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
Robert Baker Shirley
Robert “Bob” Baker Shirley, 66, passed on the morning of January 5. 2008 due to surgical complications.
While in Vietnam Bob served as a U.S. Naval Officer in Charge of a Swift Boat. He was commended by his commander for having performed above and beyond his duties. This commander described his performance as both exceptional and exemplary. He was actively involved in Swift Boat veterans groups until the time of his death.
Bob later earned two Masters degrees and pursued a career in telecommunications, retiring from DSC Communications (now Alcatel) in 1998 as a Director.
Bob’s favorite hobbies included woodworking and radio-controlled model airplanes. He is survived by his spouse, Kim Anh Shirley, and his three children, Thomas Shirley, Jennifer Dang, and Michael Shirley as well as many nephews, nieces, and grandchildren.
You may send your condolences to: Thomas Shirley – firstname.lastname@example.org – (214) 334-3299 (CA).
James Allen Hott
James Allen “Jimmy” Hott, 60, of Seminole died Sunday January 13, 2008 at his home with family. Jimmy is survived by his wife, Cheryl of 28 years. He was a US Navy veteran who served proudly as a River Rat with the Brown Water Navy. During the Vietnam War Jimmy served with River Division 573 from 1965-69. We want to thank our families and the wonderful friends who helped us through this very difficult time, but most especially the brotherhood of veterans and their wives who helped to welcome him home. Jimmy you are missed. May God’s peace embrace you as you join Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. We love you.
Arthur G. Carter
CPO Arthur G. Carter (USN Ret.) passed away Tuesday February 5, 2008. Chief Carter served on YRBM-17 – Naval Support Activity, Detachment Dong Tam in 1967. You may contact the family at: 416 Holiday Hills Dr. Martinez, CA 94553
Art Carter passed away He was a true patriot and will be missed. – Ralph Christopher
Brian E. Bartelt
Brian E. Bartelt died at the VA Medical Center, Hospice Unit in Dayton, Ohio January 18, 2008. Brain served in River Assault Squadron 9 in 1968-1969. He was a RM3. Brian went to school with me in Xenia, Ohio.
“We met on my first day in country in Dong Tam and after I got all checked in with River Assault Squadron 15 we went and “hoisted” a few beers together.” – Charles Allen
Larry Enderud passed away on February 9, 2008. While in Vietnam Larry served on A-153-3 1969-70. You may contact the family at: Ruth Enderud, 160 Balboa St., Palm Springs, CA 92264 – email@example.com
We just received word that Leo Mons, (Sgt Major – USA Ret.) has passed away. While in Vietnam Leo served with C Co/9th ID from April 68 to May 69. No Battalion was listed. Leo also served as a Drill Instructor at Ft. Bragg before shipping out to Vietnam.
Member Thomas Paquette passed away February 9, 2008 from brain cancer. While in Vietnam he served on T-111-8 (RivDiv-111 /RivRon-11) from 4/67-4/68. Tom was a sailor’s sailor and will be missed by all his shipmates and friends. He was so honored to have helped lay the Mobile Riverine Force Associations wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC this past Veterans Day. The family would like to thank all the members who made this possible and such a special occasion for Tom. He leaves behind a loving family and many friends. Tom’s wife say’s that Tom fought the cancer hard, but in the end the cancer won.
To contact the family of Tom Paquette please do so C/O Irene M. Paquette 2807 Village Dr. Fairbault, MN 55021 – (507) 334-6340 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim George pass away on January 22, 2008 while undergoing surgery for the removal of his prostate gland. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Division 91 and was Plank Owner on A-91-2 in 1967. Jim recently retired as a “Special Education” school teacher. He is survived by his wife Jeannie and two sons Anthony and Matthew. You may contact the family at: Jeannie George, 32280 Auburn Dr., Beverly Hills, MI 48025 (248) 645-0374
You can view and sign Jim’s Obituary Guestbook by clicking HERE
Daniel S. Dodd
Daniel S. Dodd, (PHC USN Ret.), 76, of Kingston died Friday in Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre, surrounded by his friends. Chief Photographers Mate Dodd was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was the official photographer of Commander River Flotilla One (COMRIVFLOT-1) and many of his pictures were published in the book “Mobile Riverine Force Vietnam.” Following his discharge Dan was caretaker of the elderly, prior to suffering a stroke. He was also an avid gardener. He is survived by very dear friends, Marie, Lisa, Matt, Lorissa, Kayla, Leonard, James, Sue Ann and Jimmy Jr.
