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.

 

Lloyd E. Eisnach

Lloyd was a 1st Lieutenant with the 26th YD Division.  He was killed in action in France on October 26, 1944. 

Submitted 6/6/01

Bob Wittemore

Bob served in two campaigns in Leyte and Okinawas with the 96th Infantry Division. 

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Elmer J. Rogge

Elmer was a 1st Lieutenant with the Army Signal Corps in the European Theater Operation during World War II. 

Submitted 6/6/01

Lyle Franklin Liming

Lyle was a Seabee during World War II.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Louis Ray Liming

Louis was in the Navy during World War II.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

David Jackson Ritter

David served in the Army during World War II.  He died in training.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Louis Friebel

Louis was killed in action in Germany in World War II.

Submitted by his brother, 6/6/01

 

Edward L. Newell

Edward served in the navy during World War II. 

Submitted by his wife and children, 6/6/01

 

Cornelius (Case) Gerrit Noteboom

Case enlisted in Army in November, 1943.  He received his basic training, had an extended furlough before reporting for shipment overseas to France and was killed in action on August 6, 1944 near Mortain, France.  His remains are buried in Brittany American Cemetery at St. James France.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

John Weaver

John was drafted into the Army in the Fall of 1941.  He was discharged on May 26, 1943 as a private.  He served as an ammunition carrier in Nebraska, Louisana and Wisconsin. 

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Leander C. Wagener

Leander served in the U.S. Air Force overseas as a flight engineer.  He achieved the rank of private first class.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Robert L. Wagener

Roberts served in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland Air Base.  He achieved the rank of private first class.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Lawrence O. Wagener

Lawrence served in the U.S. Army in Maryland and the proving grounds of the European Theater.  He achieved the rank of Technician Third Class.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Russell P. Conrath

Rusell was a Tech. Sgt. in the European Theater in England.  He died in 1947. His wife in a life member as a Gold Star Wife.

Submitted by his wife, 6/6/01

 

Thelma Anderson

Thelma volunteered for the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1942.  Shortly after this she took a test for induction into the Royal Artillery.  She passed this test and was assigned to the 592nd mixed heavy anti-aircraft battery.  Her guns were located at the Whitby Cliffs, until the Germans located the guns and destroyed her position.  After this the guns were moved every week or so to various locations along the northern England coast.  Numerous German planes and bombers were destroyed and damaged by her battery.  She made the comment that looking back if she realizes she was killing some mothers son, but they were killing British sons also.  She stayed in the fight until 1944 when the Germans were done bombing England.  She was then transferred to the Royal Army Ordinance Corps until the war ended and was discharged in 1946.  Medals she received included the Air Defense Medal of Great Britain, Civil Defense Medal of London, and 4 years of Service stripes.  She married a South Dakota boy at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on December 8, 1945.  He was a US Army Tech Sergeant stationed in London as a mechanic.  She returned with him to South Dakota.

Submitted 5/30/01

 

Harry Arthur Sommer

Harry served in the Army in Europe with the 34th Infantry Division. This unit was from South Dakota and trained in 1941 at Camp Clairborne, Louisana.  One month after  Pearl Harbor, the 34th Division was sent to Europe.  The 34th Division was the first U.S. Combat Division sent to Europe in World War II.  South Dakota units of the 34th Division were located in Pierre, Aberdeen, Rapid City and Brookings.

Submitted 6/1/01

 

Chester Sommer

Chester served in the Armyin Europe with the 34th Infantry Division.  This unit was from South Dakota and trained in 1941 at Camp Clairborne, Louisana.  One month after  Pearl Harbor, the 34th Division was sent to Europe.  The 34th Division was the first U.S. Combat Division sent to Europe in World War II.  South Dakota units of the 34th Division were located in Pierre, Aberdeen, Rapid City and Brookings.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Maynard Sommer

Maynard served in the Navy in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Jack Mitchell

Jack was 15 in 1945 when the war ended.  He can remember the victory gardens, war saving stamps that were sold every Friday at school and of course that everything was rationed.  He would stand in line every morning before going to school to get his Dad a pack of Camels.  He remembers the morning of December 7, 1941.  His family had gone to church and when they came home they heard the news on the radio.  He remembers President Franklin Delano Roosevelts speech was very sad to us and it is a day that continues to live in a day of infamy.  For years, his family lived, ate and slept the war, and free outdoor movies our hometown put on every Saturday night it was MOVIETONE news about the war.  In school, every Friday was devoted to the war effort.  Children brought their money to buy war savings stamps to put in our savings books and when the books were full they were traded into War Bonds.  Jack also remembers his coach was in service and discharged in 1940.  He had military prep class that he taught to the boys on Friday and Saturday.  It taught them how not to be a baby and what to expect from boot camp training.  The class was only for the senior boys and finally when the coach was called back into service his wife, who also was a teacher, took up the class.  She was really sharp on it because she had been a military wife for some time.  Starting about 1942 none of the junior boys came back for their senior year as they had school permission to join up and then when commencement the boys parents accepted their diplomas on their behalf. 

