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



In Memory of U.S. Army Corporal 

Darrell Elmer Hartman

Salem, South Dakota, McCook County

 October 1, 1948 -- May 11, 1969

Killed in Collapse of Bunker in Tay Ninh, South Vietnam

Darrell Elmer Hartman was born in October 1, 1948, in Scotland, South Dakota, to Mr. and Mrs. Elmer (Adeline) Hartman. He has a sister named Mardell. He was born, raised, and educated in McCook County. He attended Canistota Grade School and Salem High School but quit just prior to graduation. Before he entered the service, he was employed by S & H Manufacturing in Sioux Falls. On November 3, 1967, Darrell married Beverly Catron in Alexandria and had a daughter, Tanya, who Darrell never saw.

On April 1, 1968, Darrell Elmer Hartman was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was trained at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and then he was transferred to Fort Ord, California, where he received his Advanced Individual Training in Communications and was awarded the marksmanship medal for the M-14 rifle. He and his wife were then stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado. There he received awards in pistol, M-16 rifle, and grenade launcher. He went overseas in April of 1968 with the Battery A, 1st Battalion, 30th Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division as a radio operator. He wrote home that he was sorry he quit school, then he found out that he could finish in the Army.

In his last letter home, Darrell talks about what he was going to do after the war. Darrell said in his letter:

I think Bev and I will probably be looking for a house in Sioux Falls if I get
back into Schwartz. I’ve been thinking of trying to get into telephone business, if I don’t work at Schwartz, to tell you the truth I kind of miss working at Schwartz. I’d still like to try some thing new though. Being I have to start all over.

I have to learn how to run computers here in FDC too besides being a radio teletype, so maybe that will help me out too later in life. It sure is interesting to learn all this stuff and it keeps me from having to walk around and killing Charly. The only thing I have to do is duck from the rockets and motors here. We’ve only been hit once since I’ve been here and that was enough for me for awhile. Scared the living s*** out of me.

Today has been miserable, we got a good taste of the monsoon. It rained all day and there was about 6 inches on the ground and it’s still drizzling. We’re in for 3 months of steady raining, cause that’s how long it lasts…

After only being on duty in Vietnam for six weeks, Corporal Darrell Hartman was killed on May 11, 1969, after a heavy rain storm caused the bunker in which he was sleeping in to give way and collapse on him. He was only 20 years old. His wife received word about his death the morning of May 13, 1969. His body was returned to the United States and he was buried with military honors at Wildwood Cemetery at Salem.

Darrell Elmer Hartman was awarded the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and prior to his death he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon.

Darrell’s wife and daughter moved away several years after his death, and the family lost track of them. Darrell’s parents are now deceased; only his sister, Mardell, survives him. In closing, she wrote, “He died so young; we can only think he would have grown old a very respected, wonderful person.”

Darrell at Fort Ord, California

This entry was submitted by Alex McCambridge, 8th grade student, Spearfish Middle School, November 13, 2005. Information for this project was collected from Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application and Darrell’s sister, Mardell Klockman. Profile approval by Mardell Klockman.


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