WATCH video of graveside services. READ article and view photos, CLICK HERE
On July 12, 1967, SP4 Martin S. Frank, PFC Nathan B. Henry, Sgt. Cordine McMurray, PFC Stanley A. Newell, PFC Richard R. Perricone, SP4 James F. Schiele and PFC James L. Van Bendegom, all members of Company B, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, were conducting a search and destroy mission along the Cambodian border when their position was overrun by the Viet Cong. With the exception of Schiele, all the men were captured. The U.S. Army notes that Schiele and Van Bendegom were captured by the North Vietnamese, while the others, apparently, were captured by Viet Cong
PFC Van Bendegom was also wounded in the engagement, and was seen alive by other Americans captured in the same battle about one week after his capture at a communist field hospital in Cambodia, not far from his capture location. One of the released Americans was later told by the commanding North Vietnamese officer at his prison camp in Cambodia that SP4 Van Bendegom had died of his wounds. Van Bendegom was categorized as a Prisoner of War.
In late 2014 his remains were positively identified through DNA testing.On Veterans Day, November11, 2014 he was laid-to-rest in his home town of Kenosha, WIsconsin with full military honors. Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral.