Killed in action near Lo Go, South Vietnam.
Howard Robert Hysell was born in Gregory,
South Dakota, on June 25, 1944, to Harold and Irene Hysell (Hannahs).
He had two brothers Lloyd and Theodore (Ted), and a sister,
Lois. He grew up near the towns Burke and Gregory, with the
exception of one year spent in Martin, South Dakota. Howard
liked country music, cars, and hunting. Sister Lois wrote:
fondly remember driving the car through fields while Howard
pheasant hunted. I wasnít old enough for a license so I thought
this was so cool. Howard was over six feet tall and thin. He
always wore a black cowboy hat making him look even taller.
Spec 4 Howard Hysell enlisted into the
Army on November 5, 1964, and received training at Fort Leonard
Wood, Missouri, and Fort Hood, Texas. He arrived in South
Vietnam on October 16, 1965 and was attached to Company B, 1st
Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry
The following is the last letter to his
family received from him: it reads, in part:
April 26, Ď66
Dear Dad, Mom, and Sis,
Öshortly I will be home, shortly say in about 150 days. Our
operation started about three days ago.
The first day, 9 were killed and 12 wounded, 100 were flown
in from heat exhaustion. We were given one-fourth canteen of
water for all-day and walked all day. Itís a good thing
Charlie didnít see us. We are cooling our heels at a base
camp for a couple of days. I slept all day long.
April 27, 1966
ÖHere are four pictures of myself. How is the weather back
there in Godís Country? Itís still pretty hot over here.
We are still cooling our heels as yet. Mom, send these two
addresses back to me as I have to burn all letters I get out
in the field. Send them about May 3, as we will be out of
I have to get ready to leave.
Vietnam Veteransí Memorial Photo
Courtesy of Sheila Hansen
Howard R. Hysell was killed in hostile ground action on April
30, 1966, in Operation Birmingham while on a search and destroy
mission. His group had come under heavy small arms and machine
gun fire from the west side of the Ben Go River and at the same
time made heavy contact with a Viet Cong force on the eastern
Spec 4 Howard
Hysell is buried in Graceland Cemetery, in Burke, South Dakota.
The South Dakota Air National Guard of Sioux Falls flew jets in
formation over the cemetery. Specialist 4 Howard Robert
Hysellís name can be found on Panel 07E, line 013 of the Vietnam
Veteransí Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
His sister, Lois, said:
life. He always had a smile and a good sense of humor. A man
can choose no more honorable profession than wearing the
uniform of his country in the defense of freedom and in safe
guarding the right of men to choose their own destiny.
Mandy Redden, 7th grade, Stanley County Middle School, Fort
Pierre, South Dakota, April 14, 2005, respectfully submitted
this entry. Information was provided by Lois Thomas, Tabor,
South Dakota, sister to Spec 4 Hysell.