In Memory of
U.S. Air Force Captain Groton, South Dakota
Brown County

January 10, 1928 --June 18, 1952
Died in Crash of an F89 Scorpion near Presque Isle, Maine

Alfred Breitkreutz, Jr. was born in Dustin Oklahoma on January 10, 1928, to Irene and Alfred Breitkreutz, Sr. He had two siblings, a brother, Ralph and a sister, Mary Jane. The family later moved to Groton, South Dakota where Alfred attended and graduated from Groton High School. His mother describes him as “very dedicated to his country and a very caring person.” He loved pheasant hunting and flying. He had his pilot license by the time he was eighteen.

Alfred Leonard Breitkreutz Jr. enlisted in the military in 1946 right after he graduated from high school. Alfred Breitkreutz trained in Randolph Field, Texas, but he also attended AAF Pilot School and graduated on October 10, 1947. He was then stationed at Limestone Air Force Base in California, where he became a First Lieutenant.

Captain Breitkreutz was sent to overseas to Korea in June of 1950. Captain Breitkreutz served in Korea for one year, and during that time he was credited with shooting down an enemy MIG in the Korean War while flying an F-80. During this time, he also earned seven air medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross after he covered for another downed pilot in enemy territory and then destroyed enemy anti-aircraft installations, so that the pilot could be rescued. He wrote home to his family during his service in Korea. This letter was written on October 15, 1950.

I got shot down a couple of days ago (12 Oct) but glided back over our front line. I crash landed in a river bed, didn’t even get a scratch. I waded across the river and found some guys from the 31st Field Artillery and they hauled me back to the 7th Division and then they gave me a ride to an emergency airstrip, where they flew me back here. I was shot down at 0800 in the morning and was back at my home back in Japan by 7 o’clock that night. The N.K. only hit me once, but they luckily hit my oil tank and my engine burnt up from lack of oil. It was quite an experience and I got to wade around in the mud and hills with the infantry for awhile. Makes a guy really appreciate what the ground forces are doing. They are a swell bunch of guys and they sure appreciate our air power, but not any more than we appreciate what they are doing. They treated me real nice and sure got me home in a hurry.

Captain Breitkreutz returned from Korea and was later stationed in Presque Isle, Maine with the 74th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. He had just been promoted to the rank of Captain the day he died. He and Captain Raymond A. Mooney were taking an F-89 Scorpion for a test flight on June 18, 1952. About two and one half miles north of a large bomber base at Limestone, which was only 20 miles northeast of the air base of Presque Isle. Both men were killed in the crash. According to the newspaper, “a wing apparently came off at medium altitude.”

His parents were informed by a telegram which was picked up by his brother at about 10 AM on June 19, 1952.

Captain Alfred Leonard Breitkreutz, Jr. was buried in a family plot at the Groton Cemetery. During his time in the service, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with one Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, the World War II Victory Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with one Silver Service Star, and the Aviation Badge “Pilot.”

At his funeral, someone said of him:

“If the time permitted this afternoon I could tell you many stories of just how Alfred had risen above these social sins. But let me say:
          No one went hungry if he had a dollar
          No one went without a shelter if he had a room he could share,
          No one was abused if he was nearby
          No one was lonely if he was around
So we can say without any fear of contradiction, that all who knew Alfred was graciously blessed.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by April G. Goodson, 9th Grade, Spearfish High School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on July 20, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by the Breitkreutz family, including Alfred’s sister, Mary Loll and his mother, Irene Breitkreutz, of Omaha, Nebraska, and an obituary provided by Pauline G. Davies of Aberdeen. Profile was approved by Breitkreutz family.