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.


Francis Davis

Francis Davis was part of the force that landed on Utah Beach on D-Day.  He was a member of the 90th Infantry Division, 357th Regiment.  This was one of the most highly decorated divisions in World War II.  They served a record 308 days in battle from D-Day through the Battle of the Bulge and thereafter.  Francis’ brother, Julius, PFC, was also a member of the 90th and was landing on an adjoining beach at the same time.  As the fighting progressed, the casualties grew higher.  Eventually, Francis was reunited with what was left of his brother’s platoon—a single soldier from the entire platoon who had survived the bloody battle. Knowing that his brother had perished, Francis continued fighting until eventually his unit reached a hedgerow where they were pinned down by artillery and machine gun fire from an enemy tank on the opposite side of the hedgerow.  Francis could see a wounded soldier, in grave need of medical care.  Discarding concern for his own safety, Francis scaled the fence row, exposing himself to enemy fire and administered first aid to the gravely wounded soldier.  He came under immediate fire but was able to administer the aid. As a medic in our armed forces, Francis saw himself as simply doing his job.  What makes his courage remarkable is that he “did his job” knowing that his brother had only hours before been killed by the enemy.  You see, the soldier Francis was risking his life to save was a German soldier. 

Submitted on 5-2-2001.


Dogs for Denfense

Within a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, America’s canine trainers had established DFD—Dogs for Defense—and soon began to work with the Coast Guard (saboteurs were expected to surface from submarines at any moment.) By April, 1942, dogs were serving as sentries at Army depots and defense plants.  That summer, Secretary of War Henry Stimson directed all branches of the service to explore the use of dogs and the rush was on—for dogs to work as guards, medics, MPs, mine-sniffers, scouts, messengers, even tactical fighters; for dogs to walk patrol in Pacific jungles and mush supplies across the Artic ice.  One year after America went to war, the military announced that the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard would need about 125,000 dogs. 

Canine combatants were recruited just as men were.  But no draft was required.  Tens of thousands of dogs were shipped voluntarily to DFD centers, where they were measured, evaluated, examined and trained for duty.  A few owners may have fobbed off bad pets, but most were patriots who sent a dog off to war just as they would a son.  (That spirit posed an unexpected problem.  Mail poured in asking for news of K-9 recruits—or bearing cards, biscuits or bones.)

The only news the owners could get came from handlers in the field and occasionally in newspaper stories.  One such story concerned Chips, a mixed-breed donated from Pleasantville, N.Y. and shipped overseas with the 30th infantry.  With his handler, Pvt. John P. Rowell, Chips took part in the July 1943 invasion of Sicily, Near Licata, on the island’s southern coast.  Rowell and Chips worked inland in the light before dawn. 

About 300 yards from the beach, a machine gun disguised with thatch opened fire on Rowell. Chips broke free and streaked for the gunners’ pillbox.  Soon, an Italian soldier emerged, with Chips biting at his arms and throat.  Three more Italian soldiers followed with hands up.  Chips suffered a scalp wound and powder burns—proof that the Italians had tried to kill him—but the dog prevailed.  After being treated and returned to duty the same night, Chips discovered 10 Italian soldiers approaching on a road.  Rowell and his comrades took them all as prisoners—and Chips became a hero. 

Chips was awarded the Silver Star for valor and a Purple Heart for his wounds.  U.S. papers exalted “Yank Hero Dog takes 14 Italos!”   Then the trouble bgan.  The commander of the Order of the Purple Heart complained to President Roosevelt that bestowing the medal on a dog demeaned all the men who had received Purple Hearts.  Both of Chips’ medals were revoked, and no U.S. war dog would ever again win official decoration. 

The only recognition Chips could keep, when he returned to the States and his owners, was his honorable discharge. 

Submitted by a dog lover, 4-16-2001

America During World War II

AN ESSAY BY MELISSA MOBERG, 7TH Grader at Sisseton Middle School

On the home front there was a struggle for goods in America.  It is not that people were short on money.  It is that they were short on goods.  The hardest part was probably the automobiles.  To save gas and rubber, the speed limit (called the victory speed limit) was lowered to 35 miles per hour.  Factories were ordered to stop making family cars.  So, when your car broke down, you couldn’t get a new car or the parts you needed because the car parts went to the military for replacements.  There was a short supply of tires, and gas was rationed.  If you needed car parts, you would most likely go to a junk yard to try to find what you needed.

