In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Pierre, South Dakota
Hughes County

April 6, 1932 – March 8, 1951
Killed in Action in Korea


Warren Fay Kelly was born April 6, 1932, to Cecil and Ione (Gates) Kelly in Pierre, South Dakota. He had two brothers, Ralph and Roger. Their mother died in 1938, and the boys lived with their paternal grandmother until their father remarried in 1940 to Hilda Alter from Blunt. The combined family grew to 12 brothers and sisters. As a youngster, Warren helped the nuns in their garden at St. Mary’s Hospital. He is remembered as being very responsible and caring. Warren attended Pierre High School in his hometown. Before he entered the service, he worked for the Tyler Dairy.

When he was only 16 years old, Warren Kelly enlisted in the Army in March of 1948. Since his father did not sign for him, it is believed he found another older person to sign the papers. He was trained at Ft. Knox in Kentucky and went overseas as part of the Occupational Forces in Japan in August of 1948. He was a member of General Douglas MacArthur’s Honor Guard in Tokyo. In January of 1951, Pfc. Kelly volunteered for duty in Korea as a part of the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. His parents received a letter from him dated just three days before he was reported missing in action.

Private First Class Warren Fay Kelly was killed in action in Korea on March 8, 1951. He was just eighteen years of age at the time of his death. His body was later returned, and he was buried with military honors at the Riverside Cemetery in Pierre in November of 1951.

Pfc. Kelly 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.

Currently Warren is survived by his brothers: Roger, Kendall, Colin, Sam, Dean, and Anthony, and his sisters, Myrna Currier, Shirley Peters, Mary Langager, Corinne Harkless, Alice Kelly, and an aunt, Meuril Kelly Wells. Besides his mother, his father, step-mother, and brothers, Ralph and Leslie, have passed away.

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 SD National Guard Museum, ABMC website, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and the Daily Capitol Journal, April 3, 1951. Additional information and profile approval by Roger and Carol Kelly.