In Memory of
U.S. Army Private Onida, South Dakota
Sully County

June 14, 1931 - October 8, 1952
Killed in action while fighting the enemy in North Korea


LeRoy Goosen was born in Onida, South Dakota on June 14, 1931 to George J.G. and Adina (Kleinsasser) Goosen. He had two brothers, Elmer and Donald, and three sisters, Gladys, Agnes, and Mary, all of whom, at the time of this writing were still living in the Onida and Pierre area. LeRoy attended Buffalo Elementary School near Onida. After his schooling, he farmed with his father.

Pvt. LeRoy Goosen was inducted into the army with his hometown friends Sheldon Bright and George Mileusnich on January 28, 1952. They went to boot camp at Camp Breckenridge in Kentucky, where they were with the 101st Airborne Division. On June 12, 1952, they returned home for a two-week furlough. The three left from Mobridge for Fort Lawton, Washington on July 1st, 1952. It was from there that he was sent to Korea, arriving on July 30. Pvt. Goosen was assigned to Company B, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division where he operated a machine gun.

Pvt. LeRoy Goosen was killed on October 8, 1952, when fragments from a mortar shell struck him during an intense barrage of enemy fire.

Pvt. 1st Class Philip D. Brodie, who was tending to Pvt. Goosen when he was hit, wrote:
LeRoy I shall never forget. He must have been well cared for, and brought up by his folks to be so kind and brave and considerate towards all of his buddies. He was so well, liked, that many of his buddies cried when they were told of his death. Please try not to think that LeRoy is gone, and all is lost, for he still lives strong in the hearts of his buddies and loved ones…

In a letter to LeRoy’s mother, his 2nd Lt., T. Ancrum, wrote:
…LeRoy was assigned to the fourth squad (the weapons squad of rifle platoon) and to a machine gun because I respected his ability and felt he deserved the increased responsibility. I never found him lacking in the performance of his duties before and found that he accepted the new responsibility well.

Pvt. LeRoy Goosen’s body was returned to Onida for burial on December 7th, 1952, in the Onida Cemetery. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean War Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.



S Clayton Etzkorn, 7th grade, Stanley County Middle School, Fort Pierre, South Dakota, April 29, 2004 respectfully submitted this entry. John W. Beougher, brother-in-law of LeRoy Goosen, provided information for this entry from information that LeRoy’s brothers and sisters provided for him. Profile approval by Goosen family.