In Memory of
U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Minnehaha County

October 30, 1929 – March 26, 1953
Killed in Action in Korea


Ronald “Ronnie” Dean Murphy was born on October 26, 1929, in Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota, to Wallace and Dora (Dean) Murphy. He had a brother, Kalmer. Ronald attended schools in Sioux Falls. Before he entered the service, Ronald was a plasterer for Fred Halde Plastering Company. On December 30, 1951, Ronald married Frances Zafft in Sioux Falls. Ronald’s sister-in-law, Helen, remembers that although she was very young, she “was in love with this tall, dark and handsome man, who had a Harley and gave us rides.”

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and entered active service in August of 1951 and was sent to Camp Pendleton, California. Before he went overseas in September of 1952, Pfc. Murphy was hospitalized for six months and underwent several surgeries. As a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Private First Class Ronald Dean Murphy was killed in action on March 26, 1953, reportedly on “Vegas Hill.” His body was later returned to the United States, and he is buried at Hills of Rest Memorial Cemetery in Sioux Falls.

Among his awards were the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal.

His parents and his brother, Kalmer, also a veteran, have since passed away.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, teacher, Spearfish School District, Spearfish, South Dakota. Initial Information was provided by the South Dakota National Guard Museum. Memorial stone photo by Mrs. Hansen. Additional information and photo were provided by his widow, Fran Schmidt, and Helen Christopherson, sister-in-law.