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

Lt. General William B. Fulton


On Friday, January 20, 2006, Lt. Gen. William B. Fulton died quietly after a short illness with members of his immediate family present. He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Nancy Tuttle Fulton; his loving children, Claire, Judy, Bill and Laurie; his five grandchildren, Rob, Audrey, Andrea, Cade, and Jake; and his four great grandchildren, Dylan, Jake, Christian and Liam.

Gen. Fulton was born in Berkeley, California, on 31 October 1919. He attended the Berkeley school system and graduated from the University of California–Berkeley in 1942 where had received his “C” for varsity crew. Immediately upon graduation, he took a regular commission in the U. S. Army resulting from his participation in the Army ROTC. He joined the 91st Division in Oregon and went to Italy as a company commander where he was decorated with a Distinguished Service Cross by General Mark Clark. In 1945, he returned to the Command and General Staff School in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He then returned to Europe in 1946 to serve on the staff of Gen. Huebner. Other posts include: Ft. Benning, Georgia, on the Infantry School’s faculty; U. S. Army Far East in Korea; the 38th Infantry at Fort Lewis, Washington; a Staff Officer in the Special Weapons Directorate at the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia; student at the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama; Secretary General Staff, I Corps, Korea; faculty member of the Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania where he received a Masters Degree from George Washington University; 2nd Brigade Commander of the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, and the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) Commander in Vietnam; assistant division commander of the 9th Infantry Division, Vietnam; deputy division commander, Ft. Polk, Louisiana; Commanding General of the 9th Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, Washington; and Commanding General of the U. S. Army Recruiting Command, Ft. Sheridan, Illinois. In September of 1975, he became Director of the Army Staff in the Pentagon which led to his retirement in 1977. He subsequently worked for the Association of the United States Army from 1977 to 1985 where he was Director of Public Affairs and Industry Affairs.

General Fulton’s decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit w/2 oak leaf clusters, Air Medal w/13 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, Military Cross of Valor (Italy) and the Purple Heart Medal.

Bill’s family and friends will always remember him as a loving, kind and generous man.

General Fulton requested cremation and his ashes will be buried with full military honors in the spring at a family plot in Pocatello, Idaho. You may contact the family at: Mrs. Nan Fulton, 4734 N 34rd, Arlington, VA 22209 (703) 536-3922

John P. Long

Member John P. Long passed away February 23, 2006. John served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) from September 1967 to August 1969. John was a friend and shipmate and will be missed by all. You may contact Sallie Long at: 6680 Pirch Way, Elkridge, MD 21075 – (410) 799-1599

David C. Wilson

David served in Vietnam with Task Force 116 from 1967-1969. You may contact his family at: 302 E Locust St., Tyler, TX 75702 (903) 534-1387

Curtis Tomlison


Curtis Tomlinson passed away March 19, 2006 at the Prescott, AZ VA hospital. Curtis had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer directly related to Agent Orange. Curtis served in D/CO 2nd/39th Infantry in 1968-69. He will be missed. You may contact his family at: Evelyn L. Guevara

Donald Paul Pfeiffer

Donald passed away after a long illness. Donald was born in 1947 and passed away March 6, 2006. Donald served in B/CO 3/37th, 9th ID in 1968. He was loved by his family and all his comrades. Don will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him (John, Frank, Harry & Ron). You may contact his family at: Karen Young, 60 Yantacaw Brook Rd, Montclair, NJ 07043

Michael Venezia

Michael served in-country Vietnam with the U.S. Navy from March 1967 to October 1968. You may contact his wife: Diane Venezia, P.O. Box 578, Newport, VT

Tom Veit

Tom passed away March 31, 2006 following a long illness. While in Vietnam he served with Recon Platoon, 2/60th Infantry, 9th ID in 1968-69. Tom will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. You may contact his family at: Nahid Veit, 735 Cruise Dr., Tampa, FL. 33602

Steve C. Moede


Steve passed away April 3, 2006 after a 2 year battle with lung cancer. Steve served as a Sgt with C Co 4/47th, 9th Infantry Division during 1966-67. After he left the Army he joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968 where he rose through the ranks to Captain. He was a graduate of the FBI academy. Later he was in charge of the Los Angeles Police Academy for 2 years. Steve worked undercover vice for years. He left no immediate family except his brothers of C Company. You may contact Bill Reynolds, 26008 Charing Cross Rd, Valencia, CA 91355 – (661) 254-8645

