In Memory of
U.S. Air Force Private First Class Wall, South Dakota
Pennington County

November 2, 1930 - September 30, 1951
Died non-battle near Wall, South Dakota


Alton James Babcock was born on November 2, 1930, to Harry and Lela Babcock. He went to Wall High School and graduated as valedictorian of his class. In school, he was a captain in basketball and lettered in both basketball and football. For graduating top in his class, Alton received a scholarship to attend Yankton College and went for three years before enlisting. He helped his parents on their farm before he went to war. His sister, Eileen, remembers that Alton was a “very caring and passionate person and he excelled in everything” he did.

After his enlistment into the Air Force, Alton Babcock was trained at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, and he was additionally trained on the effects of atomic bombs and types of poisonous gases.

After his basic training and before being sent overseas, Pfc. Alton James Babcock was killed in a car accident between Wall and Wicksville, South Dakota, on September 30, 1951. Alton’s parents received letters from both Yankton College and the Air Force. The former stated: “He made such a good record [Yankton College] while he was here, and we felt such a loss when he had to interrupt his training to enter Military Service.” The Air Force letter included these words: “Private Babcock was held in esteem by all who knew him for his loyalty and attention to duty. Among his fine qualities were his conscientiousness, consideration for others and pleasant manner. His many friends deeply feel their loss and are saddened by his death.”

Alton Babcock was buried with military honors at Wall. At the time of his death, his survivors were his parents, two sisters: Eileen and Shirley, and one brother, Gordon. Alton received the National Defense Service Medal for his brief service to his country.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Erika R. Carlson, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish South Dakota, May 23, 2004. An obituary for this entry was provided by Ellen Bishop, Rapid City, and the rest of the information and profile approval by Eileen Flatt, Rapid City, sister of Private Alton James Babcock.