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.

 

Raymond Robert Heuer

Sergeant Raymond Robert Heuer served in the United States Air Force.  He was killed in a plane crash in French Morocco in 1944, while on duty.

Submitted November, 2001

Albert Henry Thies

Albert Henry Thies entered the Armed Services on February 25, 1942, and was honorably discharged on October 3, 1945.  He took part in battles in Central Europe, Normandy, the Rhineland, Northern France, and Ardennes.  He served as a corporal and was with the 52nd Flight Squadron.  He was a member of the Johnny Fonken American Legion Post No. 113 of Willow Lake, SD.  Albert was killed in a truck accident August 8, 1963.  He was a farmer in Clark County, SD.

Submitted November, 2001

Maynard V. Hanson

Maynard V. Hanson was inducted into the Army on July 15, 1942, and served until his discharge in May of 1943, due to a family crisis.  He was a Member of the Johnny Fonken American Legion Post No. 113 of Willow Lake, SD.  He farmed near Willow Lake, SD.  He passed away on December 8, 1998.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Alfred Frank Ferguson

Alfred Ferguson served in the South Dakota National Guard, Co D, 109th Engineers; and spent a year and a half in a CCC camp near Custer, South Dakota.  He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1935, training at San Diego, California.  The Ferguson family lived in most of the big U. S. seaport cities during his 30 year Navel career.  He traveled all over the world having served on boats 12 ships including 3 battleships, 3 aircraft carries, 2 cruisers, one ice-breaker, and 3 attack transports.  During World War II and the Korean War he participated in 6 major enemy actions, earning 12 medals and citations, and a promotion to commissioned officer rank.  He survived the sinking of the U. S. S. Vincennes in August, 1942.  He served in Russia and participated in the Admiral Byrd Expedition to the South Pole in 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

Orvie P. Grubbs

Orvie Grubbs served in CPL 324 Base Unit AAF, in Pringle, SD.

Submitted November, 2001

LeRoy C. Collins

Sergeant LeRoy C. Collins served in the United States Army.  In the 4121st Army Air Forces Base Unit, Kelly Field, Texas.  He was discharged on February 25, 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

Leonard Balsiger

Leonard Balsiger just missed going into the Army.  He was registered in Corson County but teaching in Marshal, married with two daughters and two months away from the age cut off.  He passed his physical and waited to be drafted.  The war ended before that happened.  His brother was wounded near Antwerp and killed a German paratrooper, to keep from being killed.

Submitted November, 2001

Cecil Welch

Cecil Welch was a physician in the Navy during World War II, and was killed in action in the Philippines.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Lynn R. Gray

Lynn R. Gray was killed in action in Italy.

Submitted November, 2001

Robert S. Gergen

Robert S. Gergen enlisted in the United States Navy in March 18, 1941 until April 28, 1961, serving 20 years for his country.

Submitted November, 2001

Howard E. Oliver

Howard Oliver enlisted in the Untied States Navy on March 28, 1942.  He was wounded in Normandy, France in June of 1944 while serving in the 90th Infantry Division. On June 11, 1944, he was wounded while in action, and he received a Purple Heart for his bravery.  He was then sent to a military hospital in England to recover, and then sent home. He was awarded the Good Conduct Ribbon. He was discharged on March 25, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

LeRoy Wagner

LeRoy Wagner was in the 1st Cavalry in the Philippines.

Submitted November, 2001

Sherman “Pete” Johnson

Sherman Johnson was in the service for 3 months, and taken prisoner in the Philippines and Japan.  Also, he was held prisoner for 42 months.  He also participated in the Death March.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Bernard George Platt

Bernard Platt was drafted into the Army shortly after he graduated High School.  He left for the Army from Ft. Snelling.  He served in the Philippines and got Malaria.  He lived in St. Paul MN, and died on February 9, 1986.  He is buried at Ft. Snelling.

Submitted November, 2001

Donald M. Platt Sr.