Submitted by himself, 6/4/01

 

Roy E. Samp

Private Samp was killed in action in World War II.

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Meredith Hall

Meredith was killed in action in World War II.

Submitted by his nephew, 6/8/01

 

Gladys Samp

Gladys was in the Waves in World War II.

Submitted by her brother, 6/8/01

 

Robert F. Holcomb

Robert was a pilot in the Army Air Force.  He was killed in the States in a mid-air collision after having flow 63 missions while overseas during the war.

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Raymond H. Eilers

Raymond enlisted in the Army in 1944 and was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked.

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Verlan Eilers Ferrara

Verlan enlisted in the WAAC in 1942 and served for three years. Her twin sister enlisted at the same time.

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Velda Eilers Brandt

Velda enlisted in the WAAC in 1943 and served for three years.  Her twin sister enlisted at the same time.

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Edward G. Brandt

Edward joined the Navy in 1942.  He served on LST boats in the South Pacific.  He served in the Navy for more than 20 years.

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Genevieve Krause Buettner

Genevieve served in Germany from 1943-1945.

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Donald Brandt

Donald served in the Marines and the Air Corps for 26 ½ years. 

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Alvin Nelson

Alvin served from May 28, 1941 to October 19, 1945.

Submitted 6/11/01

 

T.C. Waits

T.C. served in the U.S. Navy and helped to end the conflict in the Pacific Theater.

Submitted by his son and daughter in law, 6/11/01

 

Kenneth E. Stover

Kenneth served with Company E, 353rd Infantry 89th Division

Submitted 6/11/01

 

Meredith Carrol Hall

In March, 1939, he enlisted in the United States Navy.  He was sent to the U.S. Naval Station at Great Lakes, Illinois for his training.  Later he was assigned to the USS Houston and was sent to the South Pacific.  He was in the Phillippines on December 7, 1941 when the war started.  They left there doing convoy duty.  He was in the Battle of Macassor Straits and it was in the Battle of Java Sea when the Houston was sunk, February 28, 1942.  March 15, 1942, his mother received word that Meredith was reported missing in action.  Nothing more was heard until April 8, 1946 when a letter was received from Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, saying the Navy Department had declared him killed in action on December 15, 1945. 

Submitted 6/11/01

 

Edmund F. Stamper

Edmund was a T4 Sergeant in the United States Army

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Paul D. Riley

Paul was a Corporal in the United States Army and a Normandy Survivor

Submitted 6/8/01

 

Fred M. Stott

Fred was in he Army Air Corps and crewed a B17.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Stanley L. Burghardt

Stanley served as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. 5th Army 34th Division, 34th Signal Company

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Charles I. Whitepipe, Sr.

Charles served in the Army as a “Forward Observer” on Japanese held islands in the South Pacific.  He communicated by radio with a ship-based partner, using the Lakota language, to direct artillery fire from ships at sea onto those islands.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Helen Shoemaker

Helen served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, she was a 1st Lieutenant.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Thomas W. Massey

Thomas served overseas in two campaings. 

Submittted 6/6/01

 

Patrick M. Cahill

Patrick served on the USS Walker during World War II.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

P.M. Swinson

P.M. served in the Navy during World War II.

Submitted 6/6/01

 

Warren W. Morse

Warren was on a Navy submarine during World War II.

Submitted 6/7/01

 

Fern L. (Marcotte) Morse

Fern served in the Army as a radio man.

Submitted 6/7/01

 

George Martin Sween

Martin served in the Navy during World War II on a destroyer in the Pacific.  He was drafted in 1943 and was discharged when the war ended. 

Submitted 6/7/01

 

Nola Jean (Hotchkiss) Collins

Nola was a Army nurse on the USS Hope hospital ship that served in the Southwest Pacfic.

Submitted 6/7/01

 

Donald W. Hotchkiss

Donald enlisted in the Navy and served on board the battleship USS Iowa.

Submitted 6/7/01

 

Lyle Singrey

Lyle was a World War II soldier who served in Europe.

Submitted 6/7/01

 

Lee Bevers

Lee was in World War II and was a prisoner of war of the Germans

Submitted 6/7/01

 

Donald Singrey

Donald was in the Army during World War II but did not see combat.  He was in training during the end of the war and was ready to ship to the Pacific when the war ended.  He was on Okinawa about a month after the war ended and then was sent to Korea. 

Submitted 6/7/01

 

Larry Toman

Larry joined the Navy at young age and saw plenty of action but really doesn’t talk about it much.

Submitted by his son-in-law, 6/6/01