In Memory of
U.S. Army Private Mitchell, South Dakota
Davison County

July 1, 1931 – August 11, 1950
Killed in Action in Korea

    

Russell Clyde Hopkins was born July 1, 1931, in Mitchell, South Dakota, to Lyle and Dorothy (Lester) Hopkins. Russell’s father died in 1938 in Mitchell. Russell went to school in Mitchell until 1943 when he moved to Los Angeles, California, where his paternal grandparents lived, and continued his schooling. In 1946 he returned to Mitchell and later worked at the Sixth Avenue Café until April 28, 1949, when he enlisted in the Army at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

For his Army training, Russell was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, where he became a member of the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. On August 1, 1950, after being in the Army for over a year, he left the United States and sailed to Pusan, South Korea.

On August 13, 1950, only days after arriving in Korea, US Army Private Russell Hopkins was killed in action in South Korea. More than a year later, his body was returned to the United States and then to Mitchell aboard Engine 2002 of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. “A casket detail of six men from the American Legion and a railroad employee quickly but gently lowered the flag-draped coffin from the car…the casket was put into the ambulance, the door closed…the whole operation took scarcely more than five minutes.” Private Russell Clyde Hopkins was buried with full military honors in Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell on Sunday, December 2, 1951.

He 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 Service Medal.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Zack Warner, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle school, Spearfish, South Dakota on May 11, 2004. This information was provided by veteran’s bonus application, newspaper clippings, the SD National Guard Museum, and headstone photo by Mrs. Hansen. No family contact made.