In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Little Eagle, South Dakota
Corson County

February 23, 1930 – July 21, 1951 (MIA)
                                        August 12, 1953 (FOD)
Died as a Prisoner of War in Korea

Melvin James Little Bear was born February 23, 1930, to John Little Bear and Agnes (Fire Cloud) Little Bear in Little Eagle, South Dakota. He attended school in Little Eagle. Before enlisting in the Army, Melvin was employed by the Warren Lamb Saw Mill and his mother in Little Eagle.

Little Bear enlisted December 6, 1948, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was trained at Camp Stoneman in California. He was sent overseas to Korea on April 25, 1949, as part of the Occupational forces, 24th Infantry. When Pfc. Little Bear was later sent to the front lines in Korea, he was a member of Battery A, 15th Field Artillery. According to one reliable source, “The first artillery round fired in support of combat actions of the 2nd ID was fired by A Battery, 15th FA Bn, on 6 August 1950.”

US Army Private First Class Melvin James Little Bear became a prisoner of war on July 21, 1951, near Hoengsong, South Korea. No further word was received about Melvin until August 12, 1953, when he was declared presumed dead. His body was never recovered; however, he is thought to be buried in Changsong. His name is honored on the Punchbowl Memorial Stone in Hawaii.

Pfc. Little Bear was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, 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 Hillary Stevens, 8th Grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, July 20, 2004. Information for this entry was obtained from the ABMC website, a South Dakota veteran’s bonus application, the South Dakota National Guard Museum, and Photo provided by Herman Kraft, Timber Lake. Profile approved by William Little Bear, Sr., nephew.