203 1st Ave NE, Waverly, IA 50677

Specialist Fourth Class Richard James Meighan

Specialist Fourth Class Richard James Meighan was born on February 4, 1944 in Sumner, IA and died March 17, 1968 in Vietnam.

Richard James Meighan entered the United States Army on March 13, 1967, in Unknown, served during the Vietnam War era and reached the rank of Specialist Fourth Class before being discharged on March 17, 1968 in Hoc Mon, South Vietnam.

Richard James Meighan is buried at Mt. Calvary Catholic in Sumner, Iowa and can be located at

  • Killed in Action: Yes
  • Wounded in Action: Yes
  • Died in Service: Yes

Richard Meighan Rack Image               Richard Meighan Name Rubbing

Armed Forces Grave Registration

Newspaper Articles

Couple Married At Sumner To Live In Milwaukee, Wis.

SUMNER (Special) – Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Larkin will be at home in Milwaukee, Wis., after April 20.

The former Kathleen Meighan and Mr. Larkin, both of Milwaukee, were married Saturday at Immaculate Conception church in Sumner in a 9 a. m. double ring ceremony performed by the Rev. Daniel Jusial, a cousin of the bridegroom.

Parents of the couple are Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Meighan of Sumner and Mrs. Howard Krueger, Milwaukee, and the late Mr. Larkin.

Nuptial music was provided by Joan Logan, Oelwein, soloist, and Mrs. John Logan, Sumner, accompanist.

For her wedding, the bride wore a floor length gown of nylon lace and net over taffeta. The gown designed with a sweetheart scoop neckline and full tiered skirt with lace inserts. Her fingertip veil fell from a plateau outlined with pearls and sequins and she carried a cascade bouquet of red roses.

Sister At ends

Maid of honor was Mary Meighan of Milwaukee, sister of the bride. She wore a blue chiffon ballerina length gown and carried a bouquet of white carnations.

Best man was Carl Westphal of Milwaukee while Richard Meighan, brother of the bride, acted as usher.

Mrs. Meighan was present for her daughter’s wedding in a navy and white ensemble while the bridegroom’s mother attended in a light blue dress. Both wore white accessories and white carnation corsages.


A reception for 45 guests was held at the home of the bride’s parents at noon. Guests were present from Milwaukee, Waukegan, Ill., Waukon, Waucoma, Hawkeye, Frederika, and Sumner.

Assisting were Mrs. Hugh Galloway and Mrs. Paul Treloar, hostesses, and Judy Hyman, Hawkeye, cousin of the bride; Patricia, Susan and Betty Meighan, sisters of the bride, who served.

The bride, a graduate of Sumner High school, is employed in the office of Allis Chalmers in Milwaukee. The bridegroom, a graduate of Milwaukee High school, is employed at American Motors in Milwaukee.

“Couple Married At Sumner To Live In Milwaukee, Wis.,” Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA), Apr. 14, 1959.

Sumner ‘Horses, Ponies’ Rarin’ For Football Action

Football PhotoSUMNER – Their nickname’s the Aces, but they call themselves the “Horses and Ponies” at Sumner High under the guidance of the first year man Bob Topping, 1960 Coe graduate.

Co-champions of the 1959 football conference race in the Upper Iowa conference, the Sumner team is out for another title and team members are “kicking their heels and showing their hoofs.”

The heavy loss of all-conference Roger Bock and Duane Behrens from the backfield left some gaping holes in the Sumner lineup, but Topping’s outfit is confident of victory.

Returnees include James Berg, Gail Bierman, Mike Buckendahl, Dale Fridley, Roger Portwine, Ronald Meyer, Joe Niemann, Gene Robertson, Dennis Schuldt, Monty Wuttke, Roland Leyh, Richard Meighan, Bob Nauholz and Rugene Leyh.

“We’ll be in there tough,” stated Topping as he viewed his charge up gridders scrimmage on the Sumner field. “I don’t think there will be a line in the conference that will outplay ours,” commented the Sumner head coach. “Our line is big and rough and they’re ready to play.” Sumner lacks depth and weight in the backfield and is pointed out at the “sore spot” of the team. The four backs known as the “ponies” for their lack of weight. Nauholz, Schuldt, Meyer and Leyh are the ball carriers and nary a one reach the 150 pound mark on the scales.