Donald Platt enlisted in the Army.  He served in Germany.  He died of a heart attack at the age of 34.

Submitted November, 2001

Arlo S. Neiger

Arlo S. Neiger entered the United States Army on May 8, 1945, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  He got out of the Army on October 11, 1945.  He completed 5 months in FA Basic.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Glenn Richard Byer

Glenn R. Byer served in World War II, in the 4th Calvary.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Charles W. Vice

Pfc. Charles Vice was killed in action in France in 1944.  He was born and raised in South Dakota.  He enlisted in Omaha, Nebraska in February, 1944.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Richard S. Stout

Col. Richard S. Stout served over 30 years in the Air Force.  He was a native of South Dakota, and enlisted in February of 1941, at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota.  He died in the Ellsworth A. F. B. Hospital in February of 1991.

Submitted November, 2001

Jacob J. Trix

Jacob J, Trix served in the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Francis Charles McGuire

Francis Charles McGuire served in the Army, where he participated in the European Theatre of Operation.  During and when the war ended.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Charles V. O’Neal

Charles O’Neal served in the United States Navy from 1941, until 1946.  He served in the Pacific Theatre for three years.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Merle Joshua Watson

Merle Watson served in the United States Army from 1942, through 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Gilbert Roelf Watson

Gilbert Watson served in the United States Army from 1942 through 1945.  He also served in the Pacific Theatre.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Allen Dale Watson

Allen Dale Watson served in the U. S. Army from 1942, until 1945.  He received the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.  He was killed in action in the South Pacific Theatre, Hawaii Islands.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Donald Ray Watson

Donald Ray Watson served in the United States Army from 1944, through 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Maurice Martin Talley

Maurice Martin Talley fought all three Asian battles.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Harvey Andress

Harvey Andress was a tail gunner for a long time.  He had seen a lot of terrible things.

Submitted November, 2001

Dorothy Boriff-Steele

Dorothy Steele served in the Waves.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Louis E. Long Jr.

Louis Long Jr. was enlisted in the Navy, and was a air pilot during World War II.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Henry Thomas Curwen

Henry Curwen served in the Army in World War II.  He passed away on March 22, 1999.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Maurice William Dachtler

Maurice Dachtler served in the Army Airforce in World War II.  He flew many missions and has quite a few medals.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Anthony Kudrna

Anthony Kudrna enlisted in the service in Omaha, Nebraska in March of 1941.  He served in the U. S. Army B-Company 43rd Engineers.  He built roads and runways in Australia and New Guinea.  He was discharged in August of 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Elmer James “Chick” Stensaas

Elmer Stensaas served in the 5th Division, 27th Marines.  He was wounded in Iwo Jima, and died in January of 1976.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Bennett G. Martin

Bennett G. Martin proudly served as a Gunnery Sergeant in World War II.  He was awarded wings as a special remembrance of hem.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Marion D. Ellis

Marion D, Ellis enlisted in the United States Navy on October 24, 1942.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Albert Dittman

Albert Dittman is a survivor of Pearl Harbor.

Submitted November, 2001

 

George Leo Barrett

George Barrett served in the Battle of the Bulge, and was in the group that crossed the Rhine River.

Submitted November, 2001

 

James Benson

James Benson was killed in action on July 11, 1944.  He was a armored-gunner of a B17.