Edward Lammons passed away on February 26, 2008 due to a massive heart attack. While in Vietnam he served in Task Force 115 aboard PCF-53 from March 1967 to March 1968. You may contact the family at: 9816 N Central Ave. Tampa, FL 33612 – (813) 930-8604
Stephen passed away on March 4, 2008 due to cancer. While in Vietnam he served on T-152-49 and T-51 from September 1969 to October 1970. You may contact the family at: Vickie Wilson, 198 Casablanca Ct., Cecila, KY 42724 – (270) 862-5935 – email@example.com or Brother Mark Wilson – (757) 412-9225 – Wls2Ma@aol.com
Sgt Robert “Smitty” Smith (USA Ret.) passed away on March 14, 2008. Smitty served our Nation faithfully for over 30 years. He served during WW II, Korea and Vietnam. While in Vietnam Smitty was with Charlie Company, 4th/47th, 9th ID. He was with the unit when it first came together at Fort Riley, Kansas and remained throughout 1967 in Vietnam. Smitty was Charlie Company’s cook.
Maurice R. Johnson
Maurice R. Johnson passed away on March 9, 2008. His wife is so glad that they were able to attend the reunion last summer in Indianapolis. Maurice served with Charlie Company 2nd/39th 9th Infantry Division from 1968 to 1969. He was a brave and wonderful man who very proud of his military service. In passing Maurice received his desire to be buried with his fellow soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. You may contact Leslie at: 7508 Dumont St., District Heights, MD 20747 – (301) 336-3766 – firstname.lastname@example.org
David A. Hammond
David A. Hammond passed away unexpectedly on January 16, 2008. He was a proud member of the Mobile Riverine Force Association. While in Vietnam David Served with C/Co, 2nd Platoon, 3rd/47th Infantry from May 1967 to May 1968. You may contact his family at: Miriam Hammond, 2179 Grand Traverse St, Henderson NV 89052-7018 – (702) 263-9783 email@example.com
Robert M. Collins
Member RADM Robert M. Collins (USN Ret.) recently passed away. Admiral Collins served in on the MRF-TF-117 Staff from January 1968 to January 1969. May he rest in peace. You may contact his wife, Joy Collins at: 12630 Thistle Down, San Antonio, TX 78217-1888 – (210) 654-8172.
Wayne Patrick Pallen
BMCM Wayne P. Pallen (USN Ret.) has passed away. Wayne retired in July 1992 with 30 years in the United States Navy. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 in 1969-70. He leaves behind his wife Jody. You may contact her at: 1382 Cove Landing Dr., Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 – (904) 247-3111 – 7571
Member John Livingston passed away on February 13, 2008. John was assigned to the 483rd military police platoon, 3rd Brigade (Go devil) of the 9th Infantry Division from February to May 1970. The platoon provided the military police support to the 3rd Brigade after the 9th MP Co stood down with the 1st and 2nd Brigades. John was based in Tan An. You may contact the family at: PO Box 174, Uniondale, NY 11553-0174 – (516) 797-8731
Larry J. Moore
Larry James Moore, 60, of Indianapolis, passed away on April 14, 2008. Larry was an active Member of the MRFA and most will remember Larry as he always brought his red POW/MIA truck to our reunions for display. While in Vietnam Larry served with the 2nd/47th (Mech) Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from February to June 1968. You may contact the family C/O: 4952 E. 21st St, Indianapolis, IN 46218 – (317) 634-0887
“Larry enjoyed the reunions and we all enjoyed his participation and he did a excellent presentation with his POW/MIA truck. He will be surely missed all who have met him and knew him he was a good man and a true brother… Larry was proud of his service in Vietnam and to his country.” – Albert Moore
Richard H. Scott
GMGC Richard H. Scott (USN Ret.) passed away on the morning of April 28, 2008 due to Agent Orange related cancer. Scotty retired from the Navy as a Chief Gunners Mate Gun’s (E-7). While in Vietnam he served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) in 1966-67 as a GM2. To all who knew him he was a great guy and a great shipmate. You may contact Paula Scott Wright C/O 43 Middle Rd. Newbury, MA. 01951. 978-462-4322 firstname.lastname@example.org
“Prior to each reunion I would always receive e-mails asking if Scotty would be attending and those who didn’t remember his name would always ask if the Big guy off the Benewah would be attending. Scotty was a avid golfer and teller of jokes and he cared for his shipmates and friends. But the love of his life was his wife Paula and she was his life. Paula said Scotty wanted to keep his passing simple with no funeral or wake. His request was to be cremated with his ashes strewn over his favorite golf course for one last game. Scotty also loved chocolate so Paula had M&Ms cremated with him.
