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

 

 



In Memory of U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant

Andrew Ernest LeBeau, Jr.

Mobridge, South Dakota, Dewey County

April 30, 1936 -- February 11, 1968

Killed in Action in Vietnam

Andrew Ernest “Andy” LeBeau, Jr. was born on April 30, 1936, at Cheyenne Agency, to Andrew, Sr. and Maxine LeBeau. Andrew, Jr. spent some of his early years near Promise on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation before moving with his mother to Nevada. Later, his father married Emma and they had Cleo and Lou, his half-sisters; and Joseph and Patrick, his half-brothers. On his mother’s side, Andrew, Jr. had a half-sister, Lakota (Cody). He also had an adopted sister, Connie. One time when he came to visit his father, he was boosted up on the horse and then fell off the other side just to be funny. The family remembers that he liked to tease and make them laugh. His half-sister, Lou, said “He was a very handsome man who resembled his father, Andy, Sr.”

Andrew E. LeBeau, Jr. first entered the service circa 1962 and last entered active service in December of 1965, at Bunker Hill Air Force Base in Indiana. Andrew, Jr. was a mechanic for Air Force planes and as of November 8, 1965, was stationed at Bien Hoa Province with the 3rd Field Maintenance Squadron, which “subsequently supported 12 Vietnam air campaigns. In the days following the Tet offensive, 3 FMS personnel endured many rocket attacks.”

Air Force Staff Sergeant Andrew Le Beau, Jr. was killed in action in Bien Hoa Province in Vietnam on February 11, 1968, after the base he was stationed at was attacked by enemy forces. Andrew is supposedly “the only death attributable to enemy action experienced by the squadron.” Lou, his step-sister, remembered what happened when they told the LeBeau family about Andrew’s death:

About six A.M. on February 11, 1968, I heard my mom tell my dad he’d better get up because there was a car coming to the house and there were two “official-looking” men in it. Dad greeted and welcomed these two military clad individuals (I think from Ellsworth Air Force Base) then offered them coffee. They thanked dad but declined the coffee and told dad to sit down as they had news of his son. They proceeded to say “We received word today that your son, Andy, was killed in Vietnam.” What a heart- breaking time!

The local mortician flew to the LeBeau ranch three different days to take the LeBeaus to Bismarck, North Dakota, where Andrew’s body was supposed to arrive and finally did, accompanied by Staff Sergeant Glenn Holden who remained the military escort and provided comfort for the family through that sad time. After a closed casket funeral service, Andrew, Jr. was buried with military honors. Posthumously, he received the Purple Heart on June 7, 1968, and the Bronze Star on March 2, 1968, for his distinguished service in Vietnam. The following is a citation of his Bronze Star:

Andrew is currently survived by his father, Andrew, Sr., who had a massive stroke in 1988, and his step-mother, Emma, of Mobridge; his half-sisters, Cleo Burnette, Germany; Lou Marshall, Mobridge; and half-brothers, Joseph LeBeau, Sr., Mobridge, and Patrick LeBeau, Mission; his adopted sister, Connie LeBeau, of Eagle Butte, and it is thought his half-sister, Lakota, is still living.

Andrew, Jr. had hoped to make a career of the military. His family wrote, in closing, that they “are proud of the Andy, Jr., and proud of the years he served in the military; sad that he was killed; sad that we never got to know him; but in spite of that we still loved him, and are especially aware of him each February 11th.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by Betsy Winney and Shawni Heath, 8th grade students, Spearfish Middle School, March 29, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by the Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application, www.vvmf.org, the Eagle Butte News, issue 2/22/68 and issue 2/15/68, Lou Marshall, half-sister of Andrew Le Beau, Jr., and http://www.elmendorf.af.mil/. Profile approval by Lou Marshall.

 


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