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Sheldon Brunner


Date and Place of Birth: January 21, 1915 Chicago, IL
Date and Place of Death:    September 8, 1944 Reims, France
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Sergeant
Military Unit: Company F, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Sheldon G. Brunner, the son of Frank and Emily Brunner and brother of Orpha, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 21, 1915. He attended Tilden Technical High School on Chicago's south side, and began his professional baseball career as a minor pitcher with the Davenport Blue Sox of the Class A Western League in 1934. The 19-year-old left-hander made seven appearances for the Blue Sox, pitching 26 innings for a 2-1 won-loss record. In 1935, he made just two appearances with no wins and one loss for the Brainerd Blues of the Class D Northern League. In 1936, Brunner appeared in a career-high 17 games playing in the newly reformed Class D Northeast Arkansas League for the Jonesboro Giants and the Osceola Indians. He had a 3-8 won-loss record and 5.51 ERA over 85 innings.

Brunner never returned to professional baseball after 1936. He went home to Chicago and worked as a shipping clerk at a wholesale dry goods store before entering military service with the Army on April 7, 1941. Brunner attained the rank of sergeant and was with Company F, 2nd Infantry Regiment of the 5th Infantry Division. In 1942, the division was deployed to Iceland where it replaced the British garrison on the island outpost along the Atlantic convoy routes.

The division left Iceland in August 1943, and arrived in England to prepare and train for the Normandy invasion. The 5th Division landed in Normandy on Utah Beach on July 9, 1944. It launched a successful attack at Vidouville, then drove on southeast of Saint-Lô, attacked and captured Angers, and captured Chartres, on August 18.This was followed by a push to Fontainebleau. The division crossed the Seine at Montereau, on August 24, and crossed the Marne shortly afterwards.

On September 8, 1944, 29-year-old Sergeant Sheldon Brunner was killed in action during the battle to liberate the French city of Reims.

In the September 8, 1947, edition of the Chicago Tribune, his family left a touching tribute in memoriam:

A slip of yellow paper,
An envelope edged in black,
Three words "War Department regrets"
Meant you would never come back.
O Shel, how we miss you,
Miss you more each day
If we would just be near you,
To linger at your grave.
Some say time heals an aching heart,
But no, it is not true,
For three long years have passed
And our hearts are still aching for you.

The following year, his family were able to linger at his grave. Sheldon's remains were returned to Chicago and buried at Mount Greenwood Cemetery on November 20, 1948.

















7 26 - 17   2 1





D 2 - - - - 0 1 -


Jonesboro and Osceola

N.E. Arkansas


17 85 52 48 - 3 8 5.51

Sheldon Brunner

Thanks to Chris Woodman for "discovering" Sheldon Brunner. Chris operates a site that corrects information on pre-WWII minor league ballplayers http://minorleaguebaseballplayer.blogspot.com/

Date Added September 9, 2017. Updated March 14, 2020.

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