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
BM1 Ed Galvin (USN Ret.) passed away in the mid-70’s as a result of a car accident. He served as a Boat Captain on an Alpha and Zippo in River Assault Squadron 11 in 1967-68. After being seriously wounded when his Zippo was attacked, Ed was transferred to the US to recover. Later Ed had been accepted by the University of Rhode Island to study for his doctorate in Physical Oceanography. The accident occurred on his way home from some late night studies. [Information submitted by Charley Cox, former Commander RAD 111]
Howard A. McQuone
RMC McQuone, USN (Ret.), passed away December 1989 from a service connected disability. Howard served on the USS Collecton APB-36 1968-69. You may contact the family C/O Ellen McQuone 710 Branding Iron Tr. Granbury, TX. 76049. 817-279-7761 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom passed away on January 6, 1992 due to complications of Agent Orange. He was an Engineman onboard T-131-3 in 1968-69. You may contact Tom’s older son, Tom, at 406-268-8196, 500 Dogwood Street, Great Falls, MT 59405
Zeph Lane HM1
Zeph, while riding T-131-7 as Squadron Corpsman, received serious wounds to his head and chest on 3/31/69 NW of Ben Tre on the Giao Hoa Canal. Despite his own wounds, Member H. “Bruce” McIver, with the assistance of Ron Smith, performed a emergency tracheotomy on Zeph while the dustoff was enroute. Bruce had been searching for “Doc” for many years. Recently he found a declassified After Action Report with both his and Zeph’s names in it. Soon a phone call to Zeph’s mother turned bittersweet. Zeph had been medevaced to Dong Tam, Long Binh, Yakouska, Japan and finally to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. Remarkably he recovered from his wounds well enough to complete Medical School as well as become licensed pilot. Later he returned to Vietnam to assist in building a “clinic” near the same area where the column of boats were ambushed in 1969. Sadly, Zeph was killed when the plane he was piloting crashed in 1985. Zeph’s life, after such personal trauma, is a tribute to his will to survive and to those gallant young men who saved “Doc’s” life near “Rocket Alley” so many years ago. Bruce conveys that Zeph’s sister-in-law has stated that “Zeph lived on the edge” all the time. We who have survived can understand her statement fully.
Command Sergeant Major Donald Ailiff, USA (Ret.) Was killed in an automobile accident on April 24, 2000. SGM Ailiff was Co. 1sgt of E-Co, 2nd-60th Inf in 1967 and later became battalion CSM. You may contact the family at RR-1 Box 3525 Buena Vista, VA. 24416, 540-261-9388
BMC Gerald Bartlow, USN (Ret.), passed away November 25th, 1999. Jerry was boat Captain on CCB-112-1 (1967-68) as a BM1. A couple of weeks back we sent a message about Jerry having cancer and that he was being sent home from the hospital. Unfortunately his stay at home wasn’t as long as the family had hoped for. If anyone would like to send their condolence by card or phone, you may do so C/O the family at 498 Elm St., Imperial Beach, CA.91932, or call 619-575-1915. Jerry was an excellent Father, Sailor, and Shipmate and will be missed by all.. Jerry had been a member of the association since our beginning and was very proud of his navy service and having served in Vietnam with the Mobile Riverine Force. Jerry had just received his first social security check prior to his passing.
Reynolds Bovent passed away on Oct. 11, 1985. Reynolds served as a GM3 on M-92-2 in 68-69. You may contact the family C/O Pam Schwartz, 1113 E. 37th St., Vancouver, WA, 98663. E-mail email@example.com
Ralph Burnett recently passed away. He served with C Company, 3/39th, 9th Infantry Division. You may contact the family c/o Penny Burnett, 5305 W. Bethel Ave., Muncie, IN 47304 Tele: 765-287-0530
James N. Cavalas
James passed away April 2, 1999. He served on the USS Westchester County from 9/67 to 10/69. You may contact the family at P.O. Box 720 Vinton, IA 52349 Tele: 319-472-2958
William J. Cernousek
William J. Cernousek passed away March 28, 1984 from injuries received while working on board the USS Saturn in Charleston, SC. William served on the USS Nueces APB-40 in 1968-69. You may contact William J. Cernousek Sr., 3000 Aztec NE. #271, Albuquerque, NM 87107 – 505-881-4188
Mercer McConnico Doty
