Those gone but not forgotten
This page is dedicated to the memory of our deceased MRFA members
Our prayers and best wishes go out to those left behind. The Brothers and Sisters of the Mobile Riverine Force Association wish the departed fair winds and following seas and our thoughts will always be with you….
TAPS Tribute to a Fallen One
What moves through you is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, you may not understand why he left this earth so soon, or why he left before you were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, you begin to remember not just that he died, but that he lived. And that his life gave you memories too beautiful to forget.
Remembering Vietnam Veterans
Over 2.6 million served
Over 58,000 gave their lives
They fought for freedom
They fought with honor
In the end they fought for one another
Master Chief Michael Quigley passed away on February 5, 2010 at 84 years old. Michael served in the Navy for 32 years and was a WW II, Korean and Vietnam Veteran. During the Vietnam War Chief Quigley served on the YRBM-16 in 1967-68. You may contact the family C/O: Edna Quigley, 528 Mountain View St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645 – (828) 754-0551
LT John “Jack” Lynch (USN Ret.) suffered a cardiac arrest due to arrhythmia on February 2, 2010. He completed his mission and reported for a new assignment at 4:20 pm with his family at his side. Jack joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and served honorably for 22 years. He graduated from Underwater Demolition Team Replacement Training BUD/s Class 29 and had a distinguished and diverse career as a U.S. Navy SEAL, surface warfare officer, saturation diving and salvage officer, and Navy parachutist. Jack was the current President of the UDT-SEAL Association.
Dennis Forbes Billings
Dennis Forbes Billings passed away on February 25, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 onboard T-92-10 from 1966-67. Dennis served honorably and was wounded on July 29, 1967. You may contact his Daughter at: Hollie Thompson, 6117 Arcola, Garden City MI, 48135 – firstname.lastname@example.org
“To whom it may concern, I discovered your page the other day while searching for information regarding my father. I am so thankful to you for the information you posted, I feel very blessed to see my dad is actually written about. I wish he would have been able to see all of this, he struggled so much over the years, and I believe he would have felt so much more respected after seeing your page which he should have. Thank you so much for your time.” – Hollie Thompson
Member Mackroy White, (USN Ret.) passed away in the second week of March 2010. While in Vietnam he served in River Assault Squadron 15 from April 1968 to January 1970. You may contact the family C/O: 107 7th St – Trailer 10, Princeton, IN 47670 – (812) 386-7500 – You may contact his Brother Tom White – email@example.com
Cecil V. Breland
Member Cecil V. Breland passed away on January 14, 2010. While in Vietnam he served in River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92. You may contact the family at: Dorothy Breland, 17014 Pernecia Ave, Greenwell Springs, LA 70739-6164
William R. Wolverton
Member William R. Wolverton passed away on March 13, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11/River Assault Division 111 aboard T-111-5 from September 1967 to October 1968. You may contact his wife Dorothy at: 8 Lily Cv, Huntsville, TX 77340-2338 – (936) 436-1134
Ralph Franklin Pinegar III
Ralph Franklin “Frank” Pinegar III, 61, of Indianapolis, died Monday, May 24, 2010, at St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis. While in Vietnam he served with Naval Support Activity, Saigon, Detachment Binh Thuy, from March 1969 to March 1970. Ralph was proud of serving his country during the Vietnam War.
