Dickinson County

Pfc. Bernard “Pat” Grow

Born 15 Aug 1914
Died 01 Dec 1944


Pvt. Bernard L. Grow of Terril is now enroute to the Philippines according to word received by his parents at Terril. He recently left California for the Philippines, and wrote his parents from Honolulu. His present address is C. A. C. (Casual Det.) Phil. Dept., Ft. McDowell, Angel Island, Calif., 17032617

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, December 11, 1941, Page 5

Terril Youth Is Safe In Philippines

Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Grow of Terril were made happy Tuesday when they received a cablegram from their son, Bernard Grow, from the Philippines assuring them of his safety. No word had been received from “Pat” since he left Honolulu November 4 for the Philippines until the cable came at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. It had been sent from Manila at 10 o’clock that morning. It read, Dear Folks. Am well and happy. Manila is still here and so am I. Bernard L. Grow, Headquarters Co., Manila.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, December 18, 1941, Page 1

Terril Folks Receive Letter From Their Son

Editor and Mrs. G. A. Grow of the Terril Record felt they received some of the best news of the week Wednesday, a letter from their son, Bernard “Pat” Grow, who is with the U. S. Army forces in the Far East. Since November 9, 1941, the only word received from the youth was a cablegram on December 16 that he was well and safe.

The letter received Wednesday was mailed February 12, and informed them that “Pat” was on Bataan peninsula, 100 miles from Manila. He stated that he was well, but had twice suffered bruises from flying rocks.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, April 02, 1942, Page 4

News Letter from the Terril Community

On Saturday, letters which have been written Bernard Grow, who has been stationed in Manilla (sic) and the Philippines since before December 7, were returned. Some letters which the family had written in October were among them. This looks as though Bernard will think home folks have forgotten him completely. Nothing has been heard of his whereabouts since the Japs have taken over Bataan – that was where he was last heard from, but the war department says he is not listed among any missing or casualties group.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, April 30, 1942, Page 9

Bernard “Pat” Grow, Terril,
Listed With Missing At Corrigedor

Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Grow of Terril, Saturday received word from the Adjutant General’s office stating that their son, Bernard “Pat” Grow, was listed as missing in action as of May 7, the final surrender of Corrigedor. The word stated that the youth may be a Japanese prisoner, and if further word is learned the parents will be notified at once.

Bernard, who was graduated from the Terril high school in 1932, had been associated with his parents in the publication of the Terril Record until his enlistment on Sept. 28, 1941. He enlisted in the coast artillery and chose the Philippines to take his training. He left Fort McDowell, Calif., Oct. 27 for the Islands. The last word received from him was a letter he had written Febr. 12, and which was received by his parents April. 1.

Mr. and Mrs. Grow are not giving up hope for the ultimate safety of their son and return to his Dickinson county home.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, May 28, 1942, Page 6

Terril Man Located

Mr. and Mrs. G. Grow got the letter from Adjutant General Ulle Friday verifying the telegraphic report that Bernard L. Grow is a prisoner of the Japanese government in the Philippines and also a letter from the Provost Marshall giving the information that “We may communicate with our son” and how to address him. Packages may not be sent and letters are sent through the Red Cross in Tokyo, as there is no mail base in the Philippines.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, February 25, 1943, Page 5

Pfc. Bernard “Pat” Grow Writes From Jap Prison Camp

Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Grow, who operate the Terril Record, Friday received the first direct word from their son, Pfc. Bernard “Pat” Grow, who is held in a Japanese prison camp. He stated in the card, which he signed himself, that his health was fair, he was receiving medical treatment and he hoped his parents were well.

Mr. and Mrs. Grow had no word from their son for sixteen months. He enlisted in the U. S. Coast Artillery Oct. 27, 1941 and after only a short period of training was sent to the Philippine Islands. After the fall of Bataan, he was listed as missing in action and later was reported as a prisoner of the Japanese.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, August 19, 1943, Page 8


Saturday, George Grow received a communication from the War Department, written the 6th of December, mailed in Washington the 7th and reaching here the 9th, stating that their son, Pfc. Bernard L. Grow, had been removed from the Philippines to the Prison Camp Fukuoka, Island of Honshu, Japan. That’s all there was to it. He has been a prisoner in the Philippines since the fall of Corregidor in May, 1942, now he has been moved to this camp in Japan.


