In Memory

Dennis Ulstad

Dennis Ulstad

Ulstad, Dennis Elmer, Sgt
Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
8651-Reconnaissance Man
Last Unit
1968-1969, 8651, 1st Marine Division/HQ Bn, 1st Marine Division
Service Years
1964 - 1969
Casualty Date
Jan 26, 1969

Hostile, Died

Quang Nam

Last Known Activity
SGT Ulstad was being extracted from a hostile situation by a helicopter ladder and was dragged into a steam when the chopper lost power and altitude. He lost his grip in the water and was drowned. Initially recorded as an MIA he was recovered by a search team. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetary in Billings, Montana.

Dennis' Obituary

Posted on 4/7/09 - by Rick Dunn
Billings Marine Dies in Vietnam
Sgt. Dennis E. Ulstad Obituary Billings Marine Dies in Vietnam: A Billings Marine has been killed in action while on a reconnaissance mission in Vietnam. Sgt. Dennis E. Ulstad, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Ulstad, 29 8th St. W. was being evacuated Sunday from an Enemy controlled area 10 miles southwest of An Hoa, Quang Province, Vietnam, when the mishap occured. He was hanging from an external helicopter ladder when the copter lost power over a stream. Ulstad lost his hold and drowned. His parents were notified Wednesday. Sgt. Ulstad was on his third tour of duty in Vietnam, and had reenlisted twice. He held two purple hearts, the Navy Commendation Medal, and was awarded the Bronze Star in September for bravery in action on July 19, 1967. He was born Sept. 18, 1947 at Fort Dodge, Iowa, and came to Billings when age 10. He attended McKinley Grade School, Lincoln Junior High School, and Graduated from Billings Senior High in 1965. After a half-year at Rocky Mountain College, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He had been active in Boy Scouts at Billings, was a member of Troop7, First Methodist Church and was an Eagle Scout. Ulstad reenlisted to go back to his old outfit, Alpha Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division-then strung along the Demilitarized Zone north of Da Nang, and bearing the brunt of heavy fighting. His bronze star was for action during three days improving Marine defenses in a mined area. Ulstad was team leader when an enemy mine exploded, wounding two squad leaders. Ulstad took over the squads, helped treat the wounded, and set up Claymore mines to bolster the patrol’s defenses. The Viet Cong attacked, and Ulstad’s Claymore mines cut them down. The Citation with the Navy Commendation Medal cites Ulstad’s taking command while on a 12-man patrol ambushed by 30 Viet Cong the day after Christmas 1967. He maneuvered the remaining patrol members through 300 meters of jungle to a landing zone. Interviewed at Billings in December, 1968, Ulstad said, “A lot of things can happen. . .” his voice trailing off, talking about when he would return and perhaps enroll again at Rocky Mountain College. Survivors, beside his parents, include three brothers and two sisters. Burial will be at Mountview Cemetery, Billings, Mt.
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09/18/15 01:56 PM #1    

Susan Armstrong (Woodahl)

Dennis was a good friend with us on the annual staff!  He was quiet, as many of us were then, was fun, and had a nice smile!  The replica of the DC Vietnam Memorial Wall came to the University of Montana, and it was so sad to see his name there among so many other young men!  He was so young and his sacrifice so great for our country!  My sympathy to his family and friends!

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