Lieutenant Colonel Mercer McConnico Doty was born August 13, 1923 in Birmingham, Alabama. “Monk” Doty saw service during World War II prior to entering the Academy in July of 1944. Upon graduation with the Class of 1948, he attended the Infantry School and was further assigned to the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division in Europe. Returning to CONUS, he performed routine branch assignments completing the Career Course and then CGSC in 1959. Following tour with 8th Army in Korea, he served with the 12th Infantry Regiment, Fourth Infantry Division and then on to the University of Pittsburgh in 1964 receiving a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. His next assignment took him to the DIA and two years in Berlin as an Intelligence Officer. Assigned to Vietnam in 1967, Monk commanded the 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry “Wild Ones” of the 9th Infantry Division during the early days of the Mobile Riverine Force. He was in command during the Battle of the RACH BA RAI River recounted in Vietnam: The Decisive Battles and was decorated twice for heroism during this period. He was much loved by the Soldiers who served with him. Upon completion of the Vietnam tour he served briefly with the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics before electing retirement in 1968 in spite of being selected for the Army War College and certain promotion to Colonel. His awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Silver Star, Bronze Star for Valor, Bronze Star, and four Air Medals. Earlier, he had received the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Monk recounted that after retirement and having no place to go, he loaded the family up and drove around until they found some place suitable and eventually decided on Raleigh, North Carolina. He then entered the State Capitol Building seeking employment and was rewarded with the title of Director of State Government Reorganization under then Governor Robert Scott who tasked him to reorganize 223 agencies into 17 departments. He then served as the first Director of the NC Fiscal Research Division which reviewed a $3.4 billion budget. He was then appointed Director of the nonprofit NC Center for Public Policy Research evaluating state government programs and policies. He ended his career of public service working and consulting with the NC Labor Commissioner and Secretary of State. Monk remained fully retired until his death from lung cancer December 14, 1999 in Raleigh. Colonel Doty is survived by his wife Susan of Raleigh; a brother, Luther L Doty of Birmingham, AL; his son Mark of Fayetteville, and daughter Virginia of Raleigh and nine Grandchildren. Interment was at St. Mark’s Episcopal Memorial Garden in Raleigh.
Richard E. “Dick” Kleine
Dick passed away April 25, 1999, of a heart attack while in surgery for cancer. He served aboard the USS Satyr from 1968-70. You may contact the family at, 54497 Pine Road, South Bend, IN., Tele: 219-232-5375. Photo courtesy of Mike O’Neal. (from left) daughter, Mindy, Wife, Linda, Dick, and daughter, Sally. Photo taken in Las Vegas on Mindy’s 21st birthday.
Marvin passed away on June 4, 1999 from Agent Orange related cancer. He served on T-151-6 in 1968-69. Contact the family at 69697 Oxford Drive, St. Clairsville, OH 43950 Tele: 740-695-1300
John J. McHale
Lieutenant Commander John J. McHale passed away September 7, 1999 from Cancer. John served with CTU-73.1.2 from 1969 to 1970. You may contact the family at 1718 North N. St., Lake Worth, FL 33460 Tele: 561-586-2192
Keith recently passed away. He served on A-132-4 in 1968-69. You may contact the family at Box 114 N, New Portland, ME 04961
Bill passed away on May 17, 1999. He served on T-111-4 from 1968-70. You may contact the family at 3001 Commander Drive, Apt 1, Louisville, KY 40220 Tele: 502-893-3015
Fred T. Reisenauer
Fred T. Reisenauer passed away in July 1993. Fred served with B Co-2nd-47th and was living in Franklin Square, NY, at the time of his passing.
Andy passed away in November 1999. He served with the 15th Engineers, 9th Infantry Division.
Mark passed away in June of 1999. He served with B Company, 3/39th, 9th Infantry Division in 1968-69. You may contact the family at, 5370 E. Craig Rd #1036, Las Vegas, NV 89114. Phone: 702-643-6227
Michael D. Sharp
Michael D. Sharp passed away September 22, 1999 while at home. Michael was one of the founding members of the MRFA having joined in 1992 when we sent out our first notices. He served with River Division 512 & 572 in 1969-70. Michael was buried with full military honors at Red Rock Cemetery in Red Rock, OK. You may contact the family C/O Cheryl Sharp, 5500 E. Tyler Dr., Tuttle, OK 73089 Tele: 405-381-3240 E-mail MSharp1948@aol.com
Fred Smith passed away in January 1999 from lung cancer. He served on the USS Washtenaw County in 1967-68. You may contact the family at 2104 E. Elm St. Enid, OK 73701, or call 405-237-0698
Paul passed away in 1999. He served on the USS Askari (ARL-30) in 1955-56. You may contact the family at 3385 N. 800, East Brownsburg, IN 46112 Tele: 317-853-3666. Paul was a member and supporter of the MRFA since it’s beginning.
