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First Name: Harry

Last Name: Selle

Birthplace: Halliday, Dunn, ND, US

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Seaman 2nd Class

Middle Name: Gamaliel Morland

Date of Birth: 03 October 1923

Date of Death: 05 June 1943 (Presumed)

MIA Date: 04 June 1942

Rank or Rate: Seaman

Years Served: 1941-1943

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Herman Johnson Selle and Clara Gustava Monson were married in 1921. Herman was a farmer who emigrated from Norway through the port of Boston on 20 April 1911. Herman served in the US Army during WWI. Clara emigrated from Norway through the port of NY on 28 July 1920. They were the parents of at least five children; Mildred Jennie, Harry Gamaliel Morland, Christina Hannah, Lillian Jewel and Olaf Erling Selle. Herman died suddenly on 20 April 1931 in Dunn county, ND. Clara married again on 08 Oct 1931 in Wibaux county, MT., John Bertin Selle. Clara and John had one child, John Karsten Selle born 3 April 1938 in Lincoln county, SD. Clara died in 1938. By 1945, John had moved the family to Washington state.

Harry enlisted in the US Navy (NSN:316-83-48) on 01 Oct 1941 in South Dakota. After he finished basic training he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron Five embarked on Yorktown. Selle was probably aboard the Yorktown during the battle of the Coral Sea. Yorktown was damaged during that battle. Her air group had to be replaced with squadrons (VT-3, VF-3, and VT-3) from Saratoga prior to the forthcoming battle of Midway. Apparently a number of Torpedo Five crewman were left aboard Yorktown when squadrons of Air Group Five were replaced.

On the morning of 4 Jun 1942 Air Groups from USS Yorktown (CV-5), the USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8) launched to attack the Japanese Striking Force carriers approaching Midway. Later that morning enemy Japanese aircraft attacked the USS Yorktown. The Yorktown was hit by bombs that caused crew casualties. Another Japanese air attack was mounted against Yorktown early in the afternoon that resulted in torpedo and bomb damage and ship's company casualties yet again. Seaman 2/c Selle was probably killed during one of those two attacks. He was not listed with any of the Torpedo Squadron Three's flight crews. Navy records indicate that he was first reported missing from Yorktown and then declared dead on 5 Jun 1942. His stepfather, John Bertin Selle, applied for a headstone (cenotaph) for Harry in 1959. That document says in bold red letters across the top, "Unrecoverable." It also states that Harry was on the Yorktown and killed in action on 4 Jun 1942. He was (Posthumously) awarded the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, World War II Victory Medal and possibly eligible for the Combat Action Ribbon.

This cenotaph was placed in the Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD.


Honor Scroll

His family also received a scroll from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in commemoration of Seaman 2/c Selle. The citation reads: In grateful memory of Harry Gamaliel M. SELLE, who died in the service of his country at SEA, Pacific Area, ATTACHED U.S.S. YORKTOWN, 5 JUNE 1943 (Presumed). He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives -- in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.

(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt,

President of the United States


Bio #290 composed by Gerry Lawton (GML470)

Find A Grave memorial page # 56121942

Honoree ID: 101630   Created by: MHOH




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