In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Estelline, South Dakota
Hamlin County

February 19, 1931- October 6, 1952
Missing in action, near Surang-ni, North Korea
Presumptive date of death February 16, 1954


John Tuin was born in Castlewood, South Dakota, on February 19, 1931 to Tom and Jennie (Kruiter) Tuin. He had seven sisters, Tillie, Ann, Hilda, Gertie, Minnie, Henrietta, Adeline, and two brothers, Ralph and Ben. John was a very happy-go-lucky person with a strong love for his family and many friends. He attended country school near Castlewood and Estelline, and graduated from Estelline High School in May 1948. John was involved with basketball and baseball as a young man. He married Audrey Elaine Knuth May 21, 1951, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Estelline, South Dakota. John was employed as a mechanic at Park Motor Sales in Brookings, South Dakota from June 1948 to October 1951. He worked for the Whittemore Hatchery in Estelline, South Dakota, from October 1951 to January 1952.

Pfc. John Tuin entered the army on January 8, 1952 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was trained in Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, and was sent overseas June 17, 1952 to Japan, and then to Korea. He was stationed near the Yalu River, and was attached to Company C, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division as a light weapons infantryman. Pfc. John Tuin was on the front lines when their bunker was attacked in a fierce battle in the Iron Triangle Sector, near Surang-ni, North Korea. His comrades told his wife he had gone into combat with them, but was never seen after. No one knows where he fell.

A memorial service was held in 1954 after the government issued a presumptive date of death. Pfc. John Tuin has a memorial marker at Black Hills Cemetery, Plot No. MA31. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

Tanner Green, 7th grade, Stanley County Middle School, Fort Pierre, South Dakota, May 11, 2004, respectfully submitted this entry. Information for this entry was provided by Audrey (Knuth-Tuin) Linneman, Bruce, South Dakota, widow of Pfc. John Tuin. Profile approval by Audrey Linneman.