Dec. 11, 1944

Dear Boys in Service.

Christmas, by the calendar, is just two weeks away. A small snow storm is in progress here. Radio reports said Iowa City had the heaviest snow fall in the state last evening. It was 11 inches. This is the light fluffy kind that doesn’t seem to make much progress, but of course we know it can change any time. It really hasn’t been very cold by the thermometer yet, but it has taken quite a lot of fuel, probably because it has been gray and damp so much of the time.

There was a sailor and a soldier (not together) in town last week, but we didn’t seem to know either of them. As far as we know there is no one home on leave now. In fact, there isn’t much to write about which we want to write. . . .

In the mail Saturday morning came a letter to us from the War Department saying that Pfc. Bernard L. Grow has been transferred from the Philippines to Prison Camp Fukuoka, Island of Honshu, Japan. The letter was written the 6th of December, mailed the 7th and received the 9th.

We have looked up what data we had on this camp and find there are 19 branch camps. It was inspected in April of 1944 by the Swiss Red Cross. There is 1 ½ acres in buildings, which are said to be electric lighted, heated with charcoal brazlers, with running water, hot and cold showers, sanitary toilet facilities, water for washing, a fair menu, with a shortage of proteins. The average weight is said to be 143. The prison is close to mines and the prisoners work 9 day, 8 hours per day, and have the 10th day off. I am just quoting the Prisoner of War bulletin, wherein there was an article in the August number.

Whether Pat got there in time to greet the earthquake, how it affected the prison camps, and all, is just something we know nothing about. We had rather hoped that if MacArthur took the Philippines and one by one the prison camps were released, maybe within a year of two the one Bernard was in would be released too. But it seems he’s not the one to be a jump ahead of trouble, but one of the numerous ones who are on hand when trouble comes. One man said in the office Saturday, “the only way we can look at it is the One who has kept Pat so far, will see him through the rest of it.”

Don’t get the idea that we think Pat is the only one in the war or anything like that, but he is our only son and has been in the darnedest places for 3 years, which is close to 26,280 hours.

We have had the Merry Christmas from Joe Fiasst, one from George Lee Liddle and one from Ralph Layman since our last letter.

Wednesday: The sun is trying to break through, but it remains cold and blusterly.

~Mrs. Grow

Source: The Terrill Record, Terril, Iowa, Thursday, December 14, 1944, Page 1

Grows Receive Card From Bernard L. Grow, POW

The Grow family received another one of those Japanese Prisoner of War cards from Bernard Monday, January 15. It has no date and it is from Military Prison Camp No. 10-C, Philippine Islands. This must have been several months ago, before he was taken to the island of Honshu, where they have earthquakes. The message was as follows:

I am interned at Philippine Military Prison Camp No. 10-C.
My health is excellent.
Dear Folks: Hope this finds all of you in good health. I am in good health and feel fine. Give my regards to the folks in town. Tell the kids I’m all right. Write to me sometime. Love to all the family from your son.
Bernard L. Grow

Source: The Terrill Record, Terril, Iowa, Thursday, January 18, 1945, Page 1

Grows Received Another Card From Bernard Friday

The George Grow folks got another card from Pfc. Bernard L. Grow, POW of the Japs. This differed from the other six in that it was dated. No other word received from him since the cablegram Dec. 16, 1941 and the letter that was written Feb. 12 and received April 1, 1942 has borne a date. While this was over 8 months in coming and he was still in the Philippines (that is it was written before he was taken to Japan) it seemed the most like him of anything we have had in nearly years. And he did get the package sent in August 1943 via the exchange ship Gripsholm.

The message of the card follows:

Dear Folks: Got you package and letters, was glad to hear from you. No clothes next time, tobacco, medicine, food fine. Am fairly well now. Hope all are well at home. My regards to all. Birthday greetings to Mom and Denny. Thanks for the box.
Bernard L. Grow
May 6, 1944

We see by other papers that other people are getting cards thru now. It must be that the Nips got big hearted and released a lot of them. We think now it would make us happier to get some word from him after he arrived in Japan.

