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

Daniel J. Middendorf

Daniel.Middledorf

Daniel J. Middendorf passed away on January 30, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1968 to May 1969. You may contact the Family C/O: Mary Middendorf, 1591 Brookstone Dr., Little Elm, TX 75068-5518 – (972) 668-3770 – chickenmandan@hotmail.com

Terry Randall Shulte

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Member Terry R. Schulte passed away on February 22, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from August 1967 to May 1968. You may contact the Family C/O: Kathryn Schulte, 400 N Sherwood Dr, Grand Junction, CO 81501-2166 – (970) 986-8745

Max F. Gruenberg Jr.

Max.Gruenberg

Member Max F. Gruenberg Jr. passed away on February 14, 2016. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Whitfield County (LST-1169) from August 1965 to May 1967. You may contact the Family C/O: Kayla Epstein-Gruenberg, 4801 Kenai Ave, Anchorage, AK 99508-2328 – kaylaepstein48@yahoo.com

John L. Jones

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Member John L. Jones passed away on February 15, 2016. While in Vietnam her served with U.S. Army Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 10th Artillery, 197th Brigade, 3d USA as Field Artillery Section Chief from October 1966 to November 1967. You may contact the Family C/O: Carol Jones, 28365 Clark Ave., Millsboro, DE 19966-9281 – (302) 549-1149

James F. Grooms

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Member James F. Grooms (EMC USN Ret.) passed away on March 10, 2016. Chief Jim served with Mine Division 113 and NSA Danang from 1966 to 1968. You may contact the Family C/O: Eddie Grooms, 3100 Blenkarne Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008-1118 – eddiegrooms@icloud.com

“Chief Grooms was a ‘Sailor’s Sailor”. I would have served under him on any given day. In his latter years he was a very humorous man who liked to pull tricks on his friends and family. Many of us called Chief the ‘Chick Magnet’ as the ladies were drawn to his kind an humorous nature. You will be missed by all Chief.” – Mike Harris

Jerry Vern Frazier

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Member Jerry Vern Frazier passed away on March 17, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company – 3rd Platoon – 4th Battalion – 39th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from January to September 1969. You may contact the Family C/O: Jane Frazier, 827 Walnut St., Webster City, LA 50595-2133 – (515) 832-3861

Jerry O. Howard

Jerry.Howard

Member RMC Jerry O. Howard (USN Ret) passed away on April 14, 2016. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Askari (ARL-30) from November 1968 to October 1969. You may contact the Family C/O: April L. Howard, 3386 S. Williamsburg Way, Boise, ID 83706-5320 – (417) 813-6595

Patrick Leo Sheridan

Patrick.Sheridan

Member Reverend Patrick Leo Sheridan passed away on April 28, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company – 3rd Battalion – 60th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from January to August 1969. You may contact the Family C/O: Margaret Ann Sheridan, 1100 East Lee Street, Pensacola, FL 32503-5676 – masheridan2@gmail.com

Floyd R. Banbury

Floyd.Banbury

LCDR Floyd R. Banbury (USN Ret.) passed away on March 29, 2016. While in Vietnam he served as Commanding Officer of the USS Colleton (APB-36) from January 28, 1967 to – February 22, 1968. Captain Banbury and his crew were responsible for putting the USS Colleton back in commission for duty with the Mobile Riverine Force – Task Force 117 – River Assault Squadron ONE (RVN). You may contact the Family C/O: Karen or Donna at (321) 421-0418

"It was as Commanding Officer of the USS Colleton that was the highlight of LCDR Banbury's career. He often said it was the best ship he served on. The ship with the crew was the best of crews and made it the best ship. Captain Banbury was a great Skipper and loved the ship, the crew and in turn was respected, admired and loved by the crew. He will be remembered by the way he fairly led he crew to perform duties they were assigned to make a successful tour of duty. Always recognized as a quiet man, easy demeanor and his cigar he had a way with the crew he respected and was able to command them with ease and the crew was able to complete their duties with that special touch of leadership. All of the above made the Skipper the great man, leader, Captain and friend that he was. LCDR Banbury was a man who made a great impression on all he met. He was one of the last Sailors to serve in World War II, Korea and Vietnam."

