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Vietnam War & Minnesota: Minnesotans in Vietnam


A Time of Remembrance: The Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Memorial, by Bruce Wright. 
In Architecture Minnesota. Vol. 19, no. 2 (Mar.-Apr. 1993).
MNHS call number: NA1 .N68 v.19:2

The Vietnam In Me: As a Soldier, He Saw the Wreckage of One My Lai After Another: Now, On His Return, He Confronts the Wreckage In His Own Life, by Tim O'Brien. 
In New York Times Magazine, Oct. 2, 1994, p. 48-57.
MNHS call number: FOLIO DS560.4 .O27 1994


The Faces Behind the Names, by Don Ward. 
Bloomington, MN : Memorial Press, 1996.
MNHS call number: DS557.5 .W37 1996

Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Dedication Ceremony, State Capitol Grounds, Saint Paul, Minnesota, September 26, 1992.
Minneapolis, MN : Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1992.
MNHS call number: DS559 .M682 1992


Sisterhood of War: Minnesota Women in Vietnam, by Kim Heikkila.
​St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2011.
MNHS call number: Reading Room DS559.8.W6 H45 2011, also available for purchase

Wake Up the Night: A Vietnam War Memoir, by R. J. Hale. 
United States, 2009.
MNHS call number: DS559.5 .H34 2009

If I Die In a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home, by Tim O'Brien.
New York: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1973.
MNHS call number: DS557.A69 O27

Letters Never Written: South Vietnam, 1968, by Paul Garneau Clark. 
United States: Paul Garneau Clark, 2012. 
MNHS call number: DS559.5 .C58 2012

Left for Dead: A Second Life After Vietnam, by Jon Hovde. 
Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.
MNHS call number: DS559.73.U6 H68 2005

The Twins Platoon: An Epic Story of Young Marines at War in Vietnam, by Christy W. Sauro. 
St. Paul, MN: Zenith Pres: MBI Pub. Co., 2006.
MNHS call number: DS558 .S328 2006

Muddy Jungle Rivers: A River Assault Boat Cox’ns Memory Journey of His War in Vietnam and Return Home, by Wendell Affield. 
Bemidji, MN. : Hawthorn Petal Press, 2012.
MNHS call number: DS559.5 .A34 2012

Vietnam: Our Story, One On One: Stories, compiled by Gary D. Gullickson.
Byron, MN: VV Publishing, 1991.
MNHS call number: DS559.5 .V53 1991

To The Colors, 2004-2008: Stories and Thoughts about Military Service, by Major William D. Palmer.
Marshall, MN: Prairieview Press, 2010.
MNHS call number: F605 .P34 2004-2008

Apprentices of War: Memoir of a Marine Grunt, by Gary L. Tornes. 
Appleton, WI: Distributed by A.O.W. LLC, 2004.
MNHS call number: DS559.5 .T67 2004

Trying to Get Back: A Spiritual Memoir, by Randall T. Getchell.
United States, 2016.
MNHS call number: DS559.5 .G48 2016

Postmark: Mekong Delta, by Raymond Johnson. 
Westwood, N.J. : Revell, 1968.
MNHS call number: DS557.A69 J6

Manuscript Collections & Letters

Patrick Cawley Vietnam Papers, 1970-1971
Photocopied and handwritten letters from Cawley, a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Airmobile, 82nd Artillery, Battery E, to his parents in Prior Lake, Minnesota while stationed in Vietnam. Additional papers include Cawley’s pilot certification; award citations; color and black and white negatives depicting Vietnam, helicopters, U.S. soldiers, Prior Lake, and family; a photocopied map of troop locations (circa 1970); a window sticker printed with the phrase "The First Team;" letters regarding Cawley’s 1970 death in Cambodia; and his obituary.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P246). 

David L. Johnson Papers, 1949-2012
Biographical information, correspondence, and photographs and moving images of a Minneapolis man who served as a medic with the United States Army in Vietnam in 1970.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Michael Dunkel Papers, 1968
Correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, and obituaries related to a St. Paul (Minn.) man who enlisted in the Marines and died of heat stroke while serving in Quang Nam, Vietnam.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the libary (P2051). 