A result of all that was more bus and train use.  Trains got two-million people a month.  It was very crowded at the train stations.  But, people were just happy if they could get a standing place on the train or bus.  It was so crowded because military personnel also used these too.

House appliances were also not being made.  So, neighbors shared their appliances.  Shortage of housing was also a problem.  Some people got so used to living in a tent, box houses, etc.  that when the government asked a family if they wanted a government house, they most likely would say no.

Food was rationed.  Everyone would get a certain amount of food.  But that didn’t always mean that the store carried it for you to get.  The store would give you the amount of food.  They started substituting beef with beaver, horse , rabbit and buffalo meat.  They also substituted sugar with corn syrup and saccharin.

Cigarettes were also rationed because 30 percent went to the military.  Some used roll-your-own cigarettes.

It was a struggle but some good came out of it.  The people had good spirits and were helping each other.  Patriotism was displayed a lot during this time.  One benefit from the rationing was people started inventing things that replaced things that were rationed.  For example, they invented wooden wheels to save rubber tires.

Submitted on 5/12/01



Kenneth C. Apland was born in Canistota, SD, on Dec. 21, 1922, the son of John and Dorothy Apland.  The family moved to Belle Fourche where he attended school, graduating from the local high school in 1940.  He attended college to receive his BS in Metal Chemistry.

Apland entered active service on Sept. 15, 1944.  He attended Navel Training Indoctrination in Tucson, Bomb Disposal School in Washington, DC, and served as a Division Officer, Watch Officer, Bomb Disposal Officer and lookout.

Apland served on the USS Ranger CV4 and earned the World War II Victory and American Theater Ribbons.  He was released from active duty June 4, 1946.

Apland is now deceased.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


PVT, 30TH Co, 1262 D, SCU Personnel Center.

Born Mar.26,1926,Belle Fourche.  Graduated from BF High School in 1944.  Inducted FEB. 23,1945 AT Ft. Snelling, MN.  Classified as Clerk, General.  On Nov. 10,1945 at Ft. Dix, NJ he was discharged in order to enlist in the Regular Army, which he did on Nov. 11.  On Jan. 19, 1946, he was sent to Europe, and returned to the U.S.A. Nov.24,1946.  He was a Special Service man.  He was discharged Dec.6,1946, at Ft. Dix.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


Roy Clarkson' s entry into World WAR II was in May, 1942.  He `and a friend, Lloyd Eaton, went to Deadwood, SD, to enlist in the Navy.  Roy found that since he already had his college degree, after 4 months as a Seaman he could go to midshipmen's school and became an officer.  His friend decided not to enlist at that time.  Roy' s entry was not entirely without hitch; when he went to Omaha for induction, he was turned down because of his susceptibility to hay fever.  Following a return to Belle Fourche, he decided to go to the Denver Induction Center as it was in a different district.  There he decided to mention the hay fever, and expressed by recruiting officer, You're in!

Late in the summer of 1942, Roy went by train to Notre Dame for 3 months of apprentice seaman classes.  At its conclusion, he went by troop train across Niagara Falls into Canada and on to New York to the Prairie State or Battleship Illinois which was tied up in the Columbia River.  On this ship, 400 men were being trained in navigation, gunnery, engineering, etc.  Conditions were very crowded-only a few "heads" and bunks 4 deep.  By coincidence the officer teaching navigation was a former professor from the Rapid City School of Mines, also there was one celebrity with them on the Prairie State, the actor Richard Nye who was dating the star Deborah Kerr (later they were married) was becoming a sailor.

Next Roy and 12 others were sent to Norfolk, VA, as Navy Gunfire Officers.  However at that time no one had clearly defined a Navy Gunfire Officer!  Eventually it was determined that they were to be similar to the artillery forward control in the infantry.  They were to spot targets on shore for Navel ship fire, their training was to take place at the Norfolk Midshipmen School and on the cruisers docked nearby.  Midshipmen were not allowed to be married at this time, so Roy's marriage early in 1942 was kept a secret.  In February 1943, his first child, Carol, was born at Norfolk.                    

