and two children, Torkel resides in Cass Lake, Wisconsin, and James resides in Austin. They lived at 813 E. Water in Mower County, Minnesota. James Aldahl was confirmed to the Lutheran Church on November 24, 1929.
Patch of the 10th Mountain Div.
Pfc. Aldahl served in Company A of the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment and fought in two Campaigns ( Aleutians and Northern Apennines). In the early morning of April 15, 1945 Pfc. James Aldahl was Killed in Action near Hill 903 Torre Iussi, Italy. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal. The citation states that in the initial phase of a major offensive by mountain infantrymen against a fiercely resisting enemy, so many casualties were sustained by the intensity of enemy fire and the terrific number of deadly mines, that the litter bearers were unable to take care of the large number of wounded men.
Pfc. Aldahl realizing the great danger involved, but also the dire necissity for the immediate treatment and evacuation of the injured, voluntarily worked throughout the fiercest fire to aid in removing many men from the hazardous area. When all possible assistance had been given these wounded men, he started to go back to his unit, and while making his way forward, he was hit, at age 29, by a mortar brust that hit the crest of the hill , dying almost at once. Pfc. Jacob H. Beal and Kenneth L. Grant were wounded with him. The men suffered that night because of the lack of water, and had little to eat. Many of the mules of the Italian Alpini Pack units were killed as they went forward with supplies. All through the night German mortar rounds came in, but casualties were light.
The citation, by President Truman, pointed out that Pfc. Aldahl’s courage and high concern for the welfare of others, saved much suffering and life.
Pfc. Aldahl's Purple Heart Certificate
Pfc. Aldahl's Tag
From April 14 till April 16 the regiment had 110 KIA/DOW and 436 WIA. The total number of men who fought in Italy in the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment was 4,781. Of these, 1,727 (36%) were replacements who joined the regiment in Italy. Total casualties in the 87th were 1,593: 311 killed or died of wounds incurred in action, 1281 wounded, and 1 taken prisoner of war.
Sophie Aldahl died in 1960 and James’ only brother left in 1980. Sophie has been buried together with her husband and 3 sons at Red Oak Grove Cemetery, Udolpho Township, Mower County, Minnesota.