Tim Connelly Papers, 1968-1993
A Minnesota Vietnam War veteran’s papers documenting his experience with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The papers include photocopies of a manuscript journal and the original and photocopy of its typescript copy (1988, 1993), artwork, miscellaneous military documents (1968-1972), a presidential certificate, and a letter presenting a bonus payment granted to Minnesota Vietnam War veterans.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Dan Conlon Papers, 1936-2014
Correspondence, photographs, and digital sound recordings relating to the Vietnam War service of Minneapolis medical doctor Dan Conlon, who was drafted into the Air Force in 1966 as part of the doctor draft. Much of the material relates to Conlon’s interest in and work with the Montagnard people of Vietnam. Also includes scrapbooks of correspondence, medical reports, daily notes, and other materials documenting his wife Kay’s battle with terminal cancer some years later.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Richard E. Riis Papers, 1903-2002
 Audio letters documenting Riis' son’s service as a tactical air lift pilot during the Vietnam War.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Audio & Video

Dr. Carl G. Oeljen Vietnam War Audio Letters, 1970-1971, 2004.
4 audio files : MP3 
Two audio letters from Dr. Carl G. Oeljen, a Waseca native, during his time as a military surgeon during the Vietnam War in Da Nang from 1970 to 1971. Subjects discussed include a "tour" of living quarters, the stresses on soldiers, working in a hospital, details of surgeries, details of personnel, weather, drugs, missing family, being a father, friendship with Bill Wolfe, feeling lonely and isolated, mis-representation of the war in the United States and references to Minnesota. Also includes an introductory prologue by Bill Wolfe, recorded in 2014, describing his friendship with Oeljen and their correspondence during the Vietnam War.
MNHS call number: Digital Audio

And a Time to Healproduced and written by Gary Gilson.
St. Paul, MN : Twin Cities Public Television, 1985.
1 videocassette (58 min.)
Five Midwest women (Diane Evans, Mary Beth Crowley, Maggie Arriola, Pat Walsh, Betty Doebbeling) who toured Vietnam as nurses share their memories of the war. They provide a different vantage point and rare insights into the conflict.
MNHS call number: Videotape 130

Agent Orange: A Story of Dignity and Doubtproduced and directed by Jim Gambone.
St. Paul, Minn. : Film in the Cities and Minnesota Veterans Coalition, 1981.
1 video (28 min.) 
Shows the struggle of Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to the poisonous herbicide, Agent Orange, during the war. Discusses the medical problems of the veterans and their families as a result of exposure, and the problems they have had in getting help, medical treatment, and recognition of the problem from the Veterans Administration and U.S. Government.
MNHS call number: Film C-69

Oral History

Oral History Interviews of the Vietnam Era Oral History Project
Ninety-five interviews document the experiences of Minnesotans during the Vietnam War era (1960-1975). Interviews take a life history approach, with a focus on the years of the United States war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Interviewees include Minnesota veterans who served during the Vietnam War; relatives of service members; Southeast Asian refugees and veterans who came to Minnesota after the war; and those involved in anti-war protests and related social movements in Minnesota.
MNHS Call Number: Digital Audio and Transcripts (temporarily unavailable, see below for access to four of the interviews)

Robert Behrens Oral History Transcript

Nguyen Thi My Dung Transcript

Mary Dezurik Transcript

Suzanne Constantini Transcript

Minnesota’s Women Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project
This collection chronicles the lives of Minnesota nurses who participated in the Vietnam War. A major focus of the interviews discusses suffering from and helping those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another aspect of these interviews chronicles postwar involvement including work with veteran’s organizations and the development of two monuments dedicated to the military service of women. Some of the subjects discussed include education prior to entering the military service; hospital conditions in Vietnam; gender roles in the military; reactions of family members after enlisting; civilian life after Vietnam; involvement in PTSD groups; involvement in the Veterans Administration (VA); creating the Women Military Service to America Memorial (WIMSA); basic training through the Army Nurses Corps; the Anti-War Movement; thoughts on the Iraq War; creating the Vietnam Women’s Memorial; Communism and the Cold War; modern perceptions of the Vietnam War; and the importance of women in the military.
MNHS call number: Digital Audio and Transcripts

Oral History Interview with Robert E. Matteson
​Matteson speaks of his long involvement with the United States State Department, his relationships with Harold Stassen and Sigurd Olson, and his involvement in and attitudes towards the Vietnam War.
MNHS call number: Digital Audio and Transcripts

Government Records

Veterans Graves Registration Reports, [ca. 1930]-1975 (bulk 1930-1969).
Report forms for deceased veterans of the Vietnam War who are buried in Minnesota. They were compiled by the Veterans Affairs Department during the period 1930-1969. For the period 1970-1975, some counties (mainly Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Ramsey, and Swift) and the Fort Snelling cemetery continued to submit reports. Information provided: veteran’s name, date and place of enlistment, rank and organization, date and place of discharge, legal address or usual residence, birth date, death date, cause of death, name and address of next of kin, place of burial, name of cemetery, and grave location. These reports do not constitute a complete record of all veterans buried in Minnesota. Examples of the short form and the long form are available online.
MNHS Call Number: Digital Finding Aid. Search for these records in the Minnesota People Records Search.

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