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



In Memory of U.S Army Private First Class

Jimmie Woodrow Barton

Onaka, South Dakota, Faulk County

June 31, 1946 -- November 11, 1965

Killed in Action in Southern Vietnam

Jimmie Woodrow Barton was born in Covington, Oklahoma, on July 31, 1946. Jimmie also has one sister named Norma. Jimmie loved driving and fixing cars; he also had a Ford that he was very proud of; he is remembered being ďnice and smart and a good carpenterĒ by his friend, Dennis Ambrosier. In 1964 or so, Jimmie came to Onaka, South Dakota with Dennis as part of a harvest crew. He also had a girlfriend, Judy, while he lived in Onaka. After the harvest was done, Jimmie and Dennis decided to stay in South Dakota. Jimmie worked for a carpenter in Onaka.

When the work ran out, on October 2, 1964 Jimmie enlisted the United States Army while still living in Onaka. He then got his training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The following is from a letter that Jimmie sent to Dennis, dated November 3, 1964, from his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri:

ÖI went to the hospital and gave 47/ccís of blood to the Army Red Cross. They need blood pretty bad. This Gold fire project between the army and the air force seems to be a pretty big deal. They told me to go to bed, but I donít feel like going to bed, so Iíll try to write a few letters. Out of 215 guys, 17 gave blood. 4 out of our platoon. The rest were sick or had disease in their blood and some just didnít want to give any. It was kind of funny when the nurse stuck the needle in my arm, blood squirted all over my under shirt and all over her dress. She said I had low blood pressure but something was wrong. I told her maybe when I seen her, she made my blood pressure rise. (Ha, ha!)

Iíll be back after my car some day so I suppose Iíll see you then. From what I hear there isnít much left of it. Well, what kind of work are you doing? Do you plan on staying at Onaka this winter? Write if you have time. Iíll see you soon (I hope). A friend, Jim

From Fort Leonard Wood, he was sent on to Fort Benning, Georgia, for additional training. The following is from a second letter Jimmie sent to Dennis, dated July 19, 1965, from Fort Benning:

ÖWell, Buddy Boy, I guess my turn has come. I am in the new unit which started here at Benning about a month ago. 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). I guess weíll be moving out to Vietnam the last of this month or the 1st of next. It will be my luck to spend my birthday on the way over. Iíll probably get sea sickÖ

Weíve been training a lot the last few weeks with helicopters. We got all of our shots Sat. for overseas plus anything else we needed. They checked our teeth today.

I made expert again, with the new M-16 rifle this time. Itís a nice weapon. My making expert on the M-60 machine gun was a mistake I shouldnít have made. I am an assistant gunner now and in combat your life is worth only 2 minutes. If youíre lucky you might get out alive, but a machine gun is the first thing they try to wipe outÖ.

Well, I made Private First Class last month, I am a PFC E-3 now. I get a little more money, not much but a little. 14 months to go, boy, thatís a long time, but I guess Iíll make it. I canít wait to get back into civilian life. Man, will I ever change my life.

Iím going to college when I get out. I got my high school diploma. The army will give me $1,000 a year for 3 yrs. of school, and I will save some more money overseas. Iíll get $55.00 combat pay plus $8.00 overseas pay, then my base pay. Iíll get over like a fat rat. If I live long enough to enjoy it.

Well, write soon and take care. May God bless you. Your friend, Jim

PS Hope to see you again some day. Maybe we can hit the road together and never get stopped at the wrong place again. Ha Ha.

On August 17, 1965, PFC Barton was sent to Southern Vietnam with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Calvary Division. Army Private First Class Jimmie Woodrow Barton was killed in action on November 17, 1965, in Southern Vietnam. He died from small arms fire. His body was returned to the United States and was buried with military honors at the Albert Cemetery in Fort Cobb, Oklahoma.

Survivors at the time of Jimmieís death included his mother, Faye and step-father, James Henson; and his sister, Norma Elsie.


This entry was respectfully submitted by Racheal Novak and Abbey Merchen, Grade 8, Spearfish Middle School, South Dakota, on March 27, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by a Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application, Judy A. Simon, Dennis Ambrosier, and Faye L. Henson via Irene Cordts. Profile approval by Faye Henson, mother.


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