Gunners Mate Richard Scott was a good sailor, friend and shipmate who will never be forgotten.” – Albert Moore
Member Anthony Tamuzza passed away on August 17, 2007. While in Vietnam Anthony served on the USS Colleton (APB-36) from 1966-67. You may contact the family at: Barbara Tamuzza, 55 Kraft Place, Kingwood, New Jersey 07456 – (973) 962-0412
Member Edward Garcia passed away recently. While in Vietnam Ed served onboard the USS Kemper County (LST-854) from August 1964 to September 1966. You may contact the family at: M.E. Garcia, 5115 Torpedo Pl, Albuquerque, NM 87120. May our brother rest in peace.
SSGT Jackie Rodgers passed away March 26, 2008 in Champaign, IL due to prostate cancer that quickly spread over several organs in a short amount of time. He was born May 13, 1937 in Newton, IL and joined the Army right out of high school. Jackie served in Germany and Viet Nam. In Viet Nam he was assigned to A Co, 2nd Platoon, 3/60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. He was stationed at Bear Cat, but went to several places such as Can Tho, An Duc, Vinh Long, Dong Tam, Tan An, Tan Tru, Long Bien, Rach Kien, Vinh Cam and Snoopy’s Nose. You may contact his family at: Heidi (Rodgers) Roth – Daughter – email@example.com
“Jackie never spoke about his time in either place, but I always knew my father was a hero. He never bragged about what he accomplished there and he seemed ashamed that he could have done better. That is a true hero. He lost many men, but saved more. He was married for 39 wonderful years and had three children and four grandchildren. Our lives will never the be same. The world will never be the same. He was the best father, coach, teacher, and friend anyone could ever ask for. He is and will be missed each and every day.” – Heidi Roth (Daughter)
Loren H. Cobb
LCDR Loren H. Cobb ( USN Ret.) passed away peacefully on the afternoon of June 12, 2008. CDR Cobb was Captain of the USS Indra (ARL-37) from September 1967 to January 1970. He was a World War Two, Korean War and Vietnam War Veteran. CDR Cobb will be greatly missed by all whom he knew and served with. He was a fine skipper, a great Captain and shipmate. Please contact his Grandson, Gerrick Danielson, at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerome H. King Jr.
Retired Vice Admiral Jerome H. King Jr. has passed away at 88 years of age. In 1970, as a Vice Admiral, he was Commander Naval Forces, Vietnam (COMNAVFORV). While in this position he carried out a plan to end U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and hand the fight over to the South Vietnamese. This strategy was known as “Vietnamization”. Admiral King will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Member Philip Mohler passed away after a lengthy illness and was buried July 11, 2008 in Jacksonville, FL. While in Vietnam Phillip served on the USS Sphinx (ARL-24) in 1971. You may contact the family at: Constance Mohler, 10816 Hawaii Dr. S., Jacksonville, FL 32246 – (904) 642-6626 – email@example.com
Daniel E. Guy
Member Daniel E. Guy was killed in a motorcycle accident on July 7, 2008 in Monroe, GA. While in Vietnam Daniel served with Inshore Undersea Warfare Group 0ne – Unit 2 at Cam Ranh Bay from November 1966 to January 1968. You may contact the family at: 1002 Jericho Rd., Monroe, GA 30656 – (770) 867-3798
EMC David Lampher (USN Ret.) passed away in July 2008 from cancer that was asbestos related. David served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) as a EM1 & EMC from 1966-68. You may contact the family at: 2819 Irvine Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85086 – (623) 465-0285
Jerry Hunter passed away on April 27, 2008 due to problems with his heart following heart surgery. While in Vietnam Jerry served with the Mobile Riverine Force – TF-117 onboard the USS Mercer (APB-39) in 1968-69. You may contact the family at: (wife) Jo Hunter, P.0. Box 1021, Rathdrum, ID 83858 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Burton Brooks Whitham Jr.
