Jerold Virgil Despard

Jerold Virgil Despard
U.S. Navy
Third Class Petty Officer [E-4]
Jerold Virgil Despard was born and baptized in Minnesota. Shortly after his father Virgil passed away the family moved to Manson, IA in 1951. He was a member of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church. Despard attended Manson High School where he played football and track. He graduated in the class of 1963 and went on to attend Fort Dodge Community College for one year. He worked for a construction company for a short time period before he enlisted in the Navy in April 1965. Despard completed his training in San Diego. He was eventually assigned to an aircraft carrier, the USS <i>Forrestal</i>. On July 29, 1967 Despard was killed, along with 133 other sailors, in a massive fire aboard the <i>Forrestal</i>. The fire was attributed to an electrical anomaly that fired a rocket on deck, which triggered a chain-reaction of explosions. The 22-year-old’s body was recovered and buried at the Rosehill Cemetery in Manson.
City of EntryManson
Conflict/Time PeriodVietnam War
Service Location
Separation StatusKilled In Action (KIA)
Specific Jobs