President Harry Truman giving Medal of Honor to Sgt. Bernard P.
By Bob Weaver 2002
Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Bernard Pius Bell returned in spirit to his
native Calhoun this past year, the Grantsville bridge was named in his honor. Efforts
had been underway to rename the Army Reserve Center at Big Bend to recognize his
courageous World War II heroics, but there are indications the center may be
Bell's sister, Lorena, lives in DeLand, Florida. She has been supportive of the efforts
to return some of his effects to Calhoun County. She told The Hur Herald "My heart is
in West Virginia."
Lorena just turned 86. "I was born on Hog Knob," she said. Celebrating her birthday,
she said "I went to see the Mothman Prophecies movie, because it took place
in Pt. Pleasant, where my family lived for many years."
She recently gave us an excellent copy of a photo of President Harry Truman giving
Sgt. Bell the Medal of Honor, which we are donating to the local VFW Post.
She said he choked to death on a piece of meat, a tragic ending to his life. "He had a
long term relationship with an English girl from the war for 25 years," she said, "but
they never married."
Bell was described as small in stature and soft-spoken, taking care of his mother for
Bell retired from a position with the Veteran's Administration.
His sister said "War does terrible things to people. Bernard had some demons."
SEE earlier stories in The Herald about Sgt. Bell, whose exploits and soldiering rose
above the common call to duty.