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

 

 



In Memory of U.S. Marine Corporal

Conrad Lee Flyinghorse

Bullhead, South Dakota, Corson County

 August 29, 1951 – August 31, 1970

Died of Wounds aboard the USS Sanctuary


Taken on Hill 55, LZ Baldy; Left, John; Right, Conrad

Conrad Lee Flyinghorse was born on August 29, 1951, to William, a WW II veteran, and Mary Good Iron Flyinghorse, at Blackhorse, South Dakota. Conrad’s siblings included three younger brothers, Harvey, Milo, and Allen Wayne, and one sister, Wilma. Conrad is remembered for “excelling in school, being a good and caring friend to everyone, having a good sense of humor and being a very gifted musician,” according to his nephew, John Luke Flyinghorse. In fact, while he was in high school, Conrad played bass guitar for a rock band he founded called Music Impossible. His band mates included Bob Edinger and Conrad’s nephews, Joe and John Luke Flyinghorse and George DeRockbraine. Conrad graduated from McIntosh High School in May of 1969.

Conrad and his nephews, Joe Flyinghorse, who was attending Northern State College, and Orville Long Elk, who had also just graduated from McIntosh, decided to join the Marine Corps but had to request and sign waivers as they were all family members. Additionally earlier that year two of Conrad’s other nephews, George DeRockbraine and John Luke Flyinghorse, had enlisted in the Marines.

Conrad entered active service on April 1, 1969, at Fargo, North Dakota. After his basic training, Conrad commenced his tour of Vietnam on November 18, 1969, stationed with John Luke. Conrad was Squad Leader, Hotel Company while John Luke was Communications Chief with Golf Company, both in 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

In the cherished photo above of Conrad, the only one that John Luke has, shows the two of them on Hill 55, LZ Baldy, I Corps, Vietnam, in August of 1970 just prior to the action which fatally wounded Conrad. In the photo John Luke had “just come out of the bush,” so was still in combat gear. The two happened to meet as Conrad, holding his M-16 and two clips of ammo, was coming back from the PX.

According to John Luke, “In August of 1970, Golf and Hotel Companies were sent into the Ashau Valley, Quang Nam Province of Vietnam where they were engaged in a 3-day gun fight.” It was during this action, two days before his birthday, on August 27, 1970, that Corporal Conrad Lee Flyinghorse was wounded and evacuated to the USS Sanctuary, a hospital ship anchored just off DaNang in the South China Sea. On August 31, 1970, Conrad died-- just two days after his birthday. John Luke “sat for three days at MedEvac I at Division Headquarters trying to get a chopper out to his Hospital ship to see him but they wouldn’t let me…but I knew when he died.”

John Luke Flyinghorse escorted the body of his uncle, Conrad Lee Flyinghorse, home to McIntosh where he was buried with military honors at the McIntosh City Cemetery next to his mother’s grave.

Among his awards, Conrad Lee Flyinghorse was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor posthumously. He is survived by his brother, Allen Flyinghorse, Seattle, Washington; his sister, Wilma Flyinghorse, Ten-Across, Alaska; and his two nephews, Joe Flyinghorse, Rapid City, and John Luke Flyinghorse, Wakpala.

Conrad Lee had hoped to come back to McIntosh after the war and marry his childhood sweetheart. As his nephew, John Luke, wrote in closing, “He is missed.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, teacher, Spearfish Middle School, May 18, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD Vietnam veteran’s bonus and by John Luke and Joe Flyinghorse, nephews. Profile approval by John Luke Flyinghorse.

 


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