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.

 

Joseph Kitto

Joseph Kitto died in Belgium, September 7, 1944, in the liberation of the city of Liege.  He was with the ninth Armed Division.

Submitted November, 2001

James Petrik

James Petrik died on October 18, 1944, on Leyte Island.  He had been overseas only six months. 

Submitted November, 2001

Cecil Myer

Cecil Myer died January 25, 1945, in France.  He was a member of the Rainbow Division and overseas only a short time.

Submitted November, 2001

 

William Dempsey Austin

William Dempsey Austin died February 8, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

Raymond Waddell

Raymond Waddell died of injuries and burns from a plane crash in Georgia February 25, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

Paul Williams

Paul Williams died on March 14, 1945, over Queensland, Australia.  His body was never recovered.

Submitted November, 2001

Oscar Ireland

Second Lt. Oscar Ireland was killed in action in Germany near Budhloff APRIL 8, 1945, OVER Grover Bettelyoun.

Submitted November, 2001

Tuffy Hicks

Howard E. (Tuffy) Hicks spent three and a half years in a Japanese prison camp.  He was on the Bataan death march.  He weighed 110 pounds at release. \

Submitted November, 2001

 

John W. Youngberg

John W. Youngberg entered the service Mach 6, 1942, and was discharged December 3, 1945.  “I left from Vale, SD, from my job with Eskil and Margaret Young­berg and family where I had worked on the farm for there years.  Forty of us left March 5, 1942, from Belle Fourche for the army in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  A band played for our send off.  We were finger­printed and sworn into the army.  We were given a 150-question test that placed us in the job best suited for us.  I passed for the Corps of Engineers.

I remember the pla­toon sergeant and about 200 men marching by the federal penitentiary and graveyard.  The sergeant said we had three choices, go to jail, go to the grave, or stay in the army.  We all stayed in the service.

We were there six days, then shipped out on railroad for places unknown.  We went by the way of Denver to Ft. Lewis, Washington.  We were assigned to the 73rd light pontoon Engineers Company.  They were a company of 197 men but had 28 more because we were going out of the U. S.  The force was farm laborers and construction men from Neb., S. D., Wyo., and Minn.  We had 8 days on manual training of rifle handling and marching with no basic training.  After that we started to crate our pontoon equipment, trucks tractors and supplies for places unknown, March 26.

We hauled our equipment to the docks at Seattle, where the material was loaded on fright ships.  We went on passenger ships to the Inland Sea passages at Skagway, Alaska.

We arrived at Skagway April 9, where we unpacked and loaded the trail for the White Horse, Canada, our headquarters.  I was placed in the 3rd platoon.  The government wanted the Al-Can highway built in one year, so the Corps of Engineers was used.

An Indian guide and army engineers walked the route to build the highway.  They cut bark on trees for engineers to follow.  The 73rd engineering company would follow with bridge equipment so bulldozers could ferry across rivers and lakes.  The road was to be used for national defense to haul equipment to Fairbanks, Alaska to fight the Japanese.  With airplanes to haul fright, the road didn’t have to carry a lot of supplies.

Muddy conditions surrounded the road building.  There were plenty of stuck tractors and trucks.  Logs were laid side by side with dirt on top to go over soft spots.

We moved on the Takkini River to use Canadian barge to haul trucks.  We ran it 24 hours a day, and guarded it with guns.  June 5, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  We moved all our tents 100 feet apart and in the trees so the Japanese couldn’t see our camps.

I contracted yellow jaundice, a reaction of a yellow fever shot given in April.  All of the new 28 men got it.  I was discharged from the hospital in July after a long stay.

I went to the second platoon the help build a pontoon bridge on Marley Bay. We hauled 6 D-8 tractors, 40 trucks and 8 horses across.  Surveyors used the horses.  In August, we moved to the Smart River to put in a pontoon barge for the cats and trucks.  We later moved to Morris Lake to move equipment.

September 1, I was put on caterpillar to haul logs to the sawmill making bridge lumber.  I was later put on a D-4 caterpillar to clear land for a sawmill for the road builders.  The mill also built a bridge on the Liard River several hundred feet long.

In November, we moved to Nasutlan Bay.   We ran barges across until it froze up.  We made 2-foot thick road on top of the ice for the trucks.

December 6, we got back to White Horse, our winter headquarters.  We repaired equipment and aluminum boats.  The trucks and boats were damaged when the river came up suddenly and froze around them.  Wrecked airplanes were used to parch the boats.