Captain Burton Brooks Witham Jr., 85, (USN Ret.) of Englewood, Fl., formerly of Virginia Beach, VA, passed away peacefully on August 7, 2008. Burt was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Burton B. and Celia A. Witham. He served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years retiring in 1973. Captain Witham was Commander of Task Force 116/Gamewardens from mid-1966 to April 1967. Burt was a 32nd degree Mason, an avid hobbyist and community volunteer. He is survived by his daughters, Mary Huddleston of Huntersville, N.C., Anne Kilpatrick of Easley, S.C.; three granddaughters and two great-granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Caroline Milliken Witham. A memorial service will be held in Englewood, Fla., in October 2008 with family and friends.
William James White
William James White, 61, passed away on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville. Bill was wounded in Vietnam while serving with Alpha Co, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry in 1967-68. He spent 2 years in Walter Reed Army Hospital. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Karen, sons, Brian, Zachary, Nathan and Brandon as well as daughter, Rebecca.
John O. Hefner
Member John O. Hefner passed away Tuesday morning September 9, 2008. from a stroke. While in Vietnam John was Boat Captain on A-112-1 in 1968. You may contact the family C/O: Pat Hefner, 894 Lake Circle Rd., Buchanan, GA 30113 – (770) 646-5000 – email@example.com
Member Jim All passed away on August 12, 2008 after a long battle with various service connected illnesses. He was a proud Vietnam Veteran and flew his American flag and POW flag everyday. Jim served on YRBM-17 at Dong Tam from January 1968 to January 1969. If you ever served in Dong Tam you saw her as she was on the right side of the basin as you pulled into Dong Tam Harbor. You may contact Doug Lindsey for more information on the passing of Jim: firstname.lastname@example.org
William L. Fischer
BMC William L. “Boats” Fischer (USN Ret.) passed away in his sleep on September 4, 2008. Boats had been in declining health for a few years. He was a great person. You would have to go a long ways to found a nicer shipmate and friend. Boats enjoyed being a MRFA member and the camaraderie that he shared with all the Army and Navy members he met. He could take a joke and give back as good as he received. Boats will be missed by all hands Army and Navy alike. While in Vietnam he served as a Boat Captain on PBR-97 in River Section 532 from July 1966 July 1967 out of My Tho. Boats will have his ashes buried at sea by the U.S. Navy. You may contact the family at: Margaret Fischer, 87-165 St Johns Rd., Waianae, HI 96792-3258 – (808)-668-7494.
Frank A. Acuna
Member Frank A. Acuna (USN Ret.) passed away on September 28, 2008 at Decatur Memorial Hospital after a lengthy illness. Frank was 86 years old. While in Vietnam Frank served on the USS Guide (MS0-447) as well as other MSOs. He was a good friend and shipmate. Having served 28 years in the U.S. Navy, Frank was a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He completed his military service at the Pentagon with the Defense Communication Agency. After military retirement Frank worked for Bendix and Honeywell with satellite and space shuttle programs at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland from 1970 to 1986.
William A. Knowlton
William A. Knowlton, 88, a retired four-star general who during four decades of military duty was superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, died August 10  at Virginia Hospital Center of intracranial bleeding as a result of a fall. He had Parkinson’s disease.
Gen. Knowlton, a graduate of West Point in January 1943, was the 49th superintendent of the academy, a post he held from 1970 to 1974. At the time, he was the longest-serving superintendent since World War II. His tenure there reflected the uproar of the culture as the Vietnam War was coming to a close. A cadet was discharged for lying about his marital status, and Gen. Knowlton’s attempts to tighten discipline and enforce rules were met with the filing of several lawsuits.
He described his job there as “the commander of a stockade surrounded by attacking Indians,” in Rick Atkinson’s 1989 “The Long Gray Line,” a history of West Point. In 1974, the U.S Supreme Court supported the school’s ability to set and enforce high standards.
Gen. Knowlton admitted the first South Vietnamese person to the cadet ranks at West Point. Although the academy had graduated more than 100 foreign cadets since 1889, most were Latin American or Filipino. After Congress created four all-expenses-paid slots for Asians, South Koreans and a Thai took the first three.
“Everybody kind of forgot about the Vietnamese,” Gen. Knowlton told journalist Christopher Scanlan in 1992. Tam Minh Pham won the slot; he later spent six years as a prisoner of war in his own country.
By the time he retired in 1980, Gen. Knowlton was the Army’s second-highest-ranking four-star general, the New York Times noted then.
