Earlier Speakers in 2017

HARRY NOLLSCH (ARMY) FRANK MORAWA (GERM. ARMY) LOYD BRANDT (MARINES)        Life of Frank Morawa      Reluctant Heroes       The Purple Heart       I Flew the Big One CHUCK CHILDS (USAAF) HARRY PUTNAM (NAVY)       Veterans       Leaving Home for WWII JERRY TEACHOUT (USAAF) STEVEN WARREN (NAVY) GORDON LEASE (COAST GUARD)       Brothers in Arms CLARENCE CARSNER (ARMY) WALLY DAHLQUIST (USAAF) GEORGE W. LARSON (NAVY) ALAN HERBERT (ARMY) PETER DAHLBERG (ARMY)      Life-Changing Experiences     Friends for Life WARREN FAGERLAND (ARMY)      He Took My Place RICHARD PERKINS (MARINES)      Letter home, 1944 RUSSEL FRINK (NAVY) EJI SUYAMA (ARMY) THOMAS K. OLIVER (USAAF) JIM LOCKHART (NAVY) REX ALAN SMITH (ARMY ENG) VINCE FITZGERALD (NAVY) LESTER SNYDER (USAAF)       A Most Exciting Mission for Durkee's Crew HONOR FLIGHTS PRISONERS OF WAR CHARLES ANDERSON (USAAF)      Life of Charles Anderson      Tom Oliver in 2009 STAN LIEBERMAN (ARMY) HARLAND HERMANN (ARMY)      Letters during WWII      My Combat in the 442nd WALTER MARCHAND (ARMY)      D-Day Doctor's Diary JUNO SUNDSTROM (ARMY) KEITH CHRISTENSEN (ARMY)     Story of Stan Lieberman      John Fuller Goes to War HAROLD JANSEN (Navy) JOHN W. FULLER (NAVY) DEAN SHAFFHAUSEN (NAVY) CHARLES GERLACH (NAVY)      Combat Mission 15 WAYNE BREWSTER (ARMY) WILLIAM A. SEMLEK (ARMY) KENNETH HALLIGAN (ARMY) HAROLD TAYLOR (USAAF USAF) WALTER MEHLHAFF (ARMY) EDDIE KODET (ARMY) TOM McDILL (ARMY)      Story of Had Taylor PAUL PRIEST (ARMY)      Riding Rails before WW2      Oliver photos 2012 VICTOR WEIDENSEE (ARMY)       Weidensee maps OLA CAMPBELL (USAAF) DALLAS BLOMQUIST (Marines)       Christmas Lights BILL LOFGREN (ARMY) HOMEFRONT        Harry Nollsch       Taps Delayed JOHN WILKINSON (ROYAL AF) MARCELLA LeBEAU (ARMY) HILARY COLE (USAAF) TOM WENN (USAAF) JOHN GASTON (USAAF) MAURICE CROW (USAAF) GEORGE MOLSTAD (USAAF)

On January 14, Ken Delfino of Keystone talked about his combat experiences during the Tet Offensive with the US Navy's River Patrol Force in South Viet Nam.  As he says, "this small segment of my life is dedicated to my brothers-in-arms with whom I patrolled the Long Tau, Soi Rap, Co Chien, My Tho and Ham Luong Rivers for 22 months."

Delfino's memoir is linked below, describing the violent onslaught of the Tet Offensive in the treacherous waters of the Mekong Delta:“WHUMP!…. ah, it’ll stop I thought…. KABAAAAM!!!!!!…the building shook…crap was flying all over the place and that, along with the close sounds of automatic weapons immediately woke me!”

Robert J. Moir, Delfino's executive officer, has written about their experiences: "During the Vietnam War, small U.S. Navy units patrolled Mekong Delta rivers in fiberglass boats armed with machine guns, four men to a boat. By day they stopped Vietnamese junks, sampans and water taxis, checked people's identification, and searched for weapons and contraband. At night, during curfew, they drifted silently with the current, watching and listening for enemy movement. They were often targets for Viet Cong gunners. Boats were hit and men were wounded and killed." moreYouTube

Listen to SDPB's Lori Walsh on the Dakota Midday program interview Ken Delfino on January 9, 2107.  Advance the progress bar to #18:00 (that is, 18 minutes into the show).  It lasts until #32:40.


On February 11, Jim Dugan (USAF ret) of Rapid City talked about his Vietnam war experiences as a dog handler, especially at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. It is estimated that combat dogs like Nemo of Tan Son Nhut saved the lives of 10,000 US military.  Walking point, dogs can see, hear, smell, and understand far beyond human capability. Dugan was later assigned within the nuclear weapons and missle industry at the Nevada Test site.  filmSDPB interview








to the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group which has helped veterans write up their military experiences since 2005. On the second Saturday of each month, a war veteran or academic tells his or her story at 900 am (first half hour is social period), until 1130.  Come toEllsworth Air Force Base's South Dakota Air and Space Museum.  You and family are invited.  It's free.

On March 11, Alan B. Walker spoke about his combat experiences as a Marine on Foxtrot Ridge in Vietnam, two miles from the Khe Sanh Combat Base, described in his memoir Every Warrior Has His Own Song. He was born and brought up on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Winnebago, Nebraska.  His father was an Omaha Indian.  His mother was a great granddaughter of "one of the original seventy-five braves who volunteered to scout for the U.S. Army in 1863."

From his book about the Battle of Foxtrot Ridge: "I hit the plunger on the claymore, and nothing happens.  I do it again and still nothing.  I start to pull the wire in, and I find it has been cut.  My heart falls out of my chest.  I know we will all die tonight.  Death is just a few feet from our mortar pit.  I pray to God to let us live until morning.  That's when help will be here.  I pray again and again." more

On April 8, Ray and Josephine Cowdery of Rapid City presented on their new book Jensen's War about Wasta rancher Leonel Jensen.  As the senior Red Cross official in the US 75th Infantry Division in Europe in 1944 and 1945, he witnessed combat campaigns in the Battle of the Bulge, the Battle of the Colmar Pocket and across the Rhine into Germany. more