In Memory of
Leo Alfred Callahan
Elk Point, South Dakota
Union County 
March 21, 1918 February 19, 1943
Died of Wounds in North Africa

Leo Alfred Callahan

Leo Alfred Callahan was born on March 21, 1918, on a farm 3 miles east of Burbank, South Dakota.  He was the son of William and Louise (Trudeau) Callahan.  Leo was a graduate of Vermillion High School.  He was popular with friends and the community.

After graduating he farmed with his father and brothers.  His hobbies were hunting, trapping and fishing.  He fished in the Missouri in the summer with his brothers and friends.

He owned a Model A Ford with a rumble seat and one room trailer house on wheels.  In the winter he and his friends waited for the Missouri River to freeze over, and they would then load the trailer with food and coffee.  After hooking the trailer to the model A Ford, they would drive the car and trailer across the frozen river to hunt and trap most of the winter.  They returned across the frozen river before the spring thaw.  Winters were colder then and the river froze hard.  He enjoyed the outdoor life with family and friends.

Leo left Elk Point on July 26, 1942, going to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and later to Camp Wallace, Texas, for training.  Leo then went on to Newport, New Jersey.  He left the United States on December 11, 1942.  He was killed in the North African Campaign.  The telegram received by his parents did not give the date of his death, but said he had been buried in a cemetery in Tunisia on February 20, 1943.

Leo was a good son and a much-loved brother.  The family was very proud to have had him for even that short time.  Leo had four brothers and six sisters.  Two of his brothers also served in the Armed Forces in different areas overseas.  They both returned safely.

Leo received the Purple Heart and other medals during his service to his country.  His name is also inscribed on the Wall of Liberty.  His sisters include, Emma, Irene, Mary, Betty, Elaine and Florence.   His brothers include Raymond, Richard, Bill, and Henry.                                                           

Leo Alfred Callahan was a great soldier.  He was loved greatly by his family members.  We will always remember him as a soldier who sacrificed his life for the United States of America.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Eric Buehner and John Ness, eighth grade Elk Point-Jefferson Middle School, Elk Point, South Dakota, March 1, 2002.  Information for this entry was provided by Mrs. Betty Swanson, Alcester, South Dakota, sister of Private Leo Alfred Callahan.