Honors for Iowa Viet Vet

Apr 29, 2015

On this date 40 years ago, two marines were killed in Saigon, including an Iowan; the last American combat deaths of the Vietnam War. Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen reports on a memorial to be dedicated in their honor.

Marshalltown native Darwin Judge and fellow marine Charles McMahon were guarding an airport gate during the final evacuation when their position was shelled. A bronze plaque will be unveiled in their memory tonight. Douglas Potratz is heading a delegation from The Fall of Saigon Marines Association.

“I think they represent all the servicemen that died in Vietnam and we don’t have a Vietnam serviceman in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, so I think this is the best we can do.”

The ceremony will be on sacred ground; site of the dramatic farewell at the old U.S. Embassy in 1975. I’m Rick Fredericksen, Iowa Public Radio News.