Billy passed away Sep 23, 1999. He served as the PBR boat pier officer at Nha Be 1967-68 and retired as a CWO-3. You may contact the family at 159 Whirwin Dr. Whitter, NC 28789
William passed away Oct 8, 1998 due to a sudden heart attack. He served in River Assault Divisions 131 & 151 in 1968-69. You may contact the family c/o Erma Waldren, 1117 Redwood #18C, El Cajon, CA 92019 Tele: 619-444-1643
Steve Wyatt passed away September 5, 1999, of a massive heart attack. Steve was one of the founding members of the MRFA joining in 1992 when there was no more than a couple hundred of us old Rats and Raiders involved. He served on board T-112-3 in 1967-68. Steve was a one of kind individual. Once you met Steve you knew he was someone you would always remember. He had a unforgettable presence. He loved life to it’s limits as well as his brother Vietnam Veterans. He loved his wife Peggy and son Little Steve with all his heart and soul. He was a good father and husband and a friend. We’ll all miss him dearly. Services for Steve will be at 10am, Friday, September 10th, at Holy Family Church in Hicksville, NY. You may contact the family by E-Mail: SWyatt6006@aol.com Tel: 516-942-3251
James Elliott Williams
BM1 James Elliott Williams (USN Ret.) passed away on October 13, 1999. Williams is a Navy Medal of Honor recipient for service as Boat Captain of PBR 105 based with River Section 531 at My Tho in 1966-67. He was a true hero of the Brown Water Navy and is the highest decorated enlisted sailor in Naval history. There are some who say he may have been the highest decorated sailor to have ever served as he also received the Navy Cross Medal, (2) Silver Star Medals, Legion of Merit w/V, (2) Navy and Marine Corps Medals, (4) Bronze Stars Medals w/V, (2) Navy Commendation Medals w/V and several other decorations and unit awards. Theodore Roosevelt said, “there is room here for only hundred percent Americanism.” James Elliott Williams was one hundred percent Americanism. “Boats” will be missed by all who knew him. He was a good man. Cards and letters may be sent to the PBR-FVA, 732 American Inn Rd., Villa Ridge, MO 63089.
Lt. Paul Wolfgang
Lt. Paul Wolfgang passed away February 28, 2000 due to cancer. Paul was in RivDiv-131 from 1-68 to 4-69. Contact the family at 95-174 Kahela St. Mililani, HI. 96789 – 808-623-0280
Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Retired Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., who as chief of naval operations made wide-ranging reforms that helped modernize the Navy, died Sunday. He was 79.
Officials at Duke University Medical Center announced the death, but did not immediately release the cause. Zumwalt was discovered on Sept. 24 to have a cancerous tumor in his chest cavity. He underwent surgery twice. His condition improved, but a second surgery in December to repair a perforated colon caused a setback.
When he became the Navy’s top officer in July 1970, Zumwalt was 49 and the youngest officer named to that post. He quickly became famous for his “Z-Grams” that made Navy careers more attractive by relaxing regulations that enlisted men considered demeaning and senseless.
Among other things, the “Z-Grams” permitted beards and long hair if maintained neatly, the wearing of civilian clothes at shore installations and more free time in port.
Zumwalt also abolished the prerequisite of attaining the rank of admiral for holding a major command at sea and widened freedom of choice in assignments.
At the U.S. Naval Academy, his attitude toward meaningless regulation was reflected early in the fact that in his class of 615 cadets he ranked 24th academically but 275th in conduct.
As the Navy’s senior officer he increased the combat effectiveness of the dwindling U.S. fleet by outfitting ships with more sophisticated and efficient weapons.
Zumwalt, commander of Navy forces during the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1970, believed he inadvertently caused the death of his own son, Elmo Zumwalt III, from cancer by ordering the spraying of Vietnam jungles with the defoliant Agent Orange, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin.
Zumwalt’s eldest son fought under his father’s command in Vietnam and died of cancer in 1988 at age 42. The elder Zumwalt said he did not regret ordering the use of Agent Orange because it reduced casualties by making it difficult for the enemy to hide and find food.
“I do not have any guilt feelings because I was convinced then and I am convinced now that the use of Agent Orange saved literally hundreds and maybe thousands of lives,” Zumwalt told The Associated Press in 1985.
Zumwalt led efforts for more research into the chemical’s deadly effects. The Department of Veterans Affairs now provides medical treatment and payments for various cancers and other diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange.
Zumwalt wrote two books. “My Watch,” published in 1976, recounted his Navy career and warned Americans about the Soviet naval threat. “My Father, My Son,” published in 1986, was co-written with his late son and is an account of their Vietnam experiences and the illness that would later kill the son.
“I do not second-guess the decisions Dad made in Vietnam, nor do I doubt for a minute that the saving of human life was always his first priority in his conduct of the war,” the younger Zumwalt once said.
Zumwalt was born in Tulare, Calif.
Both of his parents were physicians and he originally intended to become an Army doctor. But an Irish whaling sailor, a friend of his father’s, spun such exciting tales of adventure at sea that Zumwalt changed his mind and was admitted to the Naval Academy, where he graduated cum laude in 1942.
Zumwalt served on destroyers during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his valor during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In the Korean War he was navigator of the battleship Wisconsin.
At age 44, Zumwalt became the youngest officer promoted to rear admiral.
He retired as chief of naval operations in July 1974. He unsuccessfully ran as the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia in 1976.
President Clinton awarded Zumwalt the Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 1998.