James A. Pelfrey
James A. “Jim” Pelfrey passed away on July 17th due to complications from Chemotherapy. While in Vietnam he served as 1st platoon Sgt in Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from 1966-67. His wife Beverly can be contacted at: 1424 Cypress Ct. Junction City, KS 66441 – (785) 817-3949 firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward E. Teletzke
Member Edward E. Teletzke passed away on July 22, 2010 due to Agent Oranged related cancer. He had fought a valiant battle against the cancer for 10 years. While in Vietnam Ed served with River Assault Squadron 9 onboard CCB-91-1 and T-91-4 from October 1968 to November 1969. He was fine person and a great shipmate to all who knew him. He will be sorely missed by all he served with in Vietnam and by those of the membership he met afterwards. You may contact: Sue Phaklides, 129 Alvina St. Green Bay, WI 54303 – (920) 494-7077
Carroll E. Emery
Member PNCM Carroll E. Emery (USN Ret.), passed away on July 5, 2010. While in the Navy Carroll served on the USS Benewah from January to December 1954. You may contact his wife at: Janice Emery, 1028 E Ruth Ave, Phoenix AZ 85020-3248 – (602) 943-7802
Darrell D. Williams
Master Chief/Master Diver Darrell D. Williams (USN Ret.) passed away on August 1, 2010 from a cancer related illness. Chief Williams served on the USS Askari (ARL-30) from August 1970 to July 1971. You may contact his family C/O: Patricia Williams, 4529 Homestead Dr., Morganton, WV 28655 – (828) 584-6917 email@example.com
“After a long period of illness, Darrell passed away this afternoon. He was at the VA hospice in Asheville and fought his cancer until the very end. I just don’t know what to say but wanted everyone to know he has
gone on to heaven.” – Patricia
Thomas W. Glickman
Captain Thomas W. Glickman (USN Ret.), 81, passed away on Aug. 3, 2010. Tom enlisted in the Navy in 1947 at age 17 and served his country for more than 40 years. In 1957 he attended Officer Candidate School and received his commission. He served 24 assignments throughout his career including staff, Commander River Patrol Force in Vietnam and Commanding Officer of the USS Rigel AF- 58 and USS Kilauea AE-26. You can contact the family C/O: Patricia O. Glickman, 5253 Pleasant Hall Ct, Virginia Beach, VA 23464 – (757) 497-9571
Tim Doty passed away on August 27, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1967-68.
“Could you please let our brothers know that Tim Doty of West Virginia passed away. I got in touch with him for the first time in 42 years last December and went to visit him along with Bob Stern (Co B – 3/60th) this past April and now he is gone. Please let everyone know how important it is to find our brothers and stay in touch with them. He told me so many stories that I forgot about.” – Bill Sayers
Kevin M. Clifton
Kevin M. Clifton passed away on June 2, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-3 from 1968 to 1969.
Gary San Sauer
Gary San Sauer (CSSN – Cook) passed away August 21, 2010 from respiratory failure. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Sumner County (LST-1148) from December 28, 1968 to September of 69. He then transferred to the USS Indra (ARL-37) on September of 69 and served on that ship until 21 May 1970. After that he was on the USS Hunterdon County (LST-838) from June 23, 1970 until September 24, 1970. Gary was discharged from the US Navy on 1 October 1970. You may contact the family C/O: R. Cain Sauer (AEC USN Act.), 18219 Bauer Road, Lexington Park MD 20653 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross F Russo, Jr.
Ross F Russo, Jr. passed away on September 3, 2010 following a courageous battle against cancer. He joined the Army in December 1966 at age 17. While in Vietnam Ross served two tours of duty with the 9th Infantry Division. His first tour was as a Crew Chief/Door Gunner with the 9th Aviation Battalion. A highlight for him was being on the chopper that made the 10,000th landing on the USS Benewah (APB-35). Later Ross served as a LRRP with E Company, 50th Infantry LRRP (later E Company, 75th Infantry Rangers).
Douglas A. Stearns
Member Douglas A. Stearns, 61, died peacefully Monday, October 4, 2010, following a brief illness. While in Vietnam he served with D Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from February 1968 to February 1969. Douglas’ second tour of duty was with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, First Air Cavalry Division and the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam with Advisory Team 22 and 23 in 1970.
Raymond J. Kelley
Raymond J. Kelley, BMC (USN Ret.), passed away on January 1, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15.
Richard M. Wimer
Richard M. Wimer, BMC (USN Ret.), passed away on February 20, 2010.
Eugene Bynum, BM1, passed away on April 12, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 in 1966-67.
Wade C. Wells
Commodore Wade C. Wells, Captain (USN) Ret.), passed away on August 18, 2010 from colon cancer. He also had Alzheimer’s. He will be buried at sea per his request. The Navy’s first Mobile Riverine Force contingent arrived in Vietnam on 7 January 1967, when Whitfield County (LST-1169) disembarked River Assault Squadron 9 (RAS 9) at Vung Tau. RAS 9, and units that followed, underwent extensive preparations in riverine warfare at the Naval Inshore Operational Training Center, Mare Island, CA, before deployment to Vietnam. On February 28, 1967 Commander Naval Forces, Vietnam activated Task Force 117 under Captain Wade C. Wells. Some early boat crew members and ships personnel served under the Commodore in 1966-67. After he left the Mobile Riverine Force he took over the training for future boat crews and officers at the Naval Inshore Operations Training Center at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Commodore Wells once said, “In World War II, I saw Americans fighting men of great valor and courage. I saw the same kind of men in Korea. Before coming to Vietnam I wondered if American men today would measure up to those I knew in our previous wars. In a word you have, You are a new breed of U. S. fighting man, the combat sailor, who fights with guts and convention in close combat against brutal life-snuffing weapons. I have seen few in my Naval career who has pursued and preserved the way you have. your service is a monument to the freedom for which we fight.” Commodore Wells and Colonel William Fulton (Lt/Gen. Ret.), were known for their courage and leadership ability while working together in forming the Army and Navy Mobile Riverine Force TF-117 into a superb fighting unit that had no equal then and none today.