Schuldt is quarterback for the clcub, with Meyer set for the heavy duty running. Nauholz and Leyh are both good runners and fine blockers.

Topping, who replaced Norm Theiss at the school, will field a wing-T offensive attack in its first game with Tripoli at home Sept. 9.

“Postville and North look like the logical choices in the conference,” remarked Topping. “But we’ll be in there fighting.”

The horses (front wall) on the club include Volker (165), Buckendahl (175), Rugene Leyh (190) a sophomore), Berg (155), Niemann (150), Fridley (180), Bierman (160), Meighan (160), Wuttke (164), Jacob (158), Portwine (170) and Robertson (170).

Sumner tied Postville and Valley High last fall for the conference crown with the help of a strong line. The line is back and Topping and his assistant Les Teeling are awaiting the start of the season.

Members of the squad include:

James Berg, Gail Bierman, Mike Buckendahl, Dale Fridley, Roger Portwine, Ronald Meyer, Joe Niemann, Gene Robertson, Dennis Schuldt, Monty Wuttke, Roland Leyh, Richard Meighan, Bill Nauholz, Rugene Leyh, Don Jacobs, James Robertson, Larry Rohrssen, Donald Tissue, Max Dilley, Mahlon Hammetter, Robert Kroblin, Sulvan Mutschler, Jerry Strottman, Fred Whitcomb, Dennis Yonton, Larry Fritz, Eugene Judisch, Jerry Volker and Gerald Warnke.

Sumner’s schedule for 1960:

Sept. 9 – Tripoli (here)
Sept. 16 – Postville (there)
Sept. 23 – North (there)
Sept. 30 – Maynard (here)
Oct. 7 – Fayette (there)
Oct. 14 – Waukon (here)
Oct. 21 – Valley High (there)
Oct. 28 – Elkader (here)

Mike Mahoney, “Sumner ‘Horses, Ponies’ Rarin’ For Football Action,” Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA), Aug. 31, 1960

Grid-man of the week

Senior halfback Bill Nauholz (145) scored a 35 yard touchdown Saturday night to lead the Sumner Aces to a 13-7 victory over Fayette. He’s “Grid-Man of the Week” for his outstanding play.

Nauholz is a speedster, but he’s been slowed during the past ten months with a groin injury. A sprinter on the Sumner track team, he was timed at 10.2 and 10.3 for the 100 yard dash last spring, but hampered most of the time with his injury.

It’s apparently healed and the halfback is ready for head-on action in remaining Sumner games.

Nauholz broke over left tackle, cut to the outside and raced for his six pointer. He has a 4.8 per carry average in 40 attempts for the Aces.

An average student, Bill is a three year letterman for the Aces. He belongs to the Letterman’s Club.

A defensive demon too, he was credited with seven tackles, leading the team.

Coach Robert Topping says, “I would say Nauholz is possibly the fastest man in the conference. His injury still bothers him at times, but he’s working it out. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he gets under 10 seconds in the 100 yard dash this spring.”

He’s the team’s leading offensive man (total yards).

Topping hopes his jet halfback is ready and waiting for the final games with Waukon and Valley High. Sumner has a good chance at finishing third in the Upper Iowa conference.

The biggest thing about our win over Fayette,” comments Coach Topping, “is the way the boys came back from the 47-0 trouncing we got at West Central.” The second year coach said, “We’re coming back and I think we’ll win our last two games. Things are looking up a bit, at least.”

The head mentor is happy with a sophomore quarterback, Don Behrens.

“Behrens has helped our attack quite a bit. I look for him to be one of the conference’s best in the future.” The sophomore passed eight yards to another sophomore Larry Tonn for the winning touchdown of the game (second period).

Topping pointed out Nauholz, Rich Meighan and Fred Whitcomb for outstanding play on the defensive unit. Meighan is the Aces workhorse, carrying the ball 60 per cent of the time.

“We’ve got to cut down on our penalties, we had too many clips last Saturday. We had other chances to score, but I think they’ll straighten out before long,” says Topping.

