David Leonard Boggs

Army of the United States
06 December 1948 - 27 December 1967
Odessa, TX
Panel 32E Line 069


David L Boggs

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign


The database page for David Leonard Boggs

17 Dec 2003

David Boggs was described by one of his squad members as "a scruffy little guy from Texas". Boggs was killed while walking point on a recon patrol just 2 days after the Christmas stand down. He had just celebrated his 19th birthday three weeks earlier.

His family was originally from Martins Ferry, Ohio. The parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hildred A. Boggs, had moved the family (9 children total) to Portland, Oregon, 6 years earlier hoping for better luck. Their luck never changed and by July 1967, after having a series of strokes, the father was unable to work; four of the younger children had been placed in foster care; and the parents were facing eviction.

David Boggs' death devastated the little resources the family had. The father wanted his son to be buried in a family plot back in Martins Ferry, and the family wanted to have his funeral services in Portland because they could not afford to travel back to Ohio.

The Army's usual method of returning the body was the direct path. But in the case of the Boggs, the Army made an exception and allowed a stop over in Portland for services (donated by Mount Scott Funeral Home) and then provided transportation for the body to Martins Ferry where Corporal David Leonard Boggs was buried in the family plot next to Father Boggs' first wife.

Several veterans' groups stepped forward with funds to allow three members of the family to travel to Ohio.

Mr. Boggs rejected the idea of having his son buried in Portland because he hoped to take his family back home to Martins Ferry and didn't want his son left behind.

Just a few thoughts on the Army's Allowance for burial... In 1967 there was discussion in the newspapers about the money provided for burial. The cheapest funeral was provided by the national or post cemeteries but the family did not have any input. Several states didn't even have national cemeteries to provide that service. If the family chose to use a private cemetery, private mortuary services, or participate in the planning of the burial at the National cemetery, they were given an allowance that had been decided on by averaging out the costs for each service. Any costs above the allowed amount was the responsibility of the family. Many Funeral Homes gave special discounts for military burials which helped in some cases. One newspaper mentioned that a wife raided her daughter's college fund to finance her husband's funeral. After much discussion increases in the allowances for funerals for the Vietnam dead were approved.

The irony in the Boggs case was that David Boggs was buried in January 1968 and the increased allocation for burials started the first of February 1968. Father Boggs' bad luck had continued.

From a researcher,
Darilee Bednar

29 March 2004

Attached is a picture of David Leonard Boggs. This picture is courtesy of William and Teresa Austin of Ellabell, Georgia. William, a retired Sergeant First Class, was with David when he was killed.

Bill Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

Visit the
Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a researcher,
Darilee Bednar
22 Dec 2003

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 03/29/2004