The Weston, Mass., native began his career as a second lieutenant in the Armored Cavalry and fought in four campaigns during World War II, beginning in Normandy. In the last weeks of the war, he was awarded a Silver Star for leading a reconnaissance mission deep behind German lines to make one of the first contacts with the Soviet forces north of Berlin.
His later commands included battalion and brigade armored cavalry and armor units, the 9th Infantry Division’s multi-brigade force in South Vietnam and the Allied Land Forces Southeastern Europe in Izmir, Turkey.
He also served on the staffs of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen. Omar Bradley at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the early 1950s.
He was on the staff of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam from 1966 to 1968, where he oversaw civil operations on Gen. William Westmoreland’s staff and served as assistant division commander in the 9th Infantry Division. His work in Southeast Asia resulted in the award of a Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and 10 Air Medals. He also
received two more Silver Stars, one for gallantry at a fire support base that came under sudden attack and the other in a battle on the Plain of Reeds.
He was on the general staff of the secretary of Army for the next two years until he went to West Point, where his daughter Hollister met and married Lt. David Petraeus, now a four-star general and commander of the multinational forces in Iraq.
A soldier-scholar, Gen. Knowlton also taught social sciences at West Point while working on a master’s degree in political science at Columbia University, which he received in 1957. He also graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.
After West Point, Gen. Knowlton became chief of staff of the European Command and for his last three years of active duty was the U.S. representative to NATO’s military committee in Brussels, the highest military authority in the NATO alliance.
After his retirement, he was a senior fellow at a defense studies institute at the National Defense University at Fort McNair for 15 years. He also served as an adviser for the Defense Nuclear Agency and was a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency Science and Technology Advisory Board.
In the private sector, he became a director of the Chubb Corp. and served as a trustee for Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia. He had been a resident of Arlington County [Virginia] and Alexandria [Virginia] since 1980.
In 2004, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy gave him its Distinguished Graduate Award, calling him “a living embodiment of the values enshrined in the Academy’s motto: Duty, Honor, Country.”
Gen. Knowlton’s military honors also included a Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Legion of Merit and two awards of the Army Commendation Medal.
You may contact the family C/O Marijore D Knowlton, 4800 Fillmore Ave. #452, Alexandria, VA. 22311 – (703) 988-3098
“May our General rest in peace. He was really a good man and truly an Officer and Gentleman like no other. I had met him on a few occasions and he was always respectful and dignified in his quiet way. It was a high honor to have met General Knowlton and to have known him. Even while in declining health he would always manage to e-mail and ask how the troops were doing. He is one of the best this country has ever produced.”
Fred W. Kofmehl
EMCS Fred Kofmehl, (USN Ret.) passed away in his sleep on October 1, 2008. He had no known illnesses and was in good health having just celebrated his 77th birthday. Fred served on the USS Guide (MSO-447) from 1959-61 out of Long Beach, CA. He also served on a number of MSOs in Operation Market Time/TF-115 during the Vietnam War. Fred was a great friend and an excellent shipmate. He will be missed by all who knew him. You may send your condolences to his daughter: Jocelyn Vilter, 4605 Glen Arden, Covina, CA 91724 – (626) 915-7707
John L. Gilmartin
John L. Gilmartin passed away on October 28, 2008 at his home surrounded by his loving family after a lengthy illness. While in Vietnam John served with River Assault Squadron 15 as a Gunnersmate onboard C-151-2 from August 1968 to June 1969. He then became a Naval Advisor to the South Vietnamese Navy during his second tour of duty. John was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal w/V, Navy Achievement Medal w/V, two Purple Hearts and several other unit awards to include the Presidential Unit Citation. He spent 31 years employed by the State of Massachusetts at the Annisquam River Marine Fishers Station before retiring in 2007. John was a true nature lover who spent much of his free time tending his flower gardens with his wife, Sandra, and strolling around the woods of Crystal Lake admiring the wildlife near his home. The entire family took great pleasure in his vast knowledge of all things outdoors. All who knew him will sadly miss John. You may contact the family through his Brother Pete at: email@example.com
Donald Bruce Groce
BMC Donald Bruce Groce (USN Ret.), age 69, of Baird, Texas, passed away on November 4, 2008 due to cancer Agent Orange related. Don served in the U. S. Navy for 22 years, retiring in 1989 as a highly decorated Senior Chief Boatswain Mate. He served several tours of duty during the Vietnam Conflict. Amongst Chief Groce’s honors awarded for his dedicated service are the Navy Cross Medal, (5) Purple Hearts and (3) Bronze Stars w/V devices. Don served as a Boat Captain on Tango 92-5 and as a Naval Advisor to Vietnamese Navy Zippo Boat (HG-6533). You may contact the family at: Wife Bess Groce, 504 Arch St., Baird, Texas 79504.
