In Memory of
U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Flandreau, South Dakota
Moody County

October 22, 1924 – February 12, 1951
Killed In Action in South Korea


Robert Kenneth Thompson was born in Canton, South Dakota, on October 22, 1924 to James Merrill and Mary Louise (Shaffer) Thompson. Robert, also known as Bob, was the second born of seven children. Thompson went to school at Flandreau High School. During WW II, Robert was a Merchant Marine and traveled all around the world.

After WW II, Robert returned to South Dakota, went to college for a year, and worked in Sioux Falls at an auto dealership. He was drafted into the Army and reported for active duty on December 29, 1948, at Sioux Falls and was sent immediately for training at Ft. Riley, Kansas and then assigned to a camp near El Paso, Texas. Before he was sent overseas, he married Doris Stordahl on December 27, 1949, at Jasper, Minnesota. Lt. Thompson was sent overseas on November 11, 1950, as part of the 503rd Field Artillery, 2nd Division. His daughter, Vicki Leah Thompson, was born shortly after, on December 20, 1950. In his last letter home dated February 9, 1951, Lt. Thompson wrote that they “were six miles south of Pongyong [North Korea] and under orders to move up” the next day.

Second Lieutenant Robert Kenneth was reported missing in action on February 12, 1951, when the 2nd Division Field Artillery was ambushed. In June his wife received a telegram changing his MIA status to killed in action on the same date. His body was later returned to the United States and he was buried with military honors at Union Cemetery in Flandreau.

Thompson was awarded the Purple Heart, 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 Jerrilyn Jill Dell and Alicia Ann Lahren, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on May 24, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus and the Moody County Enterprise, March 29, 1951, and June 28, 1951 issues. Profile approval by Vicki Solem, daughter.