In Memory of
U.S. Army Corporal Brookings, South Dakota
Brookings County

January 8, 1918 – February 13, 1951
Killed in action while fighting the enemy near Hoengsong, South Korea

Frank James Coughlin was born on the family farm, northwest of Elkton, South Dakota, on January 8, 1918, to John H. Coughlin and Mayme (Carroll) Coughlin. He had four brothers: Earl, Robert, Emmett, and Raymond. He grew up in Elkton, South Dakota, and graduated from Elkton High School. Frank spent some time working in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the Black Hills.

Frank James Coughlin enlisted in the army in January 1942. He served in WWII in the Infantry with the 42nd Rainbow Division. Frank served for four years both in the States and in Europe, and came home January 1946. He went to work for J.L. Healy Construction in Sioux Falls. Frank married Mary Kathryn Dolan on August 12, 1946. He then enrolled in Nettleton Commercial College in Sioux Falls. After college, he worked for Naused Truck Sales in Sioux Falls. Frank was employed there when he was recalled to active duty on October 18, 1950.

After a short training at Fort Lewis, Washington, Cpl. Frank Coughlin left for overseas duty on December 8, 1950. He was a member of A Battery, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. He arrived in Korea in January 1951. Just one month later, on February 13, 1951, Corporal Frank James Coughlin and 500 other men in the 2nd Infantry Division encountered an enemy roadblock, and were killed in an ambush outside of Hoengsong, South Korea, while fighting Chinese Communist forces.

In a letter to Cpl. Coughlin’s widow dated July 6, 1951, Chaplain Paul Pease wrote: “ …He served well in his Battery and fulfilled his tasks in the best traditions of the U. S. Army…”

Cpl. Coughlin’s body was recovered and laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Elkton, South Dakota, on Sept. 16, 1951. Cpl. Frank James Coughlin was awarded the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.


His widow, Mary K. Dolan Coughlin, said “Cpl. Coughlin was a brave and courageous young man, who was proud to serve his country. He was kind, generous, considerate, and caring.”

Taylor True Smith, and Joshua Laurence Archambeau, 7th grade, Stanley County Middle School, Fort Pierre, South Dakota, May 5, 2004, respectfully submitted this entry. Emmett Coughlin, brother to Frank and Mary Kathryn Dolan Coughlin, Rapid City, South Dakota, widow of Cpl. Frank J. Coughlin, provided information for this profile. Profile approval by Mary Kathryn Dolan Coughlin.