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



In Memory of U.S. Army Sergeant First Class

Edgar Donald Matthews

Aberdeen, South Dakota, Brown County

January 6, 1919 June 3, 1970

Died of a Heart Attack in South Vietnam

Edgar Donald Matthews was born on January 6, 1919, in Aberdeen, South Dakota, to Thomas F. and Anne Marie (Haley) Durfee Matthews. He had seven siblings: Helen (Durfee) Johansen, Margaret Durfee, Clarence Durfee, Frances (Durfee) Arndt, Kathleen (Matthews) Schile, Anne (Matthews) Kahler, and Bernard Matthews. He married his first wife, Helen, in 1938. Edgar had three children: Sharon, Gloria, and Thomas. Edgar went into the Army first on November 21, 1944, at Ft. Lewis, Washington, during WW II, and served in combat in the Philippine Islands, and was discharged on January 15, 1946. He re-entered the Army on March 31, 1947 at Bellflower, California, and later served in the Korean War as well. As a career Army man, he was variously stationed in Japan, Germany, and at a number of locations within the United States: San Francisco, CA; Lathron, CA; Ft. Ord, CA; Ft. Polk, LA; Ft. Hood, TX; Ft. Sill, OK; and Ft. Campbell, KY. He first served for thirteen months in Vietnam in 1966-1967.

Sergeant First Class Edgar Donald Matthews died of a heart attack during his second tour of Vietnam on June 3, 1970, while serving as a supply sergeant with a US advisory team in Cam Tho in the Mekong Delta. His body was returned to the United States, and he was buried with military honors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his wife at the time, Ruby, had moved while he was overseas.

Sergeant First Class Edgar Donald Matthews received the Bronze Star Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster posthumously; prior to his death he received the Bronze Star Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 bronze service star; Good Conduct Medal (six awards); Victory Medal (World War II) Lapel Button (World War II); Korean Service Medal with 4 bronze service stars; United Nations Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal with 1 bronze service star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Service Medal with 3 bronze service stars; Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960); Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, teacher, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, May 31, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by the National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, Missouri. Additional information was provided by Roberta Kiser, niece, and Sharon Cleveland of the Alexander Mitchell Public Library in Aberdeen.


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