|Birth: ||Aug. 2, 1951|
|Death: ||Feb. 27, 1971|
Quang Ngai, Vietnam
Ames Daily Tribune, Ames, Iowa
March 4, 1971
New Sharon man died in Vietnam
WASHINGTON (UPI) - The Defense Department reports another lowan has been killed in action in the Vietnam war. He was identified as Pfc. Dennis Craver, 19, of New Sharon. Officials said Craver, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leland Craver, had been in Vietnam for six months and was killed in action last Friday.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Thursday, March 4. 1971
New Sharon Man Is Killed in Vietnam
NEW SHARON (AP) - Mr. and Mrs. Leland Craver of New Sharon have been notified of the death of their son, Pfc. Dennis Craver, 19, in Vietnam. The Defense Department said the 1969 graduate of North Mahaska high school died in action last Friday. He had been in Vietnam since Aug. 25.
The Ottumwa Courier
Friday, November 14, 1997
S. Iowans to receive Purple Heart for their son
By DON HUIZINGA
Courier Oskaloosa bureau
NEW SHARON - Since 1971, until earlier this year, Mr. and Mrs. Leland Craver had no idea that their son, Private First Class Dennis L. Craver, was due a purple heart.
Dennis Craver, who was killed in the line of fire during the Vietnam War, will be posthumously given the award on Friday, Nov. 21, at 3 p.m., at the City Park Building, 108 N. Pearle, in New Sharon. The Cravers will accept the Purple Heart on their son's behalf from Sen. Chuck Grassley.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony.
On behalf of the Cravers, Grassley made an application in June with the Department of the Army for a correction of military records regarding their son's death.
"Well, I'm relieved the way this has turned out," said Leland Craver. "I was real upset when I was notified about his death."
Leland Craver explained how the Army had informed him at his workplace in Cedar Rapids three days after his son's death.
"The first report was that he was killed by an incoming motar round," Craver said. "The next report said that it was a phosphorous motar, and that it was friendly fire," meaning that it had been launched by American troops.
PFC Dennis L. Craver enlisted in the Regular Army for two years on March 24, 1970. After completing basic and advanced individual training, Craver was assigned on Aug. 27, 1970, to Batter A, 3 Battalion 16 Field Artillery, in Southeast Asia.
On Feb. 27, 1971, he died from severe burn wounds sustained the previous day, when a motar round detonated at his base camp. The motar blast also inflicted fatal injuries to two other American servicemen.
At the time, the Army attributed the blast as an accidental detonation. Craver later was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
After discovering this summer that his fellow soldiers were not awarded the Purple Heart, the sole surivor of the incident, PFC Walter R. (Rick) Wallen, of Michigan, contacted the Craver family to help rectify the official record.
"He's just great," said Leland Craver about Wallen. "If it hadn't been for Rick, we would have never known this. The Army had told us this past April not to expect anything for two years, but Rick and Sen. Grassley really moved that along.
Wallen also sought citations for PFC John A. Cukale Jr., of Wyoming, and Sgt. James L. Steinkirchner, of New York. Wallen attributed the blast to a booby trapped motar shell that was delivered by the Vietnamese to their base camp.
"Unfortunately, the other two boys won't get their Purple Hearts unless the next of kin apply," said Leland Craver. "That just don't seem right. I mean they were all killed in the same blast."
Leland Craver said that he had contacted the national headquarters for the American Legion in Indiana to uncover the relatives of the other young men who died in the blast. A brother of Sgt. Steinkirchner was going to proceed with the process, but both parents of PFC Cukale were in poor health, and unlikely to complete the task, Craver said.
Sen. Grassley's office was notified by the Army Board of Correction of Public Records that all records related to the case had been ordered corrected to show that PFC Dennis L. Craver was awarded the Purple Heart on Feb. 26, 1971. The Board concluded that "in the interest of justice (Craver) should be entitled to the award of the Purple Heart."
"Dennis Craver gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty," said Grassley. "I am honored to bestow the Purple Heart in his memory to the Craver family. A quarter-century hasn't dimmed the sacrifice that this American soldier gave to defend the freedoms we enjoy today. Speaking on behalf of those who have served their country in uniform, I'm pleased that justice will prevail. Dennis Craver deserves this recognization for the selfless acts of courage and bravery he exhibited during the Vietnam War."
Leland Glen Craver (1918 - 2009)
New Sharon Friends Cemetery
Created by: Gary Craver
Record added: Apr 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50546669
Rest in peace fellow soldier you are not forgotten|
Added: Aug. 27, 2014
Added: Apr. 11, 2010