Tom “Trees” Forrest


Tom passed away on May 1, 2006 after a long hard fought battle with cancer. He was a founding member of the MRFA, past Board Member and was instrumental in helping the MRFA in it’s infancy. Tom, a former Swift Boat sailor, eventually became President of the “Swift Boat Sailors Association” (SBSA). He walked point for Task Force 115 on acquiring the “Vietnam Combatant-Craft Crewman” (VCCC) insignia and he was very proud of the accomplishment. Tom will be missed by many. May our Brother rest in peace. You can send cards and condolences to: Marguerite Forrest, 21128 Hunt Club Dr., Harper Woods, MI 48225-1717

Stanley Bartkewicz

Stanley passed away on April 30, 2006 of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. While in Vietnam he served with the 9th Infantry, Company B, 3/34 Artillery from January 1968 to January 1969. He arrived shortly before the 1968 Tet Offensive. His wife, Claire, stated that they “attended the reunion in 1995 in Louisville – he really enjoyed it and was proud to be a River Rat.”

Bill Geraghty

Bill “Flash” Geraghty passed away Friday June 2, 2006. Bill was a longtime Member of the MRFA and will be missed by all. While in Vietnam he served aboard the USS White River (LSMR-536) from July 1968 to May 1970. You may contact Bill’s family at: P.O. Box 278, Eureka, Ca 95502 or cousin Rick Geraghty at: (707) 825-9404 –

Thomas M. Clemens

Tom passed away June 4, 2006 after a tough battle with cancer. He served two years in the U.S. Army entering March 1968. Tom served a year in Vietnam with the 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division at Dong Tam from August 1968 to July 1969. He earned a Purple Heart and various other combat medals. Tom is survived by his wife Lori, and two children. You may contact the family at: Lori Clemens, P.O. Box 5746, Missoula Mt 49606 – (406) 728-4909

The family suggests memorials be given to the Valor House, 2820 Great Northern Loop, Missoula MT.

Harold Foster

Member Harold Foster passed away from a heart attack on June 7, 2006. Albert Moore states: “Harold was a Sailor’s Sailor whom I had the honor of serving with many many years ago onboard the USS Guide MSO-447. Harold was just a great person and shipmate and he will be missed by all who knew and served with him.”

You may contact the family at: Charlotte Foster, 925 Estates Dr. Kerrville, Tx 78023 – (830) 895-7752 –

Jon W. Fisher


Jon passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. While in Vietnam he served with A Co, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from October 1967 to May 1968 and then a second tour of duty in 1969-70. Donations may be made in Jon’s name to the “VFW National Children’s Home” in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. You may contact Jon’s wife, Leanne, at: or send cards to 521 Columbia, St. Mason, MI 48854 – (517) 676-3811

Larry Hughes


Larry was killed in a car accident on June 28, 2006. He was on his way home to Fullerton, CA from the 9th Infantry Division Reunion in Ft. Riley, KS when the accident occurred near Prescott, AZ. Larry was a decorated soldier with the 9th Infantry to include several awards for valor and multiple Purple Heart Medals. He helped form La Habra’s “Brothers of Vietnam” Chapter. Larry is survived by his wife Peggy, four children and 10 grand children. May our Brother rest in peace…

Carl Calvert

Carl passed away July 26, 2006 after a lengthy battle with cancer. While in Vietnam Carl served on the USS Luzerne County (LST-902) from 1965-1967. You may contact the family at: Bobbie Calvert, 3010 Delmar Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45213 – – (513) 731-5953

William Fisher


William “Peaches” Fisher passed away on July 28, 2006 due to a heart attack. He was a long time member of the MRFA and will be missed by all who knew him. Bill served on T-132-3 from June 1968 through May 1969. You may contact the family at: Carrie Rudloff, 1414 Fels Rd. Quakertown, PA.

