2The Vietnam War was the longest war in UnitedStates History;
with commitments to thegovernment of South Vietnam to prevent
acommunist takeover, which started in the TrumanAdministration and
continued through the term ofLyndon Johnson.
Even with decades of financial and militarysupport and the loss
of 60,000 American lives,and many more injuries (One out of every
10Americans who served was a casualty.), ourobjectives were never
resolved. Why? The enemywas hard to identify. The Viet Cong did not
fight ina conventional manner; attacks came day andnight, in
jungles and rice paddies with an enemythat blended into the village
population. Anotherreason was that most of our soldiers were
young,with an average age of nineteen, andinexperienced in the ways
of war. As you readsome of our veterans stories, you will realize
thatthe Vietnam War was fought on many fronts. Forthat reason,
Communism was contained. Withoutour involvement, the Asian nations
might havefallen and the free world would have lost animportant
Was it worth all the time, money, and livesexpended? It depends
on to whom you talk. Inretrospect, many think that restraining
themilitary in Vietnam probably prevented a nuclearwar with China
or Russia. The Vietnam War wasshortly after China got involved in
the Korean War,the time of the Cuban Missile Crises,
Sovietaggression in Eastern Europe and theproliferation of nuclear
bombs. It was a veryscary time for our country.
A peace agreement was signed in Paris on January27, 1973. The
last troops left in their entirety onMarch 29, 1973. The fall of
Saigon occurred twoyears later on April 30, 1975. It was a war
thatdivided American citizens and influenced foreignpolicy into the
About this Tribute Cover PhotosTop left:In January 1968,
sighting the enemy, the doorgunner aboard a Huey helicopter opens
fire ona target below in the Mekong Delta.
Top right:The Navy's Patrol Air Cushion Vehicle (PACV)was
introduced during the Vietnam War. It wasused for assault missions,
search and rescue,high-speed troop transportation and
Bottom:USS Forrestal. A fire on a United States Navycarrier
stationed off the coast of Vietnam kills134 service members on July
29, 1967. Thedeadly fire on the USS Forrestal began with
theaccidental launch of a rocket.
During the Vietnam War, the USS Forrestal wasoften stationed off
the coast of North Vietnam,conducting combat operations. On
themorning of July 29, the ship was preparing toattack when a
rocket from one of its own F-4Phantom jet fighters was
accidentallylaunched. The rocket streaked across the deckand hit a
parked A-4 Skyhawk jet. TheSkyhawk, which was waiting to take off,
waspiloted by John McCain, the future senatorfrom Arizona.
This Tribute Booklet is a publication of the
A sincere thank you goes to: June Stemmle for conceiving of this
spent many hours writing the stories and gatheringphotos and
other supporting material.
Dick Rausch did the design and layout. Joan Grossassisted with
Enid Wallace-Simms. Senior Public Affairs Manager& Tara
Williams of DelMarva Power and Light who
coordinated the printing which was graciouslydonated as a public
3About this Tribute 2Cover Photos 2Acknowledgements 2Poetry
Inspired by Vietnam 4Herbert (Herb) Abrams * 5Richard Baggs 5Frank
Basler 5Richard (Dick) Bengermino 6Nicholas Ciranni 6Ralph Y. Clair
7Ernest Cole 7Charles (Sam) Corkadel 8Joseph DiGiacinto 9William
(Bill) Farquhar 9Herman Feinberg 10Marvin Fisher 10Robert Flynn
11Richard Foley 11Herb Frank 12Jerry Geftman 12Mel Geiger 12William
Herbster 13Robert Hill 14Robert Jackson 14Richard Jewett 14Waldo
Jones 15John Kish 16Peter Kurych 17
George Latsko 17 Joel (Skip) Leeson 17Steven LeShay 18Richard
(Dick) Lyons 19Alfred Maloney 19Richard Mullen 20Roy Peters
21Thomas Porter 21Richard (Dick) Rausch 22Clinton D. Robertson
22Fred Robinson 23Raymond (Ray) Rouiller 23James Rutolo 24John Rutt
24Gerard (Jerry) Ryan 26Robert Saul 26 Robert Schreckengost
27Michael Scott 27Joseph Speno 28Joe Tomassetti 28William (Bill)
Uranko 29Mark Verni 29Marvin Walthall 30Fred Wendt 31Vietnam
In MemoriamWe would like to recognize the following Springmill
Vietnamera war veterans who passed away during the preparation
of this tribute.