Submitted November, 2001

Gordon Sponheim

Gordon Sponheim was in the service and nearly died from malaria in World War II.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Harold J. Pitts

Harold J. Pitts was inducted in the Army on August 20, 1942.  He served in the 271st Infantry Anti-Tank Co-69th Division, in the European Theatre.  He was medically discharged on October 18,1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Kenneth M. Lewis

Kenneth M. Lewis went into the service in December of 1942.  He was discharged in January of 1946, from the Army Airforce.  He was awarded a Flying Cross Air Medal for making 107 round trips over the camp in India to China.  He was a radio operator.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert D Cranny

Captain Robert D. Cranny was a marine who served in World War II from Pukwana, South Dakota.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Derold L. Liebl

Pvt. Derold L. Liebl enlisted in the United States Army.  In Company K. 7th Infantry, who was inducted on August 27, 1942.  He served in North Africa until his discharge on December 8, 1943.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Marvin A. Liebl

Private Marvin A. Liebl served in the United States Army in the 152nd Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division, who lost his life on Luzon on May 20, 1945.  He is buried on Manila, Philippines.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Vern Fratzke

Vern Fratzke was stationed in the Army in New Guinea.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Elmer Fratzke

Elmer Fratzke was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, in the United States Navy.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Melvin C. Schmidt

Melvin Schmidt retired as a Master Sargent after serving 31 years in the Army.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Ruben R. Schmidt

Pfc. Ruben Schmidt when he retired after serving in the Army aboard the U. S .S President Coolidge and the U. S. S. Salina- both were army ships.  He served with the 172 2nd Infantry.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Paul Norm Iverson

Paul Iverson enlisted in the United States Army, served in the 109th Engineers (Lead), and served in the Pacific.  Solomons Australia.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Charles Martin Iverson

Charles Martin Iverson served in England and was in ordinance.  He got married in England and was making a career in the Air Force.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Floyd Irvin Iverson

Floyd Iverson served with the infantry, in Germany.  He was also wounded twice.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Edward A. Lawer

Edward Lawer served in the United States Navy.

Submitted November, 2001

 

James Bousa

James Bousa served in the United States Army, in Germany.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Lawrence E. Nugent

Lawrence Nugent served in action in the Army of the United States from April17, 1941 through October 19, 1943.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Milton R. Job

Milton Job served in the United States Navy and was in the submarines, stationed in Guam.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Gwen Williams

Gwen Williams tells a story.  “My dad was too old for the service and we were his four daughters, growing up.  During the war, my family helped our government any way we could.  When Pierre Air Base opened up we would have a service man or a cadet nurse for Sunday dinner.  With meat rationing, we had chicken just about every Sunday!  We met many fine your men and Cadet Nurses during those years.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Royce A. Halling

Royce A. Halling served in the Tec. 4, Sefnal Corp. in the United States Navy.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Daniel P. Roseler

Daniel Roseler enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on June 28, 1944, and was discharged on February 6,m 1946.  HE served in the Company L, 196th Infantry, and served in Okinawa and China.

Submitted November, 2001

 

William A. Hall

William A. Hall served in World War II, with the rank of Sergeant.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Henry Hantz

Henry Hantz served in the Battery B/436 Anti-Aircraft Platoon.  He was discharged in 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

McDonnell Brothers

Three of the McDonnell Brothers entered the service during World War II, and none of them returned.  They were from Montrose.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Randolph P. Kranse

Randolph P. Kranse served in the United States Air Force.  He served in New Guinea, the Philippines, and the South Pacific.

Submitted November, 2001

 

George E. Krause

George Krause served in the European Theatre and was discharged in October of 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Malcom Dean Calhoon

Malcom Calhoon served in the South Pacific, and Luzon in the Philippines.  He also served in the Korean War.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Leonard O. Plepp

Leonard O. Plepp served in overseas in the Pacific in the Navy, from 1942, through 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Donald Albutson

Donald Albutson served in the Germany and France during World War II.  He also served in the Karen War.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Earl M. Kutil

Earl Kutil was killed on a ship hit by a German Torpedo off the Coast of Cuba.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Albin V. Holmquist

Albin Holmquist spent three years in the Air Transport Command in China and India.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Paul A. Grosshuesch

Paul Grosshuesch was killed in action on July 11, 1944, near Aitape, British New Guinea, in the South Pacific.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Paul E. Eberhardt