I then worked in a filling station to fill freight trucks hauling army supplies to Fairbanks.  We had to heat 10-weight oil to put in the truck.  January 25, 1943 it was 58° below zero; February 8, 40° below zero; February 9, 70° below.

We built a pole shop building covered with canvas to work on boats.  I was the air compressor operator, cat operator, blacksmith, truck driver, and furlough assistant.

Went on furlough April 22, and went back to Newell.  Went back to Canada May 11.  We moved camp several times.  Went on bridge building all hours of the day at Fr. Livingston, Louisiana.  We started crating everything in waterproof crates and loaded it on rail cars.  We shipped out for Camp Shanks, New York.  We were there eight days getting more shorts.

We went up to Hudson Bay out to the ocean where we met a convoy of ships – 4 fighter ships – 26 ships in all.  We were on a Kaiser Liberty Ship.  It took 10 days to cross the Atlantic to England.  We arrived October 1, 1944.

We stayed one month, where the pontoon equipment was replaced with the English Bailey Bridge, which we used plenty of times.  We crossed the English Channel in flat-bottom boats; they were sure rough riding.

We landed in France and moved to the front lines.  We got our first taste of war in Belgium.  You could hear rifle fire all night, as well as tracer bullets lighting up the sky.  There were lots of “Bed Check Charlie”, a German spotter airplane.  U. S. pilots would shoot them down after quite a battle.  We put up several bailey bridges.  Each section weight 650 pounds and took 6 soldiers to carry.  The bridge was build 60% in the ground and shoved across the river.  The longest bridge was 125 feet.  Sections were built triple-single, triple-double, and triple-triple, depending on the weight that was going to cross.

We were in the Battle of the Bulge, were moved back 35 miles one night, as they wanted full strength when needed.  A bridge was built on the Saar River, behind the Malmady Massacre, where the Germans shot 86 POW’s. The fog had been so thick for 10 days.  The Germans knew the land so they could fly their airplanes, and we couldn’t.  When the fog lifted, our airplanes came over and really blasted the Germans.

The Germans were getting close to our fuel, so the soldiers rolled the barrels down hill with pick holes punched in 5,000 barrels of gasoline and set fire to burn German tanks and soldiers.  Somewhere up in the, Ruhr River valley, we were surrounded 72 hours.  What a gloomy day, as we had all our mail, letters and addresses ready to burn, so Germans couldn’t blackmail our parents.   They left us alone, I don’t know why.   They didn’t see us, but we could hear their tanks running around.

When the Germans were on the run, we were sent ahead to make bridges.  The next morning our runner went to headquarters and found out, they were going to bomb the town we were in.  He had a hard time convincing we were there, but we were spared.

At 10:30 a.m. that same day, 23 German soldiers came out of a basement and gave up. 

Then we were transferred to the 9th Army under General Patton and moved to Oppenheim, by the Rhine River.  They had big long toms above the river and 105 foot howitzer in the river bottom.  They started to shell the river between 5-7 miles on March 3, 1944 at 4 p.m. I don’t know how any soldier could have any hearing left.  They shot for about 30 hours.  They kept adding more powder for more range.  I was on the third floor of an old hotel when a .88 German shell dropped in the back yard and left a 10-ft. hole.  The infantry was dug in foxholes ahead if us.  After dark, we started to build a couple barges and built a pontoon bridge across the Rhine River.

They had a thick smoke screen, and 12 big balloons on cables to wreck the German airplane wings if the came to bomb.  The first truck to cross got stuck and had to unload.  In the meantime, all the trucks were to stay 100 feet apart, but the German shelling scared the drivers and they crowded up and almost sank the bridge.  All the shooting really cleaned the Germans up on the other side of the river.  That really changed the German soldiers.  It was nothing to see 400 to 500 Germans with hands behind their heads marching to give up.

We put up several more Bailey bridges.  A pontoon bridge was put on the Elbe River.  When the Russians and Americans met, the Russian airplanes shot at the pontoon bridge.  They gave orders to remove it immediately, as the Russians didn’t want the Germans from the east, going over to the U.S. side.  The bridge was removed.

When the war was declared over, we knew we would have to go to Japan for more service.   We practiced building bridges until late July.  The commanding officer came down one day and said “I don’t care if you don’t do anything the rest of the day.”  Then he said the Japanese had surrendered.  We did practice couple of weeks, but they didn’t need us as they used the point system and starting sending boys home.