“GRID-MAN of the Week,” Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA), Oct. 23, 1961.

Area Motorists Lose Licenses

DES MOINES–Suspensions and revocations of drivers licenses as listed by the State Department of Public Safety include the following from Northeast Iowa: Franklin VandeVoorde, 19, Aurora, one year, unlawful use of a license, and Arthur Reynolds, 41, West Union, one year, OMVI.

Also Jerry Dodge, 16, 30 days, second reckless driving conviction; Francis Smith, 40, one year, OMVI; Everett Reighard, 16, 30 days, habitual violater, and Thomas Hayzlett, 19, 30 days, habitual violator, all of Independence.

Also listed were Ruth Ann Smith, 16, Ft. Atkinson, 30 days, violation of a restricted license; Carl Breckenfelder, 52, Manchester, 60 days, OMVI; and Richard Meighan, 17, Sumner, violation of a restricted license.

“Area Motorists Lose Licenses,” Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA), Dec. 21, 1961.

More Seniors in Area Face Graduation Time

Prom PhotoGraduation time is here for seniors from throughout Northeast Iowa.

More graduation activities have been reported as follows:

SUMNER – Commencement exercises for the 1962 graduating class of Sumner Community high school will be at 8 p. m. Tuesday in the junior high school auditorium.

Dr. Ray Bryan, head of the vocational education department at Iowa State University, will speak.

The Rev. E. E. Basye, pastor of the First Methodist church, Grundy Center, will preach the baccalaureate service at 8 p. m. Sunday in the same auditorium.

The 74 members of the Sumner Community high graduating class are:

Le Allen Anderson, Winifred Armentrout, Michael Aubrey, Raymond Bentu, Jerry Brickman, Janet Breunow, Helen Block, Donna Bird, Betty Buhr, Richard Buhr, Margaret Bump, Bea Callman, Ann Duffy, Carolyn Duhrkopf, Laua Gade, Russell Gaede, Judy Hay, Darwin Hofer, Richard Holm, Eugene Hoth, Dale Heth, Lila Jarchow, Doris Johnson, Eugene Judisch, Janet Kasemeier, Ruth Kleppe, Elaine Koch, Richard Kruse, Susan Lamprecht, Ruth Meier, Wayne Meyer, Joyce Mohr, Douglas Morgan, Jim McCord, Lavonne Mueller, Vicki Mueller, Richard Meighan, Theresa Meyer, Dennis Mohlis, LaVera Meyer, Dennis Niemeyer, Patricia Necker, William Nauholz, Harold Platte, Kathryn Platte, Mary Potratz, James Ridge, James Robertson, Elaine Rieck, Larry Rohrrsen, William Schafbuch, Shirley Schulte, Carol Stevens, Suzanne Schult, Tom Sexton, Carolyn Schwake, Elaine Schwerin, Ann Sorge, Jack Schult, Lois Schwerin, Zelda Smith, Jeanne Smitley, George Stevens, Aulden Tegtmeier, Waneta Thede, Donald Tisue, Jerry Volker, Susan Weideman, Michael Whitcher, Nathaniel Warren, Connie Weber, Roger Wedemeier, Frederick Whitcomb, Doris Zobel.

“More Seniors in Area Face Graduation Time,” Waterloo Daily Courier (Waterloo, IA), May 18, 1962.

Hospital Notes

Sumner Hospital

Curtis Taylor, Sumner
John Kasemeier, Sumner
Richard Meighan, Sumner
Mrs. Rollo Wright, Randalia

Gregory Keeling, Sumner
Mrs. Milton Boehmer, Fredricksburg
Mrs. Amos Zander and girl, Readlyn
Jeanette Boettcher, Waverly

“Hospital Notes,” Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA), Oct. 11, 1963.

Hospital Notes

Sumner Hospital

Teresa Parkinson, Sumner
Mrs. James Frederick, Sumner

Richard Meighan, Sumner
Mrs. Larry Duecker and girl, Tripoli
Mrs. Arthur Lestikow, Fairbank

“Hospital Notes,” Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA), Oct. 12, 1963.