At about this time  his unit was attached to the 45th Infantry Division billeted at Camp Pickett, VA.  Camp Pickett was a large staging area, holding 2 divisions or more and was about 150 miles from Norfolk.  A trip was made to Fort Sill, OK, to practice spotting artillery at the Army's Artillery School.  While there he and Bob Turner, a friend, were granted a short home leave.  As soon as they returned to Fort Pickett, they were shipped out.  Loaded aboard a troop transport, which traveled with a large convoy, they followed a zig-zagging evasive course to avoid German submarines.  It was a long, slow crossing; the convoy dipped below the equator before finally going through the Straits of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean Sea.  This convoy was one of the first to confront the Germans in the Mediterranean.  Its destination was Oran, North Africa.  Here they prepared for the invasion of Sicily, at least that's what the sailors and soldiers heard on the German propaganda radio broadcasts.

North Africa had been pretty well secured by then and General Patton was the Unit Commander for the invasion.  In his polished helmet with his pearl-handled pistol, when he spoke to the troops he advised them, "Don't shoot over their heads, shoot short and get dirt in their faces…"

On July 10, 1943, fighting a severe Mediterranean storm, Roy landed with the 3rd wave off troops near Polermo, Sicily.  The storm caused heavy landing casualties but surprised the Germans.  Roy led a team of 12 men including Army Artillery Officers.  Their job was to find targets such as tanks and coastal gun batteries, two radio operators were in the group.  They carried a hand-cranked generator as well as a radio; at that time messages were sent in Morse code.

They saw no noncombatants in the fishing and farming villages, as they reached deserted houses, it was apparent the Axis Troops had just left, i.e. fires and food was still hot.  In the 5-6 days, Roy spent on this mission one of two of his group wee wounded.  The infantry was moving fast and soon was beyond the range of the destroyers guns.  Roy' s team was called back to their ship.

The convoy returned to Oran, where nearly 1,500 German Officers who were prisoners were loaded aboard for the return trip to the U.S. , there was even a German General who each prisoner had to salute each time they came on deck to exercise. 

The Germans were shocked to see so many Allied Ships, apparently they had been told that there were very few; again it was a slow, evasive crossing to return to Norfolk and much appreciated home leave.

For his participation in this engagement, Roy received a Silver Star.  After his leave in the fall of 1943, Roy' s wife and daughter returned to New York with him where he spent a few weeks before he boarded the Equitania (sister ship to the Lucitania).This crossing took only 7 days and was unescorted; it was too fast for the German subs.  Christmas of 1943 was spent during this crossing, by New Years of 1944, they had sailed up the Clyde River to Glasgow, Scotland.  By train they went to Plymouth, England, which had been completely bombed out.  He was with the same 9-man team he had fought with in Sicily.  Again there seemed to be some confusion as where to put them.

Finally they were billeted in a castle in Glasgow where they spent most of the winter, towards spring, they were moved to Dartmouth, England, and assigned to a British Cruiser.  As the date for the Normandy Landing grew near, Roy and his friend, Bob Turner, were attached to the Infantry 4TH Division.  They were assigned to the Battleship Nevada.  This ship was the only ship which had gotten underway during the attack of Pearl Harbor.  It had gone aground while leaving the Harbor in Hawaii as her Captain was afraid that it might be hit and sunk making it impossible for other  ships to leave or enter the Harbor.

Now, the Nevada had been repaired and was seeing action on the other side of the world.  After Roy boarded this ship it went aground in the Clyde River, earning it the reputation of being the only ship which went aground in both Oceans!  Twelve tugs and the incoming tide managed to return it to the water and the damage was slight.

D-Day was drawing near.  A Chicago paper reported the landing would be June 5, and actually the landing craft Roy was on had crossed the Channel, but they were called back because of a storm  He was on a landing craft (LST) which carried 2-3 tanks as well as 200-300-men.  After spending that night in the Channel as the port area had been closed by submarine nets for the night , the LST crossed again.

D-Day, June 6, 1944, they landed in the 10-11 wave on Utah Beach.  Immediately the jeep hit a mine in a "cleared" area , amazing the driver, only about 16 years old, was not wounded.  They were assigned a new radio operator and began calling in fore from the various battleships off the coast, first the deep harbor at Cherbourg was taken over.  The German General captured there made a speech warning them that the German Troops had been ordered "to fight to the last man ".  The towns on the Peninsula had been completely battered by shells from both sides.