The following was received from Admiral Tidd:
QUOTE OF SITREP #19 FROM RADM ROBERTSON
Funeral services for Admiral Zumwalt will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 10, 2000, followed by graveside services at the Naval Academy Cemetery. The family will host a reception for all attendees at the Naval Academy’s Officers and Faculty Club. The services will be open to the public. Robertson sends. Admiral Thompson returns on January 4, and I expect that any follow-up SitReps will be sent by him. God bless you all for your continuing concern for the Admiral and his family. END OF QUOTE OF SITREP #19 FROM RADM ROBERTSON:
Also in a separate message from Admiral Tidd was the following about donations in lieu of flowers for Admiral Zumwalt:
Dear Family & Friends,
In answer to inquiries the following desires of Admiral Zumwalt’s family are provided: In Lieu of Flowers, donations maybe made to: The Marrow Foundation 400 7th St NW (Suite 3206) Washington, DC 20004. This is the foundation that Admiral Zumwalt organized and led to raise funds for those needing financial assistance for marrow transplants made possible through matches in the National Marrow Registry.
Stanley M. Ryley
GMCGS Stanley M. Ryley USN (Ret.) (EODMU1/UDT13) passed away July 13, 2000 after a year long battle with cancer from Agent Orange exposure. Chief Ryley served off the USS Askari (ARL-30) with UDT Team 27. He served (3) consecutive tours in the Delta at different locations from 1966-1969. You may contact the family: Tudie Ryley, 12 – 7th St. #A, St. Augustine, FL 32080. (831) 596-7119. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Family requests that any donations go to Stanford Medical Center, Cancer Research Division, 300 Pasteur Dr., Stanford, CA
Wally Durant passed away Jan. 12, 2000. Wally served on the USS Page Cty from 1963-68. You may contact the family at Cindy Durant, 2315 E. Silvershoals Rd., Toccoa, GA 30577
Jerry L. Smith
Jerry L. Smith passed away May 22, 2000. Jerry served in C-CO-3rd/47th 1968-69 Jerry had been a member of the MRFA since 1997 you may contact the family at 35 Cortland Ct., Spokane, WA 99207 509-326-5472
Jerry J. Smith
Jerry J. Smith SMC USN Ret. passed away May, 28. 2000. Jerry served on Monitor-92-1 from 11-68 – 11-69. You may contact the family (Daughter) Fawn Edelbrock, 1285 15th St NE Apt. 213, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379- Rie62@hotmail.com
Cletus LaMere (EN3) passed away in 1995. He was living in Glen Falls, NY. He served with IUWG-1-2 in 1969-70
It is with regret that I inform you of the passing of Edwin Holmes. Ed’s wife, Linda, emailed that Ed lost his battle with ALS on Thursday, August 17, 2000. Ed spent twenty-two years in the Navy and was proud of his service to his country. He retired as an HTC. If you wish to wish to send a card or letter you may mail it to: Mrs. Linda Holmes, 15935 Spring Oaks Road #55, El Cajon, CA 92021. Ed served on the USS Indra in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969.
Member Roger Cuff recently passed away. Roger served with B.C/631st & A/C/4th47th 69-70. You may contact the family C/O Nancy Cuff 8628 Ball Rd. Weedsport, NY 13166. 1-315-834-9710
Wilfred Lynn LeJeune
Wilfred Lynn LeJeune passed away Aug-10-1999 due to lung cancer. Wilfred served with 544th and 1099th Boat Companies, 69-70. You may contact the family at Billy LeJeune 16116 A Grove St., Fort Polk, LA 71459.
Lieutenant Commander Russell Camp recently passed away. He was CO of the USS Mercer, APB-39 from 1952-55. You may contact the family at 2426 EL Dorado Ct., Las Cruces, NM 88011
Member John Christie passed away October 7th, 2000, from a massive stroke. John served with Echo Company 3rd/60th Riverine Infantry 10-67 to 10-68 .. John will always be remembered for his big smile and great attitude. You may contact the family.. C/O Pat Christie, 290 Kinderhook, St. Louis, MO 63017 – 314-878-3372
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Mark Passed away October 3, 2000 from heart problems. Col. Mark had been a member of the MRFA since 1993. Col. Mark supported all Military associations and was Editor of Military Magazine. Col. Mark was Cdr. A/CO/4th/49th 9th Infantry Division 1-12-67 / 12-67. You may contact the family C/O Mona Mark 9637 La Nuez Dr., Elk Grove, CA 95624 Ph: 916-686-603
Richard T. Fellis
Lieutenant Commander Richard T. Fellis USN (Ret.), Commanding Officer USS Satyr ARL-23 (1969-70) passed away October 5, 1977 and was buried at sea October 9, 1977.