Youths Fined in Chickasaw

NEW HAMPTON – Three Sumner youths and a Fredericksburg man, who had been jailed here on charges of ransacking cars in the nighttime, were each fined $200 in Chickasaw District court.

They had been jailed in lieu of $1,000 bonds.

Appearing in court here were Richard Meighan, 20; William M. Meyer, 18, and Daryl L. Reicks, 18, all of Sumner, and Donald R. Peterson, 24, of Fredericksburg.

They pleaded guilty and were fined $200 each, costs, and ordered to make restitution of stolen property. They were placed on a year’s probation and released.

The Sumner youths were released on Wednesday and Peterson on Thursday.

“Youths Fined in Chickasaw,” Waterloo Daily Courier (Waterloo, IA), Dec. 18, 1964.

With Our Servicemen

Bootcamp PhotoPvt. Richard J. Meighan
US 54927124
Co. D 1st. Bn. 5th C-S-T BDE
Fort Dix, New Jersey 08640

Pvt. Wendell Bohle
NG 26827425 Co. D
12 Bin. 3d. Tng. Bdge. 3d. Plt.
Ft. Knox, Kentucky 40121

Pvt. Richard P. Stubenrauch
NG 26-827-404
Co. “D” 1st. Bde “BCT” 5 Plt.
Fort Ord, Calif. 93941

Marine Private First Class Richard K. Sowers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Sowers of Fredericksburg, Iowa, has completed the Aviation Machinist Mate Jet Engine School at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, Tenn.

During the two-month course, he learned jet fundamentals, jet power plants operation and replacement, jet aircraft line operations, assembly and dis-assembly of jet pjower [sic] and power plant removal procedures.

Before attending this school, he completed the two-week Aviation Familiarization and four-week Mechanical Fundamentals courses.

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Leon J. Madden, son of Mr. and Mrs. James F. Madden of Fredcricksburg [sic], Iowa, has completed a 15-day refresher training and processing cycle with the Staging Battalion at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The training stressed the principles of small unit tactics, with particular emphasis placed on the fundamentals of scouting, patrolling, and land navigation.

Marines completing this training are assigned to combat units overseas.

Private Larry R. Bartels, 24, son of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond R. Bartels of Sumner, completed an eight-week pay specialist course May 22 at the Army Finance School, Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Ind.

He was trained in the payment of civilian and military personnel, handling of travel allowances, and accounting. Instruction was also given in business law and pay regulations.

“With Our Servicemen,” Sumner Gazette (Sumner, IA), Jun. 1, 1967.

With Our Servicemen

Craig Venzke, son of Dr. and Mrs. Carl Venzke, of Fairbank, is with the U. S. Navy.

His address is:Service Photo
Craig Venzke S.R.
Co. 392, R.T.C., U.S.N.T.C.
San Diego, Calif. 92133

New address:
Pvt. Richard Y. Meighan
U.S. 54927124 Co. C 6th Bn.
S.T.U. Bde
U.S. Asess
Fort Gordon, Georgia 30905

Daryl A. Pleggenkuhle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence F. Pleggenkuhle of R.R. 1, Hawkeye, Iowa, has been commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force upon graduation from Officer Training School (OTS) at Lackland AFB, Texas.

Lietuenant [sic] Pleggenkuhle, [selected] for OTS through competi[tion] examination is being assigned to Amarillo AFB, Texas, for training as a supply officer.

The Lieutenant, a graduate of North High School West Union, received his B.S. degree from Iowa State University.

His wife, Susan, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert O'[???] of 8299 W. Country Club Drive, Overland Park, Kan.

Edward W. Handke, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Handke of Postville and the nephew of Mrs. Ray Tehel of Sumner, has been found alive on board the USS aircraft carrier, Forrestal, following the fire and explosions that raked the ship Saturday.

Handke had previously been listed among the missing.

In the disaster, he sustained face and arm burns. His family learned of his condition through a report received directly from the ship. He is recovering from his injuries and is still aboard ship.

Handke is the son of Mrs. Tehel’s sister.

The fire resulted when an auxiliary fuel tank, dropped from an A4E Skyhawk, skidded across the flight deck crowded with jets fueled and armed for a strike against North Viet Nam.