Donald L. Baker
Member Donald L. Baker passed away on September 3, 2010. While in Vietnam he served in B Company with 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from February 1968 to March 1969. You may contact the family C/O: 222 Smalley Blvd., Hamilton, OH 45013 – (513) 896-5509
Richard M. Falda
Member Richard M. Falda passed away on October 29, 2010 from a Aortic Aneurysm. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112 onboard ASPB-112-6 from February 1968 to February 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Marge Falda, 12921 Oak Knoll Rd, Poway, CA 92064-5621 – (858) 748-8387 – email@example.com
Albert H. Buster
BM1 Albert H. Buster passed away on July 6, 2010. Boats Buster served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 in 1966-67. He was Boat Captain of the first Medical Aid Boat the Mobile Riverine Force placed into action. You may contact the family C/O: 2990 Pickering PL NE, Bremerton, WA 98310 – (360) 479-1199
Nathan O. Loesch
Chaplain Nathan O. Loesch (CDR, USNR Ret.) passed away on November 4, 2010 due to complications from earlier heart problems and a recent fractured leg. While in Vietnam he served as a Chaplain in River Assault Flotilla One from December 1967 to December 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Maria G. Loesch, 24511 Aguire, Mission Viejo, CA 92692 – (949) 215-7413 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan E. Hardtarfer
Alan E. Hardtarfer passed away on January 3, 2010. He was 68 years old. While in Vietnam Alan served as Operations Officer with River Assault Squadron 11 from December 1968 to December 1969. You may contact his widow, Janet Cooper, at: 3902 Alameda Dr., San Diego, CA 92103 – (619) 296-1438 – email@example.com
Billy W. Olsen
Member Billy W. Olsen passed away on November 29, 2010 after a long battle with Mesothelioma. While in Vietnam Billy served with Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from March 1968 to March 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Eloise Olsen, 15799 SE 29th St, Choctaw, OK 73020 – (405) 390-2969 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth Owen Sherrick
CPO Kenneth Owen Sherrick (USN RET.) passed away on November 24, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 as the Boat Captain of the first official Zippo craft. You may contact his son: Eric Russell, 17200 Old Kelly Road, Vancleave, MS 39565 – email@example.com
James D. Newton
James D. Newton passed away on October 11, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 152 onboard Tango-49 (T-49) in 1970-71.
“James D. Newton, who served on the same boat and the same time, passed away at 2:30 today. Good bye my Friend.” – Robert W. Hauser
Michael Ray Brink
Michael Ray Brink passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family on Friday, April 30, 2010 in the Minneapolis Veterans Medical Center. He fought a courageous battle with cancer for nearly two years. Mike proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1972. He was a Vietnam War veteran having served as a diesel mechanic/engineman on the USS Garrett County LST-786 and the USS Askari (ARL-30).
James C. Houston
James C. Houston, BM3, passed away on May 16, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9. We are not sure of the River Assault Division at this time.
Patrick E. Congdon
Patrick E. Congdon, EN2, passed away on September 27, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 91.
William D. Parkman
William D. Parkman, BM3, passed away on October 9, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9.
Thomas J. Driscoll
Lt. Thomas J. Driscoll – Annandale, VA. At this time we do not have the date of his passing. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Garrett County (LST-786) from October 1968 to October 1969.
Don H. Fellabaum, Jr.
Member Don H. Fellabaum, Jr. passed away on November, 23 2010. He was a World War Two and a Korean War Veteran. From August 1952 to September 1953 Don served on the USS Brule (AKL-28).