“It was as Commanding Officer of the USS Colleton that was the highlight of LCDR Banbury’s career. He often said it was the best ship he served on. The ship with the crew was the best of crews and made it the best ship. Captain Banbury was a great Skipper and loved the ship, the crew and in turn was respected, admired and loved by the crew. He will be remembered by the way he fairly led he crew to perform duties they were assigned to make a successful tour of duty. Always recognized as a quiet man, easy demeanor and his cigar he had a way with the crew he respected and was able to command them with ease and the crew was able to complete their duties with that special touch of leadership. All of the above made the Skipper the great man, leader, Captain and friend that he was. LCDR Banbury was a man who made a great impression on all he met. He was one of the last Sailors to serve in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.”

Bryce Kimrey

Bryce Kimrey passed away on March 22, 2016 of acute pulmonary arrest. While in Vietnam he served with RAID 75 – CATF-211 – TF-21 as a riverine warfare advisor with the Naval Advisory Group, Vietnam as a Petty Officer 1st Class. Bryce was stationed at Dong Tam and rode the rivers with Vietnamese Navy crews whose boats were acquired from the U.S. Navy. He was with the last group of riverine sailors to leave Vietnam and the Brown Waters of the Mekong Delta. You may contact the Family C/O: Nancey Dennis Simcox, 905 Brewster Lane, Wilmington, NC – Nc1simcox@yahoo.com

Charlie Marx

Charlie Marx passed away on May 4, 2016 following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. While in Vietnam he served as a BM3 onboard the USS White River (LSMR-536) from December 1966 to December 1968. You may contact the Family C/O: Bonnie Marx, 108 Morningside Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70605 – (239) 249-9229

“Charlie was a fine man and a great shipmate. May our brother and shipmate rest in peace.” – BM2 Joe and Vickie Harper

Martin M. Garcia Jr.

Martin.Garcia

Member Martin M. Garcia Jr. passed away on June 15, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company – 2nd Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from February 1968 to February 1969. You may contact his Family C/O: Maria Garcia, 1806 Hooper St., Kileen, TX 76543-6711 – (254) 699-2070.

J. Robert Roth

Robert.Roth

Member J. Robert “Bob” Roth passed away on July 13, 2016. While in Vietnam LT Roth served as Engineering Officer on the USS Benewah (APB-35), Flagship of Task Force 117, from August 1968 to August 1969. Bob will be missed by all who knew him and those whom he served with. May our Shipmate Rest in Peace.

James W. Wingard

James W. Wingard passed away from Agent Orange heart disease on June 6, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with 1st Platoon – Delta Company -3rd Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division. You may contact the Family C/O: Hilda Wingard, 3930 S. State Highway 87, Samson, AL 36477-6604

John J. Leffler

John.Leffler

LTC John Joseph “Red” Leffler (USA Ret.) passed away on July 25, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with 2nd Battalion – 47th Infantry from December 1967 to January 1968.

Richard E. Crotty

Richard.Crotty

LTC Richard E. Crotty (USA Ret.) passed away on March 4, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with Headquarters & Headquarters Company – 3rd Brigade – 9th Infantry Division from July 1967 to July 1968. You may contact the Family C/O: Joan Crotty, 125 Sylvan Dr., Stuarts Draft, VA 24477-3316 – (540) 337-3825 – ltcrecjfc@aol.com

Welton Brent Dillard

BM2 Welton Brent Dillard passed away on August 6, 2016 due to an Agent Orange illness. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11, River Assault Division 112 as Boat Captain of R-112-1 in 1967-68. You may contact the Family C/O: Deborah Dillard, 1839 Wards Road, Alta Vista, VA 24517-4018 – Dillard55@msn.com

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George Louis Gadsden

Member CWO4 George Louis Gadsden (USN Ret.) passed away on July 10, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard A-111-5 from May 1967 to May 1968.  One of his favorite sayings was “River Rats Forever!”  You may contact the Family C/O his spouse:  Elizabeth Gadsden, 7133 Gabriel Dr., Fontana, CA 92336-5764 – (619) 972-8033 – elizabethgad@aol.com

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John C. McCurdy

Member John C. McCurdy passed away on September 9, 2016 from service-connected Amyotrophic Later Sclerosis (ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease).  While in Vietnam he served as an Engineman with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 152 as a Plankowner onboard T-152-5 (Medical Aid boat) from July 1968 to July 1969.  You may contact the Family C/O his spouse:  Sharon McCurdy, 430 Gum Pl, Brea, CA 92821-3310 – (714) 529-6359 – bigbearrider@sbcglobal.net

