SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



In Memory of Army First Lieutenant

Charles Maury Hallstrom

Webster, South Dakota,
Day County

July 14, 1946 – September 25, 1970

Killed in Action in South Vietnam


Charles Maury Hallstrom was born July 14, 1946, to Charles Wilfred and Margaret (Hempel) Hallstrom in Webster, South Dakota. Charles grew up in Webster and graduated from Webster High School. He liked to be outside and loved to hunt rabbits with his brothers. Following high school, Charles went to Rapid City to attend South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. While he was there, he was in a fraternity and enjoyed singing; in fact, he was in a sought-after group called “The Three of Us” with Jake Mitchell and Bruce Ballard. He graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering in 1969. Following his graduation, Charles enlisted in the Army on May 29, 1969, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Before he went overseas, Lt. Hallstrom was stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia. He went overseas as part of the Americal Division. During his time away First Lieutenant wrote his family many letters, the following, dated September 15, 1970, was taken from one of his last letters home, when he was working on a road-building project, “one of the most important projects which must be completed before the US can pull out.” Hallstrom wrote:

I have been so busy that I have not been able to attend church services. It is really a test of faith here. I hope that I am able to retain a Christian attitude although some times I am filled with hate. I pray that God will help me love these people and make everyone realize that war is not the answer. This land could be very beautiful if it were not for the ugliness of war.

He ended the letter with “I am sorry this letter is short and not very cheerful. Please do not feel sorry for me. I have many fine men who also carry a great burden…” Among his plans for after the war was to enter the ministry and to work with kids.

On September 25, 1970, First Lieutenant Charles Maury Hallstrom was killed in action in Southeast Asia when his Jeep hit a land mine. His body was later returned to the United States and he was buried with military honors at the cemetery in Webster. Later, in memory of Charles, the Hunter Army Airfield’s Petway Lake was changed to Hallstrom Lake and a memorial plaque was placed in his honor in the Surbeck Center at SDSM&T.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Michaela Kieleyl. Fuerstenau, 9th Grade, Spearfish High School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on May 15, 2005. Information for this entry was obtained from the Hallstrom family via Robert and Cathy, brother and sister, respectively. (P/S/F/A 6/7/05, 1/7/06.)


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