VIET NAM VETERAN’S “WALL INFORMATION”
Largest per-capita Loss
Beallsville, Ohio (pop. 475) gained unwanted national attention between 1966 and 1971 by having suffered the largest per-capita loss of life in the Vietnam War. Six young men lost their lives in the war, a terrible and profound loss for this small town.
Highest State Casualties
West Virginia had the highest casualty rate in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The state had 711 casualties – 39.9 deaths per 100,000 people. Oklahoma had the second-highest casualty rate.
Highest High School Casualties
Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia sustained the largest number of Vietnam war casualties of any high school in the nation with 54.
The Marines of Morenci
They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058 had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci’s mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.
Robert Dale Draper, 19, was killed in an ambush.
Stan King, 21, was killed less than a week after reaching Vietnam.
Alfred Van Whitmer, 21, was killed while on patrol.
Larry J. West, 19 was shot near Quang Nam.
Jose Moncayo, 22, was part of an entire platoon wiped out.
Clive Garcia, 22, was killed by a booby trap while leading a patrol.
The Buddies from Midvale
LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam…
In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Three hallmark all-American days. Three more names to be placed on the The Wall
The First and the Last
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.
First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961.
The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.
Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131.
Last pilot casualty occured during the Embassy evacuation in Saigon, William C. Nystal and Michael J. Shea both died on the helicopter on April 30, 1975 approaching the USS Hancock in the China Sea (both are located at 1W, 124).
The youngest Vietnam KIA is believed to be Dan Bullock at 15 years old.
The oldest person on the Wall is believed to be Dwaine McGriff at 63 years old.
At least 5 men killed in Vietnam were 16 years old.
At least 12 men killed in Vietnam were 17 years old.
There are 120 persons who listed foreign countries as their home of record.
At least 25,000 of those killed were 20 years old or younger.
More than 17,000 of those killed were married.
Veterans killed on their first day in Vietnam 997 (unconfirmed)
Veterans killed on their last day in Vietnam 1,448 (unconfirmed)
Number of Chaplains on the Wall – 16 (2 Medal Of Honor)
Number of Women on the Wall – 8 (7 Army, 1 USAF - 7,484 served)
There are 226 Native Americans on the Memorial.
There are 22 countries represented on the Memorial.
Most common name on the Memorial “Smith” with 667 veterans.
The most casualties for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 casualties.
The most casualties for a single month was May 1968, 2,415 casualties were incurred.
Sgt. Robert G. Davison of Muskegon, Michigan joined the Marine Corp at the age of 14. He had four years of service in the Marines when he was shipped to Vietnam at age 18. Robert was KIA on Dec 17, 1966 one day before his 19th birthday.
Corporal William T. Perkins Jr. of Sepulveda, California was a Marine combat photographer. He is the only military photographer to be awarded the Medal of Honor. He was killed in action on October 12, 1967.
Corporal Thomas W. Bennett of Morgantown, West Virginia was a U.S. Army medic and was the only conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam war. He was killed in action on February 11, 1969.
Steven E. Amescua and Anthony J. Blevins joined the Marine Corp on the buddy plan. Steven was KIA May 15, 1968 and Anthony was KIA August 23, 1968.
John A. Jensen and Charles D. Turnbough were buddies who graduated from high school together and joined the Marines together. John was KIA August 27, 1967 and Charles was KIA three days later on August 30, 1967.
Brothers Charles and Philip Tank were both killed in Vietnam. Charles on April 19, 1969 Philip on September 12, 1968.
Brothers Kenneth and Paul Olenzuk were both killed in Vietnam. Kenneth on December 25, 1967 and Paul on August 10, 1968
Brothers Marlin and Norman Eversgerd were both killed in Vietnam. Marlin on March 19, 1967 and Norman on August 18, 1968
Brothers Bennett and Dennis Herrick were both killed in Vietnam. Bennett on March 25, 1968 and Dennis on August 02, 1970
Brothers Gabriel and Paul Trujillo were both killed in Vietnam. Gabriel on February 23, 1971 and Paul on November 04, 1971
Brothers Benjamin and Francisco Montano were both killed in Vietnam. Francisco on April 08, 1967 and Benjamin on May 15, 1969
Brothers James and John Rowden were both killed in Vietnam. James on March 05, 1966 and John on February 10, 1968
Brothers Michael and William Francis were both killed in Vietnam. Michael on September 30, 1967 and William on March 09, 1970
Brothers Robert and Steven Gaftunik were both killed in Vietnam. Robert on August 25, 1969 and Steven on March 27, 1968
Brothers Rudy and Stanley Sagon were both killed in Vietnam. Rudy on December 10, 1965 and Stanley on May 20, 1966
Brothers Robert and Phillip Wyatt were both killed in Vietnam. Robert on July 10, 1967 and Phillip on May 28, 1968
Brothers Samuel and William Nixon were both killed in Vietnam. Samuel on March 21, 1968 and William on May 8, 1968
Brothers Kirby and Lanny Hamby were both killed in Vietnam. Kirby on June 8, 1968 and Lanny on October 14, 1969