There were more than 100 casualties in the incident and more than 80 crewmen were listed as missing.

“With Our Servicemen,” Sumner Gazette (Sumner, IA), Aug. 3, 1967.

With Our Servicemen

Address: Pvt. Ronald W. Kent, U.S. 54928386; Co. E. 3 Bn. 3 D Tng. B D E Fort Bliss, Texas, 79916.

He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Kent.

Change of address:
Sg. Bill Tisu eAF 17703593
551st Hospital Squadron
Box 5341
Otis Air Force Base,
Mass. 02542

New address:
Cpl. Dean T. Speicher 2230595
2nd Bn 5th Btry (SP)
F.P.O. San Francisco, Calif. 96602

Cpl. Speicher has been serving with the Marines in Viet Nam for several months and expects to return to the States in late December.

New address:
Sp 4 David N. Buhr
RA 16973852
36th Evac. Hospital
APO San Francisco 96291

David is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Otto H. Buhr of Maynard and stationed in Viet Nam.

Pvt. Richard J. Meighan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Meighan of Sumner, arrived in Viet Nam, Monday, Oct. 30.SP4 Meighan

He is attached to the Signal Corps Division of the Army.

His address is:
Pvt. Richard J. Meighan
U.S. 549 27124
25th AG Co. Admins.
APO San Francisco, Calif. 96225

“With Our Servicemen,” Sumner Gazette (Sumner, IA), Nov. 16, 1967.

List addresses of men serving in Viet Nam

Last week’s issue of the Sumner Gazette carried a special feature in which names and addresses of all area servicemen on duty in Viet Nam were listed. This feature was published in order that anyone wishing to send cards, letters or gifts these servicemen during the approaching Christmas season, would have the address readily available.

A request was also made for any address not included and the following additional addresses or changes on addresses were received.

SP4 Chester W. Stephens
US 54925326
Co. C 2nd Battalion 22nd Inf. Mech.
25th Division
APO San Francisco 96268

Pfc Richard J. Meighan
US 549 271 24
“B” Btry. 3 13-ARTY
APO San Francisco 96225

SP 4 David T. Ryan
US 55889129
A Co. 5th Bn. (M)
60th Inf. 9th Div.
APO San Francisco 96373

Pfc. Eugene Buhr
US 5559531
Co. C 2nd Bat.
22nd. Inf. 25th Inf. Div.
APO San Francisco 96268
Arnold H. Jurgensen MM2
540-46-31 M Div.
USS Oriskany CVA-34
FPO San Francisco, Calif. 99601

Anyone planning to send cards, letters or gifts to any of the servicemen in Viet Nam, should make every effort to get these items in the mail within the next couple of days to insure delivery before Christmas.

“List addresses of men serving in Viet Nam,” Sumner Gazette (Sumner, IA), Nov. 16, 1967.

These men are spending Christmas Day in Viet Nam

Pfc. Richard Meighan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Meighan took his basic training at Ft. Campbell, Ky. and then was sent to Ft. Dix, N.J. where he was placed in radio and teletype school. He was then sent to Ft. Gordon, Ga. for further training in communication.

Pfc. Meighan is now serving with an artillery unit in Viet Nam. He states, “You lead a very exciting life over here.” Part of the time his unit lives in machine gun bunkers that have four foot thick walls. Recently he has been in Dau Tieng, five miles northeast of Loo Ninh. This battalion has been operating in the Ho Bo Woods.

His address:
Pfc. Richard G. Meighan
US 54927124
H-H Batery [sic], 3/13 ARTY
RTT Section
APO San Francisco 96225

“These men are spending Christmas Day in Viet Nam,” Sumner Gazette (Sumner, IA), Dec. 21, 1967.

Richard Meighan Killed In Vietnam Action

DOD News ReleaseSUMNER (Special) – Word was received Monday of the death Sunday of Pfc. Richard James Meighan, 24, of Sumner. He died in action at Sia Ghan, Vietnam. Funeral services are pending.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Meighan. He was born in Sumner on Feb. 4, 1944. Graduated from Sumner High school in 1962, and entered the Army, March, 1967. Meighan received his training at Ft. Campbell, Ky., and was then sent to Ft. Dix, N.J., for radio and teletype school, and then to Ft. Gordon, Ga. for further training in communications. He was shipped to Vietnam in Nov. 1967, where he served in an artillery unit.

