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



In Memory of  U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class

Edwin Harry Case

Batesland, South Dakota, Shannon County

 March 15, 1947 -- November 1, 1968

Died of Wounds in Vietnam


Edwin Harry “Eddie” Case was born in Alliance, Nebraska, on March 15, 1947, to Clifford and Birdie Case. He had one sister, Barbara, and two brothers, Clinton and Keith, who died when he was 12. Their hometown was Batesland, South Dakota. Edwin attended first through eighth grade in Batesland. Edwin’s brother, Clint, who was six years older than Edwin, remembers that whenever he told Edwin to do something, Edwin would argue and say, “You’re not my boss.” Edwin later attended Bennett County High School in Martin, which he graduated from in 1965. After graduation he went to a technical college in Denver, Colorado. He returned to Batesland from college in 1966. He then worked at an auto body shop in Martin and drove the school bus from Batesland to Martin until he joined the service. Barbara’s daughter, who was ten years younger than Edwin, remembers, “He was always smiling and cheerful and didn’t seem to mind having a little niece following him around all the time asking him all kinds of questions.” She would always ask him where he was going and he would say, “Crazy. Want to go with me?”

Edwin entered the service on September 22, 1967, at Hot Springs, South Dakota, and did his basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington. He also attended a communications school at Fort Gordon, Georgia. On April 5, 1968, he was sent overseas where he was stationed in Vietnam, as a U.S. Amy Specialist Fourth Class in Company D, 299th Engineers Battalion, 937th Engineers Group, 18th Engineers Brigade. He wrote home frequently, including letters to his minister, Rev. Gabel. His sister, Barb, remembers that Edwin sent home some special gifts from Vietnam to her and her family.

Army Specialist Fourth Class Edwin Harry Case died of wounds from a mine detonation in Vietnam on November 1, 1968. His company and he were clearing a friendly mine field when one of the mines already picked up went off. His Commanding Officer wrote to the family that Edwin’s job took “courage and competence” and that Edwin “most definitely had these qualities.” He ended the letter with, “I could not hope to lessen your grief but believe me it is shared by every member of this company.” On November 2, 1968, a memorial service was held in Vietnam for Edwin and another soldier who was also killed in the explosion. The Commanding Officer had the following words to say:

You were lucky if you got to know Case well. But it didn’t take
long to find out that if there was work to be done, Case would be
doing more than his share. I don’t think he ever missed a mine sweep.
He was a good man in the field or as a friend.

No bugles played when Case and Spradlin volunteered for the mine
clearing party. Every man here knew the danger of the operation.
Spradlin and Case said “I’ll do it” like they always did.

There will be no stories about their lives in the New York Times, not
even the Pacific Stars and Stripes. Their brand of glory does not sell well….

His body was returned to the United States, first arriving to San Francisco and then to Rapid City and finally to Gordon, Nebraska with a military escort. A memorial service was held on November 14, 1968, at the First Methodist Church of Gordon followed by burial at the Chadron cemetery with full military honors.

Army Specialist Fourth Class Case was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Expert Badge with automatic rifle bar, and Marksman Badge with rifle bar.


Edwin is currently survived by his mother, Birdie Case, Gordon, Nebraska; his sister, Barbara Zlomke, Batesland; his brother, Clinton Case, Thousand Oaks, California; his niece, Jerri Oller Martin and her son, Tristan, Mesa, Arizona; and his nephew, Keith Case and his children, Kyle and Kendall, Henderson, Nevada.


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