GMGC Herbert Lewis USN (Ret.) passed away December 5th. 2000 from heart failure. Gunner served on RivFlot-One staff as well as on a zippo boat and had been a member of the MRFA since 1993. You may contact the family C/O Lois Lewis, 437 Bayshore Dr., Port Mansfield, TX 78598, Ph 210-944-2243
Fredrick Kisters passed away 5-26-00 due to complication of Agent Orange. Fred served with E/CO 709th Maintenance Battalion in 1968-68.
Robert J. Burke
Robert J. Burke passed away 6-25-00. John served in IUWG-1-Unit-2, 1967. You may contact the family C/O 5 Longwood Dr., Hopkinton, MA 01748
BMC Charles Moffitt passed away 12/10/1973. Boats served as Boat Captain on T-91-1 1966/67 . You may contact the family C/O Dave Moffitt, 204 1/2 Silverton St., Clermont, FL 34711, 352-394-8235
Dave Eckert passed away in 1999 due to cancer. Dave served in RivDiv-151 in 1968-69. At the time of his passing he was a Policeman in Green County, OH.
Raymond R. Wright
Medal of Honor recipient Raymond R. Wright, Specialist (SPC) 4, Co. A, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division passed away on September 23, 1999. See this page for his Medal of Honor citation.
John A. Austin, Jr.
John A. Austin, Jr. passed away on January 3, 2000 from complications of multiple myeloma caused by agent orange exposure at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. He served in the MRF from 17 Nov ’68 – 11 Nov ’69. He was a boat engineer and 50 cal. gunner on ASPB’s in RIVDIV 91 (on ASPB 91-4) from Nov ’68 – 15 Jan ’69, RIVDIV 92 (on ASPB 92-8) from 16 Jan ’69 – 26 Apr ’69, and RIVDIV 153 (on ASPB 6844) from 27 Apr ’69 – 11 Nov ’69. You may contact the family C/O Kim Michel, 16279 W. Morning Glory St., Goodyear, AZ 85338-6805 Phone: 623-925-1449 E-mail: email@example.com
Hollis Cornell “Smitty” Smith
MR-2 Hollis Cornell Smith (Smitty) served on the USS Krishna (ARL-38) from 7/70 to 6/71. Born 8/10/47 in Chattanooga, TN, and passed away 7/27/94 in Beaumont, TX
Peter P. Banels, Jr.
Duane C. Cornwall reports that Peter P. Banels, Jr. (Zippo 5) passed away due to PTSD on January 12, 1998.
Melvin Joseph passed away Dec. 1,1995 from a heart attack. Melvin served on Tango-91-8 in 1966-67. You may contact the family C/O Jeanette Joseph 11921 Diego Way. Oxnard, CA. 93030. 805-485-3889
Edward (Budda) Thomas III
BMC/MDV USN (Ret) Edward (Budda) Thomas III, T-112-11 passed away 5/4/99. You may want to contact his sister, Sharon White 617 Leight Rd., Abingdon MD 21009 410-676-0675
Hazellton Max Cogar
CSM Hazellton Max Cogar passed away June 2, 2000. CSM Cogar served in C/CO/2nd/60th Inf. 7/67 7/68 You may contact the family C/O Ann Cogar, 2411 Wise St., Columbus, GA. 31903-3452 706-687-0999
Jerry Roelofs passed away in 1999. Jerry served on the USS White River, LSMR 536 in 1967-68 as an EM3. You may contact the family c/o 14225 Sunnyview Dr., Holland, MI 49424. Information furnished by Gene Cooper.
Kenneth L Meyer
Kenneth served with the 4/47th Infantry. We are not sure of the exact date of Kenneth’s passing. Here is his last known address: 111 Greenbriar St, Belton, TX 76513-1503
Carroll E. Dutterer
BMC Carroll E. Dutterer (U.S. Navy Ret.) passed away in 1984. He was born in Florida in 1935, joined the Navy in 1952 and Retired in 1972. Chief Dutterer served in RivRon-11 1966-67 and was the recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star. He was a true American hero who passed away way too young.
BMC Joseph C. Wasilowski (USN Ret.) passed away in August of 1996 due to cancer related to Agent Orange. Joseph was boat captain on R-132 from June 1968 to July 1970. You may contact the family C/O 2973 N. Park Ave, Tucson, AZ. 85719 520-623-2971
Joseph E. Miser
BMC Joseph E. Miser passed away on July 6, 1994. He was residing in Beckley, West Virginia at the time of his death. While in Vietnam Joseph served with River Section 535 as Boat Captain of PBR-725 from October 1967 to June 1968. According to Ralph Fries “he was one fine person and sailor. He may be gone, but not forgotten.”
GMG3 Victor pass away on July 20, 1992 due to a massive heart attack. While in Vietnam Vic served as a Plankowner on T-152-1 until around December 1968 when he was transferred to T-152-2. He married Julie, his wife of 9 years, in August 1983. May he rest in peace.
