William George Saarela


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SAARELA-William George-Vietnam-Army-uniform.jpgSAARELA-William George-Vietnam-Army-headstone.jpg

SAARELA, William George

William George Saarela was born on April 26th 1938 to Sulo William Saarela in Carlton Co. Minnesota. He married Suzanna K. [Foster] on December 1st 1962 at they started a family.

Mr. Saarela was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 8th 1972. Home at entry was Barnum, Minnesota. He was assigned the MACV Advisory Team 14 as an MP. He rose to the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC).

SGT Saarela was killed while serving in country August 12th 1972 in South Vietnam. He died during a C-130 plane crash landing; he was 34 years of age.

He earned the following merits for his service:

  • National Defense Service Medal,
  • Army Good Conduct Medal,
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation,
  • Army Commendation Medal,
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal,
  • Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation,
  • Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, 
  • Vietnam Service Medal, -and-
  • the Purple Heart.


He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Barnum, Minnesota. He is also honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.


Albert J. Amatuzio Research Center | Veterans Memorial Hall (vets-hall.org)

Saarela, William George, SFC: PERSON, pictures and information - Fold3 - Fold3

SFC William George Saarela (1938-1972) - Find a Grave Memorial

U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 - Ancestry.com

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