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

David Dale Irvine

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David Dale Irvine of Science Hill, Kentucky, passed away January 12, 2014. David served as an M-60 machine gunner with Bravo Company – 4th Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from 1968 to 1969.

Gerald Dwain Spears

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Member Gerald Dwain Spears passed away on January 16, 2014. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Colleton (APB-36) – Mobile Riverine Force – Task Force 117 from April 1967 to July 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Ruth Spears, P.O. Box 1240, Sallisaw, OK 74955-1240 – dwainspears@sbcglobal.net

George Carlstrom Jr.

Member George Carlstrom Jr. passed away on January 22, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with A Battery, 3rd Battalion – 34th Artillery from January 1967 to February 1968. You may contact his widow C/O: Sylvia, 1 Valleyview Circle, Bentonville, AR 72712-7517 – (479) 464-8188

Keith Harshfield Jr.

Member Keith Harshfield Jr. passed away on February 1, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 151 as a gunner onboard T-151-10 from June 1968 to June 1969. You may contact his widow Susan C/O: 4408 Stevens Chapel Rd, Smithfield, NC 27577-8407 – (919 209-5241

Richard Eugene Pettit

Richard Eugene Pettit passed away on January 23, 2014. While in Vietnam he served as a GMG3 onboard the USS Satyr (ARL-23) in 1969-1970. You may contact his widow Kathi C/O: 6241 Helena St., Denver, CO 80239 – (303) 319-0892 – kapettit1@comcast.com

Donald C. Meyer Jr.

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Donald C. “Cal” Meyer Jr. passed away on February 18, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with: Charlie Company – 2nd Platoon (“Slyfox Platoon) – 2nd Battalion – 39th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from 1966 to 1967. Cal created a website, with the faithful help of his cousin Margy Davis, to honor his fellow 39th Infantry Regiment “Fighting Falcons” soldiers.

You may contact Cal’s sister C/O: Holly Meyer Velez, 1710 N. Wayne St., Arlington, VA 22201

“As many of you know, Cal Meyer (C.Co. 2/39th,66-67,“Slyfox Platoon”) created this site for his comrades. I (Cal’s cousin and good friend) was grateful and honored to be the labor behind his vision for this site. I am very sorry to report to all his friends and comrades, that Cal went to Heaven yesterday evening. He will be greatly missed.” – Margy Davis

“The things this Brother did for the benefit of us all will be sorely missed. Rest well my Brother” – Dave Hanna

Russell Glen Robison

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Russell Glen “Delta Blue” Robison, also known as “Robbie”, passed away February 24, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with Naval Support Activity, Saigon – Detachment Dong Tam repairing battle damaged riverine craft for 2+ tours from February 1968 to May 1970.

“Russell was a wonderful poet who was working on his 6th book of poems when he passed away. Our Brother’s poems focused on his Vietnam tours of duty and the brave sailors and soldiers who served on the Riverine Craft. May our Brother Rest in Peace as his earthly battles are over.” – Michael A. Harris

More information about Russell G. Robison’s Poetry can be found HERE!

Everett R. Jones

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BMCS Everett R. Jones (USN Ret.) passed away on March 10, 2014 following a long and courageous battle with brain cancer. While in Vietnam he served as Boat Captain of CCB-151-4 and CCB 152-5 from April 1969 to April, 1970. Chief Jones survived a lot of fire fights and missions to return home to his wife Teruko, son Ray and daughter Terry. “Boats” will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

“To all my friends of my Dad “Everett” …. Today a ship came in …. It was filled with very happy sailors. Friendly sailors from our past …. But this time they came in to pick up one of there own …. “My Daddy”. Dad passed away today after his very long battle of cancer … he fought very hard and always had such a good attitude throughout his battle. Dad loved life, people and new adventures …. I am sure he is on his way to getting them all squared away in heaven …. Dad did not want any big service … in fact last summer when we took him to a service of one of his friends he told us “If you’re going to do anything, please just have a few drinks, eat some food and tell stories about me” so that is what we will do.” – With much Aloha, Terry Jones-Castillo

“On August 27, 2000, Everett, Don Blankenship, Jim Steffes, and Bob St. Martin met the USNS Sioux which was carrying the CCB-18 from the Sacramento River Delta to San Diego and its final resting place on the Naval Amphibious Base at Coronado, California. From the time it arrived until the time of Everett’s death from brain cancer, he was a key coordinator of the restoration of the CCB-18, the last known remaining boat of the Mobile Riverine Force. Everett spent countless hours doing whatever was necessary to see that the boat was restored to pristine condition. The boat is the proud backdrop of many Navy ceremonies. See this video by Everett discussing the boat:

Everett also served on the USS Mars (AFS-1) and coordinated many reunions for that ship. His hobbies, other than the restoration of the CCB-18, included Bonsai and Coin Collecting. Everett was a super husband, great father, proud grandfather, and I’m happy to say he was a good friend. We will all miss him and his contributions to the MRFA.” – (Don Blankenship, A-111-3 and A-152-21)

Raymond J. Reiblein

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Member Raymond J. Reiblein passed away on March 2, 2014. While in Vietnam he served as a helicopter pilot with D Troop – 3rd Battalion – 5th Cavalry from July 1967 to July 1968. You may contact his Family C/O: Loretta Reiblein, 4757 Marigold Rd, Mentor, OH 44060-1135 – (440) 257-3778

Lyle W. Parin

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Member Lyle W. Parin passed away on April 21, 2014 following a courageous battle with Stage 4 Lung Cancer directly related to Agent Orange. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Floyd County (LST-762) in 1965-66. You may contact the family C/O: Judith Parin, 559 W. 8th St., New Richmond, WI 54017

Richard Siebert Sr.

