Harley D. Beck
Madison, South Dakota
June 7, 1921 – March 6, 1944
Killed in Action in Italy
Harley D. Beck was born June 7, 1921, in
Madison SD. His parents were John and Ida Beck. He has several brothers and
sisters, many whom attended his memorial service. He was only 19 years old when
he left Madison; he was a senior in Eastern High School.
Technician Fifth Grade Beck entered active
service in the Corps of Engineers on February 10, 1941. Technician Fifth Grade
Beck left South Dakota as a member of Company A, 109th Engineers. He was with
the company at Camp Claiborne in Ireland and North Africa, being transferred
while there to another engineering unit.
Twenty-two year-old Technician Fifth Grade
Harley D. Beck was killed in action on the Anzio beachhead March 6, 1944. It
was later learned that he had been killed while laying cable preparatory to the
advance of the company. Harley was buried at that time in a private grave in
Italy. A letter was sent to his mother Ida Beck April 11, 1944 explaining the
circumstances of his death, “The significance of his heroic service in defense
of his country will be preserved and commemorated by a grateful nation, and it
is hoped that this thought may give you strength and courage in your sorrow.”
Harley had many surviving brothers and sisters
at the time of his death, including First Sgt. Leslie Beck, Cpl. Lloyd Beck,
Mrs. Harry Pettit and Mrs. Odell Williams, Edith and Shirley Beck, Mrs. Roger
Wood and his mother Ida Beck.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Amber C. Hasvold, 10th
Honors English, West Central High School, Hartford, SD. Information for this
entry was provided by newspaper clippings and by an application for a SD
veteran’s bonus payment.