We were then transferred to the 5th army.  We eventually came home on the Queen Mary in 4 ½ days.  They’re 14,000 soldiers on board and landed in Camp Shanks, New York, on November 28, 1945.  Went back home, December 3.  John Youngberg served 45 months in the service.  He served at the Al-Can Highway in Yukon, Canada and in the Rhineland in Central Europe.  His was medals are American Campaign Medal and Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal and Ribbon, a Good Conduct Medal and Ribbon.  Rating - T5.  He is now 75 years old and lives in the Newell area.

Submitted November, 2001

Horst L. Ludwig

Horst L. Ludwig was from Estelline, South Dakota, and he served in the Pacific Theater.  He was born January 29, 1925, and died on November 28, 1999.  He was the recipient of several metals, including the Purple Heart.

Submitted November, 2001

John L. Wilds

John L. Wilds served in the United States Navy (aviation) from July of 1946 through July of 1948.  He also returned to active duty during the Korean Conflict, from 1952 through 1953.  For his services, he received the full G. I. Bill.

Submitted November, 2001

Vi Cowden

Vi Cowden was in the Airforce stationed at Love Field, Dallas, Texas, in the Air Transport Command.  There were 1074 women that received their wings and were the first women to fly Military Aircraft in World War II.  In the August of 1994, Vi Cowden was inducted into the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame.

Submitted November, 2001

Captain Oliver Carlson

Captain Oliver Carlson landed on Utah beach, DZ, and went all the way for eleven months.  He was a gunner on the 105 and shot 175 tons of bullets at the enemy.  He received 5 Battle Stars and the Bronze Head for D-Day,

Submitted November, 2001

 

Juel Arthur Kolbo

Juel Kolbo entered the services at the age of 17, with the permission of his parents.  He saw extensive combat in the Pacific Theatre, until the day before his 21st birthday he was wounded in Okinawa, from grenade and gunfire.  From June 12, 1945 until February of 1946, he underwent dozens of surgeries, and months of rehab therapy.  He returned to his parents home, then in Groton, on crouches, weighing less than 100 pounds, missing an eye, pins in several bones, nearly all false teeth, flesh missing on his legs, shrapnel throughout his body.  Years later, at his lake cottage, he would have his grandson stand attention with him while his son-in-law raised the flag each morning.  He would go to patriotic holidays and Veterans Day ceremonies with always a reverent respect for those Veterans who were not as fortunate as he was, and who never did come home.  He was awarded two Bronze Stars, and one Purple Heart.

Submitted November, 2001

Ray Kraemer

Ray Kraemer was drafted into the United States Army in April of 1942.  He grew up and graduated from Orient HI in 1938.  He went to England in May of 1944, and landed on Onaka Beach, on July 4, 1941.  He served in combat for 13 months, and his duties were to be his company commanders’ jeep driver.  He was never wounded but his jeep was hit twice by artillery.

Submitted November, 2001

Orrion R. Barger

Orrion R. Barger enlisted in the United States Navy as an Ensign.  He was schooled in Florida, and spent a year in Oklahoma, before he was shipped to the Pacific where he was the ship photographer on the U. S. S. Enterprise.  His ship was hit once with a Japanese “Kamikaze” but he was not injured.  He retired after the war as a Lt. J. G.

Submitted November, 2001

 

LaVern Schoeberl

LaVern Schoeberl never served in any action, since he could type (rare for a boy at that time) he was sent to Germany a few days after the Germans surrendered.

Submitted November, 2001

 

James Niels Nielson

James N. Nielson served from 1942 to 1946.  Mainly in the South Pacific.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Bryan J. Mogen

Bryan Mogen enlisted in the United States Navy in the fall of 1942, and after a year and a half graduated from Pensacola, Florida with the gold wings of a navy pilot.  After more training, he was assigned to Air Group 10 as a fighter-bomber pilot.  His air group trained in the east cost and in the California desert going aboard a carrier, the Intrepid, CV 11, in San Francisco Bay in January of 1945.  He was in the Okinawa campaign and his ship was hit by a kamikaze on April 16, 1945.  He was in; the air and landed on the Yorktown, another carrier in the group, the second Yorktown.  He later rejoined his group after the welders on his ship patched it up allowing distressed landing.  Later he was at Enewetak in the Marshall Islands, when the bomb dropped—and the war ended.  He flew 40 missions.  On December of 1945, he was allowed to go home after discharge.

