In Memory of
U.S. Army Private Twin Brooks, South Dakota
Grant County

January 27, 1932--December 22, 1953
Died non-combat at Fort McClellan, Alabama


Kenneth Orval Hanson was born in Watertown, South Dakota, on January 27, 1932 to Mr. Cliford Hanson and Mrs. Katy (Rottrup) Hanson. Kenneth had two sisters, Geraldine and Delores, and a brother, Verlyn. He was raised and educated in the Twin Brooks area and farmed before entering the service.

Kenneth Orval Hanson was drafted into the U.S Army on October 1, 1952. He served as a cook in his company. Private Hanson returned to his home in December of 1953 to attend the funeral of his sister’s husband, Rudolph Westphal, who was killed when his tractor overturned. In an unrelated tragedy, Kenneth’s younger brother had been badly injured when he was thrown from a horse just weeks earlier and knocked unconscious. While Kenneth was home, he made plans to help his sister, Delores Westphal, run the farm when he was released from the service.

Private Kenneth Orval Hanson, 21, was killed on December 22, 1953, in a car accident at Anniston, Alabama, just miles from Fort McClellan. His body was returned to South Dakota and he was buried with military honors at the cemetery in Milbank.

According to the Milbank Herald, Kenneth was “a quiet, modest young man who had gained the respect and admiration of his family and a wide circle of friends.”

This entry was respectfully entered by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on July 12, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by the South Dakota National Guard Museum, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and the Milbank Herald, issues 12/31/53 and 12/24/53. Photo and profile approval by Verlyn Hanson, Milbank, brother to Kenneth Hanson.