In Memory of Army Private
Jesse Milton Red Hawk
Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Shannon County
April 9, 1948 – November 10, 1968
Died of Wounds in Nihn Thuan Province, South Vietnam
(Right: Memorial marker gives birthdate as April
9, 1947; all other documentation indicates 1948)
Jesse Milton Red Hawk was born in Pine Ridge on April 9,
1948, to Ward and Jeanette (Richards) Red Hawk. Jesse was the
oldest; he had three brothers, John, Melvin, and Wardell and
three sisters, Gail, Leota, and Mary. Jesse attended Pine Ridge
High School. His brother, Melvin, remembers that Jesse was a
quiet person who liked to hunt and fish.
Jesse enlisted in the service and entered active duty on May
9, 1967, at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He commenced his tour of
Vietnam on December 22, 1967 as a member of Company A, 589th
Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade. Melvin remembers that
he wrote home while he was still in the States, but once he was
in Vietnam, his letters were “few and far between.”
On November 10, 1968, Private Jesse Milton Red Hawk died of
wounds he received in Ninh Thuan Province, South Vietnam. It is
believed that someone from Ellsworth Air Force Base came down to
notify his family that he’d been killed. His body was returned
to the United States, and he was buried with military honors at
Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
Pvt. Jesse M. Red Hawk’s name can be found on Panel 39W, Line
045, Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.
His current survivors include his mother, Jeanette, and his
siblings, Melvin, John, Gail, and Leota.
Dave Larson, 8th Grade, Stanley County Middle School, Fort
Pierre, South Dakota, respectfully submitted this entry.
Information was provided by an application for a SD Vietnam
Veterans’ bonus. Additional information and photo provided by
Melvin Red Hawk, brother, Pine Ridge.