Where can one find examples of War Dept. communications notifying U.S. citizens and residents of South Dakota in particular of the fate of their service-member relative during WWII?
Just plug “War Department telegram” into Google Images and you’ll get squillions of them. I don’t image the telegrams the War Department sent to people in South Dakota looked very different from the ones they sent to people anywhere else.
I believe the telegram was followed by an official letter that came by ordinary post, and gave more detail. Then there would be further letters relating to pensions and such, as appropriate.
There’s an extensive scene in Saving Private Ryan depicting the creation of casualty telegrams.
Which continued until the Vietnam War. As was correctly shown in We Were Soldiers Once Julia Moore was instrumental in changing Army policy and creating casualty assistance teams.