Richard N. Kiesel

Richard died suddenly of a heart attack. While in Vietnam he served with B Co, 3/60th, 9th Infantry Division in 1967 and 1968. You may contact: Eric Kiesel, 27385 Schady Rd, Olmstead Falls, OH 44138 – (440) 235-1045 –

Rick J. Chapman

Rick passed away on August 15, 2006 from cancer. He had been very ill for several weeks after contracting a blood disease while in Florida last winter. Rick and Gloria came home to the Chicago area in the Spring time so that he could be treated at Northwestern University Hospital. The disease was MDS and it is usually caused by exposure to chemicals such as Agent Orange. Rick served on a Monitor in River Assault Division 111 and then on a Zippo boat in River Assault Division 132 from October 1968 to July 1969. You may contact the family at: Gloria Chapman, 1839 Prairie Ridge Circle, Lidenhurst, IL 60046 – (847) 980-1556

Lawrence P. Blumette


Lawrence passed away August 14, 2006. He served on the USS Blanco County (LST-344) and the USS Holmes County (LST-836) as the Supply Officer in 1968-69. Mr. Blumette was a good man. He was a quiet person, what you may call a loner, but he really enjoyed, loved and respected all whom served their country in Vietnam. Lawrence enjoyed the e-mails and the newsletter. The MRFA was the only Veterans association he belonged to. Lawrence was a good shipmate and will be sorely missed.

Don Shelton

Chief Don Shelton was killed on August 17, 2006. Don had Alzheimer’s and was walking across a 4 lane freeway when he was struck and killed. During the Vietnam War he served on the USS White River (LSMR-536) from 1965-1967. Chief Shelton was a excellent sailor and Chief Petty Officer. He will be missed by all his shipmates. You may contact the family at: Hazel Shelton, 2710 Ike St, Lot-71, Chesapeake, VA 23324 – (757) 543-0855

Vern Eaton

Senior Chief Vern Eaton, (USN Ret.) passed away September 1, 2006 from liver cancer. Vern was one of a few MRF and 9th Infantry Division members left who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Chief Eaton served his country in the U S Navy from August, 1942 to February 1972. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, World War Two Victory Medal and many more military awards and decorations. During the Vietnam War Senior Chief Eaton served as leading Petty Officer with HA(L)-3 / Seawolves from 5-68 & 5-69 .

“I had the honor and privilege to have met and known Chief Eaton while serving in Vietnam. He was a outstanding Senior Chief Petty Officer and a outstanding Sailor no one was any better..” – Albert Moore

You may contact the family at: Betty Eaton, 1107 Bradley Cir #2, Antigo, WI 54409 or email

Larry Hereford

Larry Hereford passed away Sunday, October 15, 2006. Larry served in A & C Co, 3rd/60th Infantry as well as the 15th Engineers from January 1967 to January 1968. You may contact the family at: Susan Hereford 308 Cherry Street. Mt. Carmel, TN 37645 – (423) 357-1218 – Email:

Robert D. Kernechel


BMCS Robert D. Kernechel (USN Ret.) passed away on October 26, 2006. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 22, 2006. Robert was a founding member of the MRFA. “Boats” was a great guy and will be missed by all who knew him and had the honor of serving with him. Senior Chief Kernechel served as boat Captain on M-111-3 from 1966-1968. You may contact the family at: 518 Orchard Dr. Whitehall, PA. 18052 – (618) 264-5812 –

Carl Hanker

Carl “Hank” Hanker passed away on November 2, 2006 of a massive seizure. During the Vietnam War he served from 12/66 to 12/67 in Subic Bay, Philippines outfitting Swift boats and then at Cat Lo with Boat Division 103 aboard PCF-68. Hank worked on the engines as an MR2 in Vietnam and retired as an MA1 (MMA).

“Carl he was a real gentleman. He had a great sense of humor and was always joking or poking fun at something. Hank was a part of the original work party here in San Diego that was responsible for the building of the Vietnam Unit Memorial and the restoration of PCF-104. He truly had more hours of sweat equity in on the memorial than anyone else involved. He loved to keep up the landscaping around the memorial as well since the Navy’s contractor always fell short in doing its job. He was extremely proud of his role in taking care of the memorial and it really showed.” – Don Blankenship [ See our CCB-18 Work Party page. ]

Dave Magnuson

DAVE Magnuson -Dong Tam--1969

Dave Magnuson passed away on November 6, 2006 of cancer. While in Vietnam he served with 3rd Platoon, A Co, 3rd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. You may contact his family at: 2848 W. Stonybrook Dr, Anaheim, CA 92804 –

Larry Love


Lieutenant Larry Love, a Platoon Leader with B Co., 3/39th, 9th I.D. in 1968, passed away of a massive stroke on October 16, 2006. Larry was staying with his mother in Kansas City following the burial of his 93 year old father when he had the stroke. Larry’s wife Kathy said they were able to keep him on a ventilator until their son, Wes, could get home from Iraq. Those who remember Larry can find all the information at and then type Love in the search box. There is also a photo slide program with some of Larry’s photos from Nam.

