Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Recognizing Another Central Minnesota Hero

Occasionally, we recognize veterans and their actions during the wars of the 20th century.  The actions of Jack Bade, Frances Beck, and Charlie Brown have all been documented on these blog pages.  We need to expand the borders of Sherburne County to acknowledge the bravery of another young man from central Minnesota.  

Loading Bombs during WW II

In 1943, Malcom H Trombley, from Rogers, served in the United State Army.  As a private, he worked as part of an armament crew.  The crew loaded bombs into planes in the China-Burma-India theatre of World War Two.   

The newspapers noted his bravery in service when he rescued his entire loading crew from near disaster.  According to the newspaper reports, a crew member noticed a burning fuse on a bomb as the crew loaded it into a plane.  The entire crew ran for cover, fully expecting to die in coming second.  Trombley bravely removed the fuse from the bomb and threw it in the air just as it exploded. 

Although never recognized from the Army, Trombley’s crew mates acknowledged his courage.  A notice posted on a bulletin board in crew barracks read: “Private Trombley—who in the face of grave danger to himself, did on April 6, 1943, remove from a demolition bomb the tail fuse, which had been made live.” 

The notice went on to say, “We the guys who came so close to saying ‘hello’ to St. Peter, offer Private Trombley our thanks and are sorry we don’t have the power to award him a medal appropriate to the bravery displayed.” 

With the end of the war, Private Trombley returned to central Minnesota and a quiet life.  Little mention of any of the brave actions he took during his years in service.  Yet, a tradition of recognizing veterans of the World Wars remains an important feature of many blogs posts and social media that we happily join. 

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