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Jack Mulligan

Jack Mulligan passed away on September 18, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company – 3rd Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division in 1968-69.  You may contact the Family C/O: Janet Mulligan, 1401 Fergus Road, Grove City, OH 43123 – Jack392@wowway.com

To all my brothers of the 9th Inf Div and MRF.  This past week one of our brothers passed away.  Jack Mulligan was a good friend.  He will be missed.  Rest in Peace Brother.  You will never be forgotten.” – Vincent Jimmy Delli Paoli (A Co 3/47th)

Dale A. Englund

Member Dale A. Englund (SFC USA Ret.) passed away on February 16, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from November 1968 to July 1969.  Dale was a resident of Menominee, MI at the time of his passing.

James J. Caruso

Member James J. Caruso passed away on November 29, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1966 to April 1968.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Diana Caruso, 4421 60th St Ct E, Tacoma, WA 98443-2458 – (253) 922-7421

 Robert L. Hawkes

Sgt. Robert L. Hawkes passed away on November 9, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1967-68.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Debra Hawkes, 43 Burnside Dr., Palm Coast, FL 32137

Scott K. Taylor

Member Scott K. Taylor passed away on December 21, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from July 1966 to August 1967.  Scott resided in Socorro, NM at the time of his passing.

James P. Wiener
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Member James P. Wiener (USN Ret.) passed away on October 18, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served at the PBR Mobile Base 1 from June 1970 to May 1971.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Laura Wiener, 27024 Trimpi Rd, Yalaha, FL 34797-3412 – (419) 304-6719 – wlaurae@yahoo.com.

 G. Thomas Mortensen
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Member G. Thomas “Morto” Mortensen passed away on July 6, 2016. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 –  River Assault Division 92 onboard A-92-8 from January 1968 to November 1969.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Victoria Mortensen, 1709 Main St, Cedar Park, TX 78613-7574 – (512) 694-8067

Larry D. Long

Larry D. Long passed away on May 10, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company – 2nd Battalion – 60th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from September 1967 to June 1969.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Joan A. Long, 8546 Merribrook Dr., Sacramento, CA 95826

William G. Stewart

Plankowner Member William G. Stewart passed away in 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company – 4th Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from October 1967 to October 1968).  You may contact the Family C/O: Ursula Stewart, 1915 Shawnee St, Leavenworth, KS 66048-1631.


James O. Saboe

Member James O. Saboe passed away on January 22, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company – 3rd Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from February to July 1969).  You may contact the Family C/O:  Mary Saboe, 4208 Nawadaha Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55406-4033


Thomas F. Slater

Member Thomas F. Slater passed away on December 14, 2016 following a long and courageous fight against cancer.  While in Vietnam he was stationed on the USS Hampshire County (LST- 819) from January 1967 to December 1969.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Barbara Jean, PO Box 871, Napanoch, NY 12458-0871 – (845) 647-3196 – super3267@yahoo.com


Jerry Robert Lee

Member Jerry Robert Lee passed away on August 17, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served on the USS Sphinx (ARL-24) from August 1968 to August 1969.  You may contact the Family C/O: Greg Lee, 1530 Bunch Ln., Greenville, NC 27834 – (252) 752-7976 – g1s80@aol.com

    
Dean E. Turner

Member Dean E. “Fritz” Turner passed away in December 2016.  While in Vietnam he was stationed onboard the USS Brule (AKL-28) from October 1966 to October 1968.  His beloved “Jesse” preceded him in death.  At the time of his passing Fritz was residing in Stockton, California.


Scott K. Taylor

Member Scott K. Taylor passed away on October 20, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company,  4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from July 1966 to August 1967.  You may contact the Family care of his sister: Julie Steuer, PO Box 169, Green River, UT 84525 – 435-503-0408 – jats@etv.net

Lee David Gavet

Member Lee Gavet passed away on June 30, 2016.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from March 1969 to July 1969.  You may contact the Family C/O:  Jean Gavet, 125 Norfolk Ct, Souderton, PA 18964-2229 – (215) 699-8308

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.