Herbert (Herb) Abrams (January 2016)Emil Savoia (December
4Poetry Inspired by The Vietnam War
Welcome Home (Its Never Too Late)by Lachlan Irvine
To all the unsung heroesWho deserve their special day
Welcome HomeThough many years have passed
I hope it's not too late to sayWelcome Home
You went to war believingThat you had a job to doAnd though it
I'm so glad you made it throughAnd I think it's time we told you
How proud we are of youWelcome Home
Though memories can be painfulAnd some wounds are slow to
Welcome HomeYour people now are ready
To tell you how we feelWelcome Home
In the footsteps of your fathersWho fought in Freedom's name
And your grandfathers before themWho played War's deadly
You followed their exampleDid your duty just the same
I hope we've gained the wisdom nowTo understand the cost
Welcome HomeAnd though it won't relieve the pain
Of good friends you have lostWelcome Home
As we take a quiet momentTo remember those who fell
In the jungles and the paddiesOn the battlefields of Hell
We give thanks for the survivorsAnd we raise our voice to
5Herb Abrams (deceased February 2016),enlisted in 1957 to serve
in the Air Force afterthe Korean War, but before Vietnam Waryears.
At the time he was residing in DrexelHill, Pennsylvania. He found
his first few daysof service very difficult because he missedbeing
home. Herb was an only child, so living ina barrack with somany
other menwas very different.He had also juststarted dating aspecial
gal and wasvery interested ingetting to know herbetter.
In 1958, Herb wasstationed overseas.Since he was assigned to
work in his chosenprofession, as a pharmacist in a hospital, hewas
never involved in combat and was neverinjured. The hospital did
have sufficientequipment and supplies.
Herb stayed in touch with family through lettersand phone calls.
He was happy to receiveitems from home, including food, because
whilethe food was OK, it wasnt what he was used to.While in the
service, Herb received an awardfor length of service in the Air
Force. He alsoshared that while he made friends during
hisenlistment, he didnt stay in touch with any ofthem. He had the
opportunity, while inCalifornia, to pass the pharmacy boards,
withthe hopes of moving there after the service. Itnever came to
pass. Herb returned home onJuly 22, 1959 and returned to civilian
life as apharmacist in a drug store. As far as hisexperience as a
whole, he said, It was not likeanything I ever did before.
Herb did join a veterans organization, theJewish War Veterans in
Delaware. He is a lifemember of the Jewish War Veterans, and roseto
the rank of State Commander, serving in thatposition for seven
Richard Baggs, of 27 Springmill Drive,enlisted in the Marine
Corps in June of 1965at age 18.
Richard did hisbasic training atParris Island,South
Carolina.Parris Island hasbeen the site ofMarine Corpsrecruit
trainingsince November 1,1915.
After boot camp, the recruits go through infantrytraining,
combat training, and find out aboutmilitary occupational
specialties. In Richardscase, he did eventually go overseas to
Vietnam.His tour in Vietnam included service in Chu Lai,Hill 244
and An Hoa. He served with the 1stMarine Division Hq Battalion and
2nd Battalion5 Marines.
Richard was discharged in June of 1968. Oncehome, he went to
school on the G.I. Bill.
Frank Basler, of 608 Poets Way, was draftedinto the Army on
October 1956. He had hisbasic training in Fort Hood, Texas,
followed byadvanced trainingat Signal Schoolin Fort GordonGeorgia.
(TheUnited StatesArmy SignalCorps developstests, provides,and
managescommunicationsand informationsystems supportfor the command
and control of combined armsforces. Over its history, it had the
initialresponsibility for a number of functions and newtechnologies
that are currently managed by other
6Richard Bengermino, of 317 Daylilly Way, wasliving in Upper
Darby, Pennsylvania, when hewas drafted into the United States Army
on May11, 1956.
After basic training, Richard was sent toGermany foreighteen
months.For the next twoyears, hisassignment wason the IronCurtain
Richard wastrained as a fieldwireman, whichentailed maintaining
communications andsetting up new communications. Not
allcommunications in the field is via radio.Sometimes it is helpful
to lay wire for telephone-like exchanges, which are not easily
subject tojamming and are economical. Field wiremencan also lay and
repair wire networks to link thebattle line to key outposts,
command posts andheadquarters. Basically, Richard kept theartillery
batteries (units of guns, mortars,rockets or missiles aimed at
enemy guns) intouch with each other.
