In Memory of
U.S. Naval Commander Garretson, South Dakota
Minnehaha County

July 5, 1914 --July 20, 1954
Died non-combat in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Walter is on the left, his brother, Ingram, is on the right

Walter Lancelot Hermanson was born in Garretson, South Dakota, on July 5, 1914, to Mr. Carl G. and Mrs. Anna E. Hermanson. Walter had three brothers, Carl, Ingram, and Eric. Walter also had four sisters: Christie (Monson), Lucille (Quissell), Ruth (Randgaard), and Carolyn. Walter graduated from Garretson High School and the State College at Brookings. Before entering the service, Walter worked for the Sexauer Grain Company in Brookings.

On August 15, 1940, Walter entered the Navy at the USNR Aviation Base in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On November 22, 1941, Walter married Genevieve Diehl in Pensacola, Florida. Their first child, Susan, was born while he was stationed at Pensacola, Florida, where he served during WW II and prior to the Korean War. In WW II, Commander Hermanson flew a PBY Seaplane in combat. In 1945, a second daughter, Sally, was born at Rapid City, South Dakota. From March of 1951 to July of 1953, Commander Hermanson was on the staff of Com Air Pac, where he was a procurement officer, “entailing a lot of hard work and worry, in getting needed supplies” to the men on the front lines in Korea, according to a newspaper article. He, in fact, was in Korea during an inspection trip for a month during the late fall of 1952.

After the Korean War, Commander Hermanson returned to duty at Pensacola but was later hospitalized in Philadelphia. Commander Walter Lancelot Hermanson died unexpectedly on July 20, 1954, while a patient in the Navy hospital at Philadelphia. A full military service was held at Washington, DC, and Commander Hermanson was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, according to his wishes.

He is currently survived by a brother, Eric, and a sister, Ruth. In closing, his family stated: “Walter loved to fly and felt honored to serve his country.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on July 13, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by Garretson News, July 22, 1954, issue, and an application for a SD veteran’s bonus. Additional information, photo, and profile approval by Eric Hermanson, Sioux Falls, brother of Commander Hermanson.