John David Ponder

US Marine Corps

SERVED: 7 June, 1967 – 5 May, 1968

Location: Phu Dong, South Vietnam, Quang Nam Province

Memory from a Loved One: 

David was Born, John David Ponder, in Perryville, Missouri to Charles Ponder and Trula Kiefer Ponder, of Perry County. His Grandparents, Judge John D. Kiefer Sr and Cleta Mary Endres of Perryville. Lived adjacent to what is now the Missouri National Veteran’s Memorial

A scrapbook article from 1970 surfaced in a Perryville paper referencing six local veterans that were killed during combat operations in Vietnam. David was listed as the last name in the article.

The High School where David Graduated had found David’s Diploma locked away in an old safe but had been unable to locate any family members to accept the Diploma. David enlisted into the Marines before graduation and never received that diploma. After David was killed in Vietnam, the family moved away.

Little did they know that David grew up where the Veteran’s Memorial stands today playing in fields behind our grandparents home.

John David’s heroism and sacrifice to his country is memorialized at the Memorial and reminds everyone to continually give recognition to every man and woman who has served our great Country, especially to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We salute those Heroes and their Gold Star Families. May God Bless them all!

John David Ponder enlisted; United States Marine Corps, served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on January 2, 1968. He attained the rank of Lance Corporal with a specialty as a Rifleman. Service number; 2379113. Served with 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, G Company.

Lance Corporal Ponder experienced a traumatic event which resulted in loss of life on May 16, 1968

Attributed to: “Died through hostile action, small arms fire”. Incident location: Phu Dong 9 km NE of An Hoa, South Vietnam, Quang Nam province. John David Ponder is buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri.