In Memory of
U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class Pine Ridge, South Dakota
Shannon County

March 31, 1931 – December 7, 1950
Killed in Action in North Korea


Darrell Ralph Cottier was born in Batesland on March 31, 1931, to William Cottier, Sr., and Mrs. Sophie (Conroy) Hanneman. Darrell had two brothers, William Cottier, Jr., and Nelson Edward, and three sisters: Willamine, Crystal, and Emma. Darrell was raised by his father and step-mother, Mary Nelson Cottier, whom he called “Sugar” his whole life. Before he entered the service, Darrell went to school in Pine Ridge but was not fond of school. His sister, Willamine, remembers that he liked to fish and that she used to go fishing with him.

Although his father tried to talk him out of it by saying that the Marines were always first into battle, Darrell Ralph Cottier enlisted in the U.S Marine Corps on June 19, 1948, at Omaha, Nebraska. Private First Class Cottier was a part of the Company D, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division and went overseas July 14, 1950.

Private First Class Darrell Ralph Cottier was killed in action in North Korea while fighting the enemy in the Battle for the Chosin Resevoir on December 7, 1950. He was only 18 years old. He was originally buried in Koto-ri in Korea; his body was later returned to the United States and buried with military honors at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis. Willamine remembers that “to his dying day” William Cottier, Sr., never was sure that it had actually been his son, Darrell, whom they buried that day.

Pfc. Cottier was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Service Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

This entry was submitted by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on July 28, 2004. The ABMC and the SDNGM provided information for this entry. Memorial stone photo by Mrs. Hansen. Additional information and profile approval by Willamine White Eyes, sister to Pfc. Cottier.