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



In Memory of  U.S Army Specialist Fourth Class

Marvin Dean Larson

Woonsocket, South Dakota, Sanborn County

August 22, 1949-October 11, 1969

Died as a Result of Two-Vehicle Accident in Vietnam


Marvin Dean “Pete” Larson was born August 22, 1949, Wessington Springs, South Dakota, to Arthur and Leona (Forbes) Larson. He had five brothers: Robert, Marion, Jerry, Danny and Alan and one sister, Linda. Marvin attended school through the eighth grade in Woonsocket. He worked for a beekeeper, Lionel Hopkins, before entering the Army. Marvin’s sister Linda wrote that Marvin was a “fun-loving person who just enjoyed his family, friends and life in general and liked to make people laugh.” Although he was raised on the farm, he didn’t want to be a farmer. He preferred working with the bees and once got to travel to Louisiana with them. In the shower he would sing “Sweet Pea” and “Love Potion #9” and “did an awesome impression” of “Klem Kedieddlehopper,” a character on the Red Skelton Show.

Marvin Larson enlisted in the Army on February 13, 1968, at Sioux Falls. Marvin was trained in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He commenced his tour of Vietnam on April 12, 1969, as a Specialist Fourth Class in Headquarters Company, 124th Transportation Battalion, 8th Transportation Group, 1st Logistical Command. On May 12, 1969, Marvin wrote home to his mother, “Well, we made it to Dakto ok but after we got there, some of the guys went about 8 miles north of here and got hit real bad. One of my friends got killed. He’s been over here a month yesterday.”

Army Specialist Fourth Class Marvin Dean Larson was killed in Vietnam on October 11, 1969. While dismounting a military vehicle commonly called a “Goer,’ he was pinned between that vehicle and another vehicle. His body was later returned to the U.S. to Woonsocket, South Dakota, and after a funeral service, he was buried with military honors by the Woonsocket National Guard at Eventide Cemetery.

The following is the telegram that Marvin’s family received:

Among Marvin’s awards were the following: Vietnam Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Ribbon, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Sharpshooters Badge with Ribbon, and Certificate of Safety for over 5,000 miles accident free driving.

Marvin Larson is currently survived by his parents, Arthur and Leona (Babe), rural Woonsocket; brothers: Robert, Marion, Alan of Woonsocket; Jerry of Shawmut, Montana; and Daniel of Henderson, Nevada; and a sister, Linda (Larson) Verba of Woonsocket.

In closing, his family said of Marvin: “A fun-loving, energetic person who loved to make people laugh.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Tanner Hughes and Mavrick Heaton, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, South Dakota, on March 29, 2006.Information for this entry was provided by Linda (Larson) Verba, the Woonsocket News for Thursday, October 23, 1969, and an application for a SD Vietnam Veteran’s Bonus. Profile approval by the Larson family via Linda Verba.


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