Click HERE to view Chief Groce’s Navy Cross citation.
Eugene C. Shea
Member Eugene C. Shea, 79, a resident of West Palm Beach, Fl., formerly of Dracut and Lawrence, Ma., died unexpectedly Friday, Nov. 14, 2008 at his home. Eugene retired from the United States Navy at the rank of Chief Store Keeper following 30 years of service to his country.
Chief Shea served on the USS Colleton APB-36 from October 1966 to December 1967. He was the lead Storekeeper. Gene was excellent Sailor and shipmate. At the time of Gene’s passing he was living at: 1383 Summit Pines Blvd #1213, West Palm Beach, FL 33415 – (561) 689-3523
Those who wish may make donations in his name to the Salvation Army, 150 Appleton St., Lowell, MA 01852. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Dracut Funeral Home, 2159 Lakeview Avenue, Dracut. For online condolences visit www.dracutfuneralhome.com.
“I knew Gene Shea before Vietnam and after Vietnam .He was really a nice guy I’ll miss him as I do all departed members.. As our ranks grow thinner with the passing of time we need to hold on to all the friend ships we made in Vietnam and those after. We really don’t know how much a friendship meant to us till it’s usually to late.” – Albert Moore
Nelson Makinson passed away November 12, 2008 after another bout of pneumonia. While in Vietnam Nelson served in Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division as part of Jack Benedict’s 2nd Platoon. You may contact the family at: Maggie Makinson, PO Box 43, Coinjock, NC 27923
Wes Sade passed away during the 1st week of December 2008. While in Vietnam he served with C Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1967-68. Wes was living in Topeka, KS at the time of his passing. For more info you may contact his son at: Brett Sade, 1004 Church St., Neodesha, KS 66757 – (620) 325-2256
Dennis Lee Dooley Jr.
Dennis Lee Dooley Jr. passed away recently. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Pitkin County (LST-1082) from 1969-71. You may contact the family at: Marla Dooley, 14119 Pheasant, San Antonio, TX 78223 – (210) 635-7188 – Dudjr55@yahoo.com
William T. Leggett, Jr.
Colonel William T. “Tom” Leggett, Jr. (USA Ret.) passed away on June 9, 2008 from a long battle with leukemia. He was 79 years old and was born in Tarboro, North Carolina. He was a veteran Infantry officer with 32 years of service, including the Korean and Vietnam Wars. While in Vietnam he served as the Battalion Commander of the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from February to July 1968. Then he served the balance of that tour as G5 of the 9th Infantry Division.
James “Buddy” Hood passed away on December 20, 2008 following major surgery from complications of a tumor in his liver of which 70% had to be removed. While in Vietnam Buddy served on the USS White River (LSMR-536) from 1967 to 1969. You may contact the family at: Vicki Hood, 311 Wellington Way, Central, SC 29630 – (864) 654-7726
Gerald E. Long
Commander Gerald E. Long, (USN Ret.), age 74, passed away on September 20, 2008. Gerald enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17. While in Vietnam he was a Maintenance Officer for Strike Assault Boat Squadron TWENTY (STABRON 20) in the Mekong Delta from November 1969 to November 1970. After retiring from the Navy, Gerald returned to Oklahoma, achieved a Masters of Education Degree in 1978 and became a Roger’s State University professor, retiring in 1994.
Edward Rafferty passed away on July 5, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from June 1968 to May 1969. You may contact Virginia Rafferty at: 235 Bellewood Dr, Aiken, SC 29303-2844 – (978) 337-5273
Robert G. Agoston
Robert G. Agoston passed away in 2008 due to complications from a fall he had at his home. Robert served as an RTO for Company Commander Captain Ron Pease E/CO/4th/47th . This is the last address we had for Robert: 1523 Dille Rd. Euclid, OH 44117
David W. Larkin
David W. Larkin passed away on October 8, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadon 11, River Assault Division 111 onboard Tango-111-1 from April to September 1967. You may contact the family C/O: 9750 Remick Ave, Pacoima, CA 91331 – (818) 888-3211
Member William Saffell passed away in December 2008. While in Vietnam he served with the 335th Radio Research Company from June 1968 to June 1969. You may contact the family C/O: Krisnajant Saffell, PO Box 1624, Fredericksburg, VA 22402-1624 – (540) 371-4403 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles W. Clark, Jr.