Jack Pritchard passed away on November 25, 2010. While in Vietnam he served on the USS White River (LSMR-526) in 1966-1968. You may contact the family C/O: 9033 Mount Rushmore LN, EL Paso, TX 79904 – (915) 751-7522
Gerald C. Robinson
Member Gerald C. Robinson passed away on October 29, 2010. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Hampshire County (LST-819) in 1966/67). You may contact the family C/O: 1301 Summit St., Marshalltown, IA 50158 – (641) 753-4460
Gunner Mate Eugene “Gene” Randall passed away September15, 2010. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah APB-35 as a GMG1 from 1966 to 1968. Gene was part of the re-commissioning crew. He was a real quiet man who was always there for his shipmates. Gene was a heck of a Gunners Mate and ship mate. His was: 5920 Wabash St. SW., Cedar Rapids, IA 52406
William C. Foddrill
Member William Foddrill passed away on April 16, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112 onboard A-112-8 from July 1967 to August 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Sharon Foddrill, 6224 Brett Asley Pl, Johnston, IA 50131-2980
John A. Carter
Member John A. Carter passed away on July 3, 2010. While in Vietnam he was with B Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January to June 1969. You may contact the family C/O: 4010 Westwood Dr., Wonder Lake, IL 60097 – (815) 653-9980
Member Leroy Vegotsky passed away on November 16, 2010. While in Vietnam he was in A Battery, 3rd Battalion, 34th Artillery. You may contact the family C/O: Marie Vegotsky, 308 Gardner Ave, Trenton, NJ 08618-2516 – (609) 396-2783
Bobby G. Rider
GMGC Bobby G. Rider (USN Ret.) passed away on April 13, 2010. While in Vietnam Gunner Rider served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 as a Boat Captain of M-111-3 from January 1968 to January 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Elizabeth Rider, 303 N. Vancouver Ave., Russellville, AR 72801
“Gunner was a Plankowner of the MRFA. Bobby and his wife, Elizabeth, made all of our reunions until he started having health issues. He was truly good friend and shipmate.” – Albert Moore
James P. Caldwell
BM1 James P. Caldwell passed away on May 16, 2010. While in Vietnam “Boats” served with River Assault Squadron 11 as a Boat Captain on a Tango boat in 1969. You may contact his Family C/O: 44 Warren Avenue, Tiverton, RI 02878 – (401) 846-0043
Anthony J. Hoene
Member Anthony J. Hoene passed away on July 28, 2010 from a heart attack and atrial fibrillation. While in Vietnam he served with Inshore Under Water Group-1 at Cam Ranh Bay from February 1970 to February 1971. You may contact the family C/O: Marjorie Hoene, 11275 N Southridge Ct, Effingham, IL 62401-5628
Kent H. Roiecki
Member Kent H. Roiecki passed away on April 10, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with B Company, 1st Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from August 1968 to July 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Jeanette Roiecki, 427 2nd St, E Northport, NY 11731 – (631) 368-1077
John F. Brownell, Jr.
Member John F. Brownell, Jr. passed away on December 26, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with B Company, 3rd Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1966 to May 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Victoria Brownell, PO Box 212, East Freetown, MA 02717
John R. Holland
Member John R. Holland passed away in July 2010. While in Vietnam he served with 4th Battalion – 39th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from October 1967 to January 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Patrick Holland, 14175 Brown Road, Moores Hill, IN 47032
James C. Swenson
Member James C. Swenson (USN Ret.) passed away on November 23, 2010. While in Vietnam he served on YFU-76 in Danang from November 1969 to August 1970 and YTB-785 in Danang and Saigon from January 1971 to January 1972. You may contact the family C/O: Maureen Swenson, 96 Maple St, Lynn, MA 01904-2426 – 781-592-9174
William Imel passed away on Febuary 9, 2010. While in Vietnam he served with 3rd Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division.
George A. Kitchen
Member George A. Kitchen passed away on April 27, 2010. While in Vietnam he was the Commanding Officer of River Assault Division 92 from April 1967 to November 1968. You may contact his widow C/O: Diane Kitchen, 8830 Plantation Dr., West Columbia, TX 77486-7146 – (979) 345-4149
He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.
And ‘tho sometimes, to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened,
For they knew whereof he spoke.
But we’ll hear his tales no longer
For old Bill has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer,
For a soldier died today.
He will not be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary
And quite uneventful life.
He held a job and raised a family,
Quietly going his own way,
And the world won’t note his passing,
Though a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing
And proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories,
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
A guy who breaks his promises
And cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who,
In times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country
And offers up his life?
The politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are sometimes disproportionate
To the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps, a pension small.
It’s so easy to forget them
For it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country
Went to battle, but we know,
It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician
With his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier,
Who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country
And would fight until the end?
He was just a common soldier
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict,
Then we find the soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline
In a paper that would say:
Our Country is in, mourning,
For a soldier died today.