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



In Memory of U.S. Army Corporal

David Orson Fjerstad

Elkton, South Dakota, Brookings County

March 28, 1947-- February 27, 1967

Killed in Action on the Cambodian-Vietnamese Border

David Orson Fjerstad was born on March 28, 1947, in Elkton, South Dakota, to Robert and Marjorie Fjerstad. He was the oldest of nine children. He had five sisters: Mary Lou, Vera, Diane, Denise and Leah and three brothers: Jim, Michael and Richard. David grew up in Elkton where he went to Catholic school and then in the eighth grade his family relocated to Rapid City. He attended Rapid City Cathedral High School and was involved in many activities and sports. He loved music, played the trumpet, and sang. He played many sports; in high school he played football, basketball, and ran track. After graduating in 1965, he and his family went back to the Aurora/Elkton area. Being the oldest of nine children, David loved and cared for them all very much. David worked for a year and wanted to attend SDSU (South Dakota State University) in the fall of 1966; however, he was called into duty and was not able to attend.

David Fjerstad was drafted into the United States Army in May of 1966. He did his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He then went to Fort Polk, Louisiana for additional training in advanced infantry. On Thanksgiving Day 1966 he left for Vietnam as a machine gunner for the 1st Infantry Division. When he wrote home once, David told his family that he had met a general, William DePuy, who was from Brookings and had “talk[ed] with the gun crew,” offering them words of encouragement.

Shortly before his 20th birthday, Corporal David Orson Fjerstad was killed while “patrolling along the Cambodian border” on February 27, 1967, as part of Operation Junction City. His body was returned to the United States and after a funeral service in Elkton, he was buried there with military honors.

David is currently survived by all eight of his siblings, 18 nieces and nephews, and four great nieces and nephews. In closing, the newspaper reported, “David was an athlete, leader of men and musician, all in one.” His brother, Jim, wrote, “It still pains me greatly, but at the same time I am glad for his story to be told as he was a wonderful, wonderful person.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Alexandria Buchholz, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on March 30, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by 3/2/1967, 3/16/67 issues of The Elkton Record and Jim Fjerstad, brother, of Brookings. Profile approval by the Fjerstad family.


State of South Dakota Main Web site    |     SD Department of Military (site coming soon) and Veterans Affairs

Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Web site


Copyright 2005 State of South Dakota - Bureau of Administration
All Rights Reserved

Free DHTML scripts provided by

Dynamic Drive

Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army, the National Archives and Records Administration,
the Dedication Committee, and veterans who have submitted their photos for use
in conjunction with the Vietnam War Memorial Dedication.

Music "Mod Indigo" licensed by the State of South Dakota from
Freeplay Music

 free script provided by JavaScript Kit