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

Edward L. Ottney

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Member Edward L. Ottney passed away on January 14, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with the 120th Aviation Company attached to the 98th Transportation Detachment CHFM, Saigon from 1965-68. Ed served in maintenance and occasionally volunteered to go on missions as a door gunner on Hueys in the Mekong Delta.

“Ed was a very close friend. May our Brother rest in peace.” – Charlie Ardinger & Bruce Graff

Larry Walter

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Larry Walter passed away on January 15, 2015 following a long battle with lung cancer. While in Vietnam he served with 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry (Riverine), 9th Infantry Division in 1966-67. You may contact his Sister C/O: Sweigart4@yahoo.com

“Larry was one of the original troopers out of Fort Riley, KS. He was transferred in June 1967 to the 4th Infantry Division via the Infusion Program where he was seriously wounded in July 1967.” – Bill Reynolds – C Company/4/47th

Douglas B. Hinchliff

Douglas B. Hinchliff passed away at the age of 72 on March 8, 2015 following a long and difficult battle with ALS. While in Vietnam he served in the Supply Department onboard the USS Benewah (APB-35) from 1966 to 1968. You may contact the family C/O his wife Jeannie: 1914 Pumpkin Ridge Dr., Anthem, AZ 85086

Lee McKean

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Member Lee “Tex” McKean passed away on March 22, 2015 due to cardiac arrest. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS White River (LSMR-536 from December 1966 to October 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Nicole McKean, 13618 Stonehenge Dr., Sugarland, TX 77478

“Tex was a large part of the USS White River’s crew. He was always willing to go that extra mile for a shipmate or brother Veteran. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.” – Albert Moore

James Wayne Smith

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Member James Wayne Smith passed away on March 30, 2015 following a long battle with Agent Orange related cancer. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 onboard R-92-1 from March 1967 to March 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Kathy Smith, 104 Sherwood Dr., Thomaston, GA 30386-2739 – lakewayneboats@yahoo.com

“He was a friend and a shipmate for a lot of years. May our Brother rest in peace.” – Crewmember Johnny Jones – R-92-1

David W. Lee

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David W. Lee passed away on March 24, 2015. While in Vietnam he served in Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. You may contact the family C/O: Cindra Lee, 200 Cardinal Ln., Vallejo, CA 94589

Rear Admiral Kevin Delaney

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Rear Admiral Kevin Delaney (USN Ret.) passed away on April 7, 2015 due to lung cancer associated with Agent Orange. While in Vietnam he flew Hueys with HA(L)-3 as a Seawolf pilot. On many of his missions he flew cover for U.S. and Vietnamese naval forces on the rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta.

“May my friend and Brother Rest in peace.” – Gary Newman

Larry E. Greer

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Member Larry E. Greer passed away on May 11, 2015. While in Vietnam he served as an EM3 onboard the USS White River (LSMR-536) from 1965 to 1967. You may contact the family C/O: Doris Greer, 621 700 N, Hobart, IN 46342 – Legfarmer45@comcast.net

“May our Brother rest in peace.” – Crew of USS White River

Herbert E. Lind

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Herbert E. Lind passed away on May 10, 2015 following a 19 year battle with cancer. While in Vietnam he served as Commander of Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1967. You may contact the family C/O: Becky Lind, 3550 McDowell Creek Road, Manhattan, KS 66502

Bobby J. Freeman

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Bobby J. Freeman passed away on May 24, 2015. While in Vietnam he served in the Repair Division onboard the USS Askari (ARL-30) in 1968-69. Bobby was residing in Garden Grove, CA at the time of his passing.

Jack Santos Shimizu

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Member Jack Santos Shimizu (BMCM USN Ret.) passed away on June 5, 2015. During his 27 year Naval career he served a tour of duty in Vietnam with River Assault Squadron 13 and 15 as a Boat Captain from November 1969 to December 1970. Jack arrived to Skipper M-2 at Seafloat in the Spring of 1970. You may contact the family C/O: Teresita, 5370 E Craig Rd Apt 1432, Las Vegas, NV 89115-2116 – mcposhimizu@yahoo.com

“He was the BEST! He knew the Navy and would never back down from a fight. Some of us are still here today because of him. Jack got severely wounded, almost died and was medivac’d to Guam – his home. After an extensive recovery period, with remaining shrapnel that could never be removed, he talked the Navy into letting him stay in and finish out his career and retire as a Master Chief. I remember him telling me that he insisted on assuming some Navy duties on the base on Guam, but his office had to be in the hospital for continued treatment. I asked how he was able to pull that one off and he said, ‘I told you, I was a Master Chief.’ I got it Jack!” – Bill Patterson – M-2, Seafloat, 69-70

