Larry Albert Dahms
Petty Officer Third Class
NMCB-74, 3RD NC BDE, USNAVFORV
United States Navy
Garwin, Iowa
June 06, 1947 to November 17, 1970
LARRY A DAHMS is on the Wall at Panel W6, Line 66

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Larry A Dahms
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The US Naval Forces Vietnam Command History contains the following entry:
"The most serious incident reported by CB units occurred on the last day of the month at 1445H on a waterway near Kien Binh (WS 406 036) where the bodies of five USN Seabees were found. All the bodies contained gunshot and fragmentation wounds. Investigation of witnesses disclosed that five U.S. personnel armed with 3 M-16s and one pistol had been sighted in a Boston Whaler by Vietnamese personnel an hour and a half before, and ARVN units reported seeing U.S. personnel in a firefight in the same area. A Vietnamese eyewitness account indicated two VC sampans engaged the whaler, which was later found abandoned, with grenade and AK-47 fire on the Kinh Thot Not Canal. The five Seabees were attached to NMCB 74 and traveling from Cho Moi to Binh Thuy for minor medical treatment."
The five Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 killed on New Year's Eve were One other unit member died during the battalion's November 1970 to April 1971 deployment. He was killed when he was riding on a radio tower being moved by helicopter when his safety harness broke and he died as a result of the fall. He was:

Dahms grew up on the family farm and was active in football, track and baseball throughout school. His leadership ability was recognized by the Garwin American Legion, who selected him to participate in Boys State.

He graduated from Garwin High School in 1965 and continued his education at Marshalltown Community College. He then transferred to Iowa State University (ISU) for two years, majoring in Electrical Engineering. After receiving his draft notice, he enlisted in the Navy. He was then stationed at Bien Hoa, Vietnam when his unit, The Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seventy Four, Gulfport, Mississippi deployed there in late October 1970.

In the area newspaper articles at the time and again 40 years later in 2010, it stated, in part: "Seabee Larry Dahms, 23, Garwin, has been killed in an accident in Vietnam. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dahms, rural Garwin, received word about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17, of their son's death earlier that day. According to word received, the Garwin man was riding an antenna tower, which was being moved by helicopter, when vibrations snapped his safety belt. He was killed in the fall.

In the November 2008 Marshalltimes magazine, published by the Times-Replublican, Marshalltown Iowa, a recap of the Veterans Day ceremony at the Iowa State University Memorial Union was published. The article reported that on Nov. 17, 1970, Dahms was part of an operation to move a radio antenna attached to a tall pole. Dahms, wearing a safety belt, climbed the pole to remove bolts. The pole housing gave way, Dahms fell and was fatally injured. He was 23. He is also remembered on the Marshalltown Vietnam Memorial.

The obituary in the area papers in November 1970, read: Services for Seabee Larry A Dahms, 23, Garwin, who was killed in an accident in Vietnam last Tuesday, were held at 2.p.m. Wednesday at the Erickson Funeral Home in Garwin. The pastor of the Garwin Christian Church officiated. Burial was in Rose Hill Memorial Gardens, Marshalltown, with full military rites.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dahms, rural Garwin, received word on Tuesday November 17 of their son's death earlier in the day.

Dahms, a 1965 graduate of Garwin High School, had entered the Seabees last May and had been stationed at Bien Hoa since October 18. He had been employed by Kellogg's Electric before entering the Seabees.

He was born June 6, 1947 in Grundy Center, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dahms. In addition to his parents, surviving were a sister, Mrs Paul (Darlene) Hatcher, and his grandmother, Lillie Jensen, Garwin.

He is buried in Rose Hill Memorial Gardens, Marshalltown as are his parents, Gretchen Viola Dahms (1919 - 2010) and Albert C. Dahms (1905 - 1999)

Larry A Dahms


- - The Virtual Wall, August 28, 2014

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