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Member GMG3 Richard “Sieb” Siebert Sr. passed away on March 23, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with IUWG-1 – Unit 3 – Qui Nhon from March 1967 to January 1969. You may contact his widow Claire Siebert, 34 School St., Bayfield, MA 01922

Richard Charles Aiello

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Member Richard Charles Aiello passed away on April 26, 2014 following a courageous battle with Metastic Melanoma. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 152 as a Plank Owner onboard T-152-1. Later Rich was transferred to T-151-6 for the remainder of his tour of duty. You may contact the family C/O: Marilyn Aiello – rcanfla@comcast.net

James Francis Jordan

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Member Captain James Francis Jordan (USN (Ret.) passed away on May 2, 2014. He served in the U.S. Navy for 34 years from 1957 until 1991. After receiving a Fleet Appointment to the United States Naval Academy, he graduated with the Class of ‘62. His service included command of three ships: the USS White River (LSMR-536), USS Newman K. Perry (DD-883), and USS Sumter (LST-1181), He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed. You may contact the family c/o Dorothy L. Jordan, 3408 Misty Dawn Ct, Virginia Beach, VA 23456-2570, 757-689-3740.

Dennis D. McDougall

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Member Dennis D. McDougall passed away on July 28, 2014. While in Vietnam he served in A Company, 3rd Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January 1968 to January 1969. You may contact his wife C/O: Joyce McDougall, 1792 Turnberry Terrace, Orlando, FL 32804-6014 – (407) 481-0241 – joycebates@earthlink.net

Norman Neuleib

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Member Chief Norman Neuleib passed away January 24, 2014. Norman served on the USS Askari (ARL-30) in 1952-53. You may contact the family C/O: Lenore Van De Voord, 409 S Spring St, Geneseo, IL 61254-1563 – (309) 944-4085

David C. Elcess

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Member MCC David C. Elcess (USN Ret.) passed away on August 13, 2014 after a long illness. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Colleton (APB-36) from October 1966 to December 1967. David retired as a Master Chief Cook in the Navy. You may contact the Family C/O his wife: Doris Elcess, 2628 Pinewood Blvd, Sebring, FL 33870 – ddelcess@comcast.net

“I first met Dave on the USS Breckingridge TAP-176 out of San Francisco in 1957. He was a real nice person, a great shipmate and an outstanding Commissaryman. I later ran into Dave in Vietnam when he was the Chief Cook on the USS Colleton APB-36 10/66-12/67 MRF TF-117. I will miss my old friend. Though he had been in poor health these last few years he always stayed in-touch. Our friendship lasted over 50 some years. May our brother rest in peace as he will be missed by many.” – Albert B. Moore

Richard Dale Benson

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Member Richard Dale Benson (USN Ret.) passed away on September 3, 2014. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Brule (AKL-28) from November 1969 to November 1970. You may contact the family C/O: 120 W. Belvedere Ave. #2, Kellogg, MN 55945 – bfitt@hotmail.com

Robert Pierce

Member Robert Pierce passed away on July 10, 2014. While in Vietnam he served in Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division From November 1968 to November 1969. You may contact his wife C/O: Ingrid Pierce, 18303 SW State Route M, Rushville, MO 64484-7158 – (515) 961-7716

George Lewis Michelbrink

Member George Lewis Michelbrink passed away on September 22, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 152 as a Plank Owner and Coxswain onboard C-151-2 from August 1968 to October 1969. You may contact the family C/O: 808 W. Schley, Aberdeen, WA 98520-8133

Richard B. Arnold

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Member Richard B. Arnold passed away on April 19, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with A Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January 1967 to December 1968. You may contact his wife C/O: Joyce Arnold, 8611 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98444-6344 – (253) 535-4576

Alfred J. Dillon

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Member Captain Alfred (Al) J. Dillon (USN Ret.) passed away on September 9, 2014 after a long battle with Agent Orange induced cancers. His Naval career began in 1949 in the enlisted ranks serving as an Electronics Technician. After attending Villanova University he went to flight school with Donald Rumsfeld, and became a Naval fighter pilot. When his vision became degraded he was transferred back to the surface Navy serving aboard a cruiser and a destroyer. After attending Naval Postgraduate school, he spent two years working at the Pentagon where he anticipated receiving his own command. He wanted command of a destroyer escort, but instead received orders to command USS Washtenaw County (LST-1166). Little did he know at the time that he would later consider this command to be the highlight of his career. Captain Dillon liked to say that she was “the best ship and the greatest crew I ever served with”. Al commanded the USS Washtenaw County from 1966-1968 to include her attachment to the Mobile Riverine Force during the Tet Offensive of 1968. He went on to serve as Commodore of Naval Beach Group One in Coronado and then commanded USS Fresno (LST-1182). Captain Dillon was up for Admiral when he had to retire from the Navy with heart problems. In civilian life he served as the first president of the USS Washtenaw County Veterans Association, hosted an association reunion in San Diego in 2006 and helped host the 2012 MRFA reunion in San Diego.