After about a month, the shoreline was secured.  Roy 's group returned to Plymouth ,in about 2-3 weeks they boarded the Queen Elizabeth to return to the U.S.  Following leave and several mix-ups in order, he was assigned to Pasco Naval Air station  Here he was joined by his wife and now he had 2 daughters, Kay had been born July 27, 1944.            Here at first they were told that they would participate in beach landings in the Pacific Theater, but their Commander said some had had enough hot landings the last 13 months, so it was decided the anyone who had been to both Sicily and Normandy would be assigned to the Training School there.  Roy spent the end of 1944 and most of 1945 teaching shore spotting to pilots.  He commented that lecturing to pilots was only "slightly harder than the landings!"

Roy received the Bronze Star for Normandy, because of his Silver Star, he was among the first mustered out in 1945.  By World Series time in 1945, he was on his way home.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


U.S. Army Engineers.  Son of Floyd and Effie [Stenning] Collins, brother of Harlan.  Graduated from Belle Fourche High School in 1940 as Tech. Sgt., Engineer Div#1, APO 465.  Born Mar. 23,1923, in Faith SD.  College student Inducted Feb. 1943, activated Mar. 2,1943, in Ft. Crook, NE.  Rifle expert and Surveyor.  Served 2 years, 12 months,20 days, ,of which 2 years,2 months,14 days, were overseas.  Left U.S. Dec.23,1943, for the Pacific, he returned Mar. 6, 1946.  He was discharged Mar. 12,1946 at Ft. Leavenworth.  Keith served with the Army Engineers in India in WW II , then graduated from the School of Mines.  He worked in South America, ,Asia and Europe.  He married Lorraine Hill and they had three children.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


James I. Conner was born Jan. 27, 1918, at Newell, the son of Elmer and Birdie Conner.  He grew up in the Arpan area, attended school at Orman and graduated from Nisland in 1935, he did ranch work until his enlistment in the U.S. Army Feb. 2, 1941, serving at Ft. Meade with the 4th Cavalry.  When World War II was declared the unit became the 24th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron.  Conner served as Company Clerk, saw duty in the European Theater, including Belgium, Rhineland, Northern France, Normandy, Central Europe and Ardennes.  He received several commendations including the Bronze Star. He received the Distinguished Member of the 4th Cavalry Regiment in 1987, after his discharge from the service in Oct. 1949, he returned to Belle Fourche.  He was married to Mary E. Hanify on June 26, 1949, at St. Paul's Parish.  He owned and operated the Texaco Bulk Plant until 1952 when he sold the plant and went to work for Texaco, Inc.  He and his family lived in Rapid City, Cheyenne and Casper.  In 1962 they moved to Wheatridge, CO., and he worked at the Denver Office until his retirement in 198-.  He died April 22, 1988, and was buried with military honors at St. Paul' s Cemetery in Belle Fourche.  His wife, Mary, lives in Wheatridge.  His daughters are Kathleen, Carol and Mary Beth.  He was a member of the 4th Cavalry Organization and served as President in 1986 and was a member of the VFW.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


 Isom Gayle Cox,  Vale, South Dakota, entered the service February 23,1945,and was discharged November 28,1946.  He was T/5 Isom G. Cox, Battery C, 743 RD, AAA BN