Paul Eberhardt was killed in action on January 5, 1944, over Bay Biscay, in the European Theater.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Lewis Wayne Davis

Lewis Davis Embarkation in August of 1943, and served in Africa, Sicily, and Italy.  He was wounded at Anzio, Italy.  He died at sea in 1944.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Bernard Roland Kadlec

Bernard Kadlec was killed in action in February of 1944.  With General Patton’s 3rd Army 90th Division.  He served in the European Theater.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Vernon Kepplinger

Vernon Kepplinger was killed in action in February 28, 1945, with the 32nd “Red Arrow”, European Theater.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Rueben John Orth

Rueben John Orth died on December 3, 1944.  He was buried at Asar Island, South Sea Island.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Joe Prickett

Joe Prickett was killed in action on June 17, 1944, near St. Georges and Elle Normandy, France.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert W. Raker

Robert Raker was killed in action on July 10, 1944.  He was engaged in Normandy, France.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Andrew William Zogg

Andrew Zogg was engaged in Pearl Harbor, Bataan, and Corregidor.  He was listed missing in Action on May 7, 1942.  He was officially declared died on February 1, 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Alvin M. Bietz

Alvin Bietz was killed on February 15, 1945.  He served in Manila, the Philippines, and the South Pacific.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Julius Davis

Julius Davis was killed on June 6, 1944, in the Invasion of Normandy, France.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Alton Jenner

Alton Jenner was killed on March 3, 1945.  He was a Tank Driver, in Patton’s Army, in Germany.  He was buried in Belgium.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Gene Pfeifer

Gene Pfeifer was a member of the 109th Combat Engineers, of South Dakota’s own from the period of mobilization on February 10, 1941 until his discharge on July 18, 1945.  In that intervening period the 109th, an integral unit of the 34th Infantry Division distinguished itself in all ways.  They had over 525 days of front line combat, which is a record unequalled by any unit in the U. S. military in World War II.  They suffered great casualties and were awarded a high number of decorations.  They represented South Dakota with honor.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Elven Robbins

Elvin Robbins was in the Navy during World War II.  He was also on Iwo Jima, during their invasion.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Charles M. Bork

Charles Bork served in the United States Army during World War II.  He was also a P.O.W. during W.W. II.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Leonard J. Wipf

Leonard Wipf served in World War II from December 10, 1942 through December 10, 1945.  After serving three years in the Western Pacific and Asiatic Theaters of war, he served two more abroad the carrier U. S. S. Bunker Hill.

Submitted November, 2001

 

John D. Walter

John Walter was in the Army during World War II from October 30, 1941, until his honorable discharge on December 29, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Donald Chester Doak

Lt. Donald Doak was called into service in February of 1942, and was made an Army Air Force Pilot of the Air Transport Command on March 12, 1944.  He left the United States on July 20, 1945 for the South Pacific where he was stationed on Biak Island, being there at the time hostilities ceased with Japan.  He was re-based at Atsugi Korec, piloting the first C 46 plane to land on Kim Po Field in Korea.  He came to his death on September 30, 1945, when his plane on which he was a co-pilot over short of the runway when landing at Aomori Field, Honshu Island Japan.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Carl Samuelson

Lt. Carl Samuelson was killed in a plane accident while with the Ferry Command at Amarillo, Texas.  He had been commissioned as a pilot in the Air Corps in September, of 1942, and in December, he volunteered duty in Burma as a bomber pilot.  In the Theatre, he was awarded the Air Medal for outstanding achievement. After a year in Burma, he was sent to China where he flew under the command of General Chennault.  There he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for cool and courageous actions during a dangerous situation and for sound judgement under all conditions.  After 17 months overseas he was returned to the States and following rest leave sent to combat base at Florence, North Carolina an instructor.  In November, he was transferred to the Air Transport Command at Kansas City, Kansas.  His family received the following letter from his commanding officer.

