|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. We would like to post these
stories on our website.
on February 2, 1925 on a farm near Ferney to Louis and Ida
graduated with the class of 1943 from Groton High School.
In March 1944, he went to Farragut, Idaho for boot camp
and twelve weeks in gunnery school, graduating Seaman First
Class. He came home
for a brief leave in October, then reported to Shoemaker, CA.
He was assigned to the destroyer, USS Hull, with the
Third Fleet in Novembers.
As the Third Fleet was preparing for the invasion of
Luzon, Phillipines, a typhoon struck.
Tankers were unable to refuel the destroyers due to winds
topping 110 knots. With
their fuel tanks empty, their massive guns and ammunition made
them dangerously top heavy.
The ships were thrown on their sides.
On December 18, 1944, the USS Hull sank, trapping most of
the crew, out of the 250 man crew only 62 survived.
Admiral Nimitz said the typhoon, “represented a more
crippling blow to the Third Fleet than it suffered from
everything the Japanese had thrown at them in action.”
The Third Fleet lost 790 lives, 21 ships were damaged
(nine put out of action) and 150 planes were destroyed.
Wallace Kamopp was lost at sea.
by his sisters, 6/15/2000
in World War II in the Southwest Pacific.
He was awarded four Bronze stars for New Guinea, Southern
Phillipines, Bismarck Archipelago, and East Indies Campaigns.
Also received the Good Conduct Medal.
by his children, 6/16/2000
of Badger, SD. He
served as the copilot of a bomber group stationed at Diss,
England. He flew
missions over Germany and had to walk through France after a
his daughter, 6/23/2000
Dr. Norm Meriweather
of St. Lawrence, SD. He
did not fight in the war but trained officers in Ft. Benning,
his daughter 6/17/200
Falls resident. Inducted on August 18, 1942 and discharged on
November 25, 1945. He
was wounded on the Moselle River, France, September 10, 1944.
his daughter, 6/14/2000
Joe A. Kukal
into the service at Kadoka, SD.
Served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946.
He spent two years overseas in France and Germany.
his wife, 6/11/2000
Elmer M. “Swede” Gulbranson
War II veteran who served in the European Theatre and was at
Bastogne, France during the Battle of the Bulge.
his son 6/14/2000
James David Gilbert
in the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the European
Theatre from 1944-1945. He earned a bronze star and other decorations.
He participated in the Battle of the Bulge.
his daughters 6/15/2000
in the U.S. Navy from 1940 to 1945.
Was stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and is
a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.
his children, 6/10/00
Paul P. Kleinsasser
in the army and a survivor of the Normandy Invasion.
Benjamin J. Larson
from 1942 to 1945. T.
SGT, 1st Armored Division, Italian and North African
Marvin V. Green
from 1943 to 1945. CPL,
283rd AAF Base Unit, Galveston, Texas, Air Operations
William Hook, Col. Ret.
up in Oelrichs, SD and entered the army on June 25, 1942.
Commissioned in May, 1943 from OCS.
Became a Company Commander in November, 1943 and took a
company of combat engineers into Normandy on June 10, 1944.
Served in the Korean and Viet Nam Wars as well.
Charles Hartman and Bill Hartman
in action, both as bomber crew members.
Chales was a gunner on a B-17 that disappeared and was
presumed shot down over New Guinea early in 1942.
His brother was a flight engineer on a B-29 that was shot
down over Tokyo four days before V-J Day in August,1945.
their nephew, 8/16/2000
P-61 night fighters off Iwo Jima and Saipan in 1944.
his son, 8/16/2000
Stanley Ellis Price
LT. Serving in World War Ii in the African Campaign and in
Italy. During his tour in Italy, he received a serious leg
injury and received a Purple Heart.
He was awarded a Bronze Star, and a battlefield
passed away at his home on March 25, 2000 in Buffalo, SD.
by his sister, 8/11/2000.
Ruth Gilbertson and Rev. Edward A.
and Ed both served in World War II.
Ruth served 2 ˝ years overseas and was a combat nurse in
three battles in New Guinea and the Phillipines.
She was awarded three battle stars.
by her husband 4/7/2000
Ira Fern Bayne
in the Army’s 95th Division Infantry.
He was wounded November 27, 1944 in Metz.
He was awarded several medals. He died February 1, 1974.
his sister in law 4/24/2000