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


      Bob was born and raised in Buttte  County where his parents, Earl and Jennie {Sellers} homesteaded on Indian Creek . He and Dick Hanify  enlisted in the Marine Corps in Minneapolis Jan. 1942, and left Belle Fourche for boot camp in San Diego all of the family members were there to tell them good-bye.  It was almost four years later when they met again in California to be discharged.  Bob took training on Florida and was sent to South Pacific.  In the summer of 1943 he returned to the States to train men in ordinance work for a few months.  He and Peggy{Pannell} were married in San Diego and  their daughter Pasty, was born while he was in the States so he was luckier than many servicemen who never got back during the war.  However he was not so lucky on the second tour of duty where a Jap Mortar Shell hit the tent and his right leg was severely injured by shrapnel.  He was a T-Sgt. In the Marine Air Force and his job as an ordnance man was serving Grumman Avengers behind the front lines of battle.  He had seen action at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Munda, Green Island and Emiru before being wounded on Peleiu.  Hal Johnson from Belle Fourche was with the Seabees on the island where Bob was and he wrote home that  Bob's lieutenant told him "We lost a fine man that night .Bob was one of the best fellows we had in ordnance." He received many medals including the Purple Heart.  One of his special Marine Corps friends was F.M. Davis [Dave] who later came to SD  and worked for him.  Dave was active in service organizations in Belle Fourche. While visiting about the war they found they had both been on the same ship when they were sent back to the States but hadn't seen each other for a long time and Dave had heard that Bob had been killed.  Bob stopped at his home in California after he was discharged and Dave couldn't believe his eyes.  Bob returned to the ranch and later established the Heart Tail Ranch on Owl Creek which is still operated by his son, Chance and Cindy and family.  Bob was killed in a plane accident in 1961 and is buried at B.H. National Cemetery.  His wife Peggy, lives in Belle Fourche.  John and Pat Schaefer live in Crookston , MN and Tead and Jo Davis live in Sioux City, IA.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


         Bob Driskill was born in Rapid City, S.D., on May 10,1922.  He was the 5th son of T.E. [Tilman Elmore] Driskill and Ella Mae [King] Driskill.  They resided on Quincy Street in Rapid City.  Bob grew up in Moorcraft, Wyoming and graduated from high school there.  He enlisted into the U.S. Navy shortly after World War II started.  That date was January 19,1942, in San Diego, California.

            He served in the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer, Storekeeper.  He was stationed at Australia in the area of Brisbane and Melbourne.  He remained in that locale unit shortly before his honorable discharge in Virginia in March of 1946.

            One of the highlights that occurred before Bob went overseas was when his mother, Ella Mae, was congratulated for being a mother from Wyoming who had her whole family of five sons in the military service.  A number of letters of acknowledgement from then Secretary of the Navy Knox were received, including an invitation to Ella Mae and her five sons to take part in honoring her as she christened a ship, that ship was the Destroyer U.S.S. Longshaw.  The ceremony took place at shipyards near Seattle, WA.  All five of the Driskill Brothers requested duty on board this ship, but their request was denied by the Navy, because  of the loss of five Sullivan Brothers from Ohio when their ship was sunk.  The U.S.S. Longshaw was sunk on her maiden voyage.  The Driskill family felt their luck!!

            The names of the five brothers were Dallas, Leigh, Elmore, Joseph and Robert.  Only three sons were able to attend the christening of the ship by their mother, they were Bob, Dallas and Elmore; Joe and Leigh were overseas.  Joe had joined the Marines instead of being in the Navy with his brothers because at the time he went to enlist, the Navy line was much longer than that of the Marines, so--he chose the shorter line and was then apart of that branch of the service.

            After Bob' s discharge from the Navy, he attended colleges in Missoula, MT., and at Spearfish, SD.  Upon graduation from B.H.T.C., he moved to San Francisco where some of his brothers were living.  He returned to the Black Hills where he married Betty O'Conner on Dec. 27, 1951, in a double ring ceremony.

            In June, 1952, Bob and Betty moved to Belle Fourche where Bob managed the three municipal liquor stores, during 1954, Bob took over the management of the Overseas Veterans' Organization (Vets; Club) .  Bob took pride and pleasure in serving the veterans for many years by promoting various activities and entertainers.

            During this time, he started the December 7th Uniform Dance.  The Veterans were to try to fit back into their old uniforms from WW II , then later on, any of the wars that followed.  This Uniform Dance became an annual event.

            The V.F.W./Vets Club was involved in the Community Unity Barbeque for years and Bob always made the big kettle of barbeque sauce for the celebration and he also assisted in the service line.      Bob retired from the Vets Club about 1980.  On October 13, 1983, Bob passed away and he was laid to rest with military honors at the Black Hills National Cemetery

Bob' s wife, Betty, lives in Belle Fourche, as does their daughter,             Laura Bennett.  Cheryl and Paige Driskill live in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Son Mark resided in Woodland, California..

