In Memory of
U.S. Army Corporal Bancroft, South Dakota
Kingsbury County

February 10, 1932 -- July 14, 1953 (MIA)
                                    July 14, 1954 (FOD)
Missing in Action, Presumed Dead Near Kumsong, North Korea

    

Dwain Erven Henry Schwartz was born in Wolsey, South Dakota, on February 10, 1932, to Mr. Erven George Schwartz and Mrs. Evelyn Alvena (Licht) Schwartz. Dwain had two brothers, Darwin F. and Merlin R. Dwain went to grade school at rural schools close to Wolsey in Beadle County: McBride, Borah, and Weeks. Dwain went to high schools at Wolsey, Bancroft, and Iroquois. After his schooling, Dwain farmed. Dwain is remembered by his brother, Darwin, as “6’1” to 6’2”; gentle and quiet personality; got along with anyone who wanted to get along with him.”

Dwain Erven Henry Schwartz was drafted into the U.S Army on October 13, 1952. Dwain was trained in artillery at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. Before going overseas, Dwain was home for a furlough until March 3, 1953, and then he went to Camp Stoneman and shipped overseas, leaving from San Francisco on March 11 and arriving in Korea on April 4, 1953. Pfc Schwartz was part of Battery C, 555th Field Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment Combat Team, 24th Infantry Division. He was in several battles supporting ground troops.

In his last letter home, dated July 11, 1953, Corporal Schwartz wrote:

Well, I received a couple letters from you today and also a couple yesterday…Well, for a change I worked a little this afternoon I went to the new position and piled about four feet of dirt and logs in front of where the gun will be…. I don’t know when we are going to move, but I think it will be in the next couple of days. Well, I’m just lost for words tonight as usual. Tomorrow I have really got a nice job. I got to pull K.P. The Koreans who usually works in the mess hall had to go to Seoul to register for the draft and haven’t returned yet. They have been gone a week now. I thought they would be back by now. … Hope this finds everyone feeling fine. Sometime when you are in town I wish you would get me a little stationary and send it as I don’t know when I will get any.

In a handwritten Western Union telegram, dated July 24, 1953, the family received these words:

The Secretary of the Army has asked me to express his deep regret that your son Pfc. Schwartz Dwain has been missing in action in Korea since 14 July 53 Confirming letter follows Wm E. Bergin Major General USA Adjutant General of the Army

There was no further information as to what happened to Dwain Schwartz, except the general knowledge that they were “overrun by five elements of the Chinese armies...and he died while defending position in the early morning hours of July 14, 1953.” On July 10, 2002, a document was sent to the Schwartz family showing the efforts of the US Government’s DPMO (Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office) to ascertain his fate by first recounting the events that led up to his disappearance:



The report goes on to say that although they have been able to so far recover over 150 U.S. servicemen from 1996 to 2001, “U.S. researchers did not locate any information on PFC Schwartz during archival research visits in 1997, 1998, and 1999. We continue to actively seek information about the loss of PFC Schwartz and we will forward new discoveries to family members through the U.S. Casualty Office.” They issue an annual update for families.

There is a memorial headstone in his honor at the Maplewood Cemetery in Iroquois, South Dakota. Corporal Dwain Erven Henry Schwartz was awarded the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Korean War Service Medal.

Erven G. and Evelyn A., age 95 and 91 respectively, parents of Dwain Erven Henry Schwartz, are still living in Huron. His brother, Darwin, also survives. His brother, Merlin, died in 1989.

This entry was respectfully started by Bethany Weber and completed by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on July 17, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by the Schwartz family, via Darwin, brother, Greeley, Colorado. Profile approved by Darwin Schwartz.