While in Germany, Richard bought a little carthat allowed him to
drive up and downEuropeeven to Italy, during any free time.After
fourteen months, Richard was promotedto Corporal. Between his basic
training and histime in Germany, his service added up to twoyears.
He was discharged and returned homeon May 5, 1958. Once in civilian
life, he wasemployed as a warehouse superintendent.
organizations including military intelligence,
weatherforecasting and aviation.)
Frank served with the 143 Signal Company, 3rdArmored Division in
Frankfurt and Hanau,Germany from April 1957 to September 1958.
Hewas discharged in October 1958. He then served inthe Army Reserve
with the 393rd Army FieldHospital from October 1958 to October
Nick CiranniNick Ciranni made service to his country a
lifelongpursuit. As with many in the same position, his partner
inmarriage and life took on the same obligations. So weincluded
their Air Force journey, as a couple and aservice family, as part
of Nicks narrative.
Nick enlisted in the United States Air Force in January1950. The
story of them as a couple started while he wasstationed in Green
Bay,Wisconsin; he and Phyllismet in an elevator. At thetime,
Phyllis was amember of the GroundObserver Corps. Thiswas in the
early 50swhen the country wasworried about theRussians mounting
abombing attack over theNorth Pole. As things gotserious between
thecouple, Phylliss parents were concerned that if she andNick
married, she would leave Green Bay (They wereright.), and so the
scheduled wedding was called off!Nothing kept this military Romeo
and his Juliet apart,however. With the help of a parish priest,
they weremarried in the nuns convent on August 4, 1956. Theyeven
managed a reception in a friends house. Needlessto say this
strained relations with his new in-laws for thefirst year.
Well, first came love, and then marriage, and thenthekids. Nick,
Jr. was born in Green Bay. Soon after theymoved to Michigan where
their second child, Kathleen,was born in a nasty snow storm. At
this point Nick wassent to Iceland and Phyllis and the children
shuttledbetween her family in WI and his family in NY. When
hefinally got home, their next assignment was in Nebraska,where
their third child, Patricia, was born. An assignmentin Louisiana
followed, and then a four-year stint in Spain.Getting back to the
U.S. saw them on the move again toNebraska and then Alabama. Nick
finished his timeabroad (and Phyllis saw an end to packing up) when
theywere sent to Guam for two years. Then, finally, it wasback home
to Dover AFB in Delaware and the end ofthirty-one years of service.
We moved so many timesthat only our youngest, Patricia, actually
started andfinished her education in the same high school. We
wereeven in DE long enough for her to complete three years
ofcollege. (Im sure at this point Phyllis could have had acareer
with the moving company of her choiceor a travelagency.) Nick was
discharged in January, 1971. Duringhis time in the service he
received numerous awards.
The next chapter of this pairs life was in the civilian
sector.Nick became an off-duty education manager with the AirForce.
The moves this time were to Georgia, Colorado, andVirginia. At this
point, the Cirannis retired for the second timeand settled into
life in one place.
7Ralph Clair was drafted in October, 1963 tofight in Vietnam. At
the time he was living inLong Island, NY. He served from 1964-1966.
Itwas one month before President Kennedy wasassassinated. Ralph
said that his first days inthe service were frightening; mostly
becauserumors abounded,and he didnt knowwhere he would bestationed.
He wasnever assignedoverseas andnever saw combat.
Ralph spent mostof his time in theservice as a clerktypist in
TroopCommand. In thatcapacity, he was responsible for
assigningtroops overseas. The personnel in the officewere a clerk
typist, a Master Sergeant, aCaptain, a Major, and a Lt. Colonel. He
alwayshad enough equipment and supplies to do hisjob.
During his time in the service, Ralph had avariety of
experiences; for the two months heworked on courier duty and
delivered top secretdocuments all over the countryhad to travelby
plane, train and car.
Ralph primarily kept in touch with family throughletters and
occasionally by phone. He washappy when his mother sent a care
package.Any free time was spent playing pool or pingpong in the Day
Room. He never kept a journalor took photos while in the service.