Michael Boyett

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Michael Boyett passed away on April 28, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with Echo & Delta Companies, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from April 1968 to April 1969. After being wounded on July 15, 1968 the bullet could not be removed without risking his life so he served with Headquarters Company. Michael was an accomplish bronze sculptor. His website is below. You may contact the family C/O: Carol Boyett – info@michaelboyettbronzes.us

www.michaelboyettbronzes.us

Faris Antoon

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Member Faris Antoon passed away on July 6, 2015 from complications due to cirrhosis of the liver (non alcoholic). While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS White River (LSMR-536) as an FTG-3 from May 1967 to October 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Rose Antoon, 101 Mariners Cir. APT-F, Sheffield, OH 22207 – Antoon1@roadrunner.com

Allen F. Lynd

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Member Allen F. Lynd passed away on February 1, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with Headquarters and Headquarters Company – 3rd Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from July 1967 to July 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Margaret Lynd, 227 S. Washington St. Lake Mills, WI 53551-1627

Harold Bruce McIver

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Member RM3 Harold Bruce McIver passed away suddenly on July 1, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 aboard T-131-7. Bruce then volunteered to become a Naval Advisor to the Vietnamese Navy and Marine Corps. He served with RAID 72 – Vietnamese ATF-211 until his tour was completed in March 1970.

“Bruce served heroically and honorably. He is one of the most decorated sailors of the Vietnam War. We were close. Brother Bruce will be missed immensely by his Family, myself and all who knew him. Rest in Peace until that day Brother…! – Michael A. Harris

Terry A. McBride

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Terry A. McBride passed away on from cancer on June 30, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 3rd Platoon, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, from October 1966 to October 1967. You may contact his Family C/O: Susie Rossi – susierossi@comcast.net

Leonard I. Cole

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Member Leonard I. Cole passed away on August 7th, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 onboard M-131-1 from March 1969 to April 1970. You may contact his Family C/O: Armenia Cole, P.O. Box 124, Deville, LA 71328

“Leonard was a great guy. Liked by everyone. He was a true Cajun! Leonard kept us laughing all the time! We all knew we were having a good time amidst of the bad environment when Leonard would break into his happy shuffle. A little Cajun dance he would do when things were going well!” – Harry Hahn (M-131-1)

Leland Raddatz

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Member Leland Raddatz passed away on August 12, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with A Company, 709th Maintenance Battalion, 9th Infantry Division from January 1968 to January 1969. You may contact the Family C/O: Marjorie Raddatz, 809 Beaver Dam, WI 53916 – Imraddatz@hotmail.com

Richard James Clay

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Richard James Clay passed away on July 7, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with D Co., 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.

Dennis N. O’Toole

Plankowner Dennis N. O’Toole passed away on November 6, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with Inshore Underwater Warfare Group One (IUWG-1) from May 1966 to August 1967. You may contact the family C/O: Embery Mimi, 431 E 6th St, Chuluota, FL 32766-8624 – (407) 797-2735

David Dewayne Poindexter

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Member David Poindexter passed away on November 12, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-10 from January 1967 to December 1967. You may contact the family C/O his wife: Janis Poindexter, 6 Delores Ct., Odessa, TX 79765-8544

Charles Gill

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Charles Gill passed away on November 24, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1969 to April 1970. You may contact the Family C/O: Mary Martin Gill, 107 Hammond Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062-1121 – (831) 427-1281 – ind2run2@yahoo.com

Thomas Frank Schneider

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Member Thomas Frank Schneider passed away on November 25, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 11th Artillery and Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January 1966 to November 1967.

James H. Bledsoe

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Colonel James H. Bledsoe (USA Ret.) passed away on February 22, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with 2nd Brigade, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from 1967-68. You may contact the Family C/O: Penny Bledsoe, 1329 Fall River Rd., Goodspring, TN 38460 – (931) 363-8746

James H. Lehne

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Member Major James H. “Jim” Lehne (USA Ret.) passed away on December 20, 2015 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on September 17, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from December 1966 to October 1968. You may contact the Family C/O: Zoe Heaton-Lehne, 142 Riverview Dr., Wamego, KS 66547-1931 – (785) 456-9399 – jhlehne@gmail.com

David E. Knight

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Reverend David E. Knight passed away on June 17, 2015. While in Vietnam he served as a Chaplain with 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from November 1967 to November 1968. You may contact the Family C/O: Betty Knight, 1221 N. Sherwood St., Spokane, WA 99201-3044

Henry Larry Weema

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Henry Larry Weema passed away on March 13, 2015 following a long battle with kidney disease and then lung cancer. He was in Class 32-R at NIOTC. While in Vietnam from February 1969 to February 1970 Henry served as a gunner with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112 onboard T-112-12 and then with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 152 on T-152-10. After making Engineman Second Class he was transferred to an Alpha boat.

