In Memory of
U.S. Army TSGT
Benedict Frank Axtman
Aberdeen, South Dakota
June 29, 1920 - April 27, 1945
Accidentally Shot in Barracks, Furth, Germany
Benedict Frank Axtman,
commonly called Ben, was born on June 29, 1920 in Aberdeen, SD to Anton and
Kathryn Axtman. Family members include six sisters and four brothers,
respectfully: Helen, Mike, Madeline, Eva, Matilda, Casper, Elizabeth, Rose,
Anton Jr., and Paul. From previous marriages of Anton and Kathryn, Ben had
seven half brothers and sisters: Sebastian Axtman, Phil, Mike, Joe, Anton,
Kathryn, and John Schumacher.
His interests were fishing,
hunting, and his favorite sport was baseball. He was described as a typical
young man. He attended St. Mary’s Grade School but did not have any further
education. He worked at various jobs including the CCC in the Black Hills and
Swift Company as a meat cutter until he joined the service. His brother
Sebastian remembers Ben as being a jolly-type of person who always carried a
smile and a laugh.
Ben volunteered for the
service in the summer of 1943 at the age of 23. Ben trained at Camp Roberts and
Fort Ord, California. He was sent overseas May 23, 1943, and stationed in
England from which he eventually went to Germany as part of the 3rd
Benedict F. Axtman was
killed in Germany on April 27, 1945, when, according to a letter from the War
Department, “Technician Axtman received a severe gunshot wound on the evening of
27 April 1945, in his barracks in Furth, Germany, when a pistol, in the hands of
another soldier, was accidentally discharged.”
Submitted by Courtney Pray and Shannon Daly, Honors U.S.
History, Groton High School, Groton, SD April 21, 2002. Information for this
entry was provided by Seb Axtman, Pierre, brother of Benedict Axtman, and an
application for a SD veteran’s bonus payment.