At Christmas time he was in Dau Ting, northeast of Leo Nixk in Vietnam. This battalion operated in the hobo woods. At time of his death he was near Saigon with Headquarters 313 Artilley [sic] R.T.T. Section.

Survivors include two brothers, Tom and David, Sumner; seven sisters, Mrs. William Faring, Denver, Colo.; Mrs. Daniel Long, Waukegan, Ill.; Mrs. Carl Stanfield and Mrs. Thomas Larkin, Milwaukee, Wis.; Mrs. Richard Howard, Sumner; Mrs. Terry Beaman, Randalia; Mrs. Larry Foster, Independence paternal grandfather James Meighan, Hawkeye; maternal grandmother, Mrs. Lulu Miller, Waucoma.

“Richard Meighan Killed In Vietnam Action,” Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA), Mar. 19, 1968.

Set funeral services SP4 Richard Meighan

Family Funeral Photo IIServices for SP4 Richard Meighan, 24, who died of injuries received in an enemy rocket attack on his base near Hoc Mon, South Viet Nam March 17, will be held today, Thursday, March 28 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, in Sumner.

Rev. Fr. Joseph Kleiner will conduct Requiem High Mass at 10:30 a.m. Prayer service was scheduled for Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. at the Emerson-Milnes Funeral Home. Interment will be in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery south of Sumner. Military rites at the cemetery will be in charge of the Thomas E. Woods Post No. 223, American Legion of Sumner.

The body of SP4 Richard Meighan arrived here in Sumner Tuesday night, on board an Ozark airline flight into Waterloo Municipal Airport. Military escort is Sgt. Michael Howe of the Memorial Division, Oakland Army Base, Oakland, Calif.

SP4 Meighan was serving with Headquarters, 313 Artillery, RTT Section when his death occurred. He died of wounds received in a hostile rocket attack in the early morning hours.

He had been in Viet Nam since early last November.

Born Feb. 4, 1944, at Sumner the son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Meighan, he attended Sumner schools, graduating with the class of 1962.

Family Funeral PhotoHe entered military service March 13, 1967, receiving training at Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Dix, N.J. and Fort Gordon, Ga., prior to going overseas in November. Sp 4 Meighan was a radio-teletype operator and had recently been placed in charge of his radio section.

Before his unit was moved to the present location, he was stationed at Dan Tieng in South Viet Nam.

Surviving his death are his parents; two brothers, Thomas and David, both of Sumner; seven sisters, Mrs. William Farina of Denver Colo. Mrs. Daniel Long of Waukegan, Ill., Mrs. Carl Staffield and Mrs. Thomas Larkin, both of Milwaukee, Wis., Mrs. Richard Howard of Sumner; Mrs. Terry Beman of Randalia and Mrs. Larry Foster of Independence; his paternal grandfather, James Meighan of Hawkeye; and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Lula Miller of Waucoma.

His death was the second among Sumner servicemen in Viet Nam. Pfc. Allen Avery was killed as the result of enemy action on Feb. 14, 1966. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Avery.

“Set funeral services SP4 Richard Meighan,” Sumner Gazette (Sumner, IA), Mar. 28, 1968.

Posthumous awards given SP4 Richard J. Meighan

Sumner Councilman and Mrs. Leonard Meighan are pictured with Major Paul Humphrey of Dubuque after the Purple Heart Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and Vietnam service awards were awarded Posthumously to their son, Sp. 4/c Richard J. Meighan Sunday. Major Humphrey presented the awards to Mr. and Mrs. Meighan at their home on North Pleasant St. in Sumner, Sunday. Sp. 4/c Meighan was killed in a rocket attack on his unit’s base in Vietnam on March 17, 1968.

Specialist Fourth Class Richard J. Meighan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Meighan of Sumner, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Bronze Star Medal and Vietnam service medals and citations, posthumously at his parents’ home, here Sunday, August 25.

