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.


Jean W. Bollinger

Jean was a Lt. JG in the U.S. Navy

Submitted 6/14/01

Kathryn Bollinger Peters

Kathryn was a Lt. JG in the U.S. Navy.

Submitted 6/14/01


Victoria Beck

Victoria served as a US army civilian in the Chemical Warfare Service.

Submitted 6/14/01

Clarence W. Justice

Clarence served in the US Navy from July 24, 1942 to November 4, 1945.  He was both in the Atlantic and the Pacific. 

Submitted by himself, 6/11/01


Jim Simpson

Jim served as a member of 3925 Signal Battalion.  He served 27 months in the South Pacific.

Submitted by his daughter, 6/14/01


Robert L. Reoh

Robert served in the U.S. Navy from May 7, 1945 to August 19, 1946.  He was discharged from inactive service into the Navy Reserve on January 17, 1945.  He served in the Pacific Theatre.

Submitted 6/12/01


Owen John Papke

Owen was a corporal in the 355th Bombardment Squadron in the Army.  He served from September, 1942 until November, 1945. 

Submitted 6/14/01


Eddie Kodet

Eddie was a POW during World War II. 

Submitted 6/14/01


Hemming and Dorthy Oien

Hemming and Dorthy, husband and wife, both served in World War II.  Hemming was in the navy and Dorthy (Eitreim) was an army nurse.

Submitted 6/14/01


Carroll (Skip) Sanders

Carroll was a veteran of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Submitted 6/14/01


Elenore Couton Collett

Elenore was a radioman in the Navy in Washington, DC.

Submitted 6/14/01


Porter L. Rich

Porter was killed at Pearl Harbor

Submitted 6/14/01


Ralph Henry Haper

Ralph joined the Calvary and then it was changed and he was made a paratrooper and made jumps in the South Pacific Islands. 

Submitted by his daughter, 6/7/01


Francis (Bud) Shoup

Francis was a WWII veteran who served in the Pacifci.

Submitted by his daughter in law, 6/6/01


Douglas M. Oglivy

Douglas enlisted in the Marine Corps as a flying cadet.  He was taking combat training when he lost his life in an airplane crash at Greenville, N.C. in August, 1944.  He attained the rank of Lieutenant.

Submitted 6/11/01


William E. Wills

William enlisted in 1942 and received his commission.  Bill was with the 3rd Army and saw action in France.  His death was reported in August, 1944.  He attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Submitted 6/11/01


Robert Don Wendroff

Robert enlisted in the Medical Corps and was sent to the Phillippines.  He was on Bataan when it was captured by the Japanese.  Word was received in September, 1944 that he had died in a Japanese Prison camp.  He attained the rank of private.

Submitted 6/11/01


Harold M. Brandt

Harold enlisted in the Paratroopers in 1942 and was sent to the Phillippine area.  Harold was mortally wounded on the Leyte Beachhead in December, 1944.  He attained the rank of S/Sgt.

Submitted 6/11/01


Russell S. Meyer

Russell served with the Pacific Fleet joining the Navy on December 23, 1941.   He went to aviation machinist mate school in Great Lakes, Ill. He served overseas as aviation machinist mate and flight engineer with Fleet Wing #8 Petrol Sq. #20.  His rating was Aviation Machinist Mate Second Class.  He received an honorable discharge on October 10, 1945.

Submitted by himself, 6/15/01


Marvin J. Knock

Marvin was drafted into service at Ft. Crooks on December 2, 1941, serving in the US Army.  He was sent to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas and then to Camp Polk, Louisana to join the “Third Armored Division” as a truck driver.  The Division was moved to California, to Camp Pickett, Virginia and then to Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.  He was sent to England on September 17, 1943.  There the Division was part of the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central European Campaigns of World War II under the “First Army’.  He was awarded five Battle Stars, American Defense, Good Conduct, Markmanship, the European, African, and Middle Eastern Service Medals.

Submitted by his granddaughter, 6/15/01


Donald Bell

Donald entered the service in 1941 and served with the airborne army.  He was reported killed in Germany in March,1945.  He was a Flight Officer.

Submitted on 6/11/01


Robert S. Pennington

Robert served with Patton’s Third Army and death came during action in Belgium in December, 1944.  He was buried in a Luxembourg military cemetery.  He attained the rank of Sergeant.

Submitted 6/11/01


Duane Eugene Ridder

Duane entered the Army Air Corps in 1943.  After an injury he received his medical discharge.  He died in Hines, Ill. Veterans Hospital in January, 1945.  He attained the rank of private first class.

Submitted 6/11/01


John Wesley Fanset

John entered the infantry the same year and was sent to the Normandy beachhead in 1944 and trained with a tank corps.  He was killed in France in January, 1945.  He attained the rank of Private.

