In Memory of
U.S. Marine Corps Captain Midland, South Dakota
Haakon County

May 3, 1921 – June 4, 1954
Died in Crash of C-119 near Pohang, Korea


Rupert Harold Nelson was born May 3, 1921, at Midland, South Dakota, to Oliver and Edrie (Faubel) Nelson. He had three brothers: Clayton, Roald, and Olaf, and three sisters: Arline, Alma, and Marcia. He was raised and educated in the Midland area, graduating from Midland High School and then South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. Rupert was a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II from December of 1942 to July of 1946 before being placed on inactive status. Rupert married Dolores K. Lauthern on February 7, 1951, at Pueblo, Colorado while Rupert was a pilot for United Air Lines, based in Denver. The couple had twin sons: Richard Claude and Randall Martin.

On November 1, 1952, Nelson was recalled to active service in the U.S. Marine Corps at the Naval Air Station at Glenview, Illinois. Captain Nelson went overseas as part of the 1st Marine Air Wing of the Marine Transport Squadron 253 based in Japan on March 4, 1954.

On June 4, 1954, Marine Corps Captain Rupert Harold Nelson was killed when the Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar he was piloting crashed off the coast of South Korea. He was first reported missing in action and several weeks later, the family received notice that he was dead. His body was never recovered. He has a memorial marker at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, Fallen Sons coordinator, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, SD, July 20, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, the American Battle Monuments Commission, the SD National Guard Museum, and a small notice in the Midland Mail, 6/24/54 issue. Memorial stone photo by Mrs. Hansen. (P/S/F/A 8/1/04.)