|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.
was a combat infantryman during World War II.
He received the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Philippine
Liberation Medal, Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army of
Occupation Medal (Japan). Howard
was one of ten soldiers several times out of a platoon of men,
who survived when the army invaded and took the Philippines from
served in the Medical Corps two years in Europe.
was a Fireman 1st Class in the US Naval Reserves.
served in the Medical Corps for two years in Europe.
was a private in World War II who served in the Pacific Theatre.
He was injured there.
was the Commanding Offered of Demolition Team 8, US Navy
served with Headquarters Company, 11th Airborne
Division. He died
August 13, 1945. He
was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 in the South Pacific.
E. Bender Ehren
served at the 4196th Army Air Force Base.
served with Company B, 290th Infantry. He was killed in the Battle of the Bulge on January 20, 1945.
served in the Infantry in World War II.
enlisted in the U.S. Army on May 6, 1942.
He was stationed at Ft. Knox, KY for much of his
training. He was
with Companies B and D and Headquarters with the 750th
Tank Battalion in the European Theater.
He was a Scout Car Commander, Reconnaissance NCO, a Bow
Gunner and a Tank Gunner. He had charge of 1-¼ ton Army vehicles and six men, and took
charge of all convoys. He
did reconnaissance work for the Battalion.
He was awarded three battle stars for the Ardennes,
Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns.
He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and he told of
being in Aachen, Eschweiler, Cologne and Brussels.
He talked of the eating pea and bean soup for twenty-one
days while they ran through their tents.
Near the end of the war he was with the 3rd
Tank Platoon, Company B, and he told of crossing the Elbe River
with his tank on a pontoon bridge.
He was with the 750th Tank Battalion that
represented the United States in the Army of Occupation in
Berlin. For the
show, the tanks were cleaned and repainted, concrete from the
front taken out and they received new uniforms with Eisenhower
jackets and helmet liners.
He was honorably discharged on January 23, 1946.
wasn't very old when my father went off to the war in fact all I
remember of my father was what someone told me, you see I was
six months old when dad left and only 13 months old when he was
killed in action along the French - German border. He left a
wife and four children behind I have two brothers and a sister,
we missed a lot by not having our father but we were proud of
what he did for his country. I am the youngest and I have been
active in the American Legion auxiliary in fact in 1997-98 I was
the state president and I dedicated my year in memory of my
father. This might not be what you want but my father isn't here
to talk on his behalf in fact he is one of the many thousand of
gi's that never was brought back home and in 1998 my brother,
sister, a half brother, myself and our spouses went to France to
visit his grave, so you see we lost a lot even a place to visit
or take flowers on memorial day. I do know my father Bruce Ruby
gave up farming when his country needed him and went off to war
and never returned, he had four children that missed him very
much and are glad that finally our state is putting up a
memorial for all service personal for that war it is long over
due. Thank you in advance for doing this for the W.W.II
moved to Washington State
when he was 15 and joined the Navy when he turned 17. He was
lucky to be stationed on the battleship South Dakota BB 57 and
fought the war in the South Pacific.
His brothers Bob & Fred also born in Kimball, also
served in the U. S. Navy
during the war.
W. Sherer Jr.
Frank enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 November 11,
1943 through January 16, 1947. He thought it was quite a
coincidence that the World War II Memorial is being dedicated on
the anniversary of the Invasion of Peleliu, September 15, 1944
one of the invasions he was involved in. My father also worked for the State of South Dakota in
the State Engineers Office for 30 + years. The following is a picture of Frank on his LCVP (Landing
Craft Vehicle-Personnel) with his Ship LST 661 in the
Hans started his military career in National Guard, Sept.
1940, in Aberdeen, SD. He
served with Headquarters Company, 109th Quartermaster Regiment
of the34th Infantry Division.
discharged from military in February, 1946, and
ultimately given Major's rank, during my reserve days.
He was discharged as a Captain, Quartermaster Corps, US
Army. He served
overseas, for 33 months in the European Theater.
Lt. Herbert W. Evans.
was MIA From the Washington Post, Feb.9, 2001
World War II Crash Sites Found in Himalayas by
China's encouragement, Pentagon officials are planning to visit
two crash sited in the Himalayas that may hold the remains of
American airmen lost in WWII.