He didmake a couple of good friends with whom hegets in touch once
a year. He also received aGood Conduct medal. He didnt join
anyveterans organizations.Ralph remembers the day he got home.
Whatstands out in his mind is that his parents andfriends greeted
him with hugs and saying welldone. He was just happy to be a
civilianagainhis freedom was so much moreappreciated than before
Ernest Cole, of 238 Patience Way, was draftedand entered service
in June of 1966. He wasliving in Wayne, New Jersey at the time.
Afterbasic training he was stationed at Fort Benning,Georgia and
then assigned in Vung Tau, Vietnamfrom June 1967 to June 1968. His
primary jobwas in general support maintenance andhelicopter power
Ernest didencounter combatduring the 1968 TetOffensive;
exposureto Agent Orangeduring his time inVietnam caused himto
developParkinsonsdisease. While hedidnt sustain anyinjuries, he
didexperience PTSD due to his participation in thewar. On the
positive side, he said, I found theVietnamese people to be friendly
Ernest kept in touch with his family via letterwriting and he
received many packages ofgoodies from family members while he was
inVietnam. Overall, he thought the food was OK,but there were some
shortages of supplies.
During any free time, Ernest enjoyed playing dartsand chess. He
didnt keep a journal, but he didtake some pictures, which he has
since givenaway. He did develop some friendships, but hasnot kept
in touch with his service friends.
The awards he received during his service werethe National
Defense Service Medal, VietnamCampaign Medal, Vietnam Service
Medal, and aGood Conduct Medal.
Upon returning home, Ernest attended MontclairState College and
became a teacher of vocationaleducation for special education
students. He alsoearned a Doctoral Degree in Education at
RutgersUniversity and became Executive Director of theCerebral
Palsy League of New Jersey.
He is a member of the VFW. As far as commentingon his
experiences in Vietnam, he has nothing tosay except that they were
8Sam Corkadel, of 556 Whispering Trail, enlisted in theUnited
States Air Force on October 24, 1960, at age 18.He was living in
Avondale, Pennsylvania at the time. Hedid his basic training at
Lackland Air Force Base inTexas. After basic training, he went to
school atSheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas. Havingcompleted
school, he was sent to Olmsted AFB inMiddletown, PA to the 2861st
GEEIA Squadron (GroundElectronic EngineeringInstallation
Agency).This was a TDY(temporary duty) outfit,so he got to travel
to,and work on, many AirForce bases and AirForce stations
fromMaryland toNewfoundland, Canada.
After one year, Sam wasreassigned to the 1stMobile
Communications Group, Clark AB, P.I, known tomembers as the 1st
Mob. His primary job while in theservice was in communications,
supporting combatoperations. After a few weeks to familiarize
himself withthe communication equipment he would be
operation,repairing and/or replacing, he was sent TDY to TakhliAB,
Thailand. Where he was stationed, it seemed henever had enough
equipment or supplies. His originaltwo month deployment became
three months and thenwas booted up to six months. This shortened
hiseighteen month overseas tour to fifteen months.
During Sams early time in Thailand, he lived in squadtents.
Then, before Christmas, they were moved to anabandoned Thai Air
Force barracks. They ate Crations out of mess kits served in an
outdoor messkitchen. He shared, C and K rations really werent
thatbad considering you had no other choice, and was onthem for
half a year. The base was considered hardduty; it wasnt a pleasant
environment. The big joke wasthat they had three kinds of weather;
hot and dry, hotand wet, and hot and hot. This was a high security
baserun by USAF and Air American, which was involved inthe secret
Laotian War. If you never heard of it, thenyou probably never heard
of the other conflicts that weregoing on at this time. In Southeast
Asia from 1962 to1963, Vietnam activity was actually fighting in
five areasof Asia at the same time.
After Takhli, Sam was sent to Don Muang. AB Thailandand traveled
to many other bases and mountain radiorelay sites in Thailand. In
his time there, he alsotraveled to Da Nang and Tan Son Nhut,
Vietnam. Hewas shipped out of Tan Son Nhut back to Clark AirBase,
P.I for reassignment back to the States. Duringhis time overseas,
Sam kept in touch with family throughthe mail.
Sam commented that during his time in Asia, there reallywasnt
time for fun. They did play baseball once in awhile. He did take
pictures while in the service andshared some of them during our
conversation.Getting home in December of 1963, Sam wasreassigned to
862nd Communications Squadron SAC,Minot AFB, Minot, North Dakota.
