In Memory of U.S. Army Corporal
Russell Norman Ferdig
Elk Point, South Dakota, Union County
March 1, 1944--September 8, 1968
Killed in Action in Vietnam
Russell Norman Ferdig was born on March 1, 1944, in Elk
Point, South Dakota, to Leonard and Johannah (Peterson) Ferdig.
He had four brothers, Roger, Jerry, Gary and Robert. He was
raised and attended school in Elk Point. Russell was often
called “Buzz” by his friends and family. Russell worked at the
Farmer’s Grain Elevator in Elk Point, and married his wife,
Bobbette. He loved the water and his hobbies included boating,
water skiing and fishing. His family recalls Russell was known
for his ‘double or nothing’ strategy when buying things.
Russell Norman Ferdig was drafted into the U.S. Army on
December 6, 1967, and was sent overseas to Vietnam the following
spring. He arrived in Vietnam on May 13, 1968, and was stationed
at Hua Nghia, in South Vietnam. He was a Corporal and part of
the 14 Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
During his service in Vietnam, Corporal Ferdig often wrote
home to his nieces and nephews asking them to pray for him and
all the other American soldiers there. He said that although he
prayed himself, he needed all the help he could get.
Corporal Russell Norman Ferdig was wounded during combat
operations in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. He was hit by fragments from a
booby trap and was evacuated to the hospital, where he died as a
result of his injuries on September 8, 1968, at Hua Nghia, South
Vietnam. His parents were notified by telegram sent via the
Sheriff of Union County on September 10.
Corporal Russell Norman Ferdig’s body was returned to the
United States, and he was buried with military honors at the Elk
Point cemetery. He received the Purple Heart and Silver Star for
his actions and was posthumously promoted to Corporal/Specialist
He is currently survived by his brothers, Roger, Jerry, Gary,
and Robert. If his brothers could speak with him now, they would
say, “It is now the year 2005, and we still think of you and
miss you, 37 years after you left us.”
This entry was respectfully submitted by April G. Goodson,
9th Grade, Spearfish High School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on
May 8, 2005. Information for this entry was provided by Roger
Ferdig, brother, Arlington, Nebraska. (P/S/F/A 6/8/05)