“I desire personally to extend to you my heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your son, First Lieutenant Carl E. Samuelson. Your son gave his life for his country in a worthy cause.  His record with the Ferrying Division was exemplary.  He was a fire pilot, officer and gentleman-one whose absence will be keenly felt. It is my earnest honor to have his memory of his unflinching devotion to duty and the ideas for which he served will in someway help to give you fortitude in you bereavement.”

Sincerely yours, 

Bob E. Nowland
Brig. Gen., U. S. A.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Ralph Olson

Ralph Olson was reported missing in action in April of 1944, on April 24, 1945 it was reported that he was killed on April 24, 1945 while participating in a bombing raid over Belgium.  A personal message from General Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Armies of the United States stated “General Marshall extends his deep sympathy in your bereavement, you son fought valiantly in a supreme hour of his country’s need.  His memory will live in the Grateful heart of our nation.”  Ralph inducted on July 13, 1942, art Fr. Snelling.   After serving several months in the Medical Corps, he was transferred into the Air Force at his own request and took training as a radio operator and gunner at Casper, Wyoming.  He went overseas shortly after completing his training.  He was a graduate of Faith High School.  A brother has been serving in the Navy

Submitted November, 2001

 

Bernard J. Reifers

Bernard Reifers enlisted in the Untied States Army on March 14, 1945.  He served as a Radio Repairman, very high frequency.  He served with the 3159th Signal Battalion in Japan.  He operated, repaired and maintained, transmitted, received direction in finding and communication, radio equipment used in a fixed control net system.  He also operated and repaired a voltmeter, ohmmeter, tube tester and oscilloscope.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Steven Reifers

Steven Reifers served in the South Pacific from 1943, through 1946.

Submitted November, 2001

 

John K. (Jack) Robinson

John Robinson enlisted in the Untied States Army in December of 1942, at Vermilion, South Dakota.  He went through basic training, a number of service schools, and became an Aviation Cadet and graduated as an Aerial Navigator with the United States Army Air Corps.  He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and joined a bomber crew at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona in August of 1944.  Along with a ten-man crew, he was sent overseas in December of 1944.  Between December of 1944, and May of 1945, he flew thirty-five combat missions on a B-17’s with the 305th Bomb Group, 40th Wing, 1st Air Division, 8th AF.  He was shot down on March 2, 1945, while bombing Leipzig, Germany.  By the grace of God and a terrific pilot, a miracle recovery was made and they crash-landed at a fighter base in Belgium.  After being discharged he finished college, and taught in South Dakota high schools for thirty-seven years.  On August 20, 1944, he was inducted into the Combat Crew Membership of the South Aviation Hall of Fame.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Glenn F. Hyde

Glenn Hyde served in the Naval Ordnance Designing and Developing bomb fuses.  He was responsible for several high tech bomb fuses for that period.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Clarence E. Hyde

Clarence E. Hyde was an Infantry Sargent.  He enlisted at the age of 17.  He fought in all the major battles of World War II.  He served in the Fire Division form South Dakota.  He holds the Croix De Guerre of France, the Purple Heart, and many battle ribbons.  He was a member of the rangers and fought behind German lines.  At the end of the war, he was found unconscious on the battlefield.  He was classified as 85% disabled but overcame most of his injuries and died of natural death at the age of 90.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Anton L. Meyer

Anton Meyer retired after serving twenty years for his country.  He was overseas before World War II was started.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Gerald Stomhoag

Gerald Stomhoag gave his life flying B-17’s from England to Germany.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Elmer D. Stomhoag

Elmer Stomhoag served in the Pacific on and ship, and safely returned home.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Richard F. Stonefield

Richard F. Stonefield served in the 8th Air Force 34th Bomb Group 7th Squadron.  He remembers serving in D-Day on June 6, 1944.  He flew two missions of B-24’s.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Mabel Knitte

Mable Knitte helped serve the pheasant sandwiches to the troops when they came through Aberdeen, on the troop trains.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Herbert R. Gienger

