Fenske, Bernard L., SGM

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Last Rank
Sergeant Major
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11Z50-Infantry Senior Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1963-1965, 11Z50, 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne
Service Years
1947 - 1969
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate

Special Forces
Sergeant Major

Seven Service Stripes

Six Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Fenske, Bernard L. (Ben), SGM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Winona, MN

Date of Passing
Jun 20, 2009
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Chapter XX
  1971, Special Forces Association, Chapter XX (Executive Officer) (Minneapolis, Minnesota) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Sergeant Major (Retired) Bernard (Ben) Fenske
July 21, 1930 — June 20, 2009

Sergeant Major (Retired) Bernard (Ben) Fenske, 78, went to his eternal home Saturday, June 20, 2009, at VA Medical Center in Minneapolis. He was born July 21, 1930, to Paul and Emma (Schmidt) Fenske.

He married Sarah E. Cook on Sept. 2, 1949, in Franklin, Ky., and later divorced after 27 years.

SGM Fenske served 22 years in Special Forces and other airborne units, serving 11 years overseas in Korea, Japan, Germany and Laos. SGM Fenske served in the 187th Airborne Regional Combat Team during the Korean Conflict and Laos with the Special Forces during the Vietnam War. During his military career, he was an avid sport parachutist as well as a military parachutist, accumulating a total of 350 jumps, many at high altitude requiring oxygen tanks and masks; 45 of these jumps were at night.

His military awards and decorations include the Master Parachute Badge, Halo Jump Master Badge, Army Commendation Ribbon, seven awards of the Good Conduct Medal, Army of the Occupation (Japan), National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Korea Service Medal with two Champaign Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the United Nations SBC Medal. After retiring from the military, he worked for Burlington Northern Railroad for 13 years in Winona and La Crosse, Wis., as a ticket agent and yard clerk. He retired in December 1982.

Survivors include three sons, Richard of Nashville, Larry of Winona and Roger (Robin) of West Salem, Wis.; two daughters, Carolyn (David Konkel) of Wabasha, Minn., and Lori of Winona; sister, Lorraine Johnson of Winona; brothers, Ralph and Marvin (Carol) of Winona, Reuben of Rochester, Minn.; 19 grandchildren; and 33 great-grandchildren.

He also leaves behind a special friend of many years, JoAnn Wieczorek, of Fountain City, Wis.

He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and four sisters.

A memorial service will be at Thursday, June 25, at 2 p.m., with visitation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 328 E. Broadway St., Winona, with a luncheon following.

Burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis on Friday, June 26, at noon — meet at assembly No. 5.

Arrangements with Cremation Society of Minnesota (612)-825-2435
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 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Master ParachutistMilitary Freefall Jumpmaster

 Unit Assignments
187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)3rd Special Forces Group Airborne
  1951-1953, 1745, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
  1956-1960, 11B10, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1961-1962, 11F10, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1963-1965, 11Z50, 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne
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