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



In Memory of U.S. Army Major

Evart Eugene Robeson

Rapid City, South Dakota, Pennington County

February 3, 1932 -- November 25, 1967

Died of Wounds in Vietnam


Evart Eugene “Gene” Robeson was born on February 3, 1932, in Wessington Springs, South Dakota, to Evart and Dorothy (Olson) Robeson. He had two sisters, Delores and Glenda. He attended elementary school in Aberdeen and Rapid City and later on he went to high school in Rapid City, graduating in 1950. He went to college at South Dakota State University, in Brookings, South Dakota, graduating in 1955. Gene worked at Reptile Gardens, Black Hills Greyhound Race Track, Lehr Drug, Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department during school. Gene married Sandra Weber in 1955 in Madison, South Dakota; they had two kids: Pamela and Thomas. He later married Marilyn Carlson in 1962 in Georgia; they had one child; Craig. Evart participated in the Reserve Officer Training Corps while at SDSU and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army upon his graduation in May 1955.

Gene is remembered as very out- going and fun loving; he enjoyed flying and loved the outdoors, especially the Black Hills and cooking; he also loved his family and enjoyed taking them on trips. “He took his role as big brother seriously-- always willing (whether it was wanted or not) to give advice to his younger sisters.” His sister, Glenda, also remembers, “Gene enjoyed his midnight blue Cadillac Coupe de Ville convertible.”

Evart Eugene Robeson entered the service in the fall of 1955 in Georgia. He took additional training at fixed wing flight training in Texas and took helicopter training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, in 1956. Evart was stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado from 1957-1958 and then went overseas to serve in Korea from1959-1960. Major Robeson’s first tour in Vietnam was with the mobilization of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) from 1965-1966. In both of Robeson’s tours, he flew the Bell UH-1 Iroquois. His base of operations was at the Vietnam Central Highlands, Pleiku, and Bien Hoa. In October of 1965 he “supported the ARVN and American forces in the Ia Drang Valley battles.” In his stateside tour from 1966-1967 he was attached to the US Southern Command (joint service) at McDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida, where Major Evart Robeson flew the commanding general and other senior officers. In September 1967 Robeson returned to Vietnam and was based in An Khe. He flew combat support for the 25th Infantry, 187th Assault Helicopter Company, 269th Aviation Battalion, 12th Aviation Group, and 1st Aviation Brigade.

U.S Army Major First Class Evart Robeson died as the results of wounds in a field hospital in Cu Chi, South Vietnam, on November 25, 1967, after his aircraft was hit, a bullet passing through his left leg. The family was notified by telegram on November 22, 1967, that he had been wounded. On Saturday, November 25, his parents and sisters were notified in person of Gene’s death by Major Brown, an ROTC instructor at SDSM&T. On December 28th Major Evart Robeson’s children received a letter from his commander, which expressed his condolences:

We were working with the 3d Brigade of the 225th Infantry Division 35 miles north west of Saigon. The Blackhawks were on the 1st insertion of the day and coming out of the landing zone, Evart’s aircraft was hit, the bullet passing through his left leg. He was station 5 minutes away. Upon landing the doctors immediately set to work to stop the flow of blood and to prepare him for movement to the 12th Evacuation Hospital at Cu Chi. After arrival at Cu Chi he was taken into surgery. On the 25th of November Evart died as a result of wounds.

A memorial service for U.S. Major First Class Evart Robeson was held on November 27, 1967 in the Memorial Chapel in Tay Ninh. U.S. Army Major First Class Evart Robeson’s body arrived a week following his death in Rapid City, SD. His funeral was held on December 4, 1967 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Rapid City, SD. U.S Army Major First Class Evart Robeson was buried with military honors at the Black Hills National Cemetery.

U.S. Major Evart Robeson won many awards including these: Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Start Medal, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters,, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device, Senior Army Aviator Badge, Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar and Pistol Bar and Machine Gun Bar, and Expert Badges with Carbine Bar.

U.S. Major Evart Robeson’s current survivors are his daughter, Pamela Baade, who lives in Algona, IA; son, Thomas, who lives in Littleton, CO; son, Craig Robeson Weitzel, who lives in Georgia; his sisters, Delores Collins, who lives in Rapid City, and Glenda Kendrick, who lives in Alexandria, VA. Evart also has six grandchildren, three nephews, and two great-nephews.

“Still warmly remembered by many friends and acquaintances-even though he has been gone for nearly 40 years,” wrote his sister Glenda.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Bethany Kuenzel and Alison Turner, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on February 8, 2006. Information and approval for this entry was provided Glenda Kendrick and Delores Collins, sisters of Evart Robeson.


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