At Minot, his squadronworked base communications and also worked on
theMinuteman Missile flights. He got to go into the missilesilos
many times. He often wondered how the crewssurvived being locked in
them for their shiftsit tookextraordinary airmen. Sam said, Minot
was the coldestplace he had ever been to; its much colder
Sam was separated from the Air Force on October 24,1964 and was
assigned to the Air Force Reserve, fromwhich he was discharged on
October 23, 1966, havingserved four years in the regular Air Force
and two yearson active reserves.Sam guessed that many who served in
Southeast Asiamay have something medically wrong with them
thatmight not have shown up until years later. His bigproblem was a
waterborne parasitic lung infection whichdidnt show up until the
early or mid-1970s. The VAsanswer to that was that, If it didnt
show up on his lastAir Force medical, it didnt happen. He
continued, Itwas the same thing with Agent Orange, even though
itwas sprayed in Thailand and Vietnam from the early60s. If you
werent in Air Force base security units, youwerent eligible for
help. Sam left a lot out of hisSoutheast Asia experience because it
was such ahostile environment both in terms of weather and
When asked about awards, at first Sam commentedthat he got some
ribbons. As it turns out, he got quitea few awards; a Presidential
Unit Citation, Air Force UnitCitation, Good Conduct, Armed Forced
ExpeditionaryRibbon, Vietnam Ribbons, Training Ribbons, and aMinute
Man Missile Pin (for working on Minute ManMissiles flights at Minot
On returning home he went to work for the BurroughssCorporation
in Downingtown, PA building the mainconsoles for ABM systems, also
traveling to Boston, MAto work on the same system. He spent some
time withBell Labs in New Jersey, and with RaytheonCorporation. He
got tired of all the travel and took a jobwith the United Postal
Service; first in Newark, DE andthen in West Grove, PA. Eventually
he stated his ownconstruction business.
Sam is a lifetime member of the Disabled War Veteransand a
lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.He was an active
member of the American Legion fortwenty-three years and a Post
Commander for eightyears. When asked about his Air Force experience
as awhole, he said, It wasnt good or bad, it was just a job.
Charles (Sam) Corkadel
9Joseph V. DiGiacinto was born May 19, 1935 inBrooklyn, NY. He
attended Brooklyn Technical HighSchool, received a Bachelor of
Science degree fromthe University of Dayton, and a Master of
ScienceDegree from the University of Wisconsin.
Joe was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant fromROTC and
enteredactive duty with theArmy on September19, 1958.
Afterattending the InfantryOfficer Basic Course,he was assigned to
the25th Infantry Division inHawaii, where heserved as a
platoonleader in the 21stInfantry, and then asAssistant
Chemicalofficer with the USArmy. Then, from1964 to 1966, he was
assigned tothe US Army Biological Laboratory in Fort Detrick,
In 1966, Joe volunteered for duty in Vietnam and wasassigned to
the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry division inVietnam as the brigade
chemical officer and assistantS-3. While in Vietnam he was involved
in numerousbattles, the biggest of which was Operation Junction
City;later to be called the April Fools Day Massacre. He wasalso
involved in the extensive use of Agent Orange.
After some R&R in Hong Kong, Joe returned to theU.S. and
attended the Command and General StaffCollege at Ft. Leavenworth,
Kansas. Upongraduation, he was ordered to Washington, DC andserved
first in the Office of Personnel Operation andthen in the Chemical
and Nuclear OperationsDirectorate at the Pentagon until 1973, when
he wastransferred to the US European Command inStuttgart Germany.
He and his family were able totour numerous countries.
Upon returning to the United States in 1976, he wastransferred
to the US Army Ordnance and ChemicalCenter and School, Aberdeen
Proving Ground, MD,where he served as commander of the 3rd
Battalion.Then in 1980 he was assigned as Director of
TrainingDevelopments at the Chemical School, FortMcClellan,
From 1983 to 1986, Joe served in a variety ofpositions at TECOM
Headquarters (Test andEvaluation Command) before becoming Chief of
Staffin January, 1986. He retired on September 30, 1988.
Bill Farquhar enlisted in the Air Force in 1955. Atthe time, he
was living at home in Saddle Brook,New Jersey, and it seemed the
best choice at thetime since he couldnt afford to attend college.
