In Memory of
Army Pfc.
Weldon J. Benson
Peever, South Dakota
Robert County
June 21, 1926 -- June 17, 1945
Died of Wounds in 69th Field Hospital on Okinawa

Weldon J. Benson

Weldon J. Benson was born to John and Bertha Benson on June 21, 1926, at New Effington, in Roberts County in South Dakota. Weldon had four sisters: Carol, Marian, Paulette, and Delphine. He attended several South Dakota schools, as well as schools in Minnesota and Tacoma, Washington, graduating from Peever High School in Peever, South Dakota, in May of 1944.

Weldon entered the army on Sept. 13, 1944, at Fort Snelling in Minnesota.  He underwent basic training at Camp Hood, Texas. Pvt. Benson was furloughed in January of 1945 before being sent overseas.

After serving in the Pacific for several months, Benson was promoted to Private First Class on May 13, 1945. Pfc. Benson was wounded in action on June 11, 1945, on Okinawa. Six days later, on June 17, 1945, Army Pfc. Weldon J. Benson died in the 69th Field Hospital on Okinawa. He was just four days shy of his 19th birthday and the fighting on Okinawa was over just days after Weldon’s death.

The first telegram that Pfc. Benson’s family received stated in part:

The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your son
Pfc. Benson Weldon J. was seriously wounded on Okinawa 11 June 45.

The next day another telegram arrived:

The Secretary of War has asked me to express his deep regret that your son
Pfc. Benson Weldon J. died of wounds on Okinawa seventeen June 45.

Confirming letter follows.

The confirming letter contained further details of Weldon’s death:
Weldon was seriously wounded in action by enemy fire during
the attack against a heavily fortified Japanese position near
Medeera [Okinawa]. He was evacuated to the 69th Field Hospital, where
he later died of wounds, in spite of the best medical care.

Your son had done a splendid job during the present campaign
as a rifleman in Company C and had always lived up to the highest
standards of courage in combat. He had made many close friends
in the company, and the news of his death came as a great shock to
all of us.

Army Pfc. Weldon J. Benson was buried in an American Military Cemetery on Okinawa and then later reburied at Ft. Snelling in Minnesota.  Among his citations were the Good Conduct Medal, and then posthumously he was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory, and a Combat Infantryman Badge.

Weldon is survived by his sisters, Carol Johnson, Marian Kyllo, and Paulette Hutton.  As Weldon’s sister, Marian, said, “My brother was indeed a very real American hero.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sam Reede, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, November 8, 2000. Information for this entry was provided by Carol Johnson, Mitchell, SD, and Marian Kyllo, Plymouth, MN, sisters of Weldon Benson.