Captain Dillon’s memoirs, photos and short stories covering riverine duty and service with the MRF can be found HERE!

Robert D. Lord Jr.

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Member Robert “Bob” Lord passed away on October 14, 2014 following a long and courageous battle with Agent Orange related lung cancer. While in Vietnam he served onboard the Yard Tug Boat Winnemucca (YTB-785) attached to Naval Support Activity, Saigon from February 1971 to December 1971. The tug boat had previously been a key part of the Mobile Riverine Force (TF-117). You may contact the family C/O: Leslie S. Lord, 1635 Winterwood, Sparks, NV 89434

Warren George Clair

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Member Warren G. Clair passed away on September 11, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with Headquarters & Headquarters Company, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1967-68. You may contact his Family C/O: Sharon Clair, 1213 N. Tenaya Way, Las Vegas, NV 89128-3250 – (702) 363-4055 – clair4055@centurylink.net

Edmund T. Bercury, Jr.

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Edmund T. “Ned” Bercury, Jr. passed away on December 6, 2014. While in Vietnam he was a 1st Lieutenant and served first in Delta Company and then in Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division in 1968-1969. Between these two assignments Ned served on the Battalion S-3 staff. When he was in Bravo Company he was the 3rd Platoon Leader. You may contact the family C/O: Donna J. Bercury, 47 Reed St Pittsfield, MA 01201 – ebercury@nycap.rr.com

Tony Spradling

Member Tony Spraldling passed away on January 5th, 2014 from a heart attack. While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from November 1968 to November 1969. You may contact the family C/O his wife: Phyliss Munsey, 343 N. Dark Horse Rd., Andersonville, TN 37705 – (865) 719-6179 – phylismunsey@aol.com

“Tony was a founding Member of the Mobile Riverine Force Association. He was one of the nicest people that I ever had the honor and privilege to have met and know. He was a man of high standards, integrity and just an all around great person. His kind do not come around very often. I was honored to be able to sit down and talk with Tony at the reunions and share a drink or two of the moonshine that he always brought to the reunions. When Tony called you a Brother he meant it with all of his heart and soul. I was honored to be one of his Brothers.” – Albert Moore

Karl Lowe

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Member Colonel Karl Lowe (USA Ret.) passed away on November 7, 2014 following a long struggle with cancer. While in Vietnam he served with 6th Battalion,, 31st Infantry Regiment in 1967 and later as Company Commander of D Company, which he took into the Plain of Reeds and Cambodia in 1970. You may contact the family C/O: Sandra Lowe, 5101 Portsmouth Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032

“Though I had never met Karl we were in touch by e-mails. He being the Historian for the 6th/31st and I helping with River Currents. Karl was a wealth of knowledge on Vietnam and other military matters. I will miss his e-mails and friendship. Rest in Peace Colonel. You may have lost your battle against cancer, but you won many battles during your lifetime helping and doing for others. One can only say in praise that Karl Lowe was a good man.” – Albert Moore

Jeff Mueller

Jeff Mueller passed away on October 19, 2014 due to a heart attack. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS White River (LSMR-536) as an SM3 from 1968 to 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Rita Mueller, N96 W237 Orchard Dr., Sussex, WI 53089.

“May our Brother and Shipmate rest in peace.” – Shipmate Bill Brennan

Myron J. Schober

Member Myron J. Schober passed away on November 10, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with Headquarters Company, 9th Infantry Divisionn from April 1968 to April 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Darlene Schober, 444767 Hillview Dr, Rushford, MN 55971 – (507) 864-2181

Robert W. Hauser

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Robert W. Hauser passed away on February 22, 2014. While in Vietnam he served in River Assault Division 152 onboard Tango 49 in 1969-70. Robert was residing in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania at the time of his passing.

Verlyn Henry Hansen

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Member Verlyn Henry Hansen passed away on May 5, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1968-69. You may contact the Family C/O: Donna Hansen, 104 Chatham St N, Independence, IA 50644-9165 – (319) 827-2661

Kendall A. Larsen

Member Kendall A. Larsen passed away on April 10, 2014. While in Vietnam he served with the LST Support Flotilla One from March 1968 to March 1969. You may contact the Family C/O: Mary Ann Larsen, 1911 Aspen Ct., Northfield, MN 55057-3210 – (507) 645-7770.

Robert P. Williams

Member Robert P. Williams passed away on January 22, 2014.  While in Vietnam he served with the 1097th TC (MB) from January 1968 to January 1969.  You may contact the Family C/O: Katherine Williams, 26 Trevett Dr., Newark, DE 19702-1450 – (302) 368-5810 – williams1955@hotmail.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.