The awards were presented to Sp. 4/c Meighan’s parents by Major Paul W. Hmphrey, 5th U.S. Army Adv. Gp. (USAR, IOWA) of Dubuque, Iowa.

Sp. 4/c Meighan was assigned to Battery B, Third Battalion 13th Artillery, 25th Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam, when he was killed March 17, 1968 as a result of a rocket attack on the unit’s base camp.

He entered the U.S. Army at Des Moines, Iowa on March 14, 1967 and began his tour of duty in Vietnam on October 29, 1967.

Formal wording of the Citation which accompanied the Bronze Star Medal, reads:

By Direction of the President, The Bronze Star Medal (posthumously) is presented to Specialist Four (E4) Richard J. Meighan, US 54927124, United States Army who distinguished himself by outstandingly meritorious service in connection with military operations against hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam.

During the period, October 29, 1967 to March 17, 1968 he consistently manifested exemplary professionalism and initiative in obtaining outstanding results. His rapid assessment and solution of numerous problems inherent in a counterinsurgency environment greatly enhanced the allied effectiveness against a determined and aggressive enemy.

Despite many adversities, he invariably performed his duties in a resolute and efficient manner. Energetically applying his sound judgment and extensive knowledge, he has contributed materially to the successful accomplishment of the United States mission in the Republic of Vietnam.

His loyalty, diligence and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

The Purple Heart Medal, one of the oldest service Medals in United States History is awarded for wounds received in military action.

“Posthumous awards given SP4 Richard J. Meighan,” Sumner Gazette (Sumner, IA), Aug. 29, 1968.

Spotlight on Agriculture

THE WAR IN VIETNAM continues to dominate the thoughts of most farm families. A statewide survey of farm opinions reveals many misgivings and much confusion about the U.S. role in S.E. Asia. Dismay and disillusionment was the reaction of the majority of the farm people questioned by Spotlight on Agriculture regarding the American dilemma in Vietnam. Fears centered around Lunar New Year attack by the enemy are very real.

BITTER PARIS DISPUTES have added greatly to the frustrations of those who had hoped for an early settlement in S.E. Asia. The long heartbreaking delays in reaching agreement on so inconsequential a matter as the size and shape of the peace table have dashed all hopes for an early peace. Major points of issue now under discussion or consideration could drag the conference on and on for months.

RENEWED ENEMY ACTIVITY along the DMZ and in other areas of blood-soaked Vietnam in recent weeks has raised more questions. Despite repeated assurances from U.S. and South Vietnamese military leaders that the Viet Cong is no longer a serious threat and that the North Vietnamese Communists have “had it,” the fighting and dying continues.

US COSTS IN VIETNAM are nothing short of staggering. American dead now are approaching 32,000 – and going up at the rate of nearly 200 a week. The number of missing exceeds a thousand. More than 200,000 have been wounded, with some maimed for life. The dollars and cents toll now is estimated at $100,000,000 or more a day. A monthly tab of $3 billion is now attached to our involvement in Vietnam.

MORE THAN 500 IOWANS have been placed on the gold star toll in Vietnam. This past year brought the heart-breaking news to several hundred families in the state. So far in 1969 many more messages with the dreaded words “Killed in action” have been delivered to Iowa parents, wives and children.

AMONG THOSE who have paid the supreme sacrifice in answer to their country’s call last year were young men from the Oelwein Register area. Included were Nabor Tafolla, Marine, Oelwein; Donald Thompson, Army West Union; Ronald Stroschein, Marine, Elkader; Dennis Friedhoff, Army, Elma; Donald Kremer, Marine, Aurora; Merlin Miller, Army, Guttenberg; Martin Reedy, Marine, Independence; Richard Meighan, and Myron Poock, both Army men and both of Sumner; and Garland Rosenbaum, Army, Waucoma.

THE VIEWS OF IOWANS relative to our Nation’s part in the S.E. Asian conflict vary all the way from those who believe we must “see it thru” to those who feel American troops should be pulled out at once. Following are some of the opinions voiced or sent to Spotlight on Agriculture editors.