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


Henry 'Bud' Ginsbach was born Aug. 16,1918, to Henry and Elva Ginsbach near Redig, S.D.  He grew up in that area and went into the service in March,1941.  He was a Tech.4th Grade in the 43rd Engineer Construction Battalion  In the U.S. Army.  He went to the Pacific and was in the East Indies, Papua, New Guinea and Luzon.  He was discharged at FT .Leavenworth KS., ON July 27,1945.  He was in the excavating business in Belle Fourche for many years.  His wife, Bonnie, lives in Belle Fourche.  They have nine children.  Two of Bud's brothers were also in World WAR II. They are Gerald, Albert "Shep" Ginsbach.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001

GLOVER BROTHERS—John , Kenneth and George Glover

John, Kenneth and George Glover, sons of the late John Glover, old time resident of Vale, are all in the service, according to a letter from Mrs. Kenneth Glover of DeSmet, SD.

John was awarded a Captain's commission on Feb. 13 after serving more than a year in the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot in the South Pacific.  He had previously received the Distinguished Service Cross, was cited by Gen. Douglas MacArthur  for heroism in action, and was presented with the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.

            "After having been pretty badly shot up in a dog fight over Burma, Capt. Glover made a landing at a speed of 350 miles per hour, having presence of mind in spite of his own condition and that of the plane, to level off before hitting the ground, making a "belly side" landing that threw sparks for 100 feet on each side of the plane".  His escape was nothing short of miraculous, the communication stated. {May 20,1943}

            After his return to the States, Capt. Glover became an instructor at Glendale, CA.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


            Larry Martin Hamblin was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 27, 1926.  His parents were Lawrence W. AND Orian  E. Hamblin.  He attended schools in Rushville, NE, Phillp, SD and Belle Fourche.  He was a member of the graduating class of 1944, having been active in high school sports and music.

            He enlisted and was sworn into the army services on Nov. 11,1943.  After finishing high school he entered active service and took basic training at Camp Wolters, TX.  He then was assigned to Headquarters Company, 249th  Field Artillery Battalion, 27th Infantry Division on the island of Okinawa.  After the war ended he went with the division to Japan and on December 2,1945,became a member of the Honor Guard to General MacArthur and served with that unit in Tokyo, Japan, until September 12,1946.  He was discharged at Fort Lewis, WA, ON November 26,1946.

            He married Billie Jane Clute in 1947.  Larry became a student and was graduated from business and law schools at the  University of South Dakota.  He is the father of four children and grandfather  of five.  He retired as head of the tax department of San Diego Trust and Savings Bank 's trust department in 1987 and returned to home town of Belle Fourche for his retirement years.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


            USMC 4TH DIVISION

            Battles:  Battles of Roi and Namur, Kwajalein, Marshall Island s, 31 Jan.44,Battles of Saipan and Tinian, 15 Jun. 44 to Aug. 1, 44.  Battles of Iwo Jima, 19 Feb.45. 

            Wounds received in service:  9 Jul.44, 1 Aug.44, 19 Feb.45.

            Awards and Decorations:  Award of the Purple Heart, Gold Star in lieu of 2nd Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation for participation if Battle of Saipan and Tinian.

            Richard W. Hanify was born June 28,1917, in Butte County and was raised on the family ranch  7 miles north of Belle Fourche.  He was the son of Arthur and Mary Walsh Hanify.

            Became his uncle, Elmer Hanify, had been a Marine in World War I, this was the branch of service to which Hanify was drawn.  "Dick" left for Minneapolis, MN, on Jan. 21,1942,to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. Another local rancher from the area, Bob Davis, also left the same day.

            Hanify received his basic training at San Diego.  In the spring of 1942, he was sent to Camp Pendleton then to Camp Jejeune, North Carolina.

            In August 1943, he returned to Butte County on Furlough via Minneapolis where he met his brother, John C. Hanify, who was attending Navy School at the University.

            Hanify shipped out to rest camp on Maui then on to the Marshall Islands in early 1944.  In June,1944, he was wounded in battle on Saipan and was returned to Maui.

            Hanify made Platoon Sergeant during his tour of duty on the Islands.  It was during the battles of Iwo Jima in Feb. of 45 when he was wounded again.  He was moved from Iwo Jima to Saipan by ship and then flew to Hawaii on a transport C47.  During this time he sent a letter to his brother John that said, "Ask your corpsman about Aica."  This was to let John know that he was in Aica Naval Hospital in Hawaii where John was to dock.

