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

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



In Memory of U.S. Army Sergeant First Class

Raymond Alvin Adam

Leola, South Dakota, McPherson County

October 19, 1934 – April 21, 1964

Killed in Action at Cai Son Agroville, Republic of Vietnam

Raymond Alvin Adam was born in Hosmer, South Dakota on October 19, 1934, to Mr. Gottlieb and Mrs. Emma Adam. His hometown was Leola, McPherson County, South Dakota. He had six siblings: Elmer, Helmuth, Esther, Milbert, Milton, and Harry. Raymond went to school in Hosmer and graduated from Hosmer High School in 1954.

He enlisted in the Army as a private in November of 1954, during the Korean War. He went on to serve in the Army for twelve years. During his service, he completed such courses as Combat Arms Advanced NCO Course, Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Survival Training, Projectionist Course, and Cold Weather Operations& Ski Instructors Course in Alaska. When 29, in May of 1963, Raymond married his wife Rosa, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, while he was stationed near there. Sergeant Adam was later sent across the seas to Viet Nam. In January, while he was stationed over seas, his wife gave birth to baby girl whom they named Jennie Lynn. He was never able to see his baby.

In his last letter home to his parents, dated April 11, Raymond wrote: “Well only got 3 ˝ months to go, and I know for sure now that I’m going back to Ft. Carson, Colo again. I’m sure glad about that, no worries about having to move. I’ll sure be glad when this is over with.” At the bottom of his letter, he signed off with “105 days to go.”

Sergeant First Class Raymond A. Adam died April 21, 1964, when Raymond, his captain, their Vietnamese interpreter, and two armed guards were driving an army jeep from the Cai Son Self Defense Corps Training Center to Can Tho. Suddenly their jeep hit an enemy land mine, which exploded, killing all 5 men instantly.

In a letter to Raymond’s parents, Robert S. McGowan wrote, providing further details:

 Your son died as he lived, superbly performing his duties as training advisor of our Cai Son Self Defense Corps Training Center. He was on his way from the training center to Can Tho when a mine was electrically exploded under his jeep. Sergeant Adam died instantly—he felt no pain. I was at the scene a short time later and supervised his final departure from Cai Son. An impromptu honor guard of the local SDC soldiers who knew your son, were trained by him, and loved him as we, his comrades, in arms do, lent heartfelt military dignity to Sergeant Adam’s farewell from his place of duty. Some of them were without shoes, others had only partial uniforms, but they were rigid in their salute, and their eyes were moist—they had lost a friend. Vinh Long, and the Republic of Vietnam, are better today because of your son’s being here.                                

His body was returned to the United States and funeral services were held on April 30, 1964, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There he was buried and remains at rest. Soon after his widow Rosa accepted his Purple Heart award from Colonel H. R. Hurst.

 Besides the Purple Heart, Raymond Adam was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Good Conduct Medal (2), the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze service stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one bronze service star, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze service star, United Nations Service Medal, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar, and the Combat Infantryman Badge (2).

I will always remember the service Sergeant Raymond A. Adam contributed to the Vietnam War as well as to the United States of America.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Kelli Lynn Jahner, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on April 11, 2005. Information for this entry was provided by Milton Adam, Rapid City, brother of Raymond Adam. Profile approval by Milton Adam.


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