PVT Walter E Babcock Name : Walter E Babcock
Rank : Private
Regiment : 18th Infantry Regiment
Division : 1st Infantry Division
Entered Service from : South Dakota
Date of Birth : 21 March 1922
Date of Death : 19 October 1944
Place of Death : Belgium
In Henri-Chapelle : Plot C, Row 6, Grave 41
Awards : Purple Heart Oakleaf Cl.

Walter Babcock's Story ...

Walter E. Babcock was born to Maurice P. and Blanche Babcock on March 21, 1922, and was raised in the Springfield area of Bon Homme County. Walter attended three years of high school at Springfield and spent his final year at "Aggie School at State College." He then enrolled at the University of South Dakota for a year; while there he was in ROTC training.

Main Street in Springfield, South Dakota

Babcock enlisted in the Army Infantry on September 22, 1943, at Fort Crook in Nebraska. Walter was trained at Camp Fannin in Texas and from New York was shipped overseas to the European theater of operations on April 7, 1944. He arrived in England where he received further training in preparation for the D-Day Invasion.

Fort Crook, Nebraska

Walter went in "with the Normandy Invasion on June 6." and was one of the lucky ones to actually come out of the invasion without being wounded or even killed. While in Europe, he was slightly wounded on August 9, 1944, received his first Purple Heart, and was then sent back into active combat in September 1944.


Soldiers in LCT's heading for their assault on Omaha Beach

On October 19, 1944 Walter was one of the troops of Company B, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division who were involved in the Battle of Aachen. Aachen, was the first major German city which was attacked by Americans. Walter was killed in the vicious street-fighting in Aachen ... The German commander of Aachen surrendered the city only two days after Walter had been killed ... On October 21, 1944, Aachen fell in to the Allied hands ...


Street-fighting in Aachen (left) & Aachen in runs

These days Walter Babcock rests in the beautiful American Military Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle ... He is remembered and honored by his family, by the people of the State of South Dakota, by every visitor of the Henri-Chapelle cemetery and by everyone who visits the In-Honored-Glory website.

PVT Walter Babcock's final resting place at Henri-Chapelle
Special thanks to Sheila Hansen, Jared Davis and Clark Thomas, curator of the Springfield Historical Society and to the WWII Memorial project of the Fallen Sons and Daughters of South Dakota ...

A link to the South Dakota WWII Memorial can be found under the links-section "Research & Information"
published September 6, 2006

Original story published by - State of South Dakota