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



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 Four.

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)


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