Hedid his basictraining at SampsonAir Force Base inNew Yorka
verybusy time.Bill was assignedoverseas, going toFrance the
followingyear, in 1956. Hehad learned tooperate a two-wayradio and
so wasassigned to a communication job as a radiooperator. He was
never involved in combatbecause his enlistment occurred between
theKorean and Vietnam era. During his tour inFrance he stayed in
touch with family throughletters and looked forward to treats
received,even though the food in the Air Force wasdecent.
For fun, during any breaks, he especially enjoyedplaying
basketball. (It figuresif you know Bill,he a tall drink of water.).
He didnt keep a journalor take pictures, but made friends that he
losttouch with once he was discharged. Overall hethought his
experience in the Air Force wasgood.
Once home, he worked in the trucking industry.Bill spent his
whole career in the transportationindustry, retiring at age 55. Hes
proud of the factthat, during his tenure at the trucking company
heworked for, he did a little bit of everything. Hestarted as a
driver and became Vice President ofOperations by his
Joseph V. DiGiacintoJoes military awards include the Legion of
Merit,Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, MeritoriousService
Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal,Joint Service
Commendation Medal, ArmyCommendation Medal, Expert Infantry Badge
and theGeneral Staff Badge. He is also a 1981 graduate of theArmy
Joe reflected on his thirty years and twelve days on activeduty
saying, They were the best ever. We made numerousfriends and are
still in contact with many of them.
Herman Feinberg was drafted into the Army fortwo years, in 1962,
when he was 22 years old.At the time he was living in
Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. He remembers the first few daysof basic
training, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina,as being cold. It was in
February. He never wentoverseas. Most of his tour was spent in
Northand South Carolina.
Hermans primaryjob, while in theservice, was takingcare of
MilitaryPayrolls. Becausehe had previouslybeen trained inData
Processing,he was assigned towork on MilitaryPayrolls at FortBragg.
He processed 80 column cards andprinted payroll vouchers and also
printed greencards for paymentslike the refunds you used toget from
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Herman wasassigned to support
the 82nd Airborne, stationedat Fort Bragg that was going to
paratroop intoCuba, if President Kennedy deemed it necessary.
Herman was lucky because he had his own carwith him, so he got
to tour some of the southerntowns. He enjoyed playing baseball and
footballduring his free time. He was never hurt incombat, but did
break his nose playing football.He mostly stayed in touch with
family by drivinghome, but he also got treats from home
betweentrips. He didnt want for much, food and supplieswere easily
Herman didnt keep a journal, but he did takepictures during his
service. While he made friends,he didnt stay in touch once
discharged. An awardhe received was a Good Conduct Medal.
Upon being discharged, Herman drove homewith three other
soldiers. Once in civilian life, hewent to work in the area
oftechnology/computers. While he didnt join aveterans organization,
he does credit the servicefor helping him grow up.
Marvin Fisher, of 555 Whispering Trail, enlisted inthe United
States Air Force on June 9, 1953. Hewas 19 years old and living in
Elsemere, DE at thetime. He did his basic training at Sampson
AirForce Base in Geneva, New York.
Marvin was then stationed at Maxwell Air ForceBase in Alabama.
His primary job in the servicewas in the TacticalAir Command; hewas
responsiblefor processing aircrews. He wasnever involved incombat
and wasnever injured.
While Marvin wasin the service, hekept in touch withfamily
bytelephone. He said that while the food in the AirForce wasnt bad,
he was happy to receive carepackages from his mom. During any free
time,now and then, he played poker. Marvin still likesto go to
Atlantic City with his wife, Sylvia. Hemade many friends and has
kept in touch withsome of them.
Marvin was in the Air Force for four years,returning home on
June 8, 1957. Usually you aredischarged on the same day you go into
theservice. In his case, he had to stay an extra daybecause it fell
on a Sunday, and the financialoffice was closed on Sunday.After his
discharge, Marvin at first worked atDuPont, but then joined the
Delaware Air Guardand became a career airman. He remained in
theGuard for thirty-six years, eventually becoming anAir Operations
Supervisor. Crews of airmen flewout every week, but none of them
got to go unlessMarvin signed the paperwork. One experience hehad
that was unrelated to his regular assignmentwas during the civil
disturbances in Wilmingtonduring the 1960s. His group was there to
makesure no one interfered with fire fighters doing theirjob. One
story that Sylvia reminded him of waswhen, at age 60, he decided to
volunteer forDesert Storm. He thought he might finally getoverseas.
