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. We would like to post these stories on our website. 

James P. Anderson, Sr.

Sgt. U.S. Army Air Corps, who died July 13, 2000 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sioux Falls and is buried at the Black hills National Cemetery.  James was an avid chocolate lover all his life, served in Burma and China during WWII.  He and his buddies were so chocolate starved that he wrote a letter to the Hershey Chocolate Company, asking them to send chocolate over to China for the soldiers.  Well, they did, but the chocolate was sent by ship which took so long that the chocolate had turned white by the time it arrived.  No matter, my father managed to melt it down and they all had a wonderful and messy chocolate feast.

Submitted by his daughter, October 18, 2000


Elmer Kaaz

Killed in New Guinea in WWII.

Submitted by his niece, October 18, 2000


Rex E. Sinclair

Died January, 1972.  He served in the army in the South Pacific for over two years.

Submitted by his wife, October 18, 2000


Donald Doak

Served in the Air Force during World War II and was killed September 30, 1945.

Submitted by his sister, October 24, 2000

Eldon R. Beckman

He joined the United States Navy and served with the Mobile Communications Unit 43E.  This Navy unit set up communications with landing combat troops for other branches of the military.  During his service he served primarily on the islands of Peleliu where his unit was attached to the Marines for the invasion of the island and in Japan for six months during the occupation.  He served from September, 1943 to April, 1946, came back to Wessington Springs, got married four months later and resumed farming with his father and brother. 

Submitted by his daughter, October 24, 2000


Sidney W. Brunick

Served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was stationed in London, England

Submitted by his children, October 24, 2000


Mel Hoherz

Mel was a Colonel with Hdq. XX Corps, Fourth Armored Division of Patton’s Army.  Mel is deceased and is buried in the Black Hills National Cemetery.

Submitted by his sister,  10/29/00


Robert Hoherz

Robert was a 1st Lieutenant serving in the Field artillery in General Clark’s army.  Robert is deceased. 

Submitted by his sister, 10/29/00


Clifton Coolidge Jenkins

Clifton  was a hospital apprentice 1/c Sv-6.  He served from 1-22-1944 to 5-25-1946. 

Submitted by his wife, 10/29/00


Clayton E. Nesson

Clayton was a member of the First Marine Division and lost his life on Okinawa. 

Submitted by his sister, 10/31/00