In Memory Of

Lester Erwin Becker

PFC - E3 - U.S. Army
Age 23, Single
Delta Company
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry
1st Cavalry Division, Airmobile
Born: December 31, 1941
From Harvard, Illinois
Tour Began September 16, 1965
Died: November 30, 1965
Ia Drang Valley - South Vietnam
Cause: Small Arms Fire

Lester Becker was shot in the abdomen November 17th and was evacuated the next morning. He died Novemeber 30th at Clark Air Base in the Philippines at the age of 23. Born to Erwin and Alice Becker, Lester grew up first on a dairy farm and later on a crop farm, with younger sisters Emalee and Janet. He was given the nickname "Butch" as a baby and it stuck with him. He played softball for the 4H team and liked to play basketball. He attended Harvard High School in Harvard, Illinois, where he was a 4 year member of the Future Farmers of America, and he graduated in 1960. He worked the family farm until he was drafted in February 1964. Basic training was at Ft Knox and AIT was at Ft Lewis, Washington. Next he was transferred to Ft Benning, Georgia in July 1965, where he was finally assigned to Delta Company as part of the anti tank platoon. From there it was on to Vietnam with the rest of the 3rd Brigade. He was making plans for his post Army life, asking his parents to find farm land for him to farm when he returned home. He wrote home saying that he, "Just don't care much about the idea of going to work in town." Upon his death, his body was shipped home and a funeral was held on December 10th at the Presbyterian Church with burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery in a plot bought by his grandparents. His mother Alice, makes visits to the gravesite on every Memorial Day. (Information from The Northwest Herald)