In Memory of
U.S. Navy Seaman Burke, South Dakota
Gregory County

January 14, 1931—July 31, 1952
Lost at Sea off the coast of Nome, Alaska


Elmer Wayne Frey was born January 14, 1931, in Burke, South Dakota to Louie and Ethel Frey. He had four brothers: Fred, Howard, Walter, and Vernon, and two sisters Lorraine and Lavina. One brother, Vernon, was killed in action on Luzon, Philippine Islands on February 16, 1945. Another brother, Fred, was killed in a road construction accident in Wyoming in 1965. After Elmer finished his education, he farmed with his father near Burke.

He enlisted on August 15, 1950, at the Omaha Recruiting Center in Nebraska. Seaman Frey was sent to Alaska on the tanker called Nemasket. On July 31, 1952, while transporting men and supplies to the mainland in Nome, Alaska Seaman Elmer Wayne Frey was lost at sea when his small boat capsized. Seaman Frey’s body was never found, but there is a memorial marker for him at Graceland Cemetery in Burke.

I will remember the sacrifice of Elmer and Vernon Frey.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Slade Marlin Hansen, 6th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on July 3, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a South Dakota veteran’s bonus, the Gregory Times-Advocate, August 14, 1952 issue, Fallen Sons and Daughters of South Dakota in World War II, and ABMC. (P/S/F/A 7/12/04.)