In Memory of
Army Air Force First Lieutenant
Donald Dale Almond
Hurley, South Dakota
July 30, 1919 – May 19, 1943
Missing in Action over eastern coast of New Guinea
Donald Dale Almond was born July 30, 1919, to Roland and
Iva Almond in Hurley, South Dakota. He grew up on a farm with a younger brother
and sister. Don, as he was called, attended college at South Dakota State in
Brookings. At a college dance, to which area high school seniors were invited,
Don met Ferne, whom he later married February 21, 1942. Donald and Ferne had a
daughter, Sandra Kaye, who was born on November 15, 1942.
Donald’s widow, Ferne, remembers, “Don always liked to
play poker with the boys and was pretty good at it. In fact, he said that his
poker winnings paid for our wedding!”
entered the Army on June 16, 1941, but was honorably discharged while serving as
an aviation cadet on January 8, 1942. The same day Almond was commissioned as a
second lieutenant, Air Corps Reserve, and entered active duty. Almond departed
for overseas service in the Pacific on
October 14, 1942.
Lieutenant Donald Almond was reported as missing in action on May 19, 1943. His
plane failed to return from a reconnaissance mission over the eastern coast of
New Guinea. A letter written to Mrs. Almond stated:
Lt. D. Almond was a pilot in the 400th
Bomb. Sq. 90th Bomb Gr. Stationed
at Port Moresby, New Guinea. He entered the squadron as a replacement pilot
crew. He was well-liked in the squadron and was very active. I got to know
personally and found him to be a very good friend.
It was the morning of May 19, 1943, when he
started off on a reconnasiance [sic]
mission over Japanese air bases on New Guinea and New Britain. His operator
reported their position hourly and it was six hour later when the last report
It was about 11 o’clock and the report was that ‘they were being attacked by
and were on fire and going down.’
Immediately our squadron commander sent out a
flight of three airplanes as a search
party for the lost crew, but the search was all in vain. … They went down near
Island of Kar Kar very near the Jap base of Madang.
received confirmation of his death on December 19, 1945. Almond’s
Air Medal for
meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight over the Huon Gulf,
New Guinea, on January 8, 1943, was later presented to his widow.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Aaron Boyd, 8th
Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, November 4, 2000.
Information for this entry was provided by Ferne Liebsch, Arlington, South
Dakota, widow of 1st Lt. Donald Almond.