In Memory of
U.S. Air Force First Lieutenant Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Minnehaha County

February 25, 1918 – November 14, 1951
Died in an Plane Crash at Corliss Jensen Ranch at Farmingdale, SD


Kenneth D. Frank was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on February 25, 1918, to Mr. and Mrs. Diedrich Frank. Kenneth had one sister, Ruth. Kenneth went to school in Sioux Falls at Mark Twain, Irving, and Washington High School, from where he graduated in 1932. He was a member of the Sioux Valley Cycle Club. After graduation, Kenneth owned Frank Transfer Company.

Frank entered in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and ended active duty in 1946. During WW II, Lt. Frank spent 3 ½ years flying over the “hump” in the India--China theater of operations. For his service in WW II, Lt. Frank was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war Kenneth married Virginia (Renken) on December 7, 1948, in Sioux Falls. They had two children: Victoria and Scott. Kenneth continued to work at the Transfer Company.

During the years between WW II and the Korean War, Kenneth was an original member of the SD Air National Guard, which was organized by Joe Foss. He was also a member of the Trinity Masonic Lodge and the American Legion. Lt. Frank was recalled to active service in 1950 as part of the 175th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and transferred to duty in Rapid City.

Lt. Kenneth D. Frank died in a routine training mission when his F-51 fighter plane crashed into the ground at the Corliss Jensen Ranch near Farmingdale, South Dakota on November 14, 1951. The chaplain of the base was sent to tell Lt. Frank’s wife, Virginia, of his death.

He is currently survived by his children, Victoria and Scott Frank, Sioux Falls, and his sister, Ruth Halland, of Billings, Montana.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Amanda Marie Nelson, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, South Dakota, on May 21, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by Scott G. Frank, Sioux Falls, son of Lt. Kenneth Frank. Memorial stone photo by Mrs. Hansen. (P/S/F/A 6/13/04.)