The Liscum Brothers American Legion Post 482, Bagley, remembered the life and accomplishments of Harold Blum during their Memorial Day observance in May 2004. Blum served in the Fifth Infantry during World War II.
Blum could be claimed as a son of almost any part of Grant County. He was born in Potosi in 1919, the son of Emmanuel and Anna Blum. While growing up, he moved to Lancaster and attended both the Liberty Ridge and Whitcomb schools. The family later moved to Little Grant, and Harold and his father tended to the land and crops. Eventually, Harold ended up in Wyalusing near Bagley.
In September 1942, Blum enlisted in the Army and was assigned to Ft. Bliss in Texas. In Texas, Blum trained with the coast artillery, and then was assigned to the 34th Division of the Fifth Army Company.
In May 1943, Harold began his time in the theater of combat in North Africa. Blum was promoted to a communications position, and quickly he and his group were part of the first invasion of Italy in September 1943.
The fighting in the Italian peninsula was fierce as the Axis were defending their homeland. The capture of Naples, Cassino, and Anzio helped in clearing ground for the troops needed for the drive to Rome, but the toll paid was heavy. Six months and 10 days after he first landed in Italy, on March 19, 1944, Blum was killed.
“I saw Harold only a few minutes before it happened,” one of his comrades wrote the Blum family. “A short while later, I heard that he was killed in capturing Cassino. He was doing his duty, and you can well be proud of him, for he was a very brave man,” the letter continued.
Because of priorities of moving those people and equipment into the battlefield, Blum, and many others who fell, were temporarily buried in Marzanello. Eventually, Blum was buried in Bloomington in March 1949.