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Wallace Henry "Wally" Bruning

T/5 in 3132nd Signal Service Co : T&M Platoon


Born 1922 in MN, Died 2010

County of residence at enlistment: Hennepin County, MN
Other residence(s): Grand Forks, ND; Minneapolis, MN; New Hope, MN
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: tinsmiths, coppersmiths, and sheet metal workers
Notes: Brunning, Bruening; a true gentleman, highly bred!
Source: 3132 Caption List; Post War Sonic List from Bill Anderson; 3132 Pine Camp Photo Names; photo from his 1940 high school yearbook

NOTE: Name is correctly spelled Bruning per his gravestone and Social Security record. Family tree shows it with an umlaut on the "u" (ü) which would have been correct in German. Alternatively, a "ue" can be substituted for the "ü".

Wallace Henry Bruning was born on February 20, 1922 in Northome, Minnesota, a tiny town less than 70 miles from the Canadian border. His father had served with the US army in France during World War I, and had taken a position as a school principal in Northome as early as 1920. All of Wally's grandparents were immigrants from Germany and Norway.

By 1930 the family was living in Grand Forks, North Dakota, just over the Minnesota border, where his father was listed as a schoolteacher. By 1935, they were living in Minneapolis, and Wally graduated in 1940 from North High School there, where his yearbook reported that "a gift of gab is his virtue."

When he filled out his draft card on June 30, 1942, Wally was working for Munsingwear. After his World War II service (where he finished as a Tec 5 per his gravestone) he married Thelma Matson on July 14, 1945. He must have gone to college and graduate school on the GI Bill, since his Minnesota death record says he has five years of college.

He found work as an electrical engineer with a public utility, and he and Thelmas had three children.

He was living in New Hope, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis) when he died on August 24, 2010.

Some comments on the Legacy website from folks who knew him:

"Wally was a great man, who brought logic, passion and a great sense of stability to the neighborhood and to the kids growing up around him."

"We will remember him as a man with great personality, knowledge and pride and caring love for his family."


1940 high school yearbook

1961 photo from ancestry family tree


1930 census

1940 census

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record (NOTE: Birthdate and birthplace are wrong in this version)

1945 marriage record

2010 Social Security death record

2010 Find a Grave record

2010 Death Notice in Star Tribune

2010 Minnesota Death Index (contains most bio info)

2010 Comments of Friends from Legacy site

NOTE: There is another Wallace Bruning with middle initial "J" born in Minnesota 2 years later. (He was a Marine in WW2.) I know that the records I have found above are for Wallace H. The only record I have a tiny amount of doubt about is the high school photo (where no middle initial is provided). On Ancestry, it is identified as the Wallace Bruning born in 1924, but a 1940 yearbook would more correctly apply to someone born in 1922. Also, the two photos (one from 20 years later) have a strong resemblance.

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