May 24: North Dakota Generals Henning and Hinds
The front page of the Fargo Forum on this date in 1918 was covered with news about World War I. On the very bottom was a tiny announcement that two boys from North Dakota were going to enter West Point: Frank Henning Jr. of Lakota and Sidney Hinds of Wahpeton.
Frank Henning Jr. was born in Lakota in 1896. He attended the North Dakota Agricultural College before enrolling at West Point. When the United States entered World War I, West Point accelerated their program in order to send more officers to the front, so Frank ended up graduating early, in 1920.
He served in Hawaii, taught military science at Purdue, and then taught at the US Army Field Artillery School. During World War II Frank was in the Planning and Equipment Branch of the War Department. He later became the commanding general of the 71st Division Artillery, and was promoted to brigadier general in 1944. Frank earned a Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Commendation Ribbon during his service. Frank passed away in 1983 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Sidney Hinds was the other North Dakota boy entering West Point in 1918. Sidney was born in Newton, Illinois in 1900, and went to high school in Wahpeton. Sidney excelled in marksmanship. He was so good that he made the Olympic National Shooting Team, competing at the Olympics in Paris in 1924. The day before his event, a Belgian contestant dropped his gun and shot Sidney in foot. In spite of this, Sidney won a gold medal in shooting the following day.
During World War II he commanded the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, which invaded Africa, went through Sicily, sailed to England, invaded France, then fought all the way to Berlin. Sidney was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, four Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, two Commendation Ribbons, and the Purple Heart. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1945. After retiring from the army in 1947, Sidney worked for the United Nations in Geneva and in South Korea. He died in 1991 and is buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
Dakota Datebook by Trista Raezer-Stursa
- Ancell, R. Manning, and Christine Marie Miller. The Biographical Dictionary of World War II Generals and Flag Officers: the U.S. Armed Forces. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1996.
- Author Unknown. “Frank Henning Leaves,” The Weekly Spectrum, April 17, 1918, pg. 8.
- Author Unknown. “Henning, Frank Andrew Jr.” The Generals of World War II, https://generals.dk/general/Henning/Frank_Andrew_Jr./USA.html, accessed April 26, 2023.
- Author Unknown. “Two Dakotans at West Point,” The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, May 24, 1918, pg. 1.
- Macdonald, Martha Hinds. “Sidney R. Hinds 1920,” West Point Association of Graduates, https://alumni.westpointaog.org/memorial-article?id=2b1e2880-a45b-4a78-b733-afc2b10d8bc3, accessed April 26, 2023.