Herbert Geinger enlisted in the United States Army on February 28, 1942.  He served in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe.  He was wounded in the European Theatre, in 1945.  He also was awarded the Good Conduce Medal, the Purple Heart, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, and Three Overseas Service Bars.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Kenneth M. Lee

Kenneth Lee enlisted in the service on October 2, 1942.  He was a Navigator in April 22, 1944.  He served in India on September 24, 1944, through September 26, 1945.  He also had brothers in the service.  J. Lawson Lee. Leonard E. Lee. and Delbert E. Lee.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Henry B. Niemeyer

Henry Niemeyer lied about his age and enlisted in the United States Navy, in Wisconsin early in 1942.  His mother Alma M. Ryan, received notice of this and had to sign a permission statement for him to stay in the Navy.  He served as a gunner on a seaplane gender, The Albemarle, in the Caribbean, sighting as many as a dozen German U-boats in one hour and a half period on a ship loaded with aircraft fuel.  They got through o. k.  He transferred to the Pacific Theater, serving on the aircraft carrier, U. S. S. Bunker Hill, and on the special anti-aircraft battle cruiser, U. S. S. Flint, shooting down Kamikaze planes.  He was on board the Flint in Tokyo Harbor when the Japanese surrendered.  All told, he received battle stars for 11 major battles in the Pacific.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Wendell J. Evans

Wendell Evans of Sioux Falls, was the son of the district manager of the Fuller Brush Company, enlisted in the United States Army, and was with the U. S. rangers, precursor to the special forces, in the island to island warfare beginning with New Guinea throughout the Pacific.  After the war, he worked for the Fuller Brush Co. then installed furnaces and heating ducts, and finally re-enlisted and became a career man.  He died in Tacoma, WA, where he resided after retirement form the Army, and where his son, Michael resides.

Submitted November, 2001

 

John Robert Higgins

John Higgins was drafted in 1943, and became a ball turret gunner on B-17’s completing 20 missions over Germany.  He was shot down once, and crash-landed once during his tour.  He was discharged in 1945, and re-enlisted in 1947, and served in Japan until 1951.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Leon Everson

Leon Everson served in World War II, in the United States Army Corp of Engineers.  He was stationed in the Aleutian Islands during the 1000-Mile War.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Stanford S. Strong

Stanford Strong enlisted in the United States Army Airborne Division, in 1942.  He was a paratrooper serving with the 82nd Airborne Division in Panama, Italy, France, and Germany.  He received the Purple Heart and was honorably discharged in 1945.  Following his discharge Stan returned to Sioux Falls where he operated the family floral business, Strongs Florist until his retirement in 1970.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Marvin J. Knock

Marvin Knock served in the 3rd Armored Spearhead Division in 1941, through 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Wilmer Laufmann

Staff Sergeant Wilmer Laufmann enlisted in the service on July 17, 1942.  He served in the 593 Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Harold W. Koehn

Harold Koehn was one of the fortunate ones, not having to go overseas.  He served as a Supply Sergeant with the 462nd Air Force Radar Unit on the shores of Florida and then later on the shores of California.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Burdale H. Barnica

Burdale Barnica enlisted in the services in January of 1942, in Portland, Organ.

Submitted November, 2001

 

George Wayne Shuck

George Shuck served in the 147th Field Artillery Bomb from September 1940, until his discharge on August 1, 1945.  He served one year at Ft. Ord, California and 44 months in the South Pacific Theatre, under Luki Jensen as Commanding Coronal of the 147th Division.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Charles Holloway

Charles Holloway enlisted in the United States Army on April 12, 1942.  He served as a Military Police Officer.  During his service, he was awarded a Good Conduct Medal, the American Theatre Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, and One Overseas Bar.  He was honorable discharged on December 26, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Thomas Lynch

