In Memory of
U.S. Army Sergeant Hot Springs, South Dakota
Fall River County

October 2, 1931 – June 20, 1953
Died of Wounds in Korea


Theodore Edward Kaiser was born to Joseph and Bertha (Schmidt) Kaiser on October 2, 1931, in Parmalee, South Dakota. He attended Hot Springs High School. His parents moved to Bayard, Nebraska, but Theodore thought of Hot Springs as home and maintained a South Dakota driver’s license and license plates. Before he entered the service, Theodore worked for a construction company in Hot Springs and then for Western Geoloist [sic] of San Francisco. He traveled in South Dakota and surrounding states for his job. His sister, Virginia, remembers, “Theodore was always a very happy person. He loved to play his guitar and sing and tease his mom and sisters.”

Theodore Kaiser enlisted in the Army in April of 1952 in Hot Springs. He became a member of Company I, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division. He went overseas and was stationed in Korea. Army Sergeant Theodore Edward Kaiser was wounded by a grenade explosion on June 19, 1953. He was evacuated to a hospital but died the following day, June 20. The details came in a letter from the Commanding Colonel, Headquarters, 180th Infantry:

On the morning of June 19, 1953, near Chohanggol, North Korea, Theodore’s unit had successfully repelled an enemy attack on their positions. As a result of their defensive action a great quantity of enemy weapons were captured. A group of men, under the direction of your son, were detailed to carry the captured arms to the Battalion S-3 for study and evaluation. As they progressed towards their destination a grenade accidentally exploded, seriously wounding Theodore. He was immediately evacuated to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. All that is within the power of man was done to effect your son’s recovery, but his injuries proved to be too severe. Theodore expired in the hospital the following day.

Later his body was returned to the United States and he was buried with military honors at the Bayard Community Cemetery, Bayard, Nebraska. Kaiser was awarded the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantry Man’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service, and the Korean War Service Medal. Theodore is currently survived by his mother, Bertha, who is 97 years old; a brother, Harold Kaiser; and three sisters, Eunice Eirich, Virginia Faessler, and Sharon Heldt.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Hillary Stevens, 8th Grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, SD on July 28, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by the an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, the SDNGM, Virginia Faessler, sister, and the ABMC. Profile approved by Virginia Faessler.