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



In Memory of Marine CPL

John William Hutchison

Presho, South Dakota, Lyman County

September 18, 1945 - August 19, 1968

Killed aboard a helicopter at Con Thien, in Quang Tri  Province, South Vietnam


John William Hutchison was born in Alva, Oklahoma, on September 18, 1945, to John Alfred and Helen M. (Crusinbery) Hutchison. He had two sisters, Lois and Verna, a brother, Robert, and one brother who died in infancy. His family moved to a ranch on the White River, south of Presho, South Dakota, in 1954. John attended rural schools and graduated from Presho High School in 1965. John loved football and music in high school, and was very good on the guitar and piano. He earned his pilot’s license in three lessons, and loved to fly.

John William Hutchison entered the U.S. Marine Corps on December 30, 1965 and began training at the San Diego Marine Training Station. On January 3, 1968 he arrived in Vietnam, assigned to squadron HMM-262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. CPL John William Hutchison had completed over 560 missions into hostile territory as a left port gunner, but had requested and received special permission for additional missions. CPL Hutchison had about 15 days of extended flying time left and was expected to be sent for a month tour in Japan before getting his discharge when he was killed in action on August 19, 1968, while trying to rescue a downed helicopter crew.

In a letter to his parents, his commanding officer, Lt. Col. M.J. Steinberg wrote:

John, as aerial gunner of a CH-46E “Sea Knight” helicopter, was participating in a troop extract mission in the Northern I Corps area. As the helicopter approached the landing zone, bornbardment of the area by enemy artillery commenced. John’s aircraft was hit by a very large caliber artillery shell and crashed to the ground at approximately 5:45 P.M. Marine ground forces immediately rushed to the scene of the crash, all to no avail.

CPL John William Hutchison was awarded the Air Flight Medal for meritorious
achievement as an aerial gunner with the Marine medium helicopter squadron 252 during combat support missions in April 1968. CPL Hutchison is buried in the Winner Cemetery, in Winner, South Dakota. CPL Hutchison’s name can be found on Panel 48W, Row 056 of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Brandi Renea Prince, 7th grade, Stanley County Middle School, Fort Pierre, South Dakota, April 27, 2005 respectfully submitted this entry. Robert Hutchison, Presho, South Dakota, and Lois Warner, Pierre, South Dakota, brother and sister to CPL John William Hutchison provided information.


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