In Memory of
U.S. Army Private
Philip Gilbert Atkinson
St. Francis, South Dakota
Todd County
September 7, 1920 – October 9, 1944
Killed in Action in France

Philip Gilbert Atkinson headstone

Philip Atkinson was born September 7, 1920, at Presho, South Dakota, to Adolph and Jeanette (Fallis) Atkinson. Adolph was later married to Mamie Atkinson. Between the two marriages, Philip’s siblings were as follows: Bessie, Geraldine, John, Charlotte Mae, Darlene, Duane, Loretta, Janet and Janice (twins), Darrell, June and Joan (twins), Rosalie, Danny, Jane, and Debbie. Before he entered the service, Philip went to school at St. Francis in Todd County, South Dakota. Philip registered with the Selective Service on February 16, 1942, at Rosebud, South Dakota. He was ordered to report for induction on November 19, 1942.

Philip Atkinson was part of the 302nd Infantry, 94th Division. The 94th Division was trained at Camp Phillips in Kansas, starting in 1942. In late summer of 1943, the 94th Division moved to Tennessee to continue training and maneuvers. The 94th Division eventually moved on to Camp McCain in Mississippi at the end of 1943.

On August 6, 1944, the 94th Division embarked for overseas duty aboard the Queen Elizabeth. On August 12, they arrived in England. The 94th Division landed in France “across Utah Beach” in September of 1944. “The division engaged in containment activities there until relieved by the 66th Infantry Division on 1 Jan 45.” During this time, on October 9, 1944, Private Philip Atkinson was killed in action in France.

A posthumous award of a Bronze Star was made to Philip “for exemplary conduct in ground combat against an armed enemy on or about 9 October 1944, in the European Theater of Operations.” He was also posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for “having made the supreme sacrifice in defense of his country.” His other awards were the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars for the Northern France and Rhineland campaigns, the World War II Victory Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Marksman Badge with Carbine and Rifle Bars.

After the war, Philip’s body was returned to the United States and he is buried in the St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, Section F, Block 3, Row 1, Plot 25.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, Fallen Sons State Coordinator, Spearfish, SD. Information for this entry was provided by, Juanita Atkinson,  the National Personnel Records Center via Duane Atkinson and Sen. Daschle’s office, and the photo was taken by Charity Weiss of Norris.