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



In Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class

William Ernest Pasch

Groton, South Dakota , Brown County

October 3, 1947--May 11, 1968

Killed in Action in Vietnam 

William Ernest “Bill” Pasch was born on October 3, 1947, in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His parents were Walter and Lois (Hoops) Pasch. He had three brothers, Robert, Alroy, and Donald. According to his mother, Lois, “Bill was a quiet person, enjoyed life on the farm and enjoyed taking his gun and walking across the snow covered fields, hunting foxes, and rabbits.” She went on to say that he also liked to fish and hunt pheasants. William graduated from Groton High School in May, 1965. After high school, William worked around Groton and for the railroad.

William entered the service on October 20, 1966, at Groton, and then left for basic training at Fort Hood, Texas. William Pasch commenced his tour of Vietnam on January 22, 1968 as a Specialist Fourth Class, H Troop, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class William Ernest Pasch was killed in action on May 11, 1968, “about 70 miles north of Saigon when a direct hit was made by the enemy on a tank he was operating.” His body was returned to the United States, and after a funeral service at St. John Lutheran Church, he was buried with military honors at the Groton Cemetery.

William received many awards. Among them were the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar and Marksman Badge with Pistol Bar. He also received posthumously the Military Merit Medal and the Gallantry Cross with Palm plus the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. His citation for the Bronze Star reads as follows:

Specialist four E4 William E. Pasch, U.S. Army, who distinguished himself by outstandingly meritorious service in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. During the period of 22 January 1968 to may 11, 1968, he consistently manifested exemplary professionalism and initiative in obtaining outstanding results. His rapid assessment and solution of numerous problems inherent in a counterinsurgency environment greatly enhanced the allied effectiveness against a determined and aggressive enemy. Despite many adversities he invariably performed his duties in a resolute and efficient manner. Energetically applying his sound judgment and extensive knowledge, he has contributed materially to the successful accomplishment of the United States mission in the Republic of Vietnam. His loyalty, diligence, and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

The citation for Gallantry Cross with Palm is as follows:

Servicemen of courage and rare self-sacrifice, they displayed at all times the most tactful cooperation while aiding the Armed Forces of the Republic of Viet Nam to repel the Red wave undermining South Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

With a ready zeal and commendable response, they fought on to the end in every mission and set a brilliant example for their fellow soldiers.

They died in the performance of duty. Behind them they leave the abiding grief of their former comrades-in-arms, Vietnamese, as well as Americans.

Mr. and Mrs. Pasch receiving William’s posthumous awards

William Pasch is currently survived by his mother, Lois, Groton, and his brothers, Robert and Donald. His father, Walter, and brother, Alroy, have passed away. In closing, his mother said, “We have buried him with honors that are due a soldier brave. Hs grave we’ve decked with flowers and the flag he helped to save. He is gone but not forgotten.”

This entry was respectfully submitted by David Sigle and Landon Langer, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish South Dakota, on March 30, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by a South Dakota Vietnam Veteran’s Bonus Application and The Groton Independence May 16, 1968, May 31, 1968, and June 6, 1968. Additional information and profile approval by the Pasch family via Lois Pasch, mother.


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