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

 

 



In Memory of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal

Larry Dean Winterton

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minnehaha County 

June 3, 1947 – July 17, 1968

Died from Wounds in the U.S. General Army Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

     

Larry Dean Winterton was born on June 3, 1947, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Evelyn (Stiegelmeyer) and Kenneth Winterton. He was the second oldest and the only boy of five; his four sisters were Mary, Nancy, Betty, and Sally. He attended Hawthorne-Lincoln Elementary and Axtell Park Junior High. Growing up, Larry was a “pretty positive person and made the best out of any situation.” His sisters have fond memories of Larry. One is for the way he would lock them in the closet until all of them said what a “wonderful, kind, beautiful” brother he was. Another is that he managed to get out of his chores for a week by claiming about the terrible pain his smallpox vaccination was causing him. He was involved in youth group and loved to travel. He was a fast runner who enjoyed playing softball and other games with neighborhood kids as well as sledding in the winter. In high school, he is remembered for loving shop class and for being an outstanding wrestler. In his senior year he took third place in the 95-pound division in the state meet and was named an all-state wrestler. His team took fifth place in the state meet, having been undefeated in their conference. Larry graduated from Washington High School in 1965 in Sioux Falls.

His sister, Sally, remembers that as the youngest she sort of served as the brother Larry never had. “My big brother taught me how to ride a bike, play softball, swim and dive. We enjoyed playing catch with the football. He called me his little tomboy.”

When he knew he didn’t have enough money for college, Larry entered the Marines in Omaha, Nebraska on August 31, 1965. He was trained and stationed at Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California. His family remembers that Larry “thought it was crazy that men could fight and die for their country but they couldn’t legally enjoy a drink.” His special training was in helicopter maintenance. In fact, he liked flying and helicopters so much that he hoped to go to college after his service and do something in the airplane industry, maybe even be a helicopter pilot. His mother died while he was at Camp Pendleton on January 9, 1966, and after an extended leave home, he returned to duty. Even though he borrowed against future leave to go home, he was resented by some who felt he got “special treatment” and eventually led to Larry’s volunteering to go to Vietnam. While he was overseas, he volunteered for an extended three-month tour in Vietnam, so that he could get out of the military sooner. He came home on leave in March of 1968 after 15 months’ service in Vietnam. He returned to duty in April.

News of Lance Corporal Larry Winterton’s injuries and his death came to the family through daily telegrams from the Marine Corps. The first telegram, sent on July 5, 1968, stated, “This is to confirm that your son Lance Corporal Larry D. Winterton USMC was injured 3 July 1968 in the vicinity of Marble Mountain Air Facility, Danang Quang Nam…his condition is critical with his prognosis guarded.” Daily a new telegram arrived, each indicating his serious condition and on July 12, news that his legs had been amputated. On July 17, 1968, the telegram delivered the tragic news: “I deeply regret to confirm that your son Lance Corporal Larry D. Winterton USMC died on 17 July 1968 in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam” in the 106th General Hospital in Yokohama, Japan. His remains were encased and returned to the United States; his casket arrived in Sioux Falls on July 26, 1968, and his funeral was held in Sioux Falls on July 29, 1968. He was buried with military honors at Hills of Rest in Sioux Falls. He was the sixth Sioux Falls casualty of the Vietnam War.

Among Larry’s awards were the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 date bar, Rifle Marksman Medal, and Air Wings.

     
Left: Larry and his father when home on leave the last time, Spring 1967; middle: Larry and his girlfriend in Vietnam; right: Larry reading to his cousin

This entry respectfully submitted by Brailey Jones, 8th Grader, Spearfish Middle School, February 20, 2006. The information for this entry was provided by the Winterton family via Betty Stanton, sister, in New Hope, Minnesota and a Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application. Profile approval by Betty Stanton.

 


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