Those gone but not forgotten

This page is dedicated to the memory of our deceased MRFA members

TAP

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

Charles Campbell

Charles.Campbell1

After a long battle with failing health, BM1 Charles Campbell passed away on January 18, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 onboard M-92-2 from December 1967 to December 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Irene Campbell, 677 G Street SP-1, Chula Vista, CA 91910 – (619) 427-6835 – ccicec@cox.net

“Charles Campbell was one the nicest people I have ever met. He gave a spark of life to all those around him, family and friends alike. Even in declining health, Charles would still go to the CCB working parties. He felt as an old Bosun’s Mate he had to be there to see the job through. Even though he was unable to work he was there just the same. Over the years, along with Everett Jones and others who have participated on the CCB Work Parties, he did a magnificent job of keeping the craft above the standards that one would expect with a rusting out old CCB they had received. Charles helped turn her into the show boat that she is today. There are not many Charles Campbells left in our world today. We are all very fortunate to have known Boats Campbell. He was really a good man, shipmate and friend to all. He will be missed by all hands, Navy and Army alike. May our Brother have fair seas and smooth sailing on his new journey of life. The associations heart and soul goes out to Irene and the family during this time of great loss. May you rest in peace with no more pain or sorrow Boats. You did your job as well as you performed your Naval career with honor dignity and with pride. Good by and farewell my old friend till we meet again.” – Albert Moore President of the Mobile Riverine Force Association.

Richard E. Twigg

Richard.Twigg

Member BMCM Richard E. Twigg (USN Ret.) passed away on February 25, 2011. While in Vietnam Rick served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131. He was Boat Captain on Tango-131-1 from March 1968 to March 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Anne Twigg, 1618 Cedar Ave, Moncks Corner, SC 29461-9232 – (843) 482-0157 – rick@uxo.net

Craig J. Bronish

Craig.Bronish

Member Craig J. Bronish passed away on February 19, 2011 following a long battle with Lewy Body Dementia. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) in 1967-68 as a Machinist Repairman 2nd Class. You may contact the family C/O: Phyllis Bronish, 314 Dutch Neck Rd., East Windsor, NJ 08520 – (609) 731-7280 – pbronish@gmail.com

“He truly loved the MRFA and would look forward to the Newsletters and the reunions. I am so grateful we were able to attend so many of them and meet so many nice, new friends as well as his old ship mates. Thank you for all you do for these brave men who gave so much of their lives to our country. God Bless you.” – Phyllis Bronish

Bill Willis Hickman

Bill Willis Hickman passed away on March 8, 2011 following a long battle with cancer. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 as a Radioman Plankowner on R-92-1 in 1967-68.

“Bill was a longtime friend and will be missed by all.” – Johhny Jones (R-92-1)

James A. Stone

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Member James A. Stone passed away suddenly while home alone on March 12, 2011. He had been ailing for many years, but he never seemed to complain. While in Vietnam Jim served with E Company, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from February 1968 to February 1969. He was the consummate “go to guy” when it came to 9th Infantry Division history. If he didn’t know the answer he would seek it out. Jim assisted many of our MRFA veterans with his volunteerism. He was a great soldier and a wonderful advocate. May our Brother Rest in Peace…

“Jim’s death is a huge loss to us all. His research and knowledge of our part in the Vietnam War is something that can never be replaced. I only hope that he had hard copy of what he knew. He and I had occasion to communicate privately about several things. He and I set each other straight on a couple of occasions about various operations. He was a gentleman and a true scholar. We will all miss him a lot.” – Jim Hubbard

“Jim Stone was a brother in combat… he was a go to type of individual, the type that you want watching your back. He has crossed to the other side and will be holding point until we see him again… See you on the other side brother, you stand relieved.” – Scott MacDonald

Jerry Paul Keay

Member Jerry Paul Keay passed away on March 2, 2011 following a long courageous battle with Leukemia over the past several years. While in Vietnam he served with B Company, 4 Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from July 1968 to July 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Kathy Keay, 501 Odell Ave., Bismarck, MO 63624-9022 – (573) 734-6120

“It is with great sadness that I report that my best buddy from Viet Nam, Jerry Paul Keay, has passed away. Jerry was able to make it to the reunion last year. It was his first and last. He had looked forward to attending this year. May he rest in Peace.” – Doc Dale Jones

Robert Lawing Jr.

Member Robert “Tink” C. Lawing Jr. passed away of a Myocardial Infarction on February 11, 2011. During the Vietnam War he served on the USS Montrose (APA-212) from 1967-69. You may contact the family C/O of wife: Linda S. Lawing 14 Monroe Ct, Piedmont, SC. 29673 – (864) 419-0434 – tinklawing@bellsouth.net

Joe H. Luallen

Member Joe H. Luallen passed away on April 8, 2011. During his enlistment he served as a NIOTC instructor at Mare Island Naval Shipyard from 1967 to 1970. You may contact the family C/O: Beverly Luallen, 9500 Harritt Rd – Space 9, Lakeside, CA 92040-6009 – (619) 390-1160

