- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

PENDER, Neb. (AP) - The hometown of the first casualty listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has been corrected, thanks to a Nebraska woman’s research.

Pat Schoenfelder looked forward to seeing a traveling replica of the memorial when it stopped in her hometown of Imperial, Nebraska, last month, the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal (https://bit.ly/1GA8FzB ) reported.

Her interest also was piqued when she heard the first name listed was that of a Nebraskan. But Internet searches showed her that Army Maj. Dale Buis, who died July 8, 1959, was from Pender, Nevada. She could find no such place.

Schoenfelder found records that showed Buis was from Pender, Nebraska, and contacted The Virtual Wall website, which posts biographical information about the people listed on the memorial. The website now lists him as being from Nebraska.

“It just meant a lot to me. We’re Nebraskans, and the wall was coming here and I just wanted it to be right,” Schoenfelder said.

Website founder Jim Schueckler said the case of mistaken geography isn’t uncommon; at least a couple of times a year he sees instances in which states were mixed up. He said it’s not surprising since many military records from the Vietnam War era were handwritten. When they are entered into computer systems, mistakes occur because the person inputting the data couldn’t read the handwriting or just made a typo.

Buis was killed in 1959 after Viet Cong troops ambushed him and another person while they were watching a movie inside a mess hall.

His is the first name on the memorial that was dedicated in 1982, but it has been discovered that two other men died earlier.


Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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