Died giving heroic service to save his unit from enemy attack.
Howard was a friend and neighbor of mine. Knew him quit well. Allway a good guy. I went to his funeral, sad day. He has been missed. Too many good men were lost in that war. Even today I ask what was it all for. Hope it was all worth it. Damn wars.
Amen Pete. I did not know Howard very well but I remember him as a good human being. He died too young, what a shame on humanity, what a crime!
Grave Located in the Holladay Memorial Cemetery
Thanks for posting this picture. Did you take this yourself. Howard's sister Alice was a very good friend to me and my sister Rain. Alice is 1 or 2 years younger. The words of a 60's song comes to mind, When will we ever learn. Not sure we have learned even today. God help us.
My name is Lee Sorensen I was a friend of Howard De Waal. I appreciate the Olympic class for asking me to tell a few experiences I had with my friend Howard. Howard and 1 have a history even before we were born. Howards Dad and my Dad were LDS missionary companions in 1941 in the California missions. The California mission took in California, Arizona and some of Utah. My Dad, Burke Sorensen, and Jake De Waal became very close friends. Their missions ended in 1942 and both returned home and were married. One summer Jake wanted to bring his family down to Southern Utah to visit his old mission companion. Jake had about 4 or 5 kids then and that was about the same size as our family. In our family I was the oldest and I think Howard was second or third in his family. I remember them coming to Orderville and spending a week with us. I was about 15 and Howard was about 12. We had a really good time together. After that first summer, Howards family would come down almost every year and spend time with us having picnics ,cookouts and what ever else fun thing we could think to do.
In January of 1963 I received my mission call. My dad asked Jake De Waal, who was living in Holiday, if he would pick me up from the bus stop when I went up to the mission home. I remember Jake coming down to the bus stop in his VW bus and picking me up and taking me to his home. I spent a couple of nights with his family and then he took me down to the mission home.
When I returned from my mission I was drafted into the Army. Howard and I happened to be drafted at the same time. Howard received his draft letter after he received his mission call to Spain. We talked about how he was going to go to Spain when he got out of the service. We went to basic training together in Fort Lewis then we were both sent Fort Poke Louisiana. We were still in the same company there and formed a close relationship. We watched out for one another. After Fort Poke we were reassigned to Vietnam. We went to Vietnam together. We were in the same battalion but different companies. We were able to see each often and we would attend church together. Howard and I would watch out for one another. He was always such a good example to me. While other soldiers would go in to town Howard and I would hangout together around our battalion. We would watch movies in the rain. The whole time Howard was in Vietnam he was always preparing for himself to serve his mission when he got home. After a while Howard was reassigned to the Mekong Delta area down around Saigon. After that we lost contact with one another but our time was growing short and we would be heading home in March. I still remember when 1 got the letter. I was working in resupply in base camp in Quan Loi and a letter came from home and told me Howard had been killed. When I got the letter I couldn't believe it. I sat on some ammo boxes there and just thought about all the times we had together. At one time we had discussed signing papers with each other so that if one of us did end up being killed that the other one would be able to escort the body home. We never did get the papers filled out. I promised myself when I was sitting there that when I had a son I would want him to be just like Howard. So when my first son was born I named him Howard after my good Friend Howard De Waal. When my son was 12 we made a trip up to Holiday to visit Howards family.I remember him very well and we still speak of him all the time. I think about him almost every day and the example that he set for me. I tell my son about him all the time. I want to thank the class for getting in touch with me so I could send my memories for him.
And I would like to get in touch with some of his family. If anyone could help me with that.
Kay Ritchie (Sundberg)
To Lee Sornsen.. Great memories of Howard, thank you. I have a sister that was the same age as Alice, Howard's sister, and she may know of where Alice is today. I will get back to you. So good to know of Howard holding to his faith and being a good friend to all espicially in thoes conditions of war.. I still live in SL valley and may have to revisit his grave site. I have several friends there to remember. Their home hasn't change much either last i was up there to Holladay.
Alice is married to my closest friend, Larry Riddle, Larry was our same age and went to Skyline. We are very close.
Lzrry and Alice live in Centerville, Utah
We all lost a good friend in Howard
Kenneth. My wife and I were in DC about 3 weeks ago. We visited the wall and got pictures of Howards name on the wall.. Verry moving for me.. Tell Alice hi for me.