Bruce F. Williams

Member Colonel Bruce F. Williams (USA Ret.) passed away on March 14, 2011. While in Vietnam he served as Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from March 1969 to July 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Diane Williams, 76 Donahey Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239-9633 – (360) 678-3204

“It is my sad duty to inform you that one of your Members, Colonel Bruce F. Williams, passed away on 14 March 2011. He carried a list of all the men lost in Vietnam until the day he died. The list was well-worn after these 40–some years.” – Diane Williams

Tom Bityk

Member Tom Bityk passed away on April 26th 2011. He fought a long hard courageous and standing battle with prostrate cancer related to Agent Orange. While in Vietnam Tom served at Cat Lo, VC Hill and Ha Tien in 1968-69. You May contact Deb Bityk at: 3121 Kallin Ave., Long Beach, CA 90808 – (562) 425-3742 – tbityk@charter.net

“Tom gave it his all and fought to the end through all the up’s and downs. He was always up-beat even knowing he was fighting a losing battle he gave it his all. Tom was a brave man and a great shipmate. We all have not only lost a shipmate and brother, but a great guy. The world will be a lonelier place with out Tom ‘Cookie’ Bityk.” – Albert Moore

Dean Allen

Member RMC Dean Allen (USN Ret.) passed away from Agent Orange related lung cancer on March 24, 2011. While in Vietnam Chief Allen served on the USS Mercer (APB-39) from May 1968 to March 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Richard Allen, 39756 Diego Dr., Tehecula, CA 92591 – rallen62@verizon.net

“Thank you for this sad notice. CPO Allen was my lead petty officer in the communications division of the Mercer. He was an affable and capable leader whose enthusiasm and good humor were cathartic for all of us in difficult times. I am saddened by his passing. May God grant CPO Allen peace and his family fond Memories.” – Shipmate Richard Gallagher.

Ralph Tresser III

Member Ralph “Cookie” Tresser passed away suddenly at his home on April 25, 2011 . While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) in 1966-67 as a deck seaman and a 3rd Class Cook. You may contact the family C/O: Janet C. Tresser, 11851 Riverside Dr. SPC-20, Lakeside, CA 92040 – (619) 726-3620 – rtresser111@cox.net

“Ralph was a excellent worker and shipmate, but most of all he was a great person. He always had a big smile for everyone and was known for his love of racing and oh those Hawaiian shirts he would wear to the reunions. I’ll miss my old friend. He was a good man.” – Albert Moore

Jerry Taylor Terry

John Taylor Terry passed away on April 14, 2011 from Agent Orange related cancer. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Nueces (APB-40) in 1968-69. John was in the AC&R Gang. He was living in Ormond Beach, FL and is buried at Bushnell National Cemetery. May our Brother John rest in peace.

Douglas Meek

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Member Douglas Meek passed away on June 29, 2011 during heart surgery. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112 onboard A-112-6 and T-112-5 from April 1968 to October 1968. Then he was chose to serve as a Staff Engineman until his tour ended in April 1969. Doug was a faithful work party volunteer in keeping CCB-18 shipshape at the Memorial at Coronado, CA. One of his hobbies was building model trains. He also scratch built an Armored Troop Carrier model of T-112-5 and later repaired a CCB model that was built by an anonymous hobbyist. Our brother will be dearly missed. May he rest in peace.

HERE is a link to Doug’s model.

Leonard Reynolds

Leonard.Reynolds

Member Leonard “Mick” Reynolds passed away on July 2, 2011 following a long courageous battle with Agent Orange related prostate cancer. While in Vietnam he served with B Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from November 1968 to November 1969. Mick was extremely proud of his time in the Army with the Mobile Riverine Force. You may contact the family C/O: 505 3rd Ave S, Cordova, IL 61242 – (309) 654-2126

Kenneth Kirkland

Member Kenneth Kirkland passed away on June 25, 2011. While in Vietnam he served as a BT3 on the USS Askari (ARL-30) from October 1967 to January 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Carol A. Kirkland, 425 Barcus Rd., Ruidoso, NM 83345 – kencarol@windstream.net

Harry Oosterbroek

EN3 Harry Oosterbroek passed away on May 8, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 151 onboard T-151-3 in 1968-69. You may contact the family C/O: Carol J. Oosterbroek, 34799 Avenue E, Yucaipa, CA 92399 – (909) 790-3188

Terry L. Clarke

Member Terry L. Clarke passed away on April 15, 2011 from a heart attack after having a trucking accident. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard M-111-1 from October 1966 to December 1967. You may contact the family C/O: La Vade Clarke, P.O. Box 28, Sun River, MT 59483 – (406) 264-5114 – tclarke@3rivers.net

Andrew J. Hart

BMC Andrew J. Hart Passed away on May 2, 2011. While in-country he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 152 as Boat Captain of T-152-6 from 1968-69. You may contact the family C/O: 309 Main, West Union, WV 26456 – (304) 873-1147

Frank H. Rawl

Member Quartermaster Chief Frank H. Rawl passed away on August 4, 2011 following a long and gallant battle with cancer related to Agent Orange. While in Vietnam he served on MSB’s out of Nha Be with Mine Squadron 11 Detachment AMSB-18 from 1967-68. Chief was a good man and he was an excellent shipmate and sailor. He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him. May our brother rest in peace. You may contact the family C/O: Judith Rawl, 504 Roland Ave., Johnson, SC 29832 – (803) 275-9219 – rawlsan@bellsouth.net

Michael Jay Rowe

Michael Jay Rowe passed away on July 7, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 132 onboard T-132-11 in 1968-69.

