In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Badger, South Dakota
Kingsbury County

February 24, 1928 – May 14, 1952
Killed in Action in North Korea

Alvin Steffensen was born in Badger, South Dakota, on February 24, 1928, the son of Jens and Anna (Nielsen) Steffensen. He had nine siblings: Elvera, Elsie, Milda, Myrtle, Donna, Esbern, Shirley, Martin, and Herlof. Another brother, Orville, died in 1951. Alvin went to rural school near Badger and then attended Hetland High School. After his schooling, he worked at Farmer’s Co-op in Badger.

Steffensen was drafted into the U.S. Army on October 10, 1950, at Fort Riley, Kansas, and was trained at Camp Polk, Louisiana. On December 23, 1950, Alvin married Mavis Cook at Leesville, Louisiana. Pfc. Steffensen went overseas on March 16, 1951, as part of the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.

Private First Class Alvin Steffensen was killed in action in Homangni, North Korea, on May 14, 1952. He was scheduled to be discharged on June 1. According to his company commander, “As a member of this command, Alvin was an excellent soldier, performing all tasks assigned to him in a cheerful and efficient manner, thereby winning him the commendation of his immediate superiors and the respect of his comrades.”

After his body was returned to the United States, on July 14, 1952, Alvin was buried with military honors at Badger Cemetery. He received the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantrymen’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

In closing, Alvin’s commanding officer wrote, “I know, that why these things happen is beyond our grasp but if the Lord above ever looked down kindly on any of us GI’s, he certainly smiled at Alvin.”

This entry was restfully submitted by Zack Warner and Casey Asheim, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, May 24, 2004. This information was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus and the Brookings Register, 7/ 9/52, 7/23/52, issues provided by Barbara Behrend, Brookings, SD, and the SDNG Museum. (P/S/F/A 6/16/04.)