In Memory of
U.S. Army Sergeant Potato Creek, South Dakota
Washabaugh County/Shannon County

April 16, 1928--November 29, 1950
Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea

Alfred Under Baggage was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, on April 16, 1928, to Charles and Nancy (Takes Enemy) Under Baggage. He had three brothers, Charles, a paratrooper who was killed in France in 1945, Norman, who enlisted after both brothers had been killed, and Philip., plus several sisters. Alfred was educated at Oglala on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Before he joined the Army, Alfred worked for the Milwaukee Railroad in Chicago, Illinois.

Alfred Under Baggage enlisted in the United States Army and entered active service on November 18, 1947, at Rapid City. He was trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and then was stationed at Camp Pickett, Virginia. While he was there, he was asked to escort home the remains of his older brother, Charles, whose body was being returned from a foreign cemetery and reburied at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis. Sergeant Under Baggage was also stationed at Camp Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Lawton, Oklahoma; and Fort Meade, Maryland. After his first enlistment was completed with Battery B, 544th Field Artillery Battalion, he reenlisted for six years on July 13, 1950 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Before being sent overseas to fight in Korea, he was home for a brief furlough with his family at Potato Creek. Not long after that, Sergeant Under Baggage went to Korea as a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. His parents received their last letter from him, dated November 21, 1950, from “Somewhere in Korea.”

On November 29, 1950, Sergeant Alfred Under Baggage was killed in action while fighting the enemy near Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. The body of Sergeant Under Baggage was not recovered, but there is a memorial stone for him at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis. Sergeant Alfred Under Baggage received the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

In regards to the Under Baggage family’s loss, the local paper had this to say in closing, “The loss of these two fine sons leaves a sorrow and loss in the lonely parental home at Potato Creek, on the lonely stretches of the vast Pine Ridge Reservation which can never be fully assumed….”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Michaela K. Fuerstenau, 8th Grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, July 29, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by American Battle Monuments Commission, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and the Martin Messenger, 1/11/51 and 6/6/51 issues. (P/S/F/A 8/5/04.)