Purple Heart awarded 50 years later

A Marshalltown war hero is finally receiving an award 50 years after it was due.

The Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post 839 worked for three years to get Dallas Clark a Purple Heart. Clark was an Army veteran and served in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, Clark’s family will be receiving his award, because he died in February 2018.

The ceremony is planned for 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the VAW Hall during the VAW’s regular meeting.

“Dallas was a past commander of our Post and was very faithful at doing electrical repairs and other renovations to keep our Post in tip-top shape,” said Dennis Myers, VAW member. “He was a member of our Honor Guard which is combined with the American Legion.”

Clark was a 1967 graduate of Marshalltown High School. He was stationed at an airbase in Pleiku in 1970. Pleiku is a city in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam. While there, Clark was an Army Specialist 5 radio repairman and technician with the 25th Americal Division.

“His duties were working on UH-1H helicopters helping to ready them for missions and, at times, went on missions with the aircraft,” Myers said.

Clark was wounded on May 19, 1970 when the base came under fire by an enemy rocket attack.

“Dallas was helping ready an aircraft when he took shrapnel to various parts of his body,” Myers said. “For this, he is honorably awarded the Purple Heart given for his wounds.”

Myers and Clark started working on getting the Purple Heart in May 2017.

Together they had to go through the Army’s personnel record section to verify his eligibility.

“He had photographs too,” Myers said. “It showed him with a bandage on his head.”

Clark’s family has his award commendation for his Purple Heart and will present it during the ceremony.

Clark was told he should put in for a Purple Heart after the attack, Myers said.

“We found later on he had two Army commendations.”


Contact Thomas Nelson at 641-753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com.


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