Submitted November, 2001

Bert Mogen

Bert Mogen was a Staff Sargent and Cryptographer, in the Army, in the Battle of the Bulge

Submitted November, 2001

 

Amos Montecuollo

Amos Montecuollo served in the 76th Infantry Division in the ETO Theatre.  He came close several times to getting knocked off for good but it didn’t happen.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Lucinda Reed

Lucinda Reed was a five star mother.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Samuel Leroy Davis

Sargent Samuel Leroy Davis was killed in action on May 13, 1945.  He was killed in action on Biak, Island, in the Netherlands, East Indies.  His hometown was Millboro, South Dakota.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Dale W. Neiber

Dale W. Neiber served overseas for three years in the Pacific Theatre, in New Guinea and Australia.  He was a 1st Lt. in the Field Artillery Unit, and was in charge of the big guns.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Beth Rupkalvis

Beth Rupkalvis remembers a neighbor boy of hers who often being home form his basic’s, cried like a baby as he did not want to go back, but after getting back was killed almost immediately after getting back and being involved in the war.  She had three boys who were in the service two in the Navy and one in the Marines.  Both came back home in tact.  Two are still alive.

Submitted November, 2001

 

William L. Dubes

William L. Dubes served in 1942 through 1945, in the 511th PIR 11th Airborne.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Clifford John Wachter

Clifford John Wachter was killed in the Battle of the Bulge.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Faye Richardson

Faye Richardson was killed flying in India at the end of the war.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Bernard D. Meeker

Bernard D. Meeker was killed in action on December 19, 1944, at the Battle of the Bulge.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Emerson E. Gross

Lt. Emerson E. Gross served in the United States Airforce as a pilot.  On June 2,1942 he was killed in a plane crash.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Walbee H. Gross

Master Sergeant Walbee H. Gross served in the United States Airforce, as a flight engineer.  On June 26, 1945, he was killed at Walker Air Base, Roswell, New Mexico.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Henry L. Leonhardt

Henry L. Leonhardt was killed in action in 1943, in New Guinea.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Ladd C. Marek

Major Ladd C. Marek served in the United States Army, in Pearl Harbor.

Submitted November, 2001

 

John W. Klein

John W. Klein served in China and Burma.  He earned an Air Medal, the Theatre.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Stanley D. Peterson

Corporal Stanley D. Peterson served in the United States Marine Corp.  He was trained in TTQ, Scouts, and Snipers.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Vernie L. Anderson

Vernie L. Anderson was a TSGT in the 25th Infantry in the Battle of the Luzon.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert D. Fisher

Robert D. Fisher served in the United States Navy during World War II.

Submitted November, 2001

 

James W. Simon

James W. Simon served in the army in Europe.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Albert Elias Lemley

Albert Elias Lemley was a POW in a Nazi prison camp that successfully escaped.

Submitted November, 2001

 

William E Cox

William E. Cox served in the United States Navy.  He passed away in February of 1992, and was 69 years old.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Arlie Asmussen

Arlie Asmussen served in the Navy and took part of D-Day on June 6, 1944.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Delmar E. McKinstry

Delmer E. McKinstry served in the army in the 10th Armed Division, 11th Tank Battalion.  He was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and discharged in December of 1945.  He also had three brothers who were in the services.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Joseph Obr

First Lieutenant Joseph Obr was a war pilot in the United States Army Corps.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Leonard J. Wipf

Leonard J. Wipf served in the Navy from December 10, 1942 until December 10, 1945.  He served three years in the Western Pacific and Asiatic Theatre of the war.  He served two years on the carrier U. S. S. Bunker Hill.  Leonard lived in Beadle County and went to the service from that county.

Submitted November, 2001

 

James R. McKinstry

James R. McKnistry served in the Untied States Army, in the MP Platoon, Ninth Armored Division from January 1942, through December of 1945.  He participated in these battles: the Ardennes Rhineland, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Ludendorff Bridge at Ramagen.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Quentin C. Miles

Quentin C. Miles was a Liaison Pilot during World War II for the AAC.

Submitted November, 2001

 

John Albert Lundgren

John Albert Lundgren served in the Untied States Army from March 18, 1941 through June 30, 1945, in North Africa and Europe.

Submitted November, 2001

 

William Edward Berfiend

William Edward Berfiend was born on February 12, 1920 and died of June 7, 1978.  He served in both Germany and the Aberitian Islands.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Harold “Nip” Nelson

Harold Nelson farmed until he was inducted into the United States Army on May 30, 1942 at Fort Warren, Wyoming.  He trained at Camp Carson Colorado and then was on maneuvers in Louisiana.  His outfit left California in January 1944 arriving in New Guinea the next month.  He was with the 345th Ordnance Company involved with raiding in the jungles.  In April 1945, his outfit was sent to Manila, the Philippines, where he was stationed till December.  Then his outfit was sent back to the United States where he was discharged in January of 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Forrest D. Edgar

Forrest D. Edgar served in the Army from September 26, 1942 until November 11, 1945.  He was in the 91st Division Artillery.  He was in Italy during the war.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Marvin H. Wilkinson

Marvin H. Wilkinson was born on March 15, 1916.  He served in the 3422nd Ordnance Auto Maintenance. and died in the Invasion of Normandy.

