In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Madison, South Dakota
Lake County

April 2, 1932 – July 16, 1950 (MIA)
                                    December 31, 1953 (FOD)
Missing in Action, Presumed Dead in Korea

Gerald “Jerry” Dean Kappler was born April 2, 1932, in Madison, South Dakota, to Henry and Azelia (Simpson) Kappler. He had one brother, George, and two sisters. Before he entered the service, Gerald did odd jobs around Madison.

Kappler was only 17 when he joined the army on September 28, 1949, at Sioux Falls. He became part of Company F, 7th Cavalry, when he went overseas in June of 1950, landing in Japan a couple of weeks before the fighting began in Korea.

On July 16, 1950, Private First Class Gerald Kappler was reported as missing in action after fighting in Taep’yong-ni by the Kum River in South Korea. He was the first casualty from Madison and his name is reportedly listed at Memorial Park in Madison.

The body of Pfc. Gerald Kappler was never found. His status was changed to presumed dead and the finding of death date for a missing person was December 31, 1953. Private First Class Kappler was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Mitchell A. Bradley, 8th Grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on May 24, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by the South Dakota National Guard Museum, American Battle Monuments Commission, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus and newspaper clippings. No family contact made.