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



In Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class

Ivan Noteboom

Lakeview, South Dakota, Todd County

 April 27, 1938 – November 20, 1965

Killed in Action in Vietnam


Ivan “Bud” Noteboom was born to Gerrett and Jennie (Schelhaas) Noteboom on April 27, 1938, in Lakeview, South Dakota. Ivan had six siblings, including two brothers, Dean and Gary, as well as four sisters, Ann, Elaine, Janice, and Linda. Ivan attended Todd County schools and graduated from Todd County High School. Ivan is remembered for enjoying being with his family and living outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, and spending time in the Black Hills. He also helped his parents on the farm. Ivan was described as being quiet, kind, loving, and thoughtful.

Ivan Noteboom joined the United States Army on January 17, 1964, and was trained as a medic at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Specialist Noteboom was sent overseas to Vietnam on October 7, 1965, and was stationed at Lai Khe as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Division.

On November 20, 1965, Specialist Ivan Noteboom, along with several other medics, were traveling with a convoy in the Latang Valley, about forty miles northwest of Saigon, when they were ambushed. The ambush lasted into the night as the Viet Cong riflemen overran their positions. The medics were barely armed, making it even harder for them to defend themselves. A friend of Ivan’s, Sgt. Mocalkins, survived the ordeal and recalled in a newspaper article, “It was so lonely, and I was so helpless out there. But I’d cried all my tears.” The fighting lasted until the next morning. Specialist Ivan Noteboom died as a result of injuries he received in the fighting.

The body of Ivan Noteboom was returned to the United States and after a funeral service at the Lakeview Christian Reform Church, he was buried with military honors on December 3, 1965, at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Valentine, Nebraska.

Specialist Noteboom received the Military Merit Medal, the Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Purple Heart. The citation that accompanied the medals read that Specialist Noteboom had been one of the “courageous combatants, well known for their sacrifices, who always exhibited a spirit of good will and cooperation.”

Ivan was survived by his parents, Gerrett and Jennie Noteboom, and his siblings, Dean, Gary, Ann Keech, Elaine (LeRoy) Veurink, Janice (Ken) Remmers, and Linda (Gio) Whitney. Ivan’s parents have since passed away.

Sgt. Mocalkins, who was with Ivan on the night he died, kept in contact with Mr. and Mrs. Noteboom after Ivan’s death. In one letter he wrote, “I guess, he never really liked the army very much, but he always did his best no matter what they job was. I think one of the best descriptions of him came from one of the officers…he said in our conversation---‘Ivan was a solid man.’” In another of his letters, he wrote, “Ivan’s death wasn’t in vain. I know him for the man that he was and I know that if he was given a second chance, he would again do his job and fight the same way he did before, doing and giving his best. He gave his life for his brothers, like Gary and Dean, for your boys and my boys, to bring peace on the earth, so that they would be spared the terrible experiences that he and the rest of his buddies had to go through.”

His family said in closing: “We remember Ivan every Thanksgiving as we received word of his death on Monday before Thanksgiving.” And they left us with these words: “They cut their names in stone. Warriors never coming home. But on the Wall they all live on. The winds of time will sing their song.”

Left: A tree planted in memory of Ivan at Rosebud Park; right: Ivan’s name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC

This entry was respectfully submitted by April G. Goodson, 10th Grade, Spearfish High School, Spearfish, South Dakota, October 15, 2005. Information and approval for this entry was provided by the Noteboom family via Ann Keech, Ivan’s sister.


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