In Memory of
U.S. Army Corporal Edgemont, South Dakota
Fall River County

December 27, 1923 – November 13, 1953
Lost at Sea aboard the USS General William Mitchell

Darrell Edward Terry was born December 27, 1923, at Edgemont, Fall River County, South Dakota to William H. and Gladys Terry. His siblings were Esther (Porter), William Eugene and Evelyn Irene. Darrell was raised on a ranch near Edgemont and attended Edgemont High School for one year. According to his records, Darrell first attended a service-related school in 1940 when he went to cook/baker school for 24 weeks. He was also farming and ranching with his father near Edgemont.

Darrell served in WW II; he entered active service on April 21, 1943, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He had just over two months of basic training and eight weeks of medical technician training at Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso, Texas. He then served in the capacity of medical technician (Tec4) for about two years. He “performed duties of ward, master and assistant in dispensary on board troop transports flying Pacific waters.” His duties were taking care of patients on the transport, giving first aid and injections, keeping the equipment clean and sterile, and supervising four other soldiers. Technician Fourth Grade Terry’s engagements were New Guinea, Ryukyus, and the Mariannnas Islands. He was awarded the American Defense Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with 4 Bronze Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Victory Ribbon. He was discharged on November 8, 1945, after which he returned home and ranched with his parents.

In January of 1951, Darrell reenlisted in the Army and was sent overseas to Korea in March of 1951 and served until June of 1952 as a member of Medical Company, 29th Infantry. It is believed that Corporal Terry returned to the United States for a leave in July of 1952 and then returned to duty in Korea in August of 1952. Corporal Terry then served in the Far East again until November of 1953, when he was scheduled to return again to the United States.

On November 13, 1953, while en route to the United States aboard the USS General William Mitchell, Corporal Darrell Edward Terry was lost overboard. The circumstances of his death were written to his parents by Lt. Col. John R. Oatman, Commander:

Your son, with other troops, embarked at Okinawa on the morning of 10 November 1953 for return to the United States. The ship sailed at 3:00 o’clock that same after noon, and as soon as the ship was underway, all troops were briefed on the safety precautions to be taken during the voyage, including certain areas of the ship that were off limits to all passengers, and that guards would be posted in these areas.

Early in the morning of 13 November 1953, at about ten minutes to six, I was awakened by an announcement over the ship’s loud speaker system that a man was overboard on the Port Side…. The ship’s crew was lowering a small boat to search the area, which they did, and continued the search for about two hours without success. The search was thorough, but no trace of the man could be found.

…The results of a Roll Call showed that all personnel were present, with the exception of your son, Darrell.

The body of Corporal Darrell Edward Terry was not recovered. There is a memorial marker in his honor at the cemetery in Edgemont.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, teacher, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, August 9, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus; additional information, photos, and profile approval by Esther Porter, Edgemont, SD, sister to Darrell Terry.