Henry “Hank” Bergman
Hank passed away February 4, 2000 from acute myloid leukemia. While in Vietnam he served in C/Co 3/34th and 3/60th Infantry from September 1968 to May 1969. You may contact the family C/O Ellen Bergman, 217 E 11th St, Genoa, OH 43430 – (419) 855-3166 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Dean Clinard, 50, of Dillon Street, Thomasville, N.C., died April 9, 2000, at Forsyth Memorial Hospital in Winston-Salem. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, having served during the Vietnam War on various river craft. Mike crewed the YFU-79 with the 3rd Boat Group, Lighterage Division of NSA DaNang and was one of the Navy crew who transferred the boats known as a “Skilaks” to the US Army’s 329th Heavy Boat Company between May and June 1970.
George Edward Burtchell passed away 4-1-2000. George served on the USS Tutuila ARG-4 1965-67 while she was attached to the Riverine Forces out of Vung Tau, Nha Be and An Thoi. You may contact the family At: Rosemarie Burtchell, 34 Bell Road Crossville, TN 39571 – (931) 484-6549 email@example.com
GMG3 Miles Kazuo Okamoto passed away on September 10, 1993. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 152 aboard C-152-1 from July 1968 to July 1969. He is remembered by all who served with him as a fun-loving man to be around.
John George Hill
Colonel Hill Passed away on March 25, 1991. He was Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 60th Riverine Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1968. Colonel Hill Retired in 1980 with 28 years of military service.
Bill Cunningham of Company A notes: He was always there when you needed him. I can’t think of a single operation where we didn’t get what we needed and when we needed it, be it ammunition, water or getting wounded out. I recall two occasions where he personally came in with his helicopter under fire to get wounded out. He backed up my decisions on the ground (well, most of the time) and he was adept at keeping Brigade and Assistant Divisions commanders (who would invariably show up when more then two shots were fired) from unduly interfering with operations on the ground. A company commander could not ask for more… A fine Soldier who died much to young…”
Robert E. Tak
Robert E. Tak passed away on April 1, 1975 from complications due to pneumonia. Robert Served in River Assault Squadron 9. We believe that he was on ASPB-91-4 in 1968. Anyone who remembers Robert please contact his son Anthony at: Anthony Tak 1103 N. 3rd St. Johnstown, CO 80534 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry M. Smock
“Our family wanted to let you know that Terry M. Smock passed away 10 years ago. He often spoke of his friendships with his fellow Navy River Rats!” – Cynthia Smock
While in Vietnam Terry served with River Assault Squadron 15 as a Radioman Third Class.
Jerry Lee Brooks
Jerry Lee Brooks, GMG2, past away on March 29, 1998 in Antelope, California after an unwinnable battle with inoperable stomach cancer. Jerry was in Class 32R at NIOTC and went to Vietnam with the class in February 1969. He served as a gunner on ATC 112-12 and other boats of the MRF. He was wounded at least twice and received two Purple Hearts.
Donald Shaffer (DT1) passed away on September 7, 1973 due to complication from Agent Orange. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah APB-35 as the ships Dental Technician. Donald served on board from March 1968 to March 1969. You may contact: Patricia Shaffer-Wagner, 2403 Stratford Avenue, Coraopolis, PA 15108-2223 – email@example.com
Carl E. Glenn
PN3 Carl E. Glenn passed away on June 9, 1997. While in Vietnam he served on Staff with River Assault Squadron 15. At the time of this post this is all the information we have available.
GMGC Andrew Rzepka (USN Ret.) passed away on February 5, 1989. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) from 1966 to 1967.
Charles B. Wilson
BM1 Charles B. Wilson (USN Ret.) passed away on October 17, 1996. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35).
Calvin E. Cromwell
CS3 Calvin E. Cromwell passed away on November 22, 1996. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35).
Lloyd S. Mark
RD3 Lloyd S. Mark passed away on November 26, 1998. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) from 1968 to 1969.
BMC Lawrence Lorden, (USN Ret.) passed away on June 12, 1991. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard Z-92-2 in 1968 and 1969.
Tommy B. McCoy
BM2 Tommy B. McCoy passed away in November 1985. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9.
Donald C. Steckman
SN Donald C. Steckman passed away in November 1975. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-1 from 1968 to 1969.
BM1 Walter Moody passed away on January 21, 1988. While in Vietnam “Boats” served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-7 from 1968 to 1969.
Gerald Lynch passed away on December 3, 1992. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 91 in 1968-69.
Thomas J. Pate
BMC Thomas J. Pate (USN Ret.) passed away on May 30, 1998. While in Vietnam he served as a BM1 with River Assault Squadron 15. After riverine craft were turned over in July 1969 Thomas was transferred to Danang for duty.
Paul Richard Macy
Paul Richard Macy, BM1 (USN Ret.) passed away in December 1979. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-9.
David M. Patstone
David M. Patstone, RM3, passed away in August 1981.
William R. Pack
William R. Pack, GMG3, passed away in January 1983. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15.
