In Memory of
U.S. Air Force Captain Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Minnehaha County

May 27, 1922 – October 20, 1950
Killed in Action in Korea


Talvin “Tal” Judine Roraus was born May 27, 1922, to Thorwald and Lenore (Holland) Roraus in Canton, South Dakota. He had five siblings: Lawrence Bernard, Allen Orvid, Harriet Lenore (Knutson), Beverly June (Flynn), and Lorna Mae (Juliano). Talvin went to school in his hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Talvin enlisted in the Air Force on December 17, 1940, and he served continually for the rest of his life. He was trained as a pilot, earning his wings and commission as an officer. Before he went overseas, he married his wife, Patricia, on December 27, 1943, at the Army air base in Perry, Florida. They had two children: Terry James and Patti-Jo. Captain Roraus served with distinction overseas during WW II, stationed at San Severo, Italy, and was shot down over Regensburg, Germany. He, in fact, was a prisoner of war of the Germans and was released in April of 1945.

During the Korean War, Captain Roraus was a pilot of an F-80C Shooting Star, 51 Fighter Interceptor Group, 25th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. On October 20, 1950, while on a combat mission strafing troops north of Pyongyang, North Korea, Captain Talvin Judine Roraus’ plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. It received a direct hit, crashed, and burst into flames. Captain Roraus was carried as missing in action briefly but he was declared killed in action because “the remains and wreckage were found on 22 Oct by Captain Robert Lilley, forward observer [and personal friend] and identified by him,” according to Captain Roraus’ widow, Patricia. At the time, his body was interred at Sunchon, North Korea.

However, part of the Armistice Agreement which was signed in June of 1953 was for an exchange of war dead. By November 9, 1954, the North Koreans had turned over 4,167 remains. This was called ‘Operation Glory.’ The body of Captain Talvin Roraus was one of those recovered. His remains were returned to the United States, and buried with military honors at the Black Hills National Cemetery on August 15, 1955. At his funeral was a flyover led by Major William Fairbrother, a personal friend of Talvin’s who had been stationed with him at Selfridge AFB, Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

Among his awards, Captain Roraus received the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, two Purple Hearts, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Talvin is remembered for “his love and interest, after his family, was flying, and he could not ever imagine not flying.” He even got an MOS which enabled him to fly heavy aircraft. When he “wasn’t flying the fighters, he was flying cargo planes or ferrying other aircraft.” His widow, Patricia, remembers that “frequent changes of station during and just after the war [WW II] were tolerable because of his upbeat personality and sense of humor.” She also remembers that, as a quietly religious man of the Lutheran faith, Talvin spent some time the night before he was shot down with the chaplain who was also from South Dakota. In fact, it was this Chaplain, Captain Albert H. Mattheis, who had earlier written to Mrs. Roraus and offered her a more detailed account of the events leading up to Talvin’s death and then later officiated at his funeral at BHNC. Part of the letter is reproduced below:

Other members of Talvin’s family were also in the military. Talvin’s brother Lawrence was in the 2nd Marine Division during WW II and the USAF during the Korean era; his other brother, Allen, was in the Navy during the Korean War and later in the USAF. Talvin’s son, Terry, served in the USAF in Viet Nam; his daughter, Patti-Jo, was also in the USAF, in Okinawa, during the Viet Nam era. She was the first female aircraft controller in the Air Force at the time.

Currently, Talvin Roraus is survived by his widow, Patricia Signoretti, his daughter, Patti-Jo, afflicted with multiple sclerosis, and two sisters, Harriet Knutson, and Beverly Flynn.

This entry is respectfully submitted by Hillary Stevens, 8th Grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota. Information for this entry was obtained from the SD National Guard Museum, the ABMC website, and . Memorial stone photo by Mrs. Hansen. Additional information and profile approval by Mrs. Patricia (Roraus) Signoretti.