Those gone but not forgotten

This page is dedicated to the memory of our deceased MRFA members

TAP

Our prayers and best wishes go out to those left behind. The Brothers and Sisters of the Mobile Riverine Force Association wish the departed fair winds and following seas and our thoughts will always be with you….

TAPS Tribute to a Fallen One

What moves through you is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, you may not understand why he left this earth so soon, or why he left before you were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, you begin to remember not just that he died, but that he lived. And that his life gave you memories too beautiful to forget.

Remembering Vietnam Veterans
Over 2.6 million served
Over 58,000 gave their lives
They fought for freedom
They fought with honor
In the end they fought for one another

A Soldier Died Today

Written by A. Lawrence Vaincourt
www.vaincourt.homestead.com

James A. Hasselman

Member James A. Hasselman passed away on January 20, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served as a 1st Lieutenant with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in 1967-68.  James lost is wife, Doreen.  He is survived by his six children.

Talbot E. Walker

Former Member Talbot E. Walker passed away on February 8, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard Z-111-7 from October 1967 to March 1969.  Talbot was a resident of Pleasant Hill, MO at the time of his passing.

John Kirk Ferguson

Member CDR John Kirk Ferguson (USN Ret.) passed away on March 22, 2020.  While in Vietnam he was Commander of Strike Assault Boat Squadron 20 (STABRON 20).  John’s son created a tribute website for his father:  Click HERE

Frank J. Gubala
 

Member Frank J. Gubala passed away on March 25, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from February 1968 to July 1968 when he was seriously wounded and sent stateside.  Frank is survived by his wife Joyce. – “Frank and I were good friends in Nam. He was wounded in July 68 and sent to Japan.  Never knew what happened to him after that. In 2001 I found him and we reunited. Frank, I and our wives went to the reunions together where we  re-established our Nam friendship. My wife and I will miss him.” – Vincent Dellipaol

Jack F. Platter

Member Jack F. Platter passed away on April 20,2020.  While in Vietnam he served with Echo Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1966 to May 1968.  Jack is survived by his wife Michelle.

John Joseph Sperry

Former Member John J. Sperry passed away on May 4, 2020 following a brief illness.  While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company, 3rd Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from April 1968 to April 1969.  John is survived by his wife of 50 years, Suzi.

David L. Argabright
 

Member David L. Argabright passed away on March 31, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served as CPT with Headquarters & Headquarters Company and Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from July 1968 to January 1969.

Eugene Francis Seacor

Member Eugene Francis Seacor passed away on January 26, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th (Mech) Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from September 1968 to July 1969.

Gary Emery McCabe

Member Gary Emery McCabe passed away on May 26, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1966 to January 1968.  Gary was living in College Place, Washington at the time of his passing

Richard Paul Jennings

Member Richard Paul Jennings (LTC USA Ret.) passed away on June 1, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with S3, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from July 1966 to November 1967.  Richard was living in Temple Terrace, Florida at the time of his passing

Marvin Paul Huck
   

Member Marvin Paul Huck passed away on July 2, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 onboard T-131-13 from March 1969 to March 1970.  Marvin was residing in O’Fallon, Missouri at the time of his passing

Robert Lee McDevitt
  
A-6854 Crew.  Robert is 2nd from the Left

Member Robert Lee McDevitt passed away on July 8, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Division 595/River Assault Division 153 onboard A-6854.  This was a joint PBR and ASPB division that primarily operated in the Rung Sat Special Zone.  After his tour on the boats he served with Commander Naval Forces, Vietnam with Security Detachment, Naval Headquarters, Saigon, Vietnam.  Robert’s dates in-country were May 1969 to December 1970.  He is survived by his wife Joanne

Daniel E. Peckham
 

Chief Daniel E. Peckham (USCG Ret.) passed away on August 5, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – Division 91 onboard C-91-1 and A-91-8 from November 1967 to December 1968.  Dan was Boat Captain of A-91-8.  After his Naval enlistment he joined the United States Coast Guard retiring as a Boatswain’s Mate Chief.  Dan is survived by his wife Cheryl

John Larry Smith

Member BMC John L. Smith (USN Ret.) passed away on July 10, 2020.  After a 3 year enlistment in the U.S. Army from 1954-57, John joined the U.S. Navy in 1960.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – Division 131 as Boat Captain of T-131-1 and T-131-10 from March 1968 to March 1969.  Of all of his honorable years of service John was most proud of serving with the Mobile Riverine Force (Task Force 117).  He is survived by his wife Sandy.

James C. Binder

Member James “Jim” C. Binder passed away on July 24, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 as a GMG3 onboard M-92-1 from October 1967 to October 1968.  Jim is survived by his wife Patricia

Charles John Cox

Member Commander Charles John Cox (USN Ret.) passed away on April 4, 2020 after a long illness.  While in Vietnam he served as Commanding Officer of River Assault Division 111 from December 1967 to December 1968.  As a Lieutenant Charles received the Navy Cross Medal for his actions on September 15 & 16, 1968.  Click HERE to view his citation.  LT Cox also earned the Silver Star Medal and Bronze Star Medal with combat V device.  He was living in Ventura, CA at the time of his passing.

Steven Ray Olsen

Member Steven Ray Olsen passed away on August 6, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served onboard the USS Mark (AKL-12) as Leading Seaman, Cook, Hatch Captain and Helmsman from March 1970 to July 1971.  Steven was living in Wisconsin and is survived by his wife Laurie, daughter Abbie and son Bryan

Glyn Dennis Singleton

Glyn Dennis Singleton passed away on February 7, 2020 at the Missouri Veterans Home in Mexico, MO.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 15 – River Assault Division 151 onboard T-151-11 in 1968-69.  Dennis is survived by his wife Pamela.

