In Memory of
U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class Lake Andes, South Dakota
Charles Mix County

November 27, 1929 – November 4, 1952
Killed in Action in Korea


Willard Gene Jiricek was born in Tyndall, South Dakota on November 27, 1929, to Mr. William Jiricek and Mrs. Bessie (Nedved) Jiricek. Willard’s siblings were Melvin, Sylvan, Shirley (Phelps), Rose (Tolle), Myron, and Richard. Willard went to Ravinia High School and spent his whole life in the Lake Andes area of Charles Mix County. Before he entered the service, Willard drove a truck for D.A. Gill out of Sioux Falls. On September 27, 1949, Willard married Eleanor Grehlow in Vermillion.

On October 5, 1951, Willard Gene Jiricek was drafted into the U.S Marine Corps and entered active service at Omaha, Nebraska. Private First Class Willard Gene Jiricek was a part of the Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division and went overseas on March 22, 1952.

Marine Private First Class Willard Gene Jiricek was killed in action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on November 4, 1952. His body was later returned to the United States and arrived with military escort in Wagner. He was buried with military honors at the Wagner Community Cemetery on January 12, 1953.

Pfc. Willard Gene Jiricek was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on August 1, 2004. The American Battle Monuments Commission, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, the South Dakota National Guard Museum, and the Jiricek family provided information for this entry. (P/S/F/A 8/5/04.)