Obituary Record

Wesley W (Sergeant) Sperling
Died on 4/5/1968

Sperling, Sgt Wesley W 4/5/1968

Funeral Leaflet

In Memory of


Date of Birth Oct. 22, 1946; Date of Death April 5, 1968

Place and Time of Services: St. Paul Lutheran Church, Arlington, Nebraska 2:00 P.M. Wednesday, May 8, 1968. Clergyman Rev. Carl Hellmann, Arlington, Nebraska. Music: Hymn by Congregation #651 “Be Still My Soul”; Song by Choir: “Abide with Me”; Hymn by Congregation #587 “Asleep in Jesus, Blessed Sleep”; Mr. George Bluma, organist. Place of Interment St.Paul Lutheran Cemetery, Arlington, Nebraska. Casket Bearers: Active: Richard Holtman, Jerry Scheer, Donald Sperling, Donald Brown, Norman Misfeldt, Neil Lang; Honorary: Steve Sibbernsen, Terry Brown, Rodney Grefe, Stanley Misfeldt, James Schlapfer, Sidney Clausen, Dennis Wilkins, Don Dickmeyer

Pilot Tribune 7 Oct 1968

Fallen Arlington Sgt. To Receive Bronze Star

Sgt. Wesley W. Sperling, killed in Vietnam in April, will receive the Bronze Star medal for heroism, posthumously, at 1 p.m. on Monday at the offices of the Creighton University Military Department.

Mr. and Mrs. Elmer E. Sperling will accept the medal on behalf of their son. The presentation will be made by Col. Levene J. Weigel, commandant of the Creighton University ROTC brigade.

The following article was in a Family History Book on the Stork family: WESLEY W. SPERLING SGT, USMC


Wesley William Sperling attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School and was confirmed in the Christian faith at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Arlington, Nebraska, in 1961 by Pastor Carl Hellmann. He attended Arlington High School and graduated with the class of 1965. He attended Universal Trade School in Omaha, Nebraska, where he studied Mechanics. He graduated from a one-year course.

Wesley entered the service of the United States Marines in November of 1966 and was sent to Vietnam in the spring of 1967. He was a sergeant in Company E, 35th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, Vietnam, P.H. Sergeant Sperling was killed as a result of a gunshot wound on 5 April 1968 at the age of 21 years. He had served in Vietnam for one year. Sergeant Sperling was the first Vietnam casualty from Washington County, Nebraska. His body was returned to Arlington, Nebraska, for burial in God’s acre, St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, north of Arlington, NE. A Military funeral was held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with Pastor Carl Hellman officiating.

Wesley was awarded the Bronze Star medal for heroism. The citation accompanying the medal reads in part: “…On 5 April 1968 Sergeant Sperling was a forward observer for the mortar platoon of Company A, which was conducting a search and destroy operation west of Kontu City. As the unit moved through the dense jungle undergrowth, it was brought under heavy fire from a large North Vietnamese force firing rockets, mortars and automatic weapons fire from well camouflaged positions…Sergeant Sperling skillfully directed mortar fire throughout the firefight, eliminating numerous hostile positions and keeping the enemy forces off balance. As darkness approached, Company A began to break contact to take more effective night positions. As the unit began moving back, Sergeant Sperling saw a comrade too seriously wounded to join the movement. He immediately began administering first aid. As he began to move the injured man to safety, he was mortally wounded by the heavy enemy fire. His skillful actions contributed immensely to successfully warding off the hostile assault and clearly prevented more serious casualties…”

Other posthumous awards presented to him are the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, Combat Infantry Bade, and Expert Marksmanship Badge. His name is on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

At the time of his death his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Sperling, three brothers, Leon, Jerome and David, and sisters Sheryl and Janelle Sperling survived him, as well as a sister Arlene (Mrs. Don Reed) of Spokane, Washington.

Enterprise 2 May 1968 (Photo)

Arlington Youth Is County’s First Casualty Of Vietnam

Sgt. Wesley Sperling Killed In Ground Action April 5th

Washington County’s first casualty of the Vietnam War was revealed this week with the announcement of the death of Sgt. Wesley Sperling, of Arlington.

Official word was received by Sgt. Sperling’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Sperling, that he had been killed in action April 5th.

The telegram received by Mr. and Mrs. Sperling stated that Wesley’s death was the result of a gunshot wound. His body had been recovered and would arrive in Arlington within the next ten to twenty days.

A Military funeral will be held at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where Wesley was a member. The Rev. Carl Hellmann will officiate and the Reckmeyer Funeral Home will be in charge.

The last letter Mr. and Mrs. Sperling had received from their son was on March 23rd after he had spent four days in Hong Kong for a rest period.

Wesley entered the service of the Marines in November of 1966 and has been in Vietnam for one year. He was born October 22, 1946. After graduating from the Arlington High School he attended the Universal Trade School in Omaha and studied mechanics. He graduated from a one year course.

Survivors, besides his parents, are three brothers, Leon, Jerome and David and sisters Sheryl and Janelle, (all at home) and another sister, Mrs. Don Reed (Arlene) of Spokane, Washington.

WWW.No-Quarter.Org – Vietnam Casualty Search Page

Casualty Record for Wesley William Sperling


Home Arlington, Nebraska

Birth Date 1946-10-22 Sex Male

Race Caucasian Married/Single Single

Religion Lutheran & Missouri Synod

Citizen Yes


Service Army Rank SGT

Serial Number 56542713 Component Selective Service

Grade E5 MOS 11C40

Length of Svc 01 Start Tour 1967-05-01


Casualty date 1968-04-05 Cas. Type Hostile, Died

Reason Gun, Small Arms Fire

Air or Ground Ground Casualty

Country South Vietnam Province Kontum

Posthumous Promotion No change

Body Recovered Body recovered

Location on The Wall Panel 48E-Row 020

~~~ Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~

FindaGrave memorial # 8150381

Printed in the Washington County Pilot-Tribune on 10/7/1968