Obituary Details

Lloyd Berton Roberts

(04/25/1924 - 08/23/1943)
Courtesy of Johnny & Margaret Thon Files, 12/06/2006

Pfc. Lloyd B. Roberts, Serving With U.S.Marine Corps in South Pacific, Dies, Family Notified Last Saturday

Thon Book 2, 1943
Another reminder of the ghastly toll of war was brought to this community last Saturday when word was received by the James E. Roberts family of Lusk that their second eldest son, Pfc. Lloyd Berton Roberts, 19, had died while in the service of his country. Details were lacking, and it is not known whether death to this fine young defender came as a result of battle wounds or from some other cause. Private Roberts was serving with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, and is believed to have been somewhere on the southwest Pacific theater of war.

The telegram, addressed to the youth's mother, contained the following information:

Arlington, Va.
Aug. 28-11:22 A
Mrs. Leona Roberts
Box 223, Lusk, Wyo.
Deeply regret to inform you your son, Pvt. First Class Lloyd B. Roberts U.S. Marine Corps Reserves died 23 August, 1943. To prevent possible aid to our enemies please do not divulge the name of his ship or station. Present situation necessitates interment temporarily in the locality where death occurred and you will be notified accordingly.

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy. Letter follows.
T. Holcomb
Lieut. General USMC Commandment, US Marine Corps.

Alone with her younger children when the message came, Mrs. Roberts was rendered prostrate with grief. Mr. Roberts who had been working at Little Buffalo Basin near Meeteetse, could not be reached until Saturday afternoon. He was unable to arrive home until early Sunday morning, although every aid was accorded him in providing the quickest transportation from the Basin country.

Private Roberts' military service dates back to October 11, 1942, when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was one of seventeen Wyoming youths making up the "Avenger Squadron," which left Casper last October 25th for San Diego, where he was assigned to the Marine Corps Reserve. At San Diego he went through "boot camp" and preliminary training and was the only one under 21 years of age of a platoon of 60 to be sent on to North Island for advanced training. He embarked for overseas service January 8th this year.

Besides his parents, Private Roberts is survived by three sisters and seven brothers: Mrs. Margie Wilson, of Lance Creek; James Ralph, who has been with the U.S. Naval forces since December 8, 1941 and who is now presumed to be somewhere in the South Pacific war zone; Kathleen, Harold, Donald, Wesley, Evelyn, Jack, Alvin and Larry Gene, all of whom reside at the family home in this city.

Private Roberts was a true product of Niobrara County and was born near Van Tassell on April 25, 1924. Reared in that community and enjoying the benefits of outdoor life on a ranch, he attended the Van Tassell school throughout the first ten years. It was when he became a junior in high school that the family moved to this city, Lloyd entering Lusk High School to complete his remaining two years. He graduated in the spring of 1942.

A fine specimen of young manhood, Lloyd's personality had always been one of his foremost assets. In the class room he was a splendid student, and in the field of athletics he earned highest honors. He always "played the game" as a true sportsman, and for his performance on the gridiron was chosen as the all-conference left halfback in his senior year.

In the boxing ring he added additional laurels to his athletic achievements. Besides participating in the interscholastic boxing tournament, he successfully fought six other ring bouts, taking four by knockouts and two by decision. In baseball he was equally outstanding, and during the summer of 1941 he occupied the mound for the Junior American Legion hard ball team. In the Casper tournament late that summer he pitched his team to victory.

In whatever endeavor or sport he indulged, Lloyd's enthusiasm, skill and courage beamed as a guiding ray to those by whom he was surrounded, and because of these splendid traits he ranked "tops" in the estimation of all.

The news of his untimely death not only brings deepest sorrow to his family, but to a host of friends and admirers he will always be remembered as a good scout and the finest type of young American manhood.

The Lusk Herald
September 2, 1943
Lloyd Roberts Dies in Service

Niobrara County changed its third blue star to gold this week, while still wondering if a fourth should be changed.

Pfc. Lloyd B. Roberts, U.S. Marine Corps reserve, died on August 22, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Roberts, were advised by telegram Friday morning.

He was stationed somewhere in the South Pacific, but the message from T. Holcomb, lieutenant general, U.S.M.C. commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, asked that his ship or station not be divulged.

The message also read, "Present situation necessitates interment temporarily in the locality where death occurred, and you will be notified accordingly...letter follows."

Rumor as to how he died is only conjecture.

Lloyd joined the Marines in October, 1942. He was born April 25, 1924, in Van Tassell.

He graduated from Lusk High School the spring of 1942, where he participated in a number of activities. He lettered in football his junior and senior years, but was probably better known in athletics for his boxing ability. In interscholastic bouts he accounted for several knockouts, but was admired for his fine sportsmanship.

He was vice president of the Senior class, treasurer of the L Club, on the Spotlight and Annual staffs.