Robert Allen Lazzell

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Member and Sergeant First Class Robert Allen “Bob” Lazzell (US Army Ret.) passed away on August 7, 2015. During his first tour in Vietnam he served with Headquarters Company, 15th Combat Engineers from February 1968 to February 1969. Bob’s second tour was as a Crew Chief/Doorgunner. He also served in Saudi Arabia with the 24th Mechanized Infantry during Desert Shield. You may contact the Family C/O: Mary Anne Lazzell, 14979 Rialto Ave., Brooksville, FL 34613 – (352) 597-3912 – hcfcheyyou@yahoo.com

Donald E. Bickhart

Member Donald E. Bickhart passed away on August 23, 2015. While in Vietnam Don served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 91 in 1967-68. You may contact the Family C/O: Patricia Bickhart, 1320 E. Walnut St., Annville, PA 17003-2019 – (717) 867-4726

Robert William Richey

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Member Robert William Richey passed away on December 30, 2015 from complications due to Agent Orange exposure. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS White River (LSMR-536) from December 1966 to December 1968. You may contact the Family C/O: Suzanne Richey, 1600 Nutwood Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831-2934 – (714) 879-4776

Thomas E. Huffines

Thomas E. Huffines passed away on September 28, 2015. While in Vietnam he served with the River Raiders in B Company – 3rd Battalion – 60th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from March 1969 to February 1970. You may contact Thomas’ lifelong friend and fellow Riverine soldier William Nesmith (XO C Co. 2nd/4th Artillery – 8/69 to 12/69) who will forward the information to Thomas’ family: 5718 Colby Road, Winchester, KY 04391

George F. Gandenberger III

Member George “Rick” F. Gandenberger III (Major – USAR Ret.) passed away on May 19, 2015. While in Vietnam he served as a US Army Ranger Small Unit Advisor, MAT IV-30, MACV in 1969-70. You may contact the Family C/O: Joyce Gandenberger, 376 Rolling Knolls Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807-1900 – (908) 218-4351 – gardenbergers@hotmail.com

Joseph P. Blee

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Joseph P. Blee passed away on June 11, 2015 due to Agent Orange related ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease. While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company – 2nd Battalion – 39th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division. H was a Philadelphia Policeman for 40 years. You may contact the Family C/O: Donna Blee – donnablee451@msn.com

Joe was a boyhood friend of mine and often provided support in Dong Tam for items we needed at the MRF supply base on the LSTs. We rode out a few mortar attacks in Dong Tam together and were often the lucky ones.” – Tom Smith, Former NCOIC of MRF Forward Support Team.” – smith1041@aol.com

Thomas D. Miserendino

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Member Thomas Miserendino (YNCS USN Ret.) passed away on June 4, 2015. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Sphinx (ARL-24) from February 1969 to February 1970. You may contact the Family C/O: Patricia Miserendino, 1045 Seamen Ave, Beachwood, NJ 08722-3405 – (732) 286-6322

Arthur Notebloom

Arthur “Art” Noteboom passed away December 10, 2015. Arthur served in Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. You may contact the Family C/O: Renee, 111 Third Street NW, Cook, MN 55723.

“Arthur will be greatly missed.” – Member Harley and Sue Timmerman.

Kenneth R. Ellis

Member Kenneth R. Ellis passed away on November 2, 2015.  While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January 1966 to January 1967.  You may contact the Family C/O: Rita Kay, 251 N Ellis Rd, Wheatland, IN 47597-8102 – (812) 321-3831

Jack L. Simmet

Member Jack L. Simmet passed away on November 7, 2015.  While in Vietnam he served with HHC, 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division from October 1966 to October 1968.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Letitia Simmet, 4344 W. Townline Rd, Standish, MI 48658-9130 – isimmet@yahoo.com

Richard A. Sherley

Member LCDR (MDV) Richard A. Sherley passed away on December 11, 2015.  While in Vietnam he served in River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 onboard T-131-12 from March 1968 to August 1968.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Nina Sherley, PO Box 1977, Granbury, TX 76048-8977 – (806) 534-2610

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.