In Memory of
U.S. Army Private Igloo, South Dakota
Fall River County

May 10, 1931 – July 16, 1950
Killed in Action in Korea


Patrick James Varvel was born in Crawford, Nebraska, on May 10, 1931, to Mr. John J. and Mrs. Eleanor M. (Murphy) Varvel. He had three older sisters, Winnifred Geraldine, Virginia Lee, and Eleanor Lois, and a twin sister, Patricia Jane. He also had a younger brother, John Wayne Varvel. Patrick attended Provo High School at Igloo, Fall River County, South Dakota. He worked on a farm for Maurice Jones at Chadron, Nebraska, and also building the Angostura Dam near Hot Springs.

Patrick James Varvel enlisted in the U.S Army on October 12, 1949, at the Rapid City Recruiting Station. Private Varvel became part of Company C, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Private Patrick James Varvel was killed in action on July 16, 1950, in South Korea while in the Battle of Kum River. The 19th Infantry had huge losses during this battle, including Private Varvel, who was killed on the last day. First his parents received notice that he was missing in action, but they were soon notified that he had been killed in action. His body, along with 348 others, was later returned to the United States aboard the Baldosta Victory and then accompanied from San Francisco back to South Dakota in late June or early July of 1951. Private Varvel was buried with military honors at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, South Dakota.

Private Patrick James Varvel 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.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on July 30, 2004. The American Battle Monuments Commission, the South Dakota National Guard Museum, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and the Edgemont Tribune from June 27, 1951, provided information for this entry. Memorial stone photo by Mrs. Hansen. Additional information and profile approval by John W. Varvel.