b. 23/11/1919 Preston, Idaho. d. 28/10/1944 Leyte, Philippines.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 28/10/1944 Leyte, Philippines.
Brostrom was born on November 23, 1919 in Preston, Franklin County, Idaho. He was the first child of Carl John Brostrum (February 17, 1894 – March 13, 1975) and Louise Adolfina Hillstead (August 17, 1893 – September 25, 1961) who were married on August 21, 1918. Leonard was Killed in action on October 28, 1944 near Dagami, Leyte, Philippine Islands, now the Republic of the Philippines. Leonard is buried in the Preston Cemetery, Block 1, lot 18.
Brostrum grew up in the farming community of Preston, Idaho and attended the then primary and secondary school called the Oneida Stake Academy built by the Oneida Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Ezra Taft Benson and Harold B. Lee (both of whom later served as presidents of the LDS Church) and Medal of Honor recipient Mervyn S. Bennion also attended this school. In 1922, this school was renamed Preston High School even though it was referred to as the Academy for some time there after. Nathan K. Van Noy, another Medal of Honor recipient, attended the newer Preston High School.
Brostrum grew up attending church at the Oneida Ward in Preston. He grew up during the depression years farming, hunting and fishing while doing odd jobs for both pocket money and LDS Church service. His younger brothers Dean (1921–1999) and Dale (1925–2003) often tagged along until Leonard served a three-year LDS mission to California. Brostrum was on his church mission when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After successfully completing his mission he returned home and joined the U.S. Army in March 1942.
Private Brostrum was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion of the 17th Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division and participated in the retaking of the Aleutian Islands, Eastern Mandates and Leyte; all of which started with amphibious assaults. Brostrum's campaign ribbons for these contain an arrowhead representing being in the amphibious assault landings.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class Leonard C. Brostrom, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action as a rifleman with an assault platoon of Company F, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, which ran into powerful resistance near Dagami, Leyte, Philippine Islands, on 28 October 1944. From pillboxes, trenches, and spider holes, so well camouflaged that they could be detected at no more than 20 yards, the enemy poured machinegun and rifle fire, causing severe casualties in the platoon. Realizing that a key pillbox in the center of the strong point would have to be knocked out if the company were to advance, Private First Class Brostrom, without orders and completely ignoring his own safety, ran forward to attack the pillbox with grenades. He immediately became the prime target for all the riflemen in the area, as he rushed to the rear of the pillbox and tossed grenades through the entrance. Six enemy soldiers left a trench in a bayonet charge against the heroic American, but he killed one and drove the others off with rifle fire. As he threw more grenades from his completely exposed position he was wounded several times in the abdomen and knocked to the ground. Although suffering intense pain and rapidly weakening from loss of blood, he slowly rose to his feet and once more hurled his deadly missiles at the pillbox. As he collapsed, the enemy began fleeing from the fortification and were killed by riflemen of his platoon. Private First Class Brostrom died while being carried from the battlefield, but his intrepidity and unhesitating willingness to sacrifice himself in a one-man attack against overwhelming odds enabled his company to reorganize against attack, and annihilate the entire enemy position.
BURIAL LOCATION: PRESTON CEMETERY, PRESTON, IDAHO.
NW Sect, Block 1, Lot 18