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



In Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fifth Class

William Dennis Biever

Bancroft, South Dakota, Kingsbury County

 August 5 1945 -- July 19, 1967

Killed in Action in South Vietnam


William Dennis Biever was born in Osceola, South Dakota, on August 5, 1945. His family liked to call him Bill. His parents’ names were Louis and Vina (Rhoten) Biever. He grew up with three sisters: Janice, Alice, and Shirley. He also had five brothers: Robert, Eugene, Lawrence, John, and Jerry. William attended Bancroft High School. After he graduated, he went to South Dakota State in Brookings to attend college. He liked to hunt, fish, dance, and play all kinds of sports. His sister, Jan, also remembers that he was a fun person to be around.

William Biever entered the service at age 21, on April 11, 1966, and became an Army Specialist Fifth Class. He was awarded the Distinguished Trainee Award and the Certificate of Merit at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Then on August 10, 1966, he completed an aircraft maintenance entry course and on September 23, 1966, he completed a single rotor turbine utility helicopter repair course, both at Fort Rucker, Alabama. On January 8, 1967, SP/5 Biever was sent overseas and was stationed in South Vietnam as a member of Company A, 5th Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

On July 19, 1967, SP/5 William Dennis Biever was crew chief aboard a helicopter, attending as a door gunner; he was killed when the helicopter was shot down and caught on fire as it crashed. The body of SP/5 Biever was recovered a day or two later and returned to the United States and buried with military honors at St. William’s Cemetery at Yale, South Dakota. In November of that year, the Biever family was notified that at Camp Enari in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, a street was named for William to “perpetuate William’s deeds of valor in the hearts and minds of his fellow soldiers throughout the division.”

William Biever was awarded the Air Medal for “meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight in the Republic of Vietnam during the period 19 January 1967 to 15 February 1967.”

According to the citation for the award:

During this time he actively participated in more than twenty-five aerial missions
over hostile territory in support of counterinsurgency operations. During all of these missions he displayed the highest order of air discipline and acted in accordance with the best traditions of the service. By his determination to accomplish his mission in spite of the hazards inherent in repeated aerial flights over hostile territory and by his outstanding degree of professionalism and devotion to duty, he has brought credit upon himself, his organization, and the military service.

Surviving family members were Louis Biever, father; Vina Biever, mother; Shirley Salter, Janice Lentz, and Alice Ellis, sisters; Robert, Lawrence, Eugene, and Jerry Biever, brothers. Another brother of William, John Biever, pre-deceased him in 1961.

This entry was submitted by Camarae Brink, 8th grade student, Spearfish Middle School, October 13, 2005. Information for this project was collected from Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application and a Kingsbury County newspaper clipping. Additional information and profile approval by Jan Lentz, sister, Huron, SD.


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