Faces in the Crowd: Harold Brost

A US veteran who served in three wars shares some of his experiences of serving in the Navy

SPEARFISH, S.D. – Hailing from Arpan, South Dakota, Harold Brost joined the U.S. Navy once he came of age. He was about to embark on an incredible lifelong journey that earned him memories to share with loved ones many years and three wars later.

Brost served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He served 34 years in the Navy and Navy Reserve as a Master Chief Petty Officer.

One of his positions was as an air navigator. He shares many stories about his experiences, like the time his plane was shot down in Korea and he was one of the only survivors. He was a POW in Korea for a few days.

He also recalls a time when a ship that he was on blew up.

Brost says, “The ship was blown up totally … by the time I got all the living men out of there, they were all dead.”

He talks about his role in transporting soldiers to and from missions and serving on many famous ships.

Among his collection of military accolades, Brost boosts three Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a medal for being the second plane off the USS Enterprise in Vietnam, and a Silver and Bronze star for bravery.

Harold’s case of medals

Those who know him enjoy his company, his stories and his joy for life.

Caretaker Laurie Roden at the David Dorsett Healthcare Center where Harold now lives, speaks highly of the war hero. “Harold came to us about a year ago, and we’ve been taking care of him ever since. He is a joy to work with. I adore this man and very proud to be able to take care of him.”

His daughter Shirley now sifts through her dad’s case of honors and medals. In addition to the military recognition, her father is already a hero in her eyes, as he served his country many times over.

Shirley says, “He just demonstrates what the greatest generation was really all about.”

Once out of Navy, Brost earned a master’s degree in education from Black Hills State University and taught in Sturgis and Texas for about 20 years, then retired and began gardening.

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Categories: Faces in the Crowd, Local News