In Memory of
U.S. Army Corporal Wood, South Dakota

August 8, 1930 – October 21, 1950
Killed In Action in North Korea


Dennis Allen Gilbert was born in Wood, South Dakota, on August 8, 1930, to William D. and Ida (Crazy Hawk) Gilbert. He was raised in Wood with two sisters, Deloris and Mildred, and four brothers: Robert, Clifford, Freddie, and William, Jr. He went to high school at St. Francis, South Dakota. Before he entered the service, he farmed and ranched with his family.

Dennis enlisted in the service at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois, on January 28, 1948. Later he was stationed at Fort Ord in California until he went overseas in June of 1948 as part of the occupation forces in Japan. A member of the 11th Airborne Division, Corporal Gilbert went through parachute and glider training. After the 11th Airborne was released from duty in Japan, Corporal Gilbert returned to the United States on May 19, 1949, at New Orleans. After a month’s rest, Corporal Gilbert went to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and was shipped out for duty in Korea on September 23, 1950, as part of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regimental Combat Team. Sylvester Young, who stayed with the Gilbert family for a time, said that our Communist enemy forces in Korea bitterly hated the Airborne soldiers.

On October 21, 1950, just a month after arriving in Korea, Corporal Dennis Gilbert was killed in action in North Korea while making a combat jump. He was 20 years old. According to Mr. Young, the body of Dennis Gilbert was never recovered and his family considers him both MIA and KIA.

For his service, Corporal Dennis Gilbert 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 War Service Medal.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Jerrilyn Dell and Alicia Lahren, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, SD. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, the SD National Guard Museum, and by Sylvester Young, Mission, friend of Gilbert family. Could not make family contact.