Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Last Primary NEC
Last Rating/NEC Group
Primary Unit
1971-1973, SK-0000, USS John King (DDG-3)
Service Years
1957 - 1977
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Shellback
Order of the Golden Dragon
Five Hash Marks

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
South Dakota
South Dakota
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember SWENSEN, Leland, SCPO.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Hurley and Wakonda, SD
Last Address
Buried with full Military Honors,
Patriot Guard Riders / Honor Mission
Union Cemetery, rural Wakonda SD

Date of Passing
Jan 27, 2012
Location of Interment
Union Cemetery - Flandreau, South Dakota
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Cold War Medal Navy Chief Initiated Order of the Emerald Shellback

Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Post 791, Ernest Bowyer PostPost 13
  1979, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 791, Ernest Bowyer Post (Member) (Yankton, South Dakota) - Chap. Page
  1979, American Legion, Post 13 (Recorder) (Wakonda, South Dakota) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
(SK) Storekeeper A SchoolUSS Canberra (CAG-2)USS John King (DDG-3)
  1958-1958, SA-0000, (SK) Storekeeper A School
  1965-1967, SK-0000, USS Canberra (CAG-2)
  1971-1973, SK-0000, USS John King (DDG-3)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1967 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1966-1968 Operation Sea Dragon
  1971-1972 Vietnam War
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Patriot Guard Riders / Honor Mission
  The Pope & the Senior Chief
  Lifeguard & Scout Master
  "Our Gang"
  Jan 27, 2012, Obituary for Leland Leroy "Chris" Swensen
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Senior Chief Storekeeper Leland Leroy "Chris" 

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.

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