Source: The Terrill Record, Terril, Iowa, Thursday, January 25, 1945, Page 1

Card Comes From Bernard L. Grow, Japan

May 22, the Grow family received a card from their son, Bernard, a Japanese prisoner of war since the fall of Corregidor, May 1942. This is the first word that has been received from him since he was taken from Cabanataun prison camp in the Philippines. Word came from the war department December 9, 1944 that he had been removed to Japan. The card says:

Oct. 11, 1944
Dear Folks: Am in fine health. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Hope you are all well. Am in Japan now. Please write. Regards to all. Your son, Bernard L. Grow.

The signature was positively his and it is presumed that the typing is his also as it is rather amateurish. This card came from Fukuoka Furyp Shuyosho.

From October to May is a long time but all the word which the Grow family have had from their son has been months apart. It is something to know that at least he landed in Japan.

Source: The Terrill Record, Terril, Iowa, Thursday, May 24, 1945, Page 1

Bernard Grow Of Terril Now Prisoner on Jap Honshu Island

Editors Grow of Terril have recently been notified that their son, Bernard, who was taken as a Jap prisoner at the time they took the Philippines, was later moved to the Island of Honshu, where the Fukuota Prison camp is located.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, April 12, 1945, Page 2

Bernard L. Grow, Terril,
Died in Jap Prison [photo included]


(The Milford Mail)

One of the sad war casualties of this county became known on Monday of this week, when Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Grow of Terril, publishers of the Terril Record, received word of the death of their son, Pfc. Bernard L. Grow, in a Japanese prison camp Dec. 1, 1944.

The word came from a doctor who was in charge of the prison camp, a major in the U. S. medical corps. He wrote that Bernard had died of pulmonary tuberculosis and malnutrition.

Bernard L. Grow was born at Bayard, Iowa, August 15, 1914. He came to Terril about 18 years ago with his parents. In Terril he received his schooling and assisted his parents with the operation of The Terril Record. “Pat,” as he was better known to his friends, entered the service Sept. 23, 1941, enlisting in the coast artillery. He left for the Philippines Oct. 28, 1941, to receive his army training.

Pat barely had time to reach the Philippines and start training when war broke out. He was taken prisoner by the Japs with the fall of Corregidor. He was moved from the Philippines June 26, 1944, and arrived in Japan Sept. 2, 1944. The last word received from Pat was a form card written from a prison camp Oct. 11, 1944, and received here May 11, 1945.

Pat was quite generally known over the county through his newspaper work. He gave his life in an effort to help his country. His friends will long remember his for his likable, easy going disposition, and his friendly manners. We know that Pat would have been proud to have returned home and found the war record made by his parents. They have supported the war effort in their community a little stronger than any newspaper people we know of.

The sympathy of the entire country goes to Bernard’s survivors, his mother and father, two sisters, two nephews and one niece.


Bernard Lyon Grow, eldest child and only son of Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Grow, was born at Bayard, August 15, 1914. In January 1919 the family moved to Thief River Falls, Minn., and in June 1920 they moved to Ellsworth, Iowa. In June 1922, they moved to Kiron where they stayed until November 1928 when they moved to Terril. Bernard was a freshman then. He graduated in 1932. His sister, Georgia, just a year younger, went through all 12 grades with him and they were really closer in companionship than most youngsters that age. After he graduated, he helped his uncle, the late Percy Lyon, in the Schleswig Leader. He also worked a short time for T. M. Bragg in Lake Park. Otherwise he helped in the Record office.

Bernard enlisted in the Coast Artillery Sept. 28, 1941. He chose the Philippines for his training and left Angel Island, Calif., Oct. 27, 1941.

One letter written on shipboard, one letter written February 12, 1942 received April 1, 1942, and 8 Japanese supervised cards have been all the word we have received.

The letter that we received Monday is published here. It is about the most we have heard about him in three and one-half years. While it is not from the War Department, we are afraid it is final because it states that this doctor took care of him.

Besides his parents, he has two sisters, Georgia Moore of Austin, Minn., and Nona Branden here with us. Georgia has two children, Mary, nine, and Billy, eight, and Nona has a son, Dennis, seven.

Later, when the word from the War Department is received, there will be memorial services no doubt.

The community and many in the county will mourn the awful death of this fine boy.

