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



In Memory of US Army Corporal

William Dean Sturdevant

Brookings, South Dakota, Brookings County

 August 16, 1949 – November 2, 1968
Killed in Action near Hue, Republic of Vietnam


William Dean “Bill” Sturdevant was born August 16, 1949, in Brookings, South Dakota to Clarence and Verna Sturdevant. He had three brothers: his twin, Robert, and his two younger brothers, Raymond and Mark. He also had one sister, Diane. William lived in Brookings and received a high school diploma from Brookings High School in 1967. While in high school, William enjoyed cross country and wrestling. He volunteered for the Army on August 17, 1967, and entered the service September 20, 1967.

After entering the Army, William was trained at Fort Lewis in Washington for his basic training. He had some Paratrooper training at Fort Benning in Georgia. He was a member of Company. C, 1st Battalion (Airborne) 327th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Corporal Sturdevant was sent to Vietnam August 19, 1968. Corporal Sturdevant wrote that after being in combat for awhile, he said the Morning Offering everyday.

Corporal William Dean Sturdevant and was killed in action on November 2, 1968. He was hit “by fragments of an enemy land mine on a search and destroy mission near Hue, Republic of Vietnam.” In the same letter to William’s family members after his death, Captain Thomas J. Kinane said, It may afford you some degree of comfort to know that death came quickly to William and he was not subjected to any undue suffering.” The letter contained even more information:

…William drove himself in combat, so enthusiastically closing with the
enemy, so as to be unequaled by other members of this unit. He performed all his assigned duties in a truly professional manner. No mission or sacrifice was too great for this soldier, not even the ultimate sacrifice of his life…

Corporal Sturdevant was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross posthumously. Prior to his death, William had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Parachutists Badge, and the Sharpshooter Badge with rifle bar.

This is a letter from the President of the United States concerning Corporal Sturdevant’s death:

William was buried at Calvary Cemetery with full military honors by the National Guard and ROTC members. His parents received Williams’ personal effects that included:

Zippo lighter, a watch (broken), an ink pen, a bundle of photos, a letter, a postcard, a notebook, an address book, pay vouchers, a dictionary, a pair of jump boots, a writing kit, a sewing kit, two jump backgrounds, and a pair of low shoes.

He is survived by his mother, Verna, and his brothers, Mark, Raymond, and Robert Sturdevant, and his sister, Diane Rolof.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Mallory Young, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, October 11, 2005. Information for this entry was provided by the Sturdevant family via Mark Sturdevant. Profile approval by Mark Sturdevant.



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