Pat G. Stauber


BM1 Stauber (USN Ret.) passed away on April 27, 2006 in Lonoke, Arkansas. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 as Boat Captain of A-151-2 from September 1968 to September 1969. BM1 Stauber received the Bronze Star w/V for heroism and two Purple Heart Medals. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 1974. You may contact his daughter, Charlotte Gladden, at the following email address:

Lawrence Ferguson

Member Lawrence Ferguson passed away on October 1, 2006. While in Vietnam he served in River Assault Squadron 9 onboard T-92-5 from October 1967 to December 1968. You may contact his wife at: 12015 Clear Creek Ct, Silverdale, WA 98383-9615 – (360) 692-4331 or via email at

John P. Davis

Lt. John P. Davis (USN Ret.) passed away on January 21, 2006. John served on PCF-86 and PCF-19 from January 1968 to June 1968. Lt. Davis was officer in charge of PCF-19 when she was sunk by friendly fire PCF-19 killing and wounding several crewmen. John was seriously wounded and eventually medically discharged from the Navy. He attended a few MRFA reunions and was a fine individual. You may contact the family at: Nancy Davis, 811 Bentley Ave, Niles, MI 44446 – (330) 652-3967 – Email:

David B. Donaldson

Lt. David B. Donaldson (USN Ret.) passed away on April 14, 2006. While in Vietnam Dave served on Staff with Coastal Squadron THREE. He was the volunteer Historian for Patrol Gunboat Association (PGA). Dave’s had books on all 17 Gunboats and he archived all aspects of the program. Many former sailors benefited from his efforts to keep the Coastal Squadron THREE history alive. You may contact his wife Janet at the following Email address:

Larry Brennan

Larry Brennan passed away on May 12, 2006 of lung cancer related to Agent Orange. Larry served on A-112-5 from January 1969 to April 1969). You may contact Candace Brennan at: 621 4th Ave., Camanche, IA 52730-1613 – (319) 259-8816

Larry A. Lail

HMC Larry (Doc) A. Lail, (USN Ret), passed away on July 11, 2007 after a long illness with cancer. Chief Lail served aboard the Minesweeper USS Acme (MSO-508) in 1968 during her time on Market Time Operations in Vietnam. He was a excellent Corpsman and sailor who will be missed greatly by those whom he served with and those he knew later in civilian life. You may contact the family at: 1475 Welsh Tract Rd, Charlotte Court House, VA 23923 – (434) 542-4369

Terry L. Allen Sr.

Terry L. Allen Sr. passed away on January 29, 2006 from cancer related to Agent Orange. While in Vietnam Terry served in B Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January 1967 to January 1968. You may contact the family at: Ruth Allen, 843 Mineral Springs Rd., West Seneca, NY 14224 – (716) 826-6482

Louis M. Dangelo

Louis M. Dangelo, BM1, passed away on March 4, 2006. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard T-111-3.

Ames R. Shipley

Ames R. Shipley, GMG3, passed away on October 7, 2006. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard C-111-1.

Larry L. Steinmetz

Larry L. Steinmetz passed away July 16, 2006 of a heart attack he suffered while fighting cancer. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 in 1968-69. Larry’s Mother, Dorothy, said that her son was very proud of his service and always spoke fondly of his time on the rivers. You may contact the family C/O: Dorothy Steinmetz, 4702 Stone St., Billings, MT 59109 – (406) 259-3409

Thurman Lynn Gilbert

Member Thurman Lynn Gilbert passed away on April 22, 2006. While in Vietnam Thurman served with 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. His last known address was: 195 Pecan, Gainesville, Texas 76240-6658

Thomas Pennock

Thomas Pennock passed away on May 1, 2006. While in Vietnam he served with 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.

William Curry

William Curry passed away on March 30, 2006 due to Esophageal Cancer. While in Vietnam he served with 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.

Lannie Doyle Wiggins

BM2 Lannie Doyle “Slim” Wiggins passed away on January 19, 2006.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 151 as Boat Captain of T-151-1 (T-28) beginning in March 1969.  At the time of his passing he lived in Durbin, Georgia.


A Soldier Died Today

Written by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

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.