Submitted November, 2001

 

George H. Clausen

George H. Clauson served in the United States Coast Guard from 1942, until 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Lyle Woods

Lyle Woods was missing in action in 1942.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Harry P. Albright

Harry P. Albright was killed in action in France in 1944.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Clinton Lee Derscheid

In February of 1941, the South Dakota National Guard was mobilized for one year.  Clinton was a Corporal in the Engineering Company that was sent to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, and participated in the largest peacetime maneuver that had ever been held at that time.  He planned on returning to Huron College to finish his major in mathematics, which was interrupted when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Clinton was accepted in the Army Air Corps, and went through navigator training in 1942.  He was assigned to a B-26 Bomber Squadron and had to learn to be a bombardier, while he learned to be a bombardier he taught Bombardiers to be Navigators.  His squadron was transferred to Goodman Field, Kentucky.  Clinton was promoted to First Lieutenant, and sent to staging in mid July of 1943.  He was stationed in England.  His brother Lyle was also stationed in England, near enough that they spent some weekends together.  As reported by Lt. White, pilot of the plane Clinton served on while on their eighth bombing mission on September 21, 1943.  Shortly before arriving at the target, anti-aircraft fire destroyed the group leaders of the plane.  Lt. White, being second in command moved his plane into the leaders position and started in the bombing run, when his plane was hit.  Flak broke the windshields and some of the crew was injured from broken glass.  One piece of flak mortally wounded Clinton in the head.  His body was returned to England and buried there.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Cyril F. Gerdes

Cyril F. Gerdes was a Colonel, in the United States Army.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Walter H. Rohrich

Walter H. Rohich was a Lt. Commander, in the United States Navy.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert D. Klein

Robert D. Klein was just a Boy Scout that helped collect paper, pots and pans, magazines and especially toothpaste tubes for the lead.  On collection days he would stay and pack loose papers and magazines and stack them for the trucks until it got too dark in the old unlighted county shed.  His brother was a pilot in the China-Burma flying cargo planes.  A stock answer the Air Transport Command people would give to questions as to “How rough was it?” was that they didn’t need maps as they just needed to “Follow the wreckage of planes that were downed.”  He received the Air Medal.  He survived the war.  Homes had Silver Stars in their windows for servicemen in their families.  Gold for those who perished in the war.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Lynn Robert Gray

Sergeant Lynn Robert Gray entered the United States Army on March 6, 1942.  Sergeant Gray completed General Mechanics School in August 22, 1942, and was appointed Tec. Gr. V (TEMPOORARY) in the 91st Motor Maintenance. Platoon, at Camp White, Oregon.  He also completed course in General Automotive Mechanics (o14A) on April 17, 1943, at Fort Crook, Nebraska.  On November 12, 1944, he was killed at Monghidora; this sudden death was caused by his being buried in the debris of a building, which was bombed by the enemy.  Later he was buried at MT. View Cemetery, in Rapid City, South Dakota.  He was awarded a Purple Heart posthumously by the War Department for his gallantry, beyond the call of duty..

Submitted November, 2001

 

Marvin S. Talbott

Marvin S. Talbott enlisted in the United States Army on April 5, 1943, in the Medical Department.  He served in the European Theater of Operations, in the 91st General Hospital Division, Located in England and Belgium.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Vernon (Pete) M. Anderson

Vernon M. Anderson enlisted in the United States Marines on December 18, 1941.  He was killed in action on November 20, 1943 at Ganawa, Gilbert Islands.  He was awarded the Purple Heart, which was presented, to his parents Mr. and Mrs. Pearl Anderson on June 15, 1944.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Donald Schoenwether Morrison

Donald Morrison served in the 15th Air Force, 454TH Bombardment Group, 736th Bombardment Squadron and copilot of a b-24 downed by pursuit over Yugoslavia.  He was killed in action in March 1944.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Arlin Myrmoe