US officials have tentatively linked one of the sites in
Tibet to a C-46 transport
lost March 27,l944. on a flight from Kunming, China, to
Sookarating in the far northeastern reaches of India. The
plane's crew of four is listed in Pentagon records as missing,
according to missing personnel office spokesman Larry Greer.
Greer said yesterday that the names of the four men are
being withheld until relatives are contacted and told of the
possibility that their remains could be recovered and identified
by military forensics specialists.
According to a book,"The Aluminum Trail," which
details U.S. air supply missions over the Himalayas during WWII,
a C-46 flying from Kumning on March 27, l944, with a crew of
four destined for Sookarating was last heard calling for a
directional bearing. It
was believed to have run out of fuel and crashed. It was the
only C-46 making that flight on that date, according to the
book. The four men on that flight, the book says, were 1st Lt.
Douglas R. Wight, pilot, 2nd Lt. Herbert W. Evans, copilot, Cpl.
John W. Hanlon, crew chief, and Pfc. Gerald Rugers, the radion.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry described the aircraft as WWII-era
American plane, is presumed to have been flying the Hump
"the famous route over the Himalayas that American airmen
used to take ammunition and supplies to Chinese troops fighting
on the side of the Allies against Japan.
China just notified the Defense Dept. of the discoveries
last fall and provided the first details in January.
The Chinese said no human remains were found in an
initial survey of the areas. but some unspecified personal
effects were recovered. Large portions of the aircraft remain
crash site is said to be in Milin County in the Lang Gong region
of Tibet, which has been ruled by China since l950.
enlisted in the Army at Des Moines Iowa on February 26, 1942.
He was a Medical Laboratory Technician 858. He took his
training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio,
He spent most of his enlistment stationed at the Medical
Department at the Panama Air Depot. He was discharged December
8, 1945 at the Separation Center in Ft. Leavenworth Kansas.
entered military service February 27, 1942 at Fort DesMoines,
completing basic training in Camp Walters, Texas, as a rifleman;
he was sent to California for shore duty.
There Lewis became part of an anti-tank unit.
In January of 1943, Lewis was sent to school at Fort
Benning, Georgia to become a motor mechanic. Belonging
to the 35th Division and Company of the 134th
Headquarters Company 1st Battalion,
Lewis was sent with his platoon to England in 1944.
Continuing overseas to serve in the battle countries, he
fought and received medals for each of the following; Normandy,
Northern France, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland, and
Central Europe. Lewis
also received a merit certificate and medal for outstanding
performance as a driver in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
When the war ended in 1945, the 134th Regiment
was at the Elbe River in Germany.
There the platoon was pulled back to the Hanover area,
and replaced by occupational troops already stationed in that
area of Germany. Under
the Points System, Lewis had fulfilled his obligation to the
United States Army, and returned to the United States via the
Queen Mary. In recent years, Lewis has received several medals
honoring his time spent defending our country, and also a gold
medal from the country of France for participating in the
liberation of France. France gave this medal during the time the
country celebrated 50 years of freedom since WWII.
by his daughter 8/16/01
Lewis, Richard, William and Arthur Morcom
The five Morcom brothers served in World
War II. T/Sgt. John (Jack) Morcom, Sgt. Lewis Morcom, Cpl.
Arthur (Jeb) Morcom all of whom served in the South Pacific;
Capt. Richard Morcom who served in England, and Lt. William
Morcom who served Stateside.
is on the right about to receive his soldiers medal.
Edward was drafted and enlisted in the Marine Corps and
was formally inducted on March 21, 1944. He completed boot camp
at Pendleton, California and shipped out for the Pacific front
in July 1944, where replacements were badly needed to support
the Allied island-hopping campaign against the Imperial Forces
of Japan. Welch was a member of "A" Company, 1st
Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He was part of a
replacement battalion for casualties that were incurred in the
battle for Peleliu. The 1st Marine Division spent the fall and
winter practicing jungle warfare tactics and were shipped to
Guadalcanal for maneuvers in preparation for "L" Day:
the Easter Sunday, April 1 invasion of Okinawa. It was vital
that the Allies secure Okinawa as it lay only 300 miles off the
coast of Japan. The invasion of Okinawa was second only to
Normandy as the largest show of force ever to be mounted by the
American military forces throughout the entire war. The Marines
anticipated heavy resistance in establishing a beachhead on the
eastern end of the island but due to a miscalculation, the
Japanese had moved to the southern end of the island, which made
it possible for the Marines to come ashore without suffering
heavy causalities in the first few days of the invasion.