Richard G. Hanks

Member Richard G. Hanks passed away on September 9, 2011. While in Vietnam he served on the USS White River (LSMR-536) in 1968-69. You may contact the family C/O: Audrey Hanks, 2925 Squirrel Ct., Middleburg, FL 32068-6331 – (904) 291-6832 or (904) 654-5576

Earl W. Swanner

Earl W. Swanner passed away on September 18, 2011. While in Vietnam he served as a GMG2 in River Division 554 and later on YRBM-16. You may contact the family C/O: Pam Swanner, 2438 Belshire Dr., Conover, NC. 28613 – (828) 465-3641

George H. Brown

George H. Brown, Major, U.S. Army, (Retired), passed away on October 6, 2011 at his home. He served with A Company, 2nd Battalion 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division in World War II, and also served in Korea, and Vietnam.

Robert Daubenspeck

Member Robert Daubenspeck passed away on October 11, 2011. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Cavalier (APA-37) from November 1965 to August 1966. You may contact the family C/O: Helen Daubenspeck, 112 Redwater Way, Greer, SC 29651

Lee H. Mathers

Member Lee H. Mathers passed away on September 13, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112 onboard M-112-1 from January 1968 to January 1969. You may contact the family C/O: PO Box 1764, West Dover, VT 05356-1764.

James B. Johnson

Member James B. Johnson passed away on September 21, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with A Company, 1st Platoon, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January 1967 to January 1968. You may contact the family C/O: 13440 230th St N, Scandia MN 55073-9553

William E. Rodman

Plankowner Member William E. Rodman passed away on December 5, 2011. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Askari (ARL-30) from May 1967 to June 1967. You may contact the family C/O: 3240 Cross Bill Rd, Louisville, KY 40213-1208 – (502) 636-2978 – amyshumate@juno.com

Daniel T. Zanetich

Member Daniel T. Zanetich passed away on January 17, 2011 from liver disease. While in Vietnam he served in Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1966 to May 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Catherine Zanetich, 132 Sophee Ln, Lakewood, NY 08701-6285 – (732) 730-8858

John J. Overleese

Member John J. Overleese passed away on October 1, 2011. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Henrico (APA-45) from 1964-68. You may contact the family C/O his Family: Teddy Overleese, 6518 113th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033-7105 – (425) 822-3643.

Steven R. Hokanson

Steven.Hokanson

Steven Robert Hokanson passed away on June 29, 2011. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Krishna (ARL-38). Later he worked as a Maintenance Mechanic at a VA Hospital in Tacoma, WA. Steven loved fishing for spring Chinook in the Columbia River as well as traveling to Alaska to fish for Halibut.

“I was saddened to find out that a former shipmate from the USS Krishna ARL-38, has passed on.” – Edward Barth

Gerald J. Carlson

Gerald.Carlson

Member and Colonel Gerald J. Carlson (USA Ret.) passed away on November 21, 2011 due to cancer. While in Vietnam he served with Headquarters & Headquarters Company – 6th Battalion – 31st Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from January 1969 to January 1970. During his long and distinguished 30 year U.S. Army career Colonel Carlson fought during the Korean War as well. He held command positions at every level from Platoon through Brigade.

Gerard A. Pujat

Gerald.Pujat

Member Gerard “Jerry” Pujat passed away on April 13, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with C Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from June 1967 to June 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Kathy Pujat, 3991 N 14th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014-5114

Patrick Lee Brumm

Patrick.Brumm

Member Patrick Lee Brumm passed away on October 7, 2011 due to Agent Orange related causes. While in Vietnam he served as a MARS Operator in the 52nd Signal Battalion from October 1967 to October 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Cynthia Brumm, 29585 Road 164, Visalia, CA 93292-9681 – (559) 747-1232 – EAGLESPIRIT111@aol.com

James Annel

James Annel passed away on October 2, 2011 due to complications from Agent Orange. While in Vietnam he served with 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.

John V. Dziok

John.Dziok

John V. Dziok passed away on April 10, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with COMRIVFLOT One in 1967. You may contact his family C/O: Catherine Dziok, 910 Masters Row Apt J, Glen Allen, VA 23059-7430 – unchatfrais@yahoo.com

Joe B. Rambo

Joe.Rambo

Joe B. Rambo passed away on October 10, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with E Co., 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. You may contact the family C/O: Lynn Craig Rambo, 208 E Lincoln, Hamburg, AR 71646-3218

Ron W. Smith

Ron.Smith

SP-4 Ron W. Smith passed away on June 29, 2011. While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1967. You may contact his son C/O: (910) 584-2931 (Cell) – shawn.n.dawn.s@gmail.com

A Soldier Died Today

Written by A. Lawrence Vaincourt
www.vaincourt.homestead.com

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.