Prewar Life

Entrance into Service

Postwar Life and Career


Bernard Allen Dearey was born in August 1927 in Perry, Iowa. He was an only child. He was a letter carrier for the post office for 20 years in Perry. His father was a superintendent at the water department. In 1967, Dearey moved to Milwaukee [Annotator’s Note: Milwaukee, Wisconsin]. Before his mother got married, she owned a hat shop and was the first woman to buy a car in town. His father was drafted for World War 1 [Annotator's Note: World War 1, global war originating in Europe; 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918], but the war ended before he was called up. Growing up during the Depression [Annotator's Note: the Great Depression was a global economic depression that lasted from 1929 through 1939 in the United States] was tough, but things worked out later. They lived in a small town, and as a child, Dearey liked to go fishing in a nearby creek. He played sports and ran track. He had a paper route when he was between 12 and 15. He heard about Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941] on his way home from the movies. He was drafted in 1945 and was sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The war ended while he was there, so he was sent home to graduate. As soon as he graduated, he was shipped to Fort Lewis near Seattle [Annotator’s Note: Seattle, Washington].


Bernard Allen Dearey was sent to Fort Snelling, Minnesota for induction, and then went to Fort Sheridan, Illinois for a short time. He then went to Fort Lewis, Washington for basic training. His mother was upset he had to leave, but they managed. Dearey had never left Iowa before this. After boot camp, he went to Fort Lawton [Annotator’s Note: near Seattle, Washington]. Most of the men were sent to Japan for occupation duty, but Dearey was sent to Texas and ended up with the 2nd Armored Division. The war had ended at this point. Dearey was attached to the MPs [Annotator's Note: military police] for a while and did a lot of guard duty. He once got to go to New Orleans [Annotator’s Note: New Orleans, Louisiana] for a parade in honor of General Wainwright [Annotator's Note: US Army General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, IV]. He had been a prisoner of the Japs [Annotator's Note: a period derogatory term for Japanese] in the Philippines. They were able to sight see and go into town. Dearey was discharged in 1947. The Army kept trying to get him to reenlist by offering to make him a sergeant, but he had had enough.


Bernard Allen Dearey got married in 1950. When the Korean War [Annotator's Note: Korean War, 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953] started, Dearey was drafted again. He went to the draft board who suggested he join the National Guard, so he did. He was in the Guard in his hometown for three years. They were activated once, but the next morning it was canceled. He was discharged as a corporal. When he got back to his hometown [Annotator’s Note: Perry, Iowa], he could not find work. He decided to use the G.I. Bill [Annotator's Note: the G.I. Bill, or Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, was enacted by the United States Congress to aid United States veterans of World War 2 in transitioning back to civilian life and included financial aid for education, mortgages, business starts and unemployment] to go to junior college. He was offered a job in the post office, and left college to take the job. He was a letter carrier for 20 years. In 1967, he moved to Milwaukee [Annotator’s Note: Milwaukee, Wisconsin] to work for Steiner Laundry. His wife was a nurse and worked at Briggs and Stratton Corporation. They both retired in 1993 and moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Dearey got to see a lot of the country while in the service. He and his wife had four children.

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