Submitted 6/11/01


Jack Helbing

Jack enlisted in 1943 and served on the USS Pinkney which was torpedoed in April, 1945.  He attained the rank of Yeoman 2nd Class.

Submitted 6/11/01


George William Potticary

George entered the army in 1942 and went overseas in 1944. He was killed when he brought back voluntarily a wounded comrade under direct enemy fire in January, 1945.  He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Submitted 6/11/01


James Harry Fisher

James was sent overseas in 1944 and saw action in Normandy, Belgium and France.  In February, 1945, he was killed in Germany.  He attained the rank of Private First Class.

Submitted 6/11/01


Paul Albert Zimprich

While his ship, the USS Hopewell, was rescuing personnel from a mine sweeper, he was killed by projectiles from Japanese shore batteries near the Phillippines.  He attained the rank of Radioman third class.

Submitted 6/11/01


Leo J. Michael

Leo entered the service in 1942 and took radio training.  His death occurred in action in Germany in March, 1945.  He attained the rank of Corporal.

Submitted 6/11/01


Paul Francis Bauer

Paul enlisted in the Navy in December, 1941.  His death resulted aboard ship during enemy action in June, 1945.  He attained the rank of S.S.M.B. 1st Class.

Submitted 6/11/01


Arthur L. Gustafson

Arthur was a graduate of Annapolis in 1936.  He served as a gunnery officer on the USS Perry which was lost in February, 1942.  He was given a citation for gallantry and a destroyer escort was christened in his honor.  He attained the rank of Lieutenant.

Submitted 6/11/01


Arlie Norman Daley

Arley became a radio operator before the war.  His ship, which was in and out of convoy in the war, was sunk in March, 1942. 

Submitted 6/11/01


Scott W. Crichton

Scott was in the invasion of North Africa and the Tunisian campaigns.  He was killed June, 1942 in North Africa.  He attained the rank of Lieutenant.

Submitted 6/11/01


William Nicol Guddal

William entered the Naval Air Corps in June, 1942.  He was commissioned as an Ensign and became an instructor at Hutchinson Field, Kansas where his death resulted in a airplane accident in 1943.

Submitted 6/11/01


John Roger Bell

John enlisted in 1935, and was on the USS Houston, which was lost in the Battle of the Java Sea, February 1942. 

Submitted 6/11/01


Lawrence Headley

Lawrence enlisted in the Navy in 1927.  He was a member of the crew of the USS Ashville, lost in March, 1942.  He was a MM 1st Class.

Submitted 6/11/01


Jewett A. Bale

His bomber was shot down off the Italian coast on a bombing mission in August, 1943.  He was given the Distinguished Flying Cross.  He attained the rank of T/Sgt.

Submitted 6/11/01


Nicholas Henry Gebhardt

Nick particpated in the landing at Casablanca, the Tunisian, Sicilian campaigns, the Battle of Salerno, and the Battle of Vulterno River in which he lost his life in October, 1943.  He was a Sergeant.

Submitted 6/11/01


Richard C. Kausch

Richard enlisted in 1942.  Dick was a radio operator and gunner on a bomber which was shot down over France in January, 1944.  He was awarded the Air Medal.  He attained the rank of staff sergeant.

Submitted 6/11/01


Maynard A. Lippert

Maynard left the US in 1942 with the 34th Signal Company and took part in the Tunisian Campaign.  He lost his life near Casino, Italy in February, 1944.  He was a sergeant.

Submitted 6/11/01


Fred Iver Brevik

Fred drowned while rescuing a comrade in Ireland. 

Submitted 6/11/01


Marshall V. Peterson

He was a pilot on a B-24 which was shot down over Czecho-Slovakia in June, 1944.  He was a 2nd Lieutenant.

Submitted 6/11/01


Gordon Wilbur Johnson

Gordon served with a bombing squadron in the Army Air Corps and was reported missing over Germany in 1944.  He was a 2nd Lieutenant.

Submitted 6/11/01


James A. Griswold

James enlisted in the Army Air Corps after graduating from the S.D. School of Mines.  His death resulted from a plane accident at Hondo, Texas in March, 1944.

Submitted 6/11/01


George Morris Scothorn

George was on active duty on the Anzio Beachhead in Italy.  Death came in action near Rome in 1943.  He was a private.

Submitted 6/11/01


Homer H. Hoftiezer

Homer was enlisted as a private in the Army in 1938 and made exceptionally rapid advancements.  His death resulted from a bus accident at Lakeland, Florida at the Army Air Field in July, 1944.  He was a Captain at the time of his death.

Submitted 6/11/01