Last Known Activity|
Senior Chief Storekeeper Leland Leroy "Chris" Swensen
Wakonda SD - SKCS Leland Leroy "Chris" Swensen, USN Retired, 72, died Friday, January 27, 2012 at the Wakonda Heritage Manor after battling cancer.
Leland "Chris" was born April 12, 1939, in Hurley to Chris and Alice Swensen.
He graduated from Wakonda High School in 1957. After graduation, Leland joined the US Navy. He married Marilyn Jensen of Wakonda on June 14, 1961. They had two children, Keith and Laurie.
While serving aboard the USS Canberra, stationed off the coast of Vietnam, his ship and crew fired over 25,000 rounds of naval gunfire in support of the first full scale landing in the Mekong Delta and US forces in the I, II, and IV Corps areas. In March of 1967, during OPERATION SEA DRAGON, his ship came under intense enemy fire and was hit by enemy shore batteries four times on two separate occasions. A combat veteran, Leland retired after a 20 year career in the Navy, having served at duty stations including Newport RI, Japan, San Diego, Hong Kong, Great Lakes IL, and Virginia Beach VA.
After retiring from the Navy, Leland and family returned to SD. He was employed by the town of Wakonda until 1987 when he went to work for the University of South Dakota in the Facilities Management Department. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Wakonda, the VFW in Yankton, and the American Legion in Wakonda. Chris was also a volunteer with the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls.