John Holger Wrisberg III
The Viet Nam Memorial plaque by City Beach in Clear Lake.
Clear Lake GI slain

John H. Wrisberg III victim of Viet war

CLEAR LAKE - Spec. 4 John H. Wrisberg III, 20, stepson and son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Palmeter, 200 N. Shore Drive, was killed Jan.16 in Vietnam action.

The family was notified of the death late Friday.

The message from the Defense Department said he was killed on a combat operation when his unit of the 101st Airborne Division engaged a hostile force in a firefight.  Word that Wrisberg was missing was received by the family on Thursday.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Wrisberg entered the U.S. Army Oct. 17, 1966, and took his basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo.  He attended medical school at Ft. Sam Houston, Tex., and advanced training at Ft. Campbell, Ky., where he joined the 101st Airborne. 

He went to paratrooper school at Ft. Benning, Ga., and with his unit engaged in war games with the cadets at West Point, N.Y.

He returned to Ft. Campbell and attended Vietnamese language school.  His last leave was the last week of November.  He arrived in Vietnam Dec. 6.

Wrisberg was born Aug. 20, 1947, at Mount Pleasant.  He was graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1965 and attended Mason City Junior College one year.

Besides the parents, Ethel and Jack Palmeter, he is survived by two brothers, Gregory and Michael, at home, and two grandmothers, Emma Wrisberg, Clear Lake, and Mrs. Peter Simonsen, Humboldt.

His father, Capt. John H. Wrisberg, was killed in 1960 in a routine flight as test pilot in a U.S. Air Force training mission over York, Pa.
If you would like to share your memories of John
please send them to Jacque or Bonnie
to be posted immediately.

This is a very nice site for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial - The Wall, USA -
Click above for
The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall Page
Search "John Wrisberg" for his information and comment pages.

Doug Grabinski thought you would like to see this page from the
Clear Lake Mirror Reporter web site.
(Doug's Email address is
Message from Sender:
John Wrisberg, who's name is on the current plaque, was a 1965 Clear Lake graduate. I thought some of his classmates or other people who knew him might be interested in this effort.
Flag pole improvements to honor Vietnam vets by clreporter
    An effort is underway to improve a little-known local tribute to the community's only soldier killed in action during the Vietnam Conflict and honor all veterans who served in that war.
    A plaque at the base of the flag pole at the west end of Main Avenue honors John Wrisberg III, the only Clear Lake solider to die in combat  (Jan. 16, 1968) and all those who served and gave their lives in the Vietnam Conflict.
    Gene Madson, a Clear Lake veteran and businessman often involved in community improvement and beautification projects, presented a plan Monday to the Clear Lake City Council which would replace the existing 35-foot flag pole and three-by-five-foot American flag with a new 50-foot aluminum flag pole and 10x15 foot flag.
    Madson, a former Marine who served 13-months in Vietnam, said he will work to raise funds for the project, which also includes resurfacing the concrete flag pole base with black granite.  The existing plaque honoring Wrisberg would be adhered to the granite. 
    Madson estimated the cost of the new pole and improvements at $20,000.  He noted Dean Snyder Construction has already offered to supply the labor and equipment to remove the existing pole and ready the concrete pier for the new pole and granite.  Landscaping around the pole, utilizing brick pavers to tie into the existing streetscape, along with lighting will also be part of the project.
    City leaders supported Madson's idea and encouraged him to proceed with the work and fundraising.

Click here to read more.
25 November, 2007
Last Updated
24 June, 2009
This article was in the Mirror and Reporter on June 17, 2009.

Re-dedication reverence

Local Boy Scouts conducted a flag raising ceremony at the newly refurbished flag pole at the west end of Main Avenue Sunday as a part of the re-dedication ceremonies for the flag pole honoring the community's only soldier killed in action during the Vietnam Conflict, John Wrisberg III and all veterans who served in that war. 
The existing concrete base at the pole was resurfaced with black granite and a new, taller flag pole, surrounded with brick payers and lights was installed.  Reporter photo by Chris Barragy.

Chris Kruggel Wistey, Class of 65 shares these memories with us all.
I was glad to see that they are honoring Vietnam Vets and John Wrisberg in particular.  Not only did his mother lose her husband to a test pilot accident, she lost her oldest son in war and as I recall John's brother, who I think was 3 years younger, died in a motorcycle accident a few years after that.

When I was in Washington DC in 1984 I visited the Vietnam Memorial and had heard that it was not impressive.  Much to my surprise, when I found John's name on the list I broke down crying, thinking of the life lost at such a young age.  I had my two year old son in my arms and he broke down crying, too.  I took time to take a photograph of the plaque and sent it with a letter to his mother, and she sent back the nicest thank you note.  I think I still have it saved somewhere.

They went to our church (Congregational) and that is how I got to know John.  He was in our youth group.  I had known his grandmother, Emma Wrisberg, for many years before John's family moved to town after his dad died.