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In Memory of U.S. Navy Seaman First Class

Larry Lee Biesman

Yankton, South Dakota, Yankton County

  April 29, 1951-August 2, 1972

Lost at Sea in the Pacific Ocean

Larry Biesman was born in Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, South Dakota, on April 29, 1951, to Ednar Clayton and Frances Caroline (Lane) Biesman. He had two sisters, Deborah Jean and Rhonda Frances. He attended Willowdale Grade School and Yankton High School from where he graduated in 1970. Before he entered the service, he worked at local Super Valu grocery store.

Larry L, Biesman enlisted in the Navy in December of 1970 and he did not enter the service until June 16, 1971. Larry and his buddy, Lawrence Stogdill, attended recruit training at the Naval Training Center at Great Lakes. After graduation Larry Biesman was transferred to the Chase Naval Air Station at Beeville, Texas, where he received training as a plane captain but later chose to be a seaman. Upon his graduation, he went home on furlough and then was flown from Yankton to San Francisco, California, and then to Tapei, Taiwan, and Okinawa or some where around that territory.

Seaman First Class Larry Biesman caught passage on the ship U.S.S. Mobile, an amphibious cargo ship. At 850 miles north of Oahu, Hawaii, on August 2, 1972, S.A Larry Biesman was first found missing; he was said to have fallen overboard. He was last seen on deck the night before while off duty. According to the Larry’s family: “The next morning he did not answer muster. A search was conducted on all levels of the ship. No trace. There was a storm and being an amphibious cargo ship they only had rope instead of metal rails. The deck could have been slippery and he may have slipped off.”

When his parents were notified that he was missing, his mother was sewing and his father was framing the walls of the barn he was building while he was on vacation. “A U.S. Navy station wagon drove in front of the window, Frances had a sick feeling and feared it was bad news.” After a three-day search, Larry was declared lost at sea. His body was never recovered but there was a memorial service on August 11, 1972, in Yankton.

At the time of his death he was survived by his parents, his two sisters, and his grandmothers.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheldon J. Haase, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, October 6, 2005. Information for this entry and profile approval was provided by Rhonda Suhr, sister.



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