Thomas Lynch enlisted in the United States Army on June 13, 1942.  He served in the Battery C 436th A. A. A. Auto Weapons, as a rifleman.  He also served in the battles and campaigns of Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Rome-Arno, Southern France and Central Europe.  He was awarded the Bronze Service Arrowhead, the European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre Service Medal, Five Overseas Service Bars, and one Lapel Button.  He was honorable discharged. on October 15, 1945.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Glynn Hurst

Glynn Hurst enlisted in the United States Army on November 1, 1940, through December 13, 1945.  He served in the following battles and campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe.  He also received a Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Theater Medal, American Theater Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, and three overseas Services Bars.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Oliver H. Evans

Oliver Evans joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked at the Blue Bell Lodge near Custer until 1941.  He then worked on a farm until 1943, when he joined the United States Army Air Corps, serving until February of 1946.  He then worked for Lockheed Aircraft in California.  On October 24, 1953, he married Elaine M. Doerr at Gettysburg.  They farmed at Agar until 1965.  The couple then moved to Rapid City where Oliver worked for Whittaker and Mattson.  He later worked at Ellsworth Air Force Base as an aircraft attendant until retirement in 1983.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Clerence “Bud” Hemeyer

Clerence Hemeyer was inducted into the United States Army on February 13, 1942.  He was trained in Ft. Still, Oklahoma; the Mohave Desert, in California; Camp Polk in Louisiana; and in New York.  He traveled overseas to England in August of 1944, France in September of 1944, and Luxembourg in October of 1944.  On December 18, 1944 Germans caught Clerence Hemeyer.  On the morning of April 16, 1945, about 8:30 a.m., a British Colonel informed them barracks and told us we would be in England that night.  He was freed.

Submitted November, 2001

 

I Am the Flag of the United States of America

I am the flag of the Untied States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little higher,
My true colors a little truer.

I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped - I am saluted.
I am loved - I am revered.
I am respected – and I am feared. 

I have fought in every battle of every war
for more then 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg,
Shiloh and Appamatox.
I was there at San Juan Hill,
The trenches of France,
In the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome
And the beaches of Normandy, Guam.
Okinawa, Korea and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam now me,

I was there.
I led my troops,
I was dirty, battleworn and tired,
But my soldiers cheered me
And I was proud.
I have been burned, torn and trampled
On the streets of countries I have helped set free,
It does not hurt, for I am invincible. 

I have slipped the bonds of Earth
And stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space
From my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness
To all of America’s finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come. 

When I am torn into strips
And used as bandages
For my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I lie in the trembling arms
Of a grieving parent
At the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I am proud. 

MY NAME IS OLD GLORY
LONG MAY I WAVE.
DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN
LONG MAY I WAVE. 

PLEASE FOREWARD MY MESSAGE TO ALL WHO
STILL LOVE AND RESPECT ME,
THAT I MAY FLY PROUDLY FOR
ANOTHER TWO HUNDRED YEARS.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Maurice H. Carr

Sergeant Maurice H. Carr served in World War II, as a medic in the Battle of the Bulge.  After his discharge, he attended Black Hills Teachers College, majoring in business and accounting.  He was an office manager for the Sunshine Dairy and later the Gate City Sunshine Dairy.  From 1962 through 1979, he was an auditor with the U. S. Department of Agriculture.  He also served as a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Kenneth R. Novak

Kenneth Novak entered the United States Army at Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Washington, on April 10, 1945.  He was stationed in several states by the Army Air Force and went overseas as an Airplane Gunner serving in Southern France, Northern France, Northern Appenies, Po Valley, and Air Combat Balkans, Rhineland.  His B-24 Liberator was shot down on February 21, 1946, and he and crew were missing for thirty-three days.  The plane was able to land in Russian held territory.  Kenneth was able to return to duty to a base in Italy.  During this time he was awarded a Good Conduct Medal, an Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, 4111 8 AF 44, and an European African Middle Eastern Service Medal.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Harlen L. Graff

