La Vern Tegtmeier 

SSGT E6 United States Army
11B40 - Infantryman
A Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry
4th Infantry Division

4th Infantry Patch 

Tour began March 4, 1969
22 Years Old
Odell, Nebraska
La Vern graduated high school from Hanover, Kansas
but enlisted from Odell, which is just over the Nebraska border
Born September 4, 1947 in Beatrice, Nebraska - November 6, 1969


These messages were left in the Faces On The Wall
notebook that travels with the tribute...

I was in class with La Vern's brother Arlin Tegtmeier when they came and took
him out of class to tell him his brother was Missing In Action.  A very sad day.
John Zarybnicky (?)

I was Pall Bearer for La Vern - Good Christian friend - It brought the war
closer to home.
Dean Lovy (?)


William Greenwald served in A Company, 1/12th, 4th Infantry Division
and he remembers La Vern...

I remember Sgt. Tegtmeier as being one hell of a fine soldier.  I was in country a
little over a month when he died.  What is not mentioned is that a soldier in front
of Sgt. Tegtmeier froze, since it was single file on the steel beam.  He tried crossing a
board to help the soldier out and the board broke, as far as I'm concerned he died a
hero.  God bless him and the rest of our VN heroes.


Richard Whiteaker knew of La Vern...

I did not know La Vern but I was in a sister company (Co. B) in the 1/12th Infantry.
I remember when he drowned, although I wasn't at the bridge and I didn't know his
name at the time.  We crossed this bridge a few times, crawling across on a single
I-beam.  God bless the defenders of our country and their families!


These messages were left in the Faces On The Wall
notebook that travels with the tribute...

Thank You.  God Bless LaVern

LaVern was a good friend and college room buddy - I will always remember
good times and the sacrifice he gave for all of us!
Clyde W.


By Harry Dilkes
Used with permission

Death in Vietnam came in many forms and it came in many different ways.  You
could set off a booby trap, walk into an ambush, land on a hot LZ, catch a mortar
frag, be lined up in the scope of a sniper, and fall into a punji stake pit, be shot down or
killed from a direct assault; but death wasn't limited to enemy action.  You could
be crushed by a fallen tree, bitten by a snake, mauled by a tiger and run over by a
water buffalo.  Even possible to have a lethal reaction to a bite from a tarantula, or a
scorpion, or a centipede, or a swarm of bees.  You could take part in an air crash due
to mechanical failure, get killed by friendly fire even your own, and drown in its waters.

Alpha Company was patrolling in the vicinity of map coordinates BS 745118, An Lao
Valley on Thursday, November 6th.  During a crossing of a bridge over a river, between
nine and ten o'clock in the A.M., an individual (La Vern Tegtmeier) fell through and was
swept away by its swift current.  Three days later his body was found.  When you're
carrying a backpack your not going to make it to shore.  Drowning was the cause of death.


Dale remembers his friend...

I was in country with Sgt. Teg - Was there when he fell from the bridge - A
nice person.


David honors La Vern...

My name is David Schubarth from Emporia, Kansas.  My Father was a Chaplain
in the 4th Infantry Division during WWII.  Landed on Utah Beach, first wave.  My
wife and I went to Bedford, VA on 6-6-01 for the dedication ceremony of the
D-Day Memorial.  When I got back home I decided to get on the 4th Infantry
web site and check it for possible contacts on someone who may have had a story
or two of my Dad.  I was very surprised to see your message mentioning La Vern
Tegtmeier on your web site.  La Vern's cousin, Norbert Tegtmeier, is the pastor of our
church, Messiah Lutheran, here in Emporia.  He and his family have been in Emporia
since 1988.  They are great people.  And it also turns out that we were classmates
at Junior College in Winfield, KS for one semester.  He went on to the ministry
while I went out and got married.  Bert said he is about 6 years younger than
La Vern, but the same age as one of La Vern's brothers, I guess.  Great work with
the web site.

4th Memorial 

National 4th Infantry Division Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Dedicated on July 5, 2001


Excerpt from The Washington County News

La Vern William Tegtmeier died November 6, 1969 in Bihn Dihn, South
Vietnam; he was 22 years old.  He was the brother of Arlen Tegtmeier
of Hanover, and the son of the late John and Martha Tegtmeier.  He was
the first Washington countian to die in the Vietnam War.  Tegtmeier was
in the Army and had attained the rank of SSGT/E6.  He began his tour
of duty on March 4, 1969.  He drowned when a bridge he was on
collapsed, according to a report in the November 21, 1969 issue of the
Washington County News.  Tegtmeier was born in Beatrice, Nebraska.  He
was a 1966 graduate of Hanover High School.  He attended Fairbury
Junior College for one year when he was drafted into the service,
according to his brother, Arlen.


4th Infanrty Print 

Official Print of the 4th Infantry Division.


If you would like to post your remembrance
about La Vern, please
click here .



Gerald Alley

Larry Belden

Robert Boese

David Brenner

Richard Fiffe

Terry Householter

Merle Jones

John Lindahl

Michael Martin

Ronald Munger

Allen Oatney

Ronald Schulz

La Vern Tegtmeier

Joseph Zutterman

James Brewer

Edgar McWethy

Gary Webb

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