Arthur Hale Bechtold
|HOME OF RECORD:
South Whitley, IN
|NEXT OF KIN:
Wife, Mrs. Marguerite Bechtold
|DATE OF BIRTH:
2/1944 – 11/1945
|DATE OF DEATH:
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private First Class
Arthur Hale Bechtold was born in Wabash, Indiana, in 1913. He lost both parents before his twentieth birthday (George Washington Bechtold in 1928, Martha Bechtold in 1932), but started his own family when he married Marguerite McConnell in 1934. By 1940, the Bechtolds were comfortably settled in South Whitley, Indiana; Arthur worked as an express mail carrier, while Marguerite looked after the little ones, Phil and Ann.
Bechtold was drafted into the Marine Corps early in 1944, at the age of twenty nine. He went through boot camp at MCRD San Diego, and in April was assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, Tank School, Camp Elliott as a private. For some reason this post did not last long, and by July Private Bechtold was serving with Company C, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard #128 – Pearl Harbor.
Arthur Bechtold spent the next twelve months standing guard over Pearl Harbor as the war raged on in the Pacific. He probably would have been quite happy to stay in Honolulu, but on July 9 orders came through directing him to report to the Fourth Marine Division. Five days later PFC Bechtold was at Camp Maui, training as a rifleman with Company A, 24th Marines.
The war ended before Bechtold could be sent any farther overseas. In October, he was transferred to the 9th MP Battalion, but only briefly – his discharge was processed in November, 1945 and Bechtold was back home in South Whitley in time for the holidays.
Bechtold evidently remained in South Whitley for the rest of his life. He died in 2002 and is buried in South Whitley Cemetery.