DUANE SWANSON, manager of the Eldridge Co-op, probably put it about as well as anyone can. He said, “on the Vietnam question, my thoughts are that we have serious, tragic problems if it continues and serious, difficult, short-term problems if the war ends suddenly. Of the two choices, I’m sure we much prefer the latter.”

SENATOR ROBERT DODDS, of Danville, says, “I’m for a strong, firm settlement. Let’s not lose everything after all the investment in life and money we have made.”

A MASTER FARMER, Keith McAllister, of Mt. Union, says, “I am anxiously waiting to see what President Nixon can do on his campaign promise of an honorable peace in Vietnam. I am 100% for him, but doubt that this hope will materialize. I am afraid the Communists will continue at war with us for some time at one place or another. They gain every day that we become more divided and more bankrupt.”

A CHEROKEE COUNTY MAN, John C. Reimers, of Marcus, says, “On the Vietnam questions, my thoughts are, get the boys home and get it over with. We had no business there in the first place.”

FROM MARSHALL COUNTY John Leise, of Liscomb, says, “If it is proper to be there, we should fight to win. If it is not proper to be there, we should be out. I don’t know whether we should be there or not. I have my persoanl doubts, but I do not like to see this country draft boys to fight and then not back them to the utmost.”

AN EASTERN IOWAN, Fred Bachman, of Clarence, who has been farming 52 years, spoke for a lot of us when he said, “I’m confused! We can’t negotiate a peace pact. Meanwhile, Communism continues to spread and to work against us at every turn, while at the same time pretending to be friendly. Is Vietnam a delaying action designed to enable us to buy time and find a better way? If so, it justifies our being there.”

A CRESTON W.W. II VETERAN, Brad Jackson, who served in the U.S. Air Forces as a captain for four years, is very outspoken in his feelings about Vietnam. Jackson, who was on Pacific duty in such hot spots as Tinian, Okinawa, etc. is emphatic in the conviction that the U.S. cannot and should not attempt to police the world.”

“LET’S GET THE HELL OUT” is the way the Creston farmer puts it. He goes on to say we had no business getting into Vietnam in the first place. In his opinion the Vietnamese will be fighting each other and others as long as they exist. Brad Jackson goes on to say, “France saw the light and got out-and told us we couldn’t win.” He believes the US can afford to pull out and yet “save face” and says he believes President Nixon will get us out of our S.E. Asian dilemma.

SUPPORTING JACKSON’S VIEW, Joe O’Hara, Shenandoah Master Farmer and well-known S.W. Iowa conservationist, says, “Let’s end this dirty, expensive conflict and get on with the job of making our own country and the world a better place in which to live.”

A CENTRAL IOWAN, Bill Stine, of near Adel, puts it very succinctly. He says “I hope it can be ended.” A northern Iowa farmer, Lloyd Kronemann, of Plymouth, says, “I hope and pray the Vietnam war can be stopped, so no more American boys will have to die.”

A LONG GROVE MAN, Ray Baetke, from eastern Iowa, says, “let’s strive for an honorable peace, get the boys home, and then perhaps give South Vietnam a little financial aid to again help them get on with their own development.”

A POCAHONTAS MAN, Eldon Anderson, makes this hopeful observation: “Although I am confused on this question, I hope we can phaze [sic] out of this war, bring our fighting men home, yet handle the political situation so diplomatically that a sound democratic government can be established in Siagon.” [sic]

Herb Plambeck, “Spotlight On Agriculture,” Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA), Feb. 19, 1969.

Vietnam Virtual Wall Profile

Richard James Meighan
ON THE WALL: Panel 45E Line 13
Home of Record Sumner, IA
Date of birth: 02/04/1944
Service: Army of the United States
Grade at loss: E4
Rank/Rate: Specialist Four
ID No: 54927124
MOS/RATING: 05C20: Radio Teletype Operator
Length Service: 01
Start Tour: 10/29/1967
Incident Date: 03/17/1968
Casualty Date: 03/17/1968
Age at Loss: 24
Location: Gia Dinh Province, South Vietnam
Remains: Body recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright
Casualty Reason: Ground casualty
Casualty Detail: Artillery, rocket, or mortar
URL: www.VirtualWall.org/dm/MeighanRJ01a.htm
Data accessed: 8/10/2014

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