Fighting became fierce, however, and the Marines suffered heavy
casualties throughout the campaign. Cpl. Welch, who carried a
Browning Automatic Rifle, (BAR) was hit by shrapnel on the 74th
day, June 14, 1945. He received medical attention from a
corpsman and was out of action for two days. On June 22nd, 1945,
the Americans secured the island. Welch was awarded the Purple
Heart for wounds received in action against the enemy on June
14, 1945. He also received the Combat Action ribbon, a
Presidential Unit citation awarded to the 1st Marine Division,
the China Service Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal
with two bronze stars, the WWII Victory Medal and a rifle
marksman badge. Following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
in August 1945, Welch's unit was sent to northern China where he
served until being honorably discharged from the Corps in the
spring of 1946.
Vernon served in the U.S. Coast Guard for three and one
half years in World War II.
Melvin served in the U.S. Army from August 29, 1944 to
Donald was a U.S. Navy Pilot in World War II.
Mary Ann was trained in the Nurse Cadet Program in
Aberdeen, SD during the end of World War II but was not called
to serve her country.
Robert served in the U.S. Army during World War II and
was present at Omaha Beach.
A. Anderson Jangula
was a 2nd Lt. in the Army Nurse Corps serving at
DeWitt Gen. Hospital, Auburn, CA from
22, 1945 – September 27, 1945.
She enlisted at Portland, OR.
was in the U.S. Army Reserve.
He enlisted at Ft. Meade, SD October 12, 1942. He
was called to active duty 19-Feb-1943 in the Aviation Cadet
Corps. He graduated
on 14-Apr-1944 @ Pecos, TX AAF Base as multi-engine pilot.
On 15-Apr-1944 he was commissioned a 2nd Lt.
and assigned to BTU training in B-17s as co-pilot at Gulfport
AAF Base, Gulfport, MS.
departed U.S. September 16, 1944 for 8th AF Base in
England and was assigned to 8th AF 3rd
Division 486th Bomb Group and 833rd Bomb
Squad. He completed
30 missions with group lead crew 3/25/45.
The following are decorations he received: DFC Air Medal
with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters and ETO Service Medal with 2 Battle
Stars. He was
promoted to 1st Lt. January 1945.
He was discharged at Camp Beal, CT on 8-11-45.
served in Japan on the Islands for 17 months.
was killed in World War II flying over Belgium.
died on a small island near Japan on September 30, 1945.
He was a 2nd Lieutenant.
served about five years in the US Army Corps of Engineers.
served in the United Stated during World War II. He was discharged on August 2, 1946.
served in the United States Navy in the South Pacific.
He took part in five invasions.
fought in the European Front in Normandy, Sicily, and Germany.
was with 14th F.A. of Pierre in 1940. He served in the South Pacific.
was hit by an underground mine, my buddy went for help but he
never came back. So
he laid in the road ditch for four days and four nights.
remembers collecting milkweed pods on the walk home for country
school. She also
remembers the victory gardens and rationing and her parents
concern for those who went off to serve.
The family also had special concerns for aunts, uncles
and cousins in occupied Norway.
The love of God, country, patriotism, and respect were
instilled in our lives.
was a member of the 109th Combat Engineers.
He was a POW in the ETO/Germany.
was in the U.S. Army and killed in action in Okinawa on May 19,
enlisted September 14, 1942 in the U.S. Marine Corps. He volunteered for the Marine Raiders and served in the
Pacific Theater Operation from September, 1942 to November,
participated in four major campaigns.
He was honorably discharged on December 25, 1945.
was in the U.S. Navy and was killed in World War II.
was killed in action in World War II.
was a combat engineer in the Army.
He served in Japan during World War II.
served in the Army infantry in Germany during World War II.