Broaddus Bishop, BM1 (USN Ret.) passed away in May 1985.
Tommy B. McCoy
Tommy B. McCoy, BM2, passed away on November 6, 1985. While in Vietnam he served in River Assault Squadron 9 with both River Assault Division 91 and 92.
Arba Barr, BM2, passed away in December 1985. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Divsion 92 onboard C-92-1.
J. R. Hicks
J. R. Hicks passed away in April 1988.
Walter R. Moody
Walter R. Moody, BM1, passed away on January 21, 1988. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-7.
GMGC Andrew Rzepka (USN Ret.) passed away on February 5, 1989. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Benewah in 1966-67.
Jack L. Brainard
Jack L. Brainard, BM1, passed away on May 3, 1989. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-12.
K. H. Mittelstadt
K. H. Mittelstadt, BM1, passed away in October 1989. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11, River Assault Division 111 onboard T-111-4.
Theron Sterling passed away in October 1989. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112.
D. L. Long
GMGC D. L. Long (USN Ret.) passed away on February 15, 1990. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112.
B. Valema, BM2, passed away on February 12, 1991.
BMC Lawrence Lorden (USN Ret.) passed away on July 12, 1991. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard Z-92-11.
C. M. Clark
C. M. Clark, BM2, passed away on February 15, 1991. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard C-111-1.
Robert S. Crumpton
Robert S. Crumpton, BM1, passed away in August 1992. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112.
T. E. Rogers
T. E. Rogers, BM1, passed away on December 15, 1992. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112.
Thomas W. Brown
Thomas W. Brown, RM2, passed away on July 31, 1994. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112 aboard M-112-2.
Herbert W. Taylor
Herbert W. Taylor, LCDR, passed away on January 30, 1995. While in Vietnam he served on Staff with River Assault Squadron 11.
T. T. Taylor
T. T. Taylor, BM1, passed away on September 5, 1995. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112.
Charles B. Wilson
Charles B. Wilson, BM1, passed away on October 17, 1996. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Benewah in 1966.
Paul W. Barnecut
Paul W. Barnecut. EN3, passed away on November 15, 1996. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 aboard M-111-2.
Jessie M. Banks
Jessie M. Banks, GMG1, passed away on October 19, 1998. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15.
Lloyd S. Mark
Lloyd S. Mark, RD3, passed away on November 26, 1998. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) from 1968 to 1969.
George A. Dail
George A. Dail, BM1, passed away on February 25, 2000. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 112.
Lorenzo Tobin, GMG1, passed away in July 1985. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 as a Gunnersmate.
Frank B. Banks
Frank B. Banks, BMC (USN Ret.), passed away on August 15, 1995. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 91 as Boatswains Mate.
Larry D. Manning
Larry D. Manning, BM1 passed away on October 14, 1997. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 91 as Boatswains Mate.
Williard L. Hefner
Williard L. Hefner passed away on October 29, 2000. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92.
Gary Denning passed away on December 8, 1998 following a long courageous battle with kidney failure beginning in 1990. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 132 aboard M-132-2 from August 1968 to June 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Nancy Denning, 905 Palo Verde Drive, Carson City, NV 89701
James M. Schmidjell
BMC James M. Schmidjell passed away on October 6, 1999. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 151 aboard T-151-8.
Harold Edwin Tittle
Harold Edwin Tittle passed away on October 2, 1999. He was president of the Fleet Reserve Association, Corpus Christi Chapter, where he enjoyed camaraderie with his shipmates and friends. He retired as a Lieutenant Commander after 24 years of meritorious service in The U.S. Navy. He received a Bronze Star with Valor for service as Commanding Officer of The USS Page County (LST-1076) during the Vietnam War.
Tex Michael Frank
Tex Michael Frank passed away in 1999 as a result of injuries incurred in an automobile accident. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 in 1968 and 1969. During his tour of duty he received two Purple Heart Medals.
Joe Wadlow passed away in 1999 due to a heart attack. While in Vietnam he served in Task Force 116 from July 1966 to July 1967. Joe was residing in Smithville, Missouri, at the time of his passing.
Norman Emil Dechenne
EN2 Norman Emil Dechenne Passed away October, 13. 2001. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) from September 1966 to March 1968. You may contact his Brother C/O: Ron Dechenne, 1320 E 9th St, Weiser, ID 83672 – (208) 549-1604
Major David Luedtke passed away on April 20, 1999 while playing golf on a course in Georgia. While in Vietnam he served with 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.
Dennis Raymond Barnes
Dennis Raymond Barnes passed away due to unfortunate work accident on June 14, 1996. While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company – 3rd Battalion -60th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division in 1968-69. You may contact the family C/O his Daughter: Alicia Ballew (Barnes) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander “Sandy” Young passed away in 1994. While in Vietnam he served with C Co., 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.
Pete Schmidt passed away in 1999. While in Vietnam he served with B Co., 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.