Arlin Myrmoe when his country called he joined the 4th Cavalry if the United States Army in 1941.  He did part if his military training at Fort Meade in the Black Hills.  The 4th Cavalry was converted to an armored division during the war, but was still called the Fourth Cavalry.  He married my mother in 1942 while on a furlough from the army.  He rose to rank of Technical Sergeant.  He landed with his unit on Normandy on June 6, 1944 and subsequently served in Northern France, and Central Europe.  His unit also in the Battle of the Bulge.  He served in Europe until the end of the war in May of 1945.  He was severely injured in May during one of the last days of the war.  My farther recuperated initially in England and then finally in the United States.  During his military service he received a 5 Bronze Service Award, (he served in Five Different operations in Europe) and a Good Conduct Ribbon.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Pastor Oliver Omanson

I was out on a point near Salerno, Italy with a squad of men when the Germans broke through.  We were surrounded by German tanks plus infantry and were captured.  During my captivity I was taken to Poland where along with about thirty other captives we were locked in a barn every night for over a year.  Somehow, we managed to get hold of a large piece of white paper, and a red and blue crayon.  We turned this piece of paper into an American Flag and pasted it to the barn wall where we were kept.  Every time I looked at that flag I knew it represented 150 million Americans who would do their best to liberate me.  Nineteen months later on a six-week forced march we were surrounded by American tanks with waving flags.  We were starving and exhausted.  How we needed something to eat.  But more than that, we needed to see Old Glory welcoming us to freedom.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Lyle Peterson

Lyle’s brothers, Carl, died in the South Pacific.  William, Verle, and Walter served in Europe, then Carl in Korea and Ronald in the “cold” war in Germany.  Lyle was in the Air Force and served in the central training command In Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas in November of 1942, through February of 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Myron Floren

Myron Floren is the featured accordionist on the Lawrence Welk Show for many years.  He tried many times to enlist in the military but he could not pass his physical because he previously had Rheumatic Fever and it affected his heart.  He was finally able to convince a doctor to pass him but there were restrictions on what he could do.  He was sent top European Theatre of Operations where he provided entertainment for the troops.  He was subjected to enemy fire and bombings as were the rest of the troops.  He survived and marched into Paris our troops.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Ambrose R. Antelope

Ambrose R. Antelope was a Corporal, INF, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, First Battalion.  Infantry Regiment, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy, on November 30, 1944, in the vicinity of St. Barbara, Germany.  When his fifty-seven millimeter gun position in St. Barbara was blasted by cannon fire from a counter-attacking enemy tank, Corporal Antelope was seriously wounded.  Heroically refusing to permit members of his squad to administer first aid, Corporal Antelope ordered the men to take cover from the murderous fire.  After his squad had reached cover, Corporal Antelope stoically treated his own wounds and remained where he had fallen until later evacuated after the fierce shelling subsided.  Corporal Antelope’s heroic self-sacrifice reflects great credit on him and exemplifies high traditions of the military service.  Entered military service from South Dakota.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Francis F. Heffernan

Francis F. Heffernan enlisted on March 30, 1937.  He trained in boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois.  He was sent to the U. S. S. S. Trenton and was overseas for two years.  He retired after twenty-three years of active duty.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Ken Pommer

Ken Pommer was a mechanic on the Enola Bay.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Gordon C. Bracht

Gordon C. Bracht is a veteran of World War II.  He served in the United States Army in 1945, through 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Richard Jacob Lassle

Richard Jacob Lassle enlisted in the United States Navy on August 18, 1946.  He served on the U. S. S. Donner, the NSNAB Little Creek, Virginia, the U.S. Naval Air Activities, and PCS NAS Norfolk, Virginia.  He took a course in Diesel Engine School, and was formally discharged on May 24, 1950.  He also earned a Victory Medal.

Submitted November, 2001

 

John L. Brink

John L. Brink is a veteran of the 9th Air Force in ETO.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Dr. Walt Morgan

Dr. Walt Morgan at the age 20 he entered the military service in August of 1942; he was an honorable discharge in August of 1945.  The service selected him to be a cryptographer, which duty he had in the European Theater.  He left by military plane from the U. S. A. in December of 1942, and flew from Miami to Brazil to Accra, Africa, to Madugari, to Cairo, with two commands.  RAF men with British Codes and Ciphers, which we used in North Africa, trained him.  Then he was assigned to the HQ 324th USAFF Group; which had just arrived by boat.  As a combat unit, he (HQ) and 3 operational squadrons crossed North Africa eastward supporting general Montgomery’s forces until we reached Cap Bon.  From there to southern Italy where we were stationed at Cercola, near the base of Mt. Vesuvius.  As at other bases, they had continuing missions with our P-40’s.  They eventually advanced northward to beyond Rome, but returned to Rome, preparing to assault Southern France.  He was on a LC-1 for the invasion on DH.  Their new planes P-47 were on Sicily.  They advanced from Marse northward to Lunnevilles virtually unmolested by Axis troops thanks to the RRI.  Eventually they went to Germany and established operations at Echterdinger airfield, then went north of Stutgartd.  VE Day!

