The post was named after Vernon L Bensley and Marion M Rounds Vernon Lyle Bensley was born January 10, 1924, at Iroquois in Kingsbury County, South Dakota, to Welsey and Anna Bensley. He received his education in Iroquois and graduated as salutatorian from Iroquois High School in 1942. Before he entered the service, Vernon attended college in Huron. Vernon Bensley was called into service on March 17, 1943, and reported for active duty ten days later at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He was trained in Camp Blanding, Florida; Camp Robinson, Arkansas; Camp Rucker, Alabama; and Fort Meade, Indiana. On July 1, 1944, S/Sgt. Bensley was shipped overseas, arriving first in Italy for six weeks. After that, he was sent to southern France. On January 9, 1945, Staff Sergeant Vernon Bensley, Company C, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division of the Seventh Army, led a combat patrol into enemy territory near Bennwihr, France and did not return. "The patrol encountered enemy resistance, and was forced to withdraw because of intense automatic fire. Sergeant Bensley did not rejoin the patrol when it re-organized, and the official government record is that he was killed in action as of that date." There was a "service of commemoration" at the Methodist Church for Vernon in Iroquois on March 17, 1946. The Iroquois American Legion Post is named after him. The Post is called the Bensley-Rounds Americann Legion Post number 280. Marion M. Rounds, Jr. was born on May 23, 1924, at Iroquois, Beadle County, South Dakota, to Marion, Sr. and Mary Rounds. There were ten kids in the Rounds' family: Alvin, Gordon, Wesley, Ella Mae, Dale, Marion (Junior), Marjorie, Donald, Robert, and James. When Marion was still quite young, his mother died. Marion and his sister Marge went to stay with an aunt and uncle in Haakon County, where Marion attended rural school through the ninth grade. His sister, Marge, remembers that Marion was quite adventurous, and he enjoyed working on old cars and "tearing around in them." When he returned to Iroquois, he worked for some farmers in the area before he entered the service. He was visiting a brother in California when he entered the service. In December of 1943, Marion entered active service at San Diego, California, in the Marine Corps. After his training, Private Rounds was shipped out to the Pacific theater in May of 1944, without coming home on leave. On June 18, 1945, Marine Private Marion Rounds, Jr. was killed in action on Okinawa. A letter to Marion's father from the Marine Corps Headquarters contained these words: "There is little I can say to lessen your grief, but it is my earnest hope that the knowledge of your son's splendid record in the service and the thought that he nobly gave his life in the performance of his duty may in some measure comfort you in this sad hour." Although originally buried on Okinawa, Private Rounds' remains were returned to the United States after the war and reburied with military honors at St. Paul's Cemetery in Iroquois.



Vernon Lyle Bensley


View more photo galleries by Post 280 in Iroquois, South Dakota