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



In Memory of Navy Airman

Roger Lee Porter

Huron, South Dakota, Beadle County

 September 8, 1946-June 20, 1970
Died of Wounds Received at Cam Rahn Bay, South Vietnam


Roger Lee Porter was born on September 8, 1948, to Lester and Jane Porter in what was to become his hometown of Huron, South Dakota. Roger had three brothers: Donald, Gary, and Gregg. Roger attended Huron High School and graduated in June of 1967.

Roger Porter entered active service at Omaha, Nebraska, on November 3, 1967. He was trained in San Diego in Aircraft Maintenance. On March 30, 1970, Airman Porter was sent overseas and was stationed at Cam Rahn Bay in South Vietnam.

On June 12, 1970, Airman Roger Porter was wounded at Naval Air Facility in Cam Rahn Bay, South Vietnam, during a rocket attack while on perimeter tower watch. According to a letter sent from the Commanding Officer in the Navy: “Roger developed Meningitis, lapsed into a coma, and died at about 9:30 A.M. on June 20, 1970. His death occurred at the 67th U.S. Army Evacuation Hospital, Qui Nhon, Republic of Vietnam, which is about 93 miles north of this facility.” Airman Porter’s funeral service was held on Tuesday, June 30th, 1970, and he was buried in Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell.

The Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, Vietnamese Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and the Purple Heart are the awards that Airman Porter received.

The survivors in Airman Porter’s family are his brothers: Donald, Sun River, Oregon; Gary, Pendleton, Indiana; Gregg, Aloha, Oregon; and his step-mother, Vernice Porter, McAllen, Texas.

The letter from Roger’s commanding officer seems an appropriate conclusion:

…In the tragedy of this hour, I trust it will be of some condolence to you to know that Roger served this command and his country with devotion and honor. He fell in battle upholding the beliefs and freedoms on which our country was founded… His actions and presence among us will not soon be forgotten….

In this time of great sorrow, I pray that you may feel and believe that your son’s life was not given in vain. As you experience this time of bereavement, I take this opportunity, as Roger’s Commanding Officer, to express to you the compassionate concern and sympathy on behalf of very man of this command.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Twyla Kurzenberger, 8th Grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, October 6, 2005. Gary Porter, Pendleton, Indiana, brother to Roger, provided information for this entry. Profile approval by Gary Porter.


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