Submitted November, 2001

 

Alvin R. Schwarze

Alvin R. Schwarze served in the 81st Amphibious Infantry Division in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.  After being involved in battles on the Pacific Islands our division started training for the Invasion of Japan.  Thanks for the Atomic Bomb the invasion was not needed.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Edward Heisinger

Edward Heisinger served about 46 months in the service with the 78th Inf. Div. He trained men for the infantry for about 2 years then went over seas.  Landed up on the front of December 9 in Belgium.  He lasted about three months as a forward observer for 2-81 mm.  Mortars and got arthritis in his knees so he had to go back.  to Leinge Belgium to a field hospital.  He finally got out and the war was over.  He is getting 100% service connected compensation.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Hiram Woodard

Hiram Woodard entered the Untied States Army in 1940, and then was promptly shipped overseas to North Africa serving there and in France for five full years without going home until 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

C. E. (Bud) Woodard

C. E. Woodard enlisted in the United States Coast guard in 1938, with most of his service on the West Coast.  Finishing his career in the Coast guard on the U. S. S. General William Mitchell a troop transport, on which I was “assistant damage control officer,” 1945 through 1946, in the Southeast Pacific.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Clarence S. Utne

Clarence S. Utne was killed in that war and is now buried in the Punch Bowl Cemetery in Hawaii.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Clarence C. Fortin

Clarence Fortin served in World War II, and retired as a Major in the Army.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Dennis H. Bjorklund

Dennis H. Bjorklund entered the United States Navy on July 16. 1941.  He served in Runisla, Sicily, Normandy; Northern France, and Rhineland, Central Europe.  During his enlistment, he received a Ribbon w/7 Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and a Good Conduct Ribbon.  He was discharged on September 24, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Duane Everett Cheeseman

Duane Cheeseman served in the United States Navy in the Pharmacist II Class.  And served in the Pacific and China Theatric.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert “Bob” Cheeseman

Robert Cheeseman enlisted in the United States Navy on September 7, 1942.  He served in the Asiatic and Pacific Theatres during World War II and was honorably discharged from the United States Navy on December 27, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Dr. Leroy Larson

Dr. Leroy Larson served in the 8th Armed Division.  His responsibilities were to organize “Intramural sports” and aid in entertainment of the troops for the entire division.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert P. Stephenson

Robert P. Stephenson enlisted in the United States Army on February 10, 1941.  He served in Company C 242 Engineers, Combat Battalion, as a Corporal.  On October 19, 1945 he was Honorable discharged.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Donald J. Stephenson

Donald Stephenson enlisted in the United States Navy on December 9, 1945.  He served in Radioman 3rd class.  On December 7, 1945, he was honorable discharged.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Arden R. Grovelund

Arden R. Grovelund served in the United States Army air force form July 1942 through February 6, 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Norman Rang

Norman Rang served in the Army in the Europe Theatre for over 2years when the Armistice was signed.  He was in Battery C 659th Field Artillery APO 758, and rated as a Pfc

Submitted November, 2001

 

Wenhard C. Strube

Wenhard Strube served in the Pacific aboard the cruiser U. S. Cleveland.  His rank was Ship’s Cook 1st Class.  He was honorably discharged.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Henry W. Borchert

Henry W. Borchert served for three years and eleven months, and was active in the Pacific and European Theatre.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Delbert H. Shultz

Delbert Shultz served in the United States Navy from January 14, 1941, until his discharge on June 8, 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Nels Thormodsgaard

Nels Thormodsgaard was a staff Sergeant in the service for three years, eight months, and ten days.  First serving in Camp Forest, Tennessee.   He left for overseas eight days before his son Neil was born.  He was in England, and Germany.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Thomas M. Bradbury

Thomas M. Bradbury enlisted in the Navy and died at sea on Liscombay Carrier in 1943.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Donald John Turnquist

Donald John Turnquist enlisted in the United States Navy from October 1942, until November of 1945.  He crossed the English Channel on D-Day.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Thomas Freed

Thomas Freed enlisted in the Untied States Navy on July 29, 1943.  He served on the U. S. S. Alioth AK-109.  During his enlistment, he obtained several ribbons such as: the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, the Asiatic Ribbon, the American Area Ribbon, and the World War II Victory Ribbon.  On March 3, 1946, he was honorable discharged.

