In Memory of
U.S. Navy Storekeeper Dell Rapids, South Dakota
Minnehaha County

February 15, 1929 – November 3, 1951
Died in Car Accident near Dell Rapids


Sylvester William Schwebach was born in Dell Rapids, Minnehaha County, South Dakota on February 15, 1929, to John and Caroline Schwebach. Sylvester had four sisters: Cecilia, Barbara, Carolyn, and Rosemary, and three brothers, Ambrose, Linus, and John, who was also served in the Navy during the Korean War. Sylvester went to school in Dell Rapids, attending St. Mary’s Academy.

Sylvester enlisted in the Navy at Omaha, Nebraska, on March 25, 1947. After his training, Schwebach spent two years in Guam and two years at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he served as a Storekeeper for the U.S. Supply Center. Although his enlistment was complete while he was in Hawaii, he reenlisted on March 23, 1951, and later returned to the United States in October of 1951, attached to the Fleet Training Center at San Diego, California. Before reporting for duty in San Diego, Schwebach was given a 38-day furlough. He returned to his family and friends at Dell Rapids.

On November 3, 1951, Storekeeper Sylvester William Schwebach was killed in the crash of an automobile that also took the lives of his cousins, James and Grace Schwebach, and his friends, Veronica and Mary Grace Coomes. Only one person, Owen Nelson, survived the terrible accident.

The three Schwebachs were buried at the St. Mary’s Cemetery near Dell Rapids; Storekeeper Sylvester Schwebach was laid to rest with military honors.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Cali Ewing, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, July 28, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by the Dell Rapids Tribune, 11/8/51, 11/15/51, and an application for a SD veteran’s bonus. Profile approved by John Schwebach, brother.