In Memory of
U.S. Army Private Davis, South Dakota
Turner County

September 23, 1929 – July 16, 1950
Killed in Action in Korea

Kenneth Lyle Benson was born on September 23, 1929, at Lennox, South Dakota, to Harold and Hazel Benson. He was educated in the Davis area. Before he entered the service, Kenneth worked for Wagner Construction in Sioux Falls.

On September 9, 1949, Kenneth Benson entered active service at Sioux Falls and was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas for basic training. After a brief furlough home with his mother, Benson was shipped overseas on February 14, 1950, to serve in the Occupation Forces in Japan with the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Because Private Benson’s Division was already in Japan when North Korea opened fire on South Korea on June 25, 1950, his was among the first American divisions to be sent into action in the Korean War.

Just days after arriving in combat in Korea, Private Kenneth L. Benson was killed in action on July 16, 1950. He was first reported as missing in action to his mother but in January of 1951, his status was changed to killed in action. The body of Private Benson was later returned to the United States, and he was buried with military honors at Rosehill Cemetery in Parker.

Private Benson was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.

This entry was respectfully initiated by Tracy Darling, 8th grade, and completed by Mrs. Hansen, Spearfish Middle School, July 15, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus and the SD National Guard Museum. (P/S/F/A 7/21/04).