Brothers John and David Banks were both killed in Vietnam. John on March 28, 1966 and David on April 21, 1969
Brothers George and James Wright were both killed in Vietnam. George on May 21, 1967 and James on May 31, 1969
Brothers Donald and Cordis White were both killed in Vietnam. Donald on March 5, 1967 and Cordis on September 18, 1969
Brothers Clyde and Edward Withee were both killed in Vietnam. Clyde on February 5, 1966 and Edward on October 6, 1970
Brothers Richard and Larry Land were both killed in Vietnam. Richard on May 18, 1967 and Larry on March 28, 1971
Brothers Robert and Harold Musselman were both killed in Vietnam. Robert on October 25, 1967 and Harold on March 3, 1969
Brothers David and Otis Morgan were both killed in Vietnam. David on January 20, 1969 and Otis on January 28, 1970
Brothers John and Dana Jensen were both killed in Vietnam. John on August 27, 1967 and Dana on April 17, 1969
Brothers Stephen and Stanley Barrett were both killed in Vietnam. Stephen on January 25, 1968 and Stanley on October 3, 1970
Brothers Steven and Randy Mathias were both killed in Vietnam. Steven on July 2, 1967 and Randy on June 18, 1968
Brothers Roger and Stanley Herrell were both killed in Vietnam. Stanley on November 1, 1968 and Roger on July 29, 1969
Brothers James and Kenneth Stutes were both killed in Vietnam. James on June 6, 1970 and Kenneth on July 5, 1967
Brothers Lane and Joseph Hargrove were both killed in Vietnam. Lane on April 21, 1968 and Joseph on May 15, 1975
Brothers Edmund and Michael Travis were both killed in Vietnam. Edmund on June 27, 1967 and Michael on June 7, 1968
Brothers David and Norman Evans were both killed in Vietnam. David on October 24, 1968 and Norman on November 24, 1970
Brothers Juan and Arthur Garcia were both killed in Vietnam. Juan on Nov 20, 1967 and Arthur on February 7, 1970
Brothers David and John Greeson were both killed in Vietnam. David on Nov 7, 1969 and John on July 22, 1968
Brothers Leonard and Byron McQuinn were both killed in Vietnam. Leonard on Sept 5, 1966 and Byron on Feb 24, 1969
Brothers Rodrick and Garland Whalen were both killed in Vietnam. Rodrick on October 1, 1966 and Garland on January 31, 1969
Brothers Marvin and Darwin Gordon were both killed in Vietnam. Marvin on September 17, 1967 and Darwin on March 24, 1968
Brothers Charles and Clifford Johnson were both killed in Vietnam. Charles on February 8, 1968 and Clifford on December 26, 1970
Brothers Budd and Charles Hood were both killed in Vietnam. Budd on February 28, 1967 and Charles on August 12, 1969
Brothers Wayne and Fred Traylor were both killed in Vietnam. Wayne on May 11, 1966 and Fred on June 12, 1969
Brothers Ronald and Thomas Kustaborder were both killed in Vietnam. Ronald on Feb 25, 1968 and Thomas on Feb 14, 1969
Richard Earl Sipes and Raymond Omer Kincannon were step brothers and raised together in Chula Vista, CA. They were both killed in Vietnam. Richard on Dec 29, 1966 and Raymond on April 1, 1968
FATHER AND SONS:
Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. was killed June 08, 1956 his son Richard B. Fitzgibbon III was KIA September 07, 1965.
Leo Hester Sr. Died March 10, 1967 in a aircraft crash his son Leo Hester Jr. was KIA November 02, 1969 also in a aircraft crash.
Fred C. Jenkins Died April 2, 1968, his son Bert M. Jenkins was KIA April 28, 1969. (unconfirmed)
FATHER NOT ON THE MEMORIAL WITH SON:
Although both father and son served in Vietnam during the same time frame, the father is not on the Memorial. Lt. Rex Chrisman, US Navy, died of a heart attack while assigned on the USS Estes that was being serviced in Bangkok. The ship was waiting for its next maneuver to the China Sea. His son, PFC Rex G. Chrisman took his father back home for burial. Returning to Vietnam, Rex was killed a month later.
Number of living whose names are etched on the “wall” in error? TWELVE!
Names Added to Memorial: Since 1997 82 names of veterans who have died due to their wounds received during the Vietnam war have been added to the Wall. The latest names added are listed below.
Army PFC Thomas Joseph Conners
Army Sergeant Richard Edward Daly Jr.
Army PFC John Harold Berg
Army PFC William Ellis Browning
Army SP4 Bobby Gene Barbre
Marine Lance Cpl. George Bryant Givens Jr.
Marine Pfc. Hans Jorg Rudolph Lorenz
Marine Capt. Robert Patrick Rumley Jr.
Army SP4 Wesley Alvin Stiverson
Army Sergeant Richard Monroe Pruett
Navy Fireman Apprentice Joseph Gerald Krywicki
Army SP4 Dennis O. Hargrove
Marine Lance Cpl. Richard M. Goossens
Army SP4 Darrell J. Naylor
Marine Lance Cpl. Raymond C. Mason
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Enrique Valdez
In Memory Day Since the war in Vietnam came to an end, there has been a growing sense among many veterans and their families that those who served in this nation’s longest war have suffered and are continuing to suffer premature deaths related to their service. These deaths have been attributed to exposure to Agent Orange, post- traumatic stress disorder, and a growing list of other causes.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s In Memory Day program honors those who died as a result of the Vietnam War, but whose deaths do not fit the Department of Defense criteria for inclusion upon the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Every year there is a ceremony to pay tribute to these men and women who sacrificed so much for their country. The ceremony is held on the third Monday in April — In Memory Day.
To learn more visit the In Memory Program](http://www.vvmf.org/index.cfm?SectionID=20) website.