The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a world-wide Veterans organization with approximately 8,100 Posts. Aberdeen is home to Post 17 which indicates that it was the 17th Post started in the United States. Our original charter dates back to the early 1900s. We are included in a group ruling in the State (referred to as department) of South Dakota for purposes of tax exemption with the Internal Revenue Service, giving Post 17 a 501(c)(4) status. As a not-for-profit Veterans organization our mission is to "honor the dead by helping the living” by supporting Veteran’s services, community services, national security and national defense.
Lieutenant C.C. Croal
Clinton Charles Croal was born on August 22nd, 1891 in Pierpont, South Dakota. He was the son of John and Mary Croal. In 1911, Clinton graduated from Sisseton High School and subsequently took a law course at the State University in Vermillion, SD, from which he graduated with the degree of LL.B. He was admitted to the bar when he was only nineteen-and-a-half years old. He worked closely with a company named Porter & Grantham as a general solicitor for the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad in Aberdeen, SD.
Clinton entered service at First Officers Training Camp in Fort Snelling, MN on May 15, 1917, and
was commissioned a Lieutenant August 15, 1917. He sailed overseas on September 7 of the same year. The Battle of Cantigny, fought May 28, 1918, was the first
major American battle and offensive of World War I. The U.S. 1st Division, the
most experienced of the five American divisions then in France and in reserve
for the French Army near the village of Cantigny, was selected for the attack. Lieutenant C.C. Croal went missing in action after the Battle of Cantigny.
Lt. Croal was the first soldier
from the University of South Dakota reported lost in battle. Also, he was one of the
founders of the P. H. P. Society, a charter member, and one of the first
officials of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and was for six years secretary
and treasurer of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Alumni Association. He was also a member of the Phi Delta Phi Law Fraternity.
It was later discovered that he died in the Battle of Cantigny during a German artillery attack. His remains were buried in France with military honors.
We are proud and humbled to have his name associated with