            On Tinian in the Marianas  Platoon Sgt. Richard Hanify, Belle Fourche, SD, talks over a field telephone.

            EYES of men who have looked at undiluted hell are not pleasant to meet soon after.  There is no fear in their faces and no great hatred.  They were simply fighting their way out and hoping to stay alive.

            Platoon Sergeant Hanify returned to Belle Fourche in the late spring of 1945.  He spent the rest of his service time at the Recruit Training Center in San Diego.

            Following the war, he resumed ranching north of Belle  until 1948 when he and his brother, Bob, bought a ranch in the jump-off area of Harding County near Buffalo, SD. He married Dorothy Brengle Magstadt of Buffalo in 1952 and they had 2 daughters.  He continued to live in the jump-off raising cattle and horses until his death,November,26 1967, to cancer.

            His daughter, Maura Jo Nixon, her husband, Delane, and their 3 daughters continue to operate the ranch.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


            Vincent D. Kennedy was born Sept. 5, 1919, at Mountain Lake, MN, the son of David and Rosalie .  Kennedy.  He came with his parents to Belle Fourche at a young age, and grew up here, graduating from Belle Fourche High School in 1937.  Kennedy entered the service on Nov. 18,1942, at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  He was assigned to the 13th Armored Division Battery A, 497 Armored Field Artillery Battalion, as a gun crewman.

            He was stationed at Camp Beale, CA, during his training session, and later in Texas for advanced training before being shipped out for the European Theater of War.  He was in the battles and campaigns in Rhineland and Central Europe.

            Vince received his discharge on Nov. 3,1945, at Ft. McArthur, CA.  Medals awarded to him include the Good Conduct Metal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and Victory Medal.

            He came home unscathed from action, but prior to leaving the States he was hospitalized with a serious back injury received in a tank accident while on practice blackout training in Texas.  Prior to that he was involved in another jeep accident while on a practice mission in California.

            Kennedy married to Faye Wright on Feb.17,1942, at Belle Fourche.  One daughter, Deanna Dale, was born to the couple on August 14,1944, at Belle Fourche.  Vince was home on furlough for a short time then, and his daughter was over a year old when he returned from the service.

            Army wives banned together during those years of separation, comparing notes, assisting in the war efforts and mainly just boosting morale at home and overseas.

            During the war years, there were many items in the "hard to get" category.  There was much swapping of baby clothes, since they were at a premium.  There was a shortage and rationing of sugar and many food items.  Mutton was served generously to the serviceman, and for that reason, we seldom ever had a lamb or mutton meal in the years following the service states Faye Kennedy.

            Kennedy was employed by the City of Belle Fourche as a bartender, and later as a liquor store manager, a position he held at the time of his death, June 27,1983.  He was employed by the city for over 20 years.

            During their married life, the Kennedy's purchased an older home on Sixth Avenue, which Vince enjoyed rebuilding in his spare time.  The home includes many special wood crafting projects that Vince created and is still the family home today.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


Seaman 1C,U.S. Navy

            Of Belle Fourche, born Dec.2, 1927, Mohall, ND.  Graduated FROM Belle Fourche High School in 1945.  Enlisted Jan. 18,1946, in Rapid City.  Served 1 year, 9 months, 26 days including Foreign/Sea Duty.

            Trained at Camp Perry, Virginia, and at Haiku Heeia, Oahu, T.H.   Discharged Nov. 13,1947, Alameda, CA.

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001


            Lyle Franklin Liming entered the service in the U.S. Navy June 5, 1943, from Nisland, SD.  He was in boot camp at Camp Perry, VA.  He was at Camp Endicot, RI and Camp Parks, Oakland, CA.  He shipped out from Huenemi, CA.. aboard the USS Rotona to New  Calendonia at christmas,1943.  He was on Guadalcanal and Okinawa and to the States.  He was discharged

from Treasure Island at S.F.,CA, on Nov.26,1945,Battalion CBNU 533.  He returned to the Belle Fourche area and worked at Bentonite Company, building construction and Missile Construction sites before becoming self employed in Sand and Gravel  Crushing--road construction--sand washing--Redi-mix and Pre-cast.  His wife, Marilyn worked at the Belle Fourche Hospital as a registered nurse.  They are now retired..

Submitted by the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce, April, 2001