H. H. Wilson
Captain H. H. Wilson (USA Ret.) passed away from an Agent Orange related illness on June 26, 1996. Then Major Wilson served as Commanding Officer of Charlie Company – 3rd Battalion – 60th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from April 1969 to March 1969. You may contact the Family C/O: Marilyn S. Wilson (wife) or Mike Wilson (son), 29 S. Greenfield Ave., Hampton, VA 23666 – email@example.com
Jerry R. Littles
SP4 Jerry R. Littles passed away on December 7, 1998 as a result of a heart attack. While in Vietnam he served with Charlie Company – 2nd Battalion – 60th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division from December 1966 toDecember 1967. You may contact his son C/O: Reverend Richard Littles, 122 13th Street NE, Mason, City, IA 50401 – (641) 210-0559 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernest Glen Shultz Jr.
Member Ernest Glen Shultz Jr. passed away on October 20, 1972. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 151 onboard T-151-11 in 1968-69. You may contact the Family C/O his Brother: Ed Shultz, P.O. Box 11, Mount Vernon, IA 52314-0011 – email@example.com
These former 3rd Battalion – 47th Infantry – 9th Infantry Division soldiers were identified as deceased by Associate Member Judy Weeks. If you have more information them then let our MRFA Webmaster know and he will add the data:
Aldamuy, Abraham Ard, Larry – January 1997 – Emphysema
Bandanza, Joseph – 1994 – Cancer
Banton, Edgar – September 1999
Barrett, Walter K. – 1989
Barzda, Mathew P. – 1989
Basabe, Carlos – 1993 – Hepatitis
Bassett, Leonard – September 23, 1991 – Colon Cancer
Beath Daniel – 1992 – Heart Attack
Bivings James – 1992 – Cancer
Brown, J.B. – Massive Heart Attack following a workplace accident – May 6, 1998
Buckaloo, Hulin C. – 1997
Bufardeci, John – 1995 – Hodgkin’s
Campbell, Dennis “Dillon” – 1995 – Agent Orange
Castillo, Ramiro 1984 – Kidney Stones
Center, Oscar – January 9 1973
Champagne, Richard – February 11, 1998 – Heart Attack
Chuck, Lt Robert – Hodgkin’s Disease
Cox Malon – February 1994 – Agent Orange
Craanen, James W. – 1982
Croll, George – 1997 – Vietnam wounds
Cunningham, John – August 1998
Curry, Dwight A.
Davis, Charlie F. – Accident
Detwiler, Jimmy L. – January 3, 1989 – Heart Attack
Dienema, Richard – July 1974 – Lost in Airplane
Diette, James – December 1993
Erdman, Norman – 1999 – Heart problems
Garner, Larry “Sheik” – 1974 Car Accident
Giemza, “Doc” – 1989 – Cerebral Hemorrhage
Goggins, Tommy “Top” – 1997 Car Accident
Gotch, Paul – July 5, 2000
Guinan, Mugsy – December 1993 – Cancer
Harford, Philip “Old Grandad” – 1989
Hill, Sgt. Robert L. – 1988 – Heart and Stroke
Hood, Roy J. – November 1973
Kalisek, Michael – Cancer at 21 years of age
King, Johnny – 1996 – Agent Orange
Kitchen, Willie C. – September 1989 – Car Accident
Kizer, Elza – Car Accident
Lappen, John J. – Diabetes, Heart Problems and Stroke
Larson, Ronnie D. – 1986 – Appendicitis
Martin, John W. – Heart Attack
McDonald, Roy – Cancer
McKay, Al – Appendicitis
O’Bannon, Billy – May 1987 – Accident at home
Odom, Ron – April 1995 – Heart Attack
Olsen, Thomas – May 11, 1998 – Stroke
Pennewill, Warren – 1992 – Agent Orange
Penny, H. Glen – 1994 – Lingering illness
Policht, Larry – 1968 – Car Accident
Ransford, Arthur – 1984 – Murdered
Rebrook, Jerry – 1991 – Agent Orange
Rhotenberry, R. M. – September 1995
Savage, David – Diabetes
Semmler, Lester – 1994 – Heart Disease
Schroeder Ronald – 1985 – Agent Orange
Searan, Max – 1974 – House fire in Arkansas
Smith, Jerry L. – May 2000
Sperry, Richard E. – November 1990
Stanko, Daniel – 1985 – Heart problems
Stark, Harold – June 1996 – Bone Cancer
Storlie, Monty – 1984 – Car Accident
Sullivan, Mike – 1984 – Cerebral Hemorrhage
Swearingen, Louis C. – December 1996
Toole, John – 1995
Totaro, Michael – June 1995 – Heart Attack
Tappendick, Gene – Accidentally fell down stairs
Underwood, Teddy M. – February 1, 2005
Wallheinke, Roy – April 1994 – Brain Tumor
Williams, Claude J. – April 1994
Williams, Gary – Brain Tumor
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.