Russell Floyd Meadows

Member Russell Floyd “Doodle” Meadows passed away on September 23, 2020 due to Covid-19 related complications after a lengthy hospital say.  While in Vietnam he served with Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from June 1968 to September 1970.  He is survived by his spouse Linda.

Nick Motto
 

Member Nick Motto passed away on October 10, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served as a Quartermaster 3rd Class onboard the USS Clarion River (LSMR-409) and the USS Washtenaw County (LST-1166) from December 1967 to December 1969.  Then he served with Assault Craft Unit 1 in Coronado, California from January 1970 to July 1971.  Nick is survived by his Patti Siegfried

William Robert Posey

Member BM1 William Robert “Bill” Posey (USN Ret.) passed away on September 28, 2020.  Bill served two tours of duty in Vietnam and retired with 20 years of service.  Nine of those years on tugboats.  While with the MRF he served onboard the tug YTB-785 in 1967-68.  Bill is survived by his wife Bobbie

John Nelson Baldwin
 

Dr. John Nelson Baldwin passed away on November 21, 2020 at the age of 86 following a long illness.  While in Vietnam he served as an Army Major and surgeon at the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Long Ninh where he operated on nearly 2,000 wounded servicemen during his tour of duty.  John is survived by his longtime wife Gloria “Jeannie” Baldwin

James Joseph Shippey

Member SFC James Joseph Shippey (US Army Ret.) passed away on November 3, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with Recon, E Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from September 1967 to September 1968.  James retired with over 23 years in the U.S. Army.  He is survived by his wife Diana

Robert Daniel Pawlicki
     

Member Robert Daniel Pawlicki passed away on December 2, 2020 after fighting multiple medical complications.  Robert’s first tour of duty in Vietnam was November 1965 to November 1966.  While with the Mobile Riverine Force (Task Force 117) he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard T-111-11 from March to December 1967.  Robert is survived by Linda, his wife of 40 years.

Joseph M. Pocs
   

Member Joseph “Joe” M. Pocs passed away on December 12, 2020 following a lengthy illness.  While in the Navy he served as an RM2 onboard the USS Guide (MSO-447) from 1957-1960.  Joe is survived by his wife Sally.

Thomas A. Ellingson

Former Member Thomas A. Ellingson passed away on December 10, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served onboard APL-21 from December 1967 to December 1968

Robert Eugene VanDruff

Member Robert Eugene “Bob” VanDruff passed away on December 22, 2020 after experiencing many health complications over the past 6 months.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – Division 91 & 92 onboard T-91-5 & T-92-4 from November 1968 to November 1969.  Bob is survived by Nancy, his wife of 50 years. – “He’s one of the “originals” in the MRFA, having been around back when Albert thought he was just going to put together a reunion for the USS Benewah.” – George Marthenz

David L. Paust

BMC David L. Paust (USN Ret.) passed away on March 17, 2020.  He served three tours in Vietnam to include one with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 as Boat Captain of M-131-1 from March 1969 to March 1970.

Francis Michael Keim Sr.

Member Francis “Frank” Keim Sr. passes way on December 10, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served on Staff with River Assault Flotilla One as a Pharmaceutical Chemist and Lab Director from September 1966 to December 1967.  Frank is survived by Linda, his wife of 54 years.

Bradley Lillmars

Member Bradley Lillmars passed away on November 29, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 9 – River Assault Division 92 onboard T-92-4 from June 1968 to December 1969.  Bradley was living in Sun Lakes, AZ at the time of his passing.

James McLeod Carr Jr.

Commander James McLeod Carr Jr. (USN Ret.) passed away on December 10, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served two tours as a designated Navy Intelligence Officer with the Mekong Delta Riverine Force.

Larry Lee Wedemeier

Member Larry Lee “Weed” Wedemeier passed away on August 11, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from May 1968 to April 1969.  He was preceded in death by his wife Jeanenne in 1993.

Jerrold W. Ranson

Member Jerrold W. “Jerry” Ranson (USN Ret.) passed away on April 19, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 onboard T-131-1 in 1968-69

Dwayne Lester Parsons

Member Dwayne Lester Parsons passed away on May 10, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 11 – River Assault Division 111 onboard M-111-1 from November 1967 to November 1968.  Dwayne is survived by his wife Kelly

Michael D. Farver

Member Michael D. “Mike” Farver passed away on December 23, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division as a Combat Medic in 1968-69.  Mike is survived by his wife Betty.

Keith R. Kucera

Member Keith R. Kucera passed away on October 8, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served with River Assault Squadron 13 – River Assault Division 131 onboard M-131-3 from June 1969 to June 1970.  Keith is survived by his wife Andrea.

Terrence J. Balfe
 

Member Terrence J. “Terry” Balfe passed away on October 21, 2020 from complications of a Traumatic Brain Injury that he suffered during his tour in Vietnam.  He served with B-4, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division from November 1967 to November 1968.  Terry is survived by his wife, Barbe, of 48 years. – “We started to go to the reunions in 2010 and it did a world of good for Terry to reunite with the brave men he served with . He was truly blessed with having you all back in his life.” – Barb

Vernon Carl Kahler

Member Vernon Carl Kahler passed away on July 19, 2020.  While in Vietnam he served aboard APL-26 from January to September 1969.  Vernon is survived by his wife Helen.

 

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.