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Leer, Clarence

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Clarence Leer was born on 14 May 1925 in Beresford, South Dakota, but his family moved to a Red River Valley farm by Abercrombie, North Dakota, when Clarence was under a year old. It was here that Clarence grew up and attended local schools, graduating from Abercrombie High School in 1944. Because he was the only son, in 1944 his father obtained for Clarence a deferment from military service, and he continued to work on the farm until early 1945. When the deferment ended, in March 1945 Clarence was drafted into the US Army and sent to Camp Hood, Texas, for Basic Training. With the end of the war in August 1945 Clarence did not see combat, but in September 1945 he was among the first troops to arrive in Japan for occupation duty. Clarence was stationed in Tokyo until September 1946; serving with the Signal Corps, his duty was as a mail clerk in a central distribution facility. After one year Clarence returned to the US and was discharged in December 1946 with the rank of tech sergeant. Again a civilian, Clarence got married (wife Agnes Bjorke Leer) and used GI Bill benefits to attend North Dakota State Agricultural College in Fargo (now North Dakota State University), graduating in 1950 with an engineering degree. After college Clarence and Agnes relocated to California, remaining until 1956, when they moved to Apple Valley, Minnesota. Clarence worked for several engineering firms, and then the City of Bloomington, before retiring in 1990.


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Clarence Leer - Transcript.pdf (696 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Clarence Leer