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



In Memory of U.S. Marine Corporal

Percy Bettelyoun, Jr.

Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Shannon County

December 10, 1927--May 28, 1968

Died as a Result of Lightning Strike, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam


Percy Bettelyoun, Jr. was born October 10, 1947, in Pine Ridge, South Dakota to Percy Bettelyoun and Geraldine (Janis) Bettelyoun. An Oglala Sioux, Percy had four brothers: Gary, William, Gordon, and Alvin, and one sister, Edith. He went to school in Rapid City. According to a friend, Percy was ďa very nice young man, very quiet, serious, and talented.Ē His nickname was Bubba, and he was a drummer in a country western dance band before he entered the service.

On July 7, 1966, Percy Bettelyoun entered active service in the Marine Corps at Omaha, Nebraska. He went overseas as a member of Headquarters and Service Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/4, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade.

On May 28, 1968, Corporal Percy Bettelyoun died ďas a result of ventricular fibrillation when struck by lightning while in battalion area,Ē Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. His body was returned to the United States and he was buried with military honors.

Currently Percy is survived by his brothers, Gordon, Phoenix, Arizona; and Alvin, White River, South Dakota; and his sister, Edith Cope, Phoenix.

In closing, on the website, Kim B. Swanson posted the following remembrance:

I went to boot camp and Infantry training with Percy in 1966. Percy was a squad leader and he was one of the younger Marines, so he had the potential for leader- ship. He was a nice young guy and Iím sorry that he was killed.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Jordan Pager, 8th grade, Spearfish, South Dakota, April 30, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by Rapid City Journal 6/2/68 issue, an application for a SD Vietnam Veteranís bonus, Naomi Johnson, Rapid City, and (P/S/F/A on 5/8/06; 5/31/06.)


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