Harlen L. Graff served in the United Sates National Guards, and trained at Camp Claiborne in Louisiana with Company “A” 109th Engineer Battalion, 34th Infantry Division.  He was shipped from the United States at Fort Dix, New Jersey.  He was in Northern Ireland before being sent to North Africa.  He went from North Africa to the Sicilian Campaign before he was sent onto Italy and the Anzio Beachhead.  After fighting there, he was due to go home on leave.  While waiting his orders, he volunteered to take his men out one more time to clear mines.  He was killed by a land mine on February 10, 1944 on Anzio Beachhead.  He was in the 10th Engineers, 3rd Division, and 5th Army in Italy as he was in Sicily.  He was awarded the Purple Heart.  He was buried in Italy and later at Government request was moved to a cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Alvin William Erpenbach

Alvin Erpenbach was inducted in the United States Army on September 12, 1942, at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.  His basic training was at Camp Walters, Texas.  He then left for Camp Gruber, Oklahoma.  He was on maneuvers in Louisiana and then returned to Camp Gruber.  Erpenbach went home on a furlough, July 11, and he returned to duty on July 17, at Camp Gruber.  He left New York on August 6, and sailed overseas around August 18.  He was sent to Italy around October 15, 1943, and was wounded in action on December 12.  He spent four weeks in a hospital before returning to duty.  He saw a lot of action in the spring of 1944, and was killed on September 7, 1944.  He received two Purple Hearts for his bravery.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Robert Christianson

Robert Christianson enlisted in the Untied States Navy, and served as a pilot in the war.  He also served on patrols in the Caribbean searching for German U-boats for a few months, then he was assigned to the island of Guam and flew patrols from there for nearly two years.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Kenneth Christianson

Kenneth Christianson served in the war as a Torpedoman First Class on a PT boat.   He also served in the Philippines, including the Battle of the Bulge.

Submitted November, 2001

 

Clarence Pederson, Sr.

Clarence was a  member of the Air Corps, the 57th Service Squadron and the 332 Service group, inducted on April 7, 1942.  His Squadron flew the fighter bombers supporting the infantry, servicing and repairing the plans. A lot of the planes were in dire need of repair.   His entire overseas duty was in the European theater, starting in Casablanca in North Africa, Nov

8-11, 1942.  After the African campaign from Tunis to Sicily, Italy,France, Belgium and finally by V-E Day in Biblis, Germany.  Due to some Army technicality, he wound up in the Army of occupation in Vienna, Austria.  That is where he was stationed until after V-J Day.  He was fortunate enough to be sent home via Liberty ship from South Hampton, England.  There he was

delayed by rank.  Officers and nurses had first priority and then the enlisted men were sent home. Due to the delay he was able to see more of theBritish Isles.  He was discharged on November 8, 1945.

It seems during my tour of duty we were constantly on the move except for one trying experience.  Perhaps the most vivid of all the engagements that I was in was the Battle of Anzio.  This was where the Allies tried an end run hoping to cut off the Germans behind the front lines.  A portion of my squadron and most of our supplies were in the forward echelon.  Eventually a stronghold was established and the balance of our squadron arrived. Anzio became a stalemate and we were in a hell-hole for more than two months.  No part of the beachhead was safe.  The Germans dropped parachute flares at night and these flares would light up the area like day.  Their

artillery opened up with their big guns.  One was a 280 MM railroad cannon far to the rear overlooking our area.  It was camouflaged so well that it took a long time before our planed located and eliminated it.  It was estimated that casualties were 100 per day. Accessibility to Anzio was by ship and air.  It was liberated May 1944.  

During my tour of duty, I saw a lot of the world and saw how others lived. I also saw lots of interesting historical sights; however, I have no desire to go back to reminisce.  The U.S., although some may gripe about conditions and the way this country operates, may have its fautlts, but it is the greatest country in the world.

Submitted January, 2002