922 S. Jefferson Ave.
Saginawa, Michigan
November 8, 1945

Mrs. G. A. Grow
Terril, Iowa

Dear Mrs. Grow:

I am Major Harold M. Imerman, Medical Corps. I was doctor-in-charge of the prisoner-of-war camp at Japan where I treated your son. I regret to say that your son passed away. Everything possible that we could do under the most abnormal and trying conditions was done. Unfortunately we were not able to get the necessary drugs or sufficient food to treat our sick. You son was fine lad and conducted himself in a splendid manner all during the imprisonment. He kept up his morale all during the time.

I am extremely sorry to have to report to you this unfortunate incident, but I want you to know that nothing was left undone to help your boy.

Your son, Bernard, left the Philippines June 26, 1944 and arrived at Japan September 2, 1944. I feel it my duty to tell you of the diagnosis and cause of the death of your son. Bernard died on the first day of December, 1944 from Pulmonary Tuberculosis and malnutrition.

Any further information that I can give you regarding your son, Bernard, do not hesitate to write me.

Harold M. Imerman
Medical Corps.


Nov. 14, 1945
Dear Service Boys,

For almost four years we have been trying to offer comfort to parents of boys who were in a spot, or who had been killed. Monday our hopes were all crashed in one fell swoop. The story is in another place in the paper. It is not a pretty story. It is only by concentrated effort that we are able to publish at all. We have the promise of art Schunaman and his operator, Jay Lighter from Milford to help us tomorrow or we do not know as we would try. But, on the other hand, if we let the paper go one week, it would be that much harder next week. And life does go on.

In 1917 I wrote my mother’s obituary to publish in our paper. In 1918 I wrote my father’s obituary for our paper; in 1934 I wrote my eldest brother’s life story to publish in his paper under my supervision. Now, I must try and write something about our only boy.

You boys all knew Bernard. There is little to be said. So far as we know he had not an enemy in an active sense of the word. The reason for this cruel and awful death we will never know.

For four years everything has been done by us to the time ‘Pat would be home.” Now everything seems so very futile and pointless.

My heart seemed to stop beating when we heard of Maurice’s, LeRoy’s, Milton’s, Jerry’s deaths, and other boys whom we have known or whose families we know. Now it beats but in a sea of ice. It is said time eases all things. Now it does not seem possible that we can ever breathe right, see right, sleep right, talk or think intelligently. And well we know that we are but one family in millions.

The following quotation came in a letter from a dear friend, “When grief is great enough it cuts down until it finds the very soul, i=and this is agony. And he who has it does not seek to share it with another, for he knows that no other human being can comprehend it – it belongs to him alone, and he is dumb. There is dignity and sanctity and grace about suffering; It holds a chastening and purifying quality that makes a king or queen of him who has it. Only the silence of night dare look upon it and no sympathy save God’s can mitigate it.”

There is no silly patter, the day is gray. Colder weather seems imminent.

May God be good to you and bring you home.

Do you know, of all the boys from here in the service, probably Bernard is the only one who never had a Terril Record after Sept. 1941, and who had very few, if any letters, and nothing to know how the home folks and home town loved him.

Love, Mrs. Grow

Source: The Terrill Record, Terril, Iowa, Thursday, November 15, 1945, Page 1

IN MEMORIAM [photo included]

It is with great sadness that we think of the news that we have recently heard of Bernard Grow, or Pat as we like to remember him. He is another of the illustrious alumni who have given their greatest sacrifice for the presentation of our democratic way of life.

We students in school do not remember him as a fellow student, for he was graduated before we began. We do remember him as a friend about town, and like to recall his friendly smile and greeting to even us little “kids”. We do know that a person with this type of personality must have been a contributing influence to school when he was there.

Pat, your suffering for us in the hands of our infamous enemy, makes all of us sad. Words are too empty to thank you for what you have given us and other school students in the world. Your going does not mean that we will forget. Your memory will live with us as an example of great courage in the performance of duty for the sake of others.

Source: The Terrill Record, Terril, Iowa, Thursday, November 22, 1945, Page 8

Memorial Service for Bernard Grow Dec. 2

The telegram from the War Department came November 24, verifying other reports which the G. A. Grow family have had of the death of Pfc. Bernard Lyon Grow. He died of tuberculosis and malnutrition at 5:15 a. m. Dec. 1, 1944 on the Island of Honshu, Japan, a prisoner for 2 years and 7 months.

