Share Your Story


As part of constructing the South Dakota World War II Memorial, we want to preserve the stories of South Dakotans during that period. Please share with us a story of your experience during that time.


Evelyn M. Flanagan

Evelyn served her country by working the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. from 1944 to 1946.  She traveled on government transport orders under Civil Service appointment.  She lived in Government Quarters at Arlington Farms, VA.

Submitted by herself, 4/3/01

Russell Swenson

Russell went through two death marches and was a prisoner of war twice during World War Ii.

Submitted 4/2/01

C.B. Engberg

C.B. served in the U.S. Army Air Force. He entered the service in December, 1942 at Ft. Snelling, MN and served until April 10, 1946.

Submitted by his wife, 4/2/01


Craig J. Mock

Craig served in the Navy during World War II.  He spent most of his time in Alaska.

Submitted 4/2/01

Robert W. Benson

Robert was killed in action in France on June 7, 1944.

Submitted 4/2/01


Donald Gilbert Yeoman

Donald served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  He enlised on October 13, 1943 and served in the Navy Air on PB4Y-2ís.  He served primarily in the South Pacific.  He was honorably discharged on April 4, 1947.

Submitted by his wife, 4/2/01


Donald N. Hill

Donald served on the USS Princeton.  The ship was lost at sea.

Submitted, 4/2/01


Robert Joyce

Robert was in the 147th Field Artillery Unit from Sioux Falls. On December 7, 1941 his unit was 3 or 4 days out of Hawaii on their way to Corregidor in Manila Harbor.  This is a very small fortress that guarded the entrance to Manila Bay in the Phillippines.  When they heard of the attack on Hawaii they turned toward Australia.  Since they were planning to man the 14 inch guns at Corregidor they didnít even have side arms!  They trained in Australia using wooden guns for two or three months.  They were eventually involved in several actions in New Guinea and other islands in the South Pacific.  Robert was overseas for about four years. 

Submitted by his brother, 4/5/01


Ralph Wennblom

Ralph was an officer who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded.  He received the Purple Heart.  He was later tin the force that freed some Jewish prisoners at Daschu where so many Jews were murdered.

Submitted by his brother in law, 4/5/01


Paul Sandal

Paul served in the European Theater in a medical detachment.  He was given special recognition for bravery under fire.

Submitted by his brother in law, 4/5/01


Vernon Wennblom

Vernon served for two or three years in the South Pacific.

Submitted by his brother in law, 4/5/01


Edwin J. Boysen

Edwin served at Camp Swift, Texas as a Sergeant.  He left for service in 1942.  Before leaving he worked in the Sweet Pickle Department at John Morrell in Sioux Falls.

Submitted by his sister, 4/6/01


Hobart T. Boysen

Hobart served as a Corporal in the field artillery unit in France.  He worked on the extra gang at John Morrell before he left for service in November, 1942.

Submitted by his sister, 4/6/01


John Francis Boysen

John was a Captain serving with the Air Corps Engineers in New Guinea.  He left for service in July, 1941.

Submitted by his sister, 4/6/01


James Boysen

James was the first of the five Boysen brothers to join the ranks of the Navy.  He worked on the extra gang at Morrellís before he left for the service in March, 1943.  He was an ordnance man on a carrier in the Southwest Pacific.

Submitted by his sister, 4/6/01


Cyril Boysen

Cyril was the last of the five Boysen brothers to enter the service.  He trained at Farragut, ID.  He worked in the Smoked Meat department until he left for the service. 

Submitted by his sister, 4/6/01


Cletus A., Firman G., Vitalis I., Nester E., John M. and Hilary P. Cole

These six brothers all served overseas at the same time during World War II.  They grew up in Tyndall, SD.

Submitted by one of the brothers, 4/9/01


Leonard J. Stevens

Leonard fought in the Battle of Corregidor.

Submitted by his wife, 4/9/01


Herman Vollmer

Herman died in a German POW camp in 1945.

Submitted by his niece, 4/9/01


Leslie, Milton & Leo Kutil           

These three brothers from Lane, SD were all in service at the same time.

Submitted by their sister, 4/9/01


Harry Skovlund

Harry was killed in action on January 3, 1944.

Submitted 4/9/01


Leo R. Freibel               

Leo was killed April 8, 1945 in the invasion of Germany by the American Army.

Submitted 4/11/01


Henry L. C. Otto

Henry was killed in action during World War II.

Submitted 4/12/01


Harvey Fogelson      

Harvey was killed at Anzio.

Submitted by his brother, 4/12/01


Robert Daniel Wells         

Robert served in the army for four years in the South Pacific.

Submitted by his wife and sister, 4/12/01