Surviving besides his parents are nine brothers and sisters... Mrs. Dave Wilson, Lance Creek, the former Margie Roberts; Ralph Roberts, S-1c, in the U.S. Navy; and seven at home, Kathleen, Harold, Donald, Evelyn, Jakie, Alvin and Larry.

Thon Book 2, 1943
Memorial Services for Pfc. Lloyd B. Roberts, U.S. Marine Reserve Who Died in South Pacific, to Be Sunday

Memorial services, in tribute to Pfc. Lloyd B. Roberts, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Roberts of this city, whose death occurred in the South Pacific theatre of war on August 23rd, will be held at the Lusk Armory at 2:00 p.m. this coming Sunday, October 10. The services are being held at the request of the Marine's family, and will be an exemplification of the American Legion ritualistic ceremony, under direction of Derk J. Wieten Post No. 4 of this city.

Vice Commander Thomas O. Miller will be in charge of the ceremonial staff in the inability of Commander John A. Moore, who has been ill, to be present at the services. All Legionnaires are requested to report at the armory, wearing Legion caps, in sufficient time before the services begin.

Young Roberts was serving with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves at the time of his death. He had enlisted October 11, 1942, and the memorial services Sunday will be within one day of the anniversary of his enlistment.

He was one of seventeen Wyoming young men to go into training in a single group, which was named the "Avenger Squadron." This contingent left Casper on October 25th last year and they received "boot camp" training at San Diego, Calif. At the completion of his preliminary training, Roberts was the only one under 21 years of age in a platoon of 60 men to be sent to North Island for advanced training.

Learning the soldiering of a Marine in record time, Private Roberts was assigned to overseas service, and embarked early in January for his destination.

What caused his death has never yet been made known, but according to the message received by his parents, war conditions where he died made it necessary that his remains be interred there temporarily. It is the plan of the family to have the body brought back to this country for permanent burial as soon as conditions permit.

The Lusk Herald, 1943
Memorial Services to Be Held For Lloyd Roberts By Am. Legion Post

Memorial services for Lloyd Roberts, who died in service with the Marines on August 23, will be conducted at the Lusk Armory at 2:00 o'clock p.m., by Derk J. Wieten Post of the American Legion.

Both members of the Post and the Auxiliary will participate in the services, with Thomas O. Miller presiding, and the Rev. Clyde Hampton, Baptist pastor, acting as chaplain.

Mr. and Mrs. Jim Roberts, parents of the Lusk boy, received word August 27 that Donald (as published) had died. No details of his death were learned other than that the body had been interred in a national cemetery and would be returned here at the end of hostilities.

The Legion is asking that those who attend the service be in their places promptly so that there will be no disturbance of late arrivals.

Thon Book 4, 1947
Re-Burial Services of Pfc. Lloyd B. Roberts Held Sunday, November 2nd, Under Auspices of American Legion

Re-burial services were held at 2:00 o'clock Sunday afternoon, November 2nd, for Pfc. Lloyd B. Roberts, son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Roberts of Lusk, and the second Niobrara county youth to be brought home from overseas.

Services were held under the auspices of the Wieten-Dupes Post No. 4, American Legion, assisted by the National Guard unit and the Lusk high school band. The line of march was formed at the Peet funeral home and made to the Lusk cemetery where graveside services were held.

The Lusk high school band played two selections, "Nearer My God to Thee" and "Abide With Me." The eulogy was read by Dr. W.E. Reckling. Serving as pallbearers were Jimmie Fagan, Richard Schnorenberg, Leslie Schnorenberg, John Owens, Dale and Floyd Calhoun.

Lloyd B. Roberts was born April 25, 1924, a son of James E. and Leona Roberts, at Van Tassell, Wyo., where he resided with his family and attended public school.

In the summer of 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts and family moved to Lusk, and in the fall of the same year Lloyd enrolled in the Lusk high school as a member of the Junior class. Due to his pleasing personality and ability in athletics he became a favorite among his classmates, and is still regarded highly by all who knew him.

Pfc. Roberts enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on October 11, 1942, and was a member of the "Avenger Squadron." This group was composed of 17 young Wyoming men who left Casper two weeks after their enlistment for the naval training base at San Diego, Calif. In January 1943, he and others of the Squadron were sent to the South Pacific theater of operations. On August 23, 1943, he died at Tutuila, American Somoa near Australia. The cause of death submitted to the family was stated as "a brief but fatal illness."

Surviving Pfc. Roberts are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James E. Roberts, three sisters, Mrs. Marjorie Wilson of Lance Creek; Mrs. Kathleen Bower of Lingle, Wyo.; and Miss Evelyn Roberts of Lusk; seven brothers, Ralph of California; Harold, Donnie, Wesley, Jackie, Alvin and Larry all of Lusk.

Images & Attachments

At Rest at Home - PFC. Lloyd B. Roberts, whose body was brought home from the Samoa Islands and laid to rest in the Lusk Cemetery November 2
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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