Memorial services will be held December 2, 1945 at the Methodist church at Terril at 2:30 p. m. Rev. Harvey Nelson of Sibley and Capt. M. L. Jones of Spencer will have charge of the services, assisted by the local pastor, Rev. Clarence Thompson.

T. Sgt. Robert H. Jones of Seattle, called long distance Wednesday and said if he could get plane reservations he would be here for the services. His letter regarding Bernard is in another column.

The American Legion will have charge of their part of the service.

Letter from Man Who Knew Bernard
in the Philippine Islands

24 November 1945

Dear Friends:

Your letter of November the 20th was received in this morning’s mail. I am sorry that I have not written to you before as I have definitely meant to. However, so many things have happened since I have returned to the United States that I just haven’t been able to get a lot of things done that I wanted to.

Your son, Bernard, went to work for me in the Army Postal Service a few months prior to the outbreak of war in the Philippines. He seemed to enjoy his work in our office very much, and I can truthfully say that he was one of the most conscientious men that has ever worked for me. Any work that I laid out for him, I would feel assured that it would be completed to satisfaction.

I am not sure about his complete internment by the Japanese, but I believe that he spent the most of it at Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Most of the time he was quite active and in fairly good health although he had lost quite a little weight. That was typical of everyone and was not serious. Later on he had a slight touch of Malaria and Dysentary (sic), but was not nearly as ill as the majority of men were with those diseases. I was fortunate enough to be able to see that none of the men in my office were ever in want for tobacco or cigarettes while they were in Cabanatuan. Later, of course, we all suffered for want of these luxuries.

On the 2nd of July 1944, he, myself, and 1,012 other men left Manila enroute to Japan. Don’t confuse this trip with the last ship from the Philippines which had such a terrible fate. [NOTE: This last ship was torpedoed and most of the prisoners died.] Things were getting through there and at that time it was still somewhat of a voluntary proposition, but had he stayed I am sure that he never would have made it. As it was, he stood a chance. However, as it turned out, we had a rather hard trip. We spent 62 days enroute to Mojie, an immigration port in central Japan. Food was short and so was the water, so that all the men that arrived were in a very weakened condition. However he had high spirits, but just didn’t have enough strength to make it through the cold winter which followed. I was deeply grieved to think that he was unable to make it the rest of the way, but with the beatings and tortures that followed in that camp, perhaps it was for the best after all. I certainly would have hated to see him endure such things in his weakened condition. To my knowledge he was never beaten or mistreated in that manner.

From Mojie we were taken to a place called Omine Machi, on Southern Honchu (sic) where we worked the coal mines, but I don’t believe that Bernard was ever in the mines himself. He died at this camp on December the1st and was cremated the following day, with as much of a military funeral as we were allowed to have. Taps were played. I personally boxed his remains, and I am sure that they will reach you, or you will be notified of them in due time through official channels. Should you want, write me and I will trace them for you.

I am very sorry that my first letter to you folks is in regards to such circumstances, but I am trying to answer the questions that I know that you would want answered. Bernard was a very good friend of mine and a mighty good soldier.

I hope that you folks will all feel free to write me again, as this letter will no doubt open new questions that you will want answered. I am leaving on my vacation early next month and will go to Missouri and from there to Mexico City, but I will arrange for my mail to be forwarded to me. If I can be of any service to you in any manner, be sure to let me know.

Bernard’s friend,
Bob Jones
Robert H. Jones, Jr.
Tech. Sgt., D. E. M. L.
United States Army

Source: The Terrill Record, Terril, Iowa, Thursday, November 29, 1945, Page 1

Grows Receive Word From War Dept.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Grow:

This office has been requested to furnish you information concerning your son, the late Private First Class Bernard L. Grow.

The official Report of Burial discloses that the cremated remains of your son were interred in a crypt, File Number 3, in the United States Armed Forces Cemetery No. 2, Manilia, Luzon, Philippine Islands.

Please accept my sincere sympathy in the loss of your son.

William E. Reid.
1st Lieut., QMC

Source: The Terrill Record, Terril, Iowa, Thursday, August 01, 1946, Page 1

NOTE: The two front doors of the new Terril Library were donated by tbe Grow family in memory of Bernard L. “Pat” Grow. ~ The Terrill Record, Thursday, April 13, 1950, Page 1.