Submitted November, 2001

 

John Freed

Pfc. John Freed enlisted in the United States Army on March 6, 1942.  He served as a Riffleman-745, in New Guinea.  He received a Combat Infantry Badge.  He is buried at the National Cemetery at Sturgis.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Ralph Freed

Ralph Freed enlisted in the United States Army on March 28, 1942.  He served in the Pacific area.  On December 3, 1945, he was honorable discharged.  He is now buried in the National Cemetery at Srurgis.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Richard Freed

Richard Freed enlisted in the United States Army on November 24, 1944.  He served in North France, and Central Europe.  He was honorable discharged on November 17, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

John L. Sexton

John Sexton entered the United States Army in November of 1940.  On August 2, 1941, John was united in marriage to his college sweetheart, Grace Bittner.  He served in the European Theatre until his discharge in January, of 1946.  During this time, he received the Bronze Star and a battlefield commission.  Shortly after his discharge, he moved his family to Billings where he worked as an independent paint contractor until his retirement.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Guy L. Moss

Guy L. Moss, grew up in Weston, South Dakota.  He attended school of Mines.  He was a navigator on a B-17 stationed in Italy and made fifty missions over Europe.  Often he returned to the States, he was stationed at Ellington Air Force Base near Ellington, Texas.  He was transferred to the Air Transport Command in Long Beach California.  He met his wife when he was stationed in Ellington, and they were married in California.  When he was discharged, they moved back to Houston.  He was a Civil Engineer and did very good work in Houston.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Walter H. Dour

Walter Dour was a First Sergeant in the U. S. Army.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert O’Connell

Robert O’Connell served in Platoon 5th Army and took part in the invasion of Africa, Italy, and Germany.  Jerome who served in the Navy in the Pacific and Patrick who also served in the Navy, but spent his time in the states.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Norman “Pete” Andrew Strain

Norman Strain enlisted and served first as a Merchant Marine.  While his ship was stationed at port, waiting for further orders in New Guinea.  Norman got impatient to be doing more so he retested, passed, and was able to get promoted and reassigned to a different position, thus getting out of port.  This is when he went into the Army Corp of Engineers and served until his discharge.  His discharge came early as he contracted Malaria.

Submitted November, 2001

 

William “Bill” Rice

Captain William Rice remembers the sadness he felt as a paperboy during World War II, when his customers blue stars on red and white background changed from blue to gold.  What could a ten-year-old boy say to a parent as he collected weekly on Friday or Saturday, knowing his customers lost a loved one miles away.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert N. Hamm

Robert Hamm went in the Army on March 24, 1943, and served State side for one year, then was in the European Theatre of Operations until May of 1946.  His rank and his serial number was 37477157.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert E. Dahlinger

Robert E. Dahlinger was inducted on August 22, 1945, and served in Nome, Alaska, from February 22, 1946m until November 20, 1946.  During this period he received the rank of Technical Sergeant in the supply dispensation and the World War II Victory Ribbon.  His World War II discharge came in 1946 on December 10th.  In 1950 as a member of the South Dakota National Guard Medical Company of the 196th Infantry Regiment, he was ordered back into service in September and was sent to Anchorage, Alaska, where he received the rank of Staff Sergeant.  His final discharged was November 28, 1952.  After his discharge, he lived in Belle Fourche until he succumbed to cancer on June 3, 1997.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Welden C. Thomas

Welden Thomas was inducted into the service on October 19, 1942.  He served in the European campaign as a member of a reconnaissance platoon and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  He received the rank of Staff Sergeant and was discharged on January 7, 1946.  On September 10th as a member of the South Dakota Guard Medical Company of the 196th Infantry, receiving the rank of Master Sergeant, he was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, and discharged from the service on April 19, 1952.  After his discharge he lived in Belle Fourche until 1961, when he passed away from a massive heart attack.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Gypsy Hines

Gypsy Hines father was a Major in the Australian Army.  He was a ham radio operator during the time they lived in the Solomon Islands.  When Japan invasion troops establishments up the East Coast of Australia.  When the Yanks were going to move up to the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, her father was loaned to the U.S. troops.  He was a coast watcher in the Solomons and had native bearers with him to carry the radio equipment.

Submitted November, 2001