Member CDR Charles W. Clark, Jr. passed away in September 2008. While in Vietnam he was the CO for the USS Monmouth County (LST-1032) from February 1966 to March 1967. You may contact the family at: Laurie Clark, PO Box 157, New Castle, NH 03854-0152 – 603-436-3642
Carl David Divelbiss
Carl David “Dave” Divelbiss, (CDR, Supply Corps, USN, Ret.), age 73, passed away of lung cancer on September 28, 2008 at his home in Roslyn, Washington. He retired from the Navy after 22 years of service to his country. While in Vietnam Dave served on the USS Benewah (APB-35) from July 1966 to May 1968 as Supply and Logistics Officer on the Staff of Commander River Assault Flotilla One – Commander River Support Squadron Seven from it’s onset on September 1966 to April 1968. He initiated the planning of supply functions required for the new Mekong Delta Mobile Riverine Force and was the author of the new Navy supply support concept of riverine warfare. He developed the complete supply support plan and detailed supply procedures for the entire Mobile Riverine Base of 5 ships, 100 boats and almost 4,000 Army and Navy personnel. Dave leaves behind his devoted wife Fran of 50 years, his son, two daughters and their spouses and five grandchildren. Dave was a wonderful man and devoted husband, father and grandfather and he will be sorely missed not only by all his family but by his many friends as well. He often spoke of all who he served with in Vietnam and his hope was to have attended one of the MRFA reunions, which unfortunately did not happen. The family can be contacted at c/o: Fran Divelbiss, P.O. Box 593, Roslyn, Washington 98941 – (509) 649-2795
Sydney T. Connick
Member Sydney T. “Butch” Connick passed away on May 20, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with A Company, 1st Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from April 1968 to April 1969. You may contact his sister, Susan Dunn, at: 1450 9th St Rm 53, Ogden, UT 84404-5225 – (801) 394-4804
Member Terrence Golden passed away January 21, 2008. He served in the Navy (1969-70). You may contact the family C/O: Christine Golden, 401 Varsity Dr, Throop, PA 18512
Michael T. Nehring
Michael T. Nehring passed away on November 29, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15, River Assault Division 151 onboard T-151-8 in 1968-69. At this time this is all of the information that we have on Mr. Nehring.
Curtis S. Simmons
Curtis S. Simmons, SHC (USN Ret.), passed away on March 1, 2008. While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Benewah in 1966-68.
Fredrick J. Hanseroth
Fredrick J. Hanseroth passed away on June 20, 2008. While in Vietnam he served on the USS Hunterdon County (LST 838) in 1967-68.
Tommie E. McKelva
Tommie E. McKelva, GMG1, passed away on July 14, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard M-111-3.
Robert L. Weese
Robert L. Weese, BMC (USN Ret.) passed away on October 18, 2008.
Lewis D. Sandfill
Lewis D. Sandfill, BM2, passed away on December 5, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-2.
Ron H. Riffle
Ron H. Riffle, EN2, passed away on December 28, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard A-111-7.
Roland C. Beynon
Roland C. Beynon, BM1, passed away on February 28, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9, River Assault Division 91.
Larry Kizzie passed away on May 19, 2008. While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9.
Fred S. Kopatch
Member Fred S. Kopatch passed away in 2008. While in Vietnam Fred served in B Company, 2nd Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from January 1969 to May 1969. You may contact his family C/O: Grace, 515 Sheridan Dr, Gibbstown, NJ 08027-1643 – (609) 423-1947
George Field passed away on May 22, 2008. This is all of the details that we have as of this posting. If you have more information then please contact our Webmaster.
Henry Patrick Dahm
Henry Patrick “Pat” Dahm passed away on August 20, 2008 following a courageous battle with prostate cancer. While in Vietnam he served as an Engineman/Gunner with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 onboard T-131-1 in 1968-69. Pat left this message for all of us before he passed:
“Please remember to get your PSA number checked and to always follow through. I tested at 4.12 (should not be over 4) and was told that it was not too bad and to recheck in a year. One year later, mine tested out at 25 and the cancer was already out of the prostate and into other areas. Please realize the importance of early detection and biopsy. Don’t let it take your life.”
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.