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Fallen soldiers honored 70 years later

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 2:03 PM CDT
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PERKINS COUNTY, S.D. - Seventy years ago, two young South Dakota cousins were killed in action in Korea.

Little was known about their story until now. Now, as their story is slowly being told, it’s bringing about good news.

Dale and David Crow will be forever remembered on a bridge on South Dakota Highway 73, just south of their hometown of Lemmon.

It was a ceremony seven decades in the making: Privates David and Dale Crow were honored for their service. In 1949, the cousins enlisted in the army, looking for an adventure.

“They were going to see the world, make some money. There was no conflict in Korea at the time,” said Dale’s nephew, Greg Crow.

Dale was just 17 years old; he had to get his parent’s permission to enlist.

“They look like they’re 14. They don’t look like any 17-year-old I know,” said Greg, looking at a photo of the two taken after basic training.

Days after completing basic training, the cousins were sent to Korea.

“Things had escalated,” Greg explained.

Dale wrote letters back, documenting their time there, but their time was short. Both Dale and David were killed in action on September 6, 1950, just three weeks after they arrived in Korea.

Dale’s nephew, Greg Crow, has been researching their story; he’s writing a book, a project he started with his dad, before he passed away last year.

“I’ve got 60 pages of notes,” he said.

Greg was able to connect with the company clerk, who filled in the gaps of the Crow cousin’s story.

“He told me this one stuck in his mind because Dale was shot in the gut and there was a grenade thrown in the foxhole with him and another guy. Dale dove on the other guy, to protect him from the grenade,” said Greg.

That other guy was his cousin, David. A few hours later, David was killed by small arms fire.

Greg was able to share this information with his dad before he passed away last year.

“He got tears in his eyes and said, “You know, I always kind of thought that.’”

Now, the world knows the story of the Crow cousins and their love for their family, each other and for their country. They’ll be forever remembered here, on this bridge near their hometown.

The dedication is part of a Fallen Heroes Program led by the South Dakota departments of Veterans Affairs, Military and Transportation. Nine fallen heroes have been honored since 2019.

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