But it wasnt to be. It seems he hadhad pneumonia and Sylvia
insisted he be checkedout before leaving. During the exam, he
Bob Flynn, of 143 Springmill Drive, enlistedin the United States
Air Force at the age ofnineteen. At the time he was living in
EastOrange, New Jersey. He remembers mostlythat during those first
few days in the service hewas homesick.
In 1956 Bob wasstationedoverseas, but wasnot involved incombat
and wasnever injuredduring his service.His firstassignment was
inFrance. He alsospent a short timeon a base inTripoli. His primary
job in the Air Force was asan aircraft mechanic.During breaks, Bob
enjoyed traveling in Europe.One experience that stands out in his
memoryoccurred in Greecehe was robbed.
Bob kept in touch with family through lettersand phone calls. He
thought the food abroadwas OK. He didnt really keep a journal or
takepictures. He did make friends, but hasnt keptin touch with
Bob remembers coming home, because soonafter he got back, he
became engaged toMarge. They were married the followingsummer in
1960. Once a civilian, he continuedto work with aircraft as an
airplane mechanic.He worked for Eastern Airlines for
twenty-sixyears. The love of planes continued for manyyears, even
after retirement. You could findhim at Lums Pond most days of the
week flyingradio-controlled helicopters and airplanes.
Richard Foley, of 302 Daylilly Way, wasdrafted into the United
States Army inSeptember of 1957 at age 23. He spent a yearand a
half overseas, in Germany, during histour of duty. His job in the
service was being aradio/teletype operator.One memorablestory that
Richardhad better notforget was whenhis wife-to-bejoined him
inGermany andthey were marriedshortly after herarrival.
Carolremained withDick for about sixmonths beforereturning to the
United States, which was fourmonths or so before he came back
He remembered only one award that stands outand that was Soldier
of the Cycle. He alsoearned a Good Conduct medal. He made anumber
of friends in the Army and stayed intouch with them for good
Richard remained in the service until hisdischarge in 1959. As
far as his experienceoverall, he said it was an interesting time in
hislife. When he returned home, he went to workas a research
analyst at a major departmentstore in Columbus, Ohio.
Richard Foleydiagnosed with atrial fibrillation...he didnt get
to go.When Marvin finally retired from the Guard, he joined
theAmerican Legion, mostly because his neighbor SamCorkadel was in
charge. All in all, Marvin said, I cantcomplain about my time in
the service; I have a niceretirement, have a health plan for life,
and enjoyed what Idid.
This Tribute was unveiled at a receptionfor Springmills Korean
and Vietnameseera war veterans which was held at theClubhouse on
Saturday June 11, 2016.
The reception was underwritten by theSpringmill Board of
A thank you goes to June Stemmle whomade arrangements for the
reception andfor the help of everyone who assisted with
the days festivities.
Herb Frank was commissioned in June, 1963, as aSecond Lieutenant
in the U.S. Army Military PoliceCorp. He was 21 years old at the
time, was marriedand was living in Forest Hills, New
York.Initially, he was assigned to Fort Dix in New Jersey.Herb said
the first days in the service were difficult. Itwas hard for a
twenty-one-year-old to be a responsibleleaderall while learning the
aspects of his job as amilitary police officer.
Herbs battalion wasactivated to gooverseas to Vietnamin
February, 1965.As a SecondLieutenant, andsubsequently as aFirst
Lieutenant, hisprimary job was as aplatoon leader,responsible for
foursquads of men, with 8to 10 men in eachsquad. At one point, he
was the battalion supplyofficer and was responsible for changing
all theequipment, vehicles, and arms to the newest modelsprior to
going over to Vietnam. In Vietnam, besidesregular police duties, he
supervised his platoon, whichwas located in different cities in
Vietnam. His men wereresponsible for guarding armed forces
Herb was never involved in combat and was not injuredduring his
tour. One experience he recalled occurredwhen he was the officer in
charge of the shift. He got tomeet the commander of all the forces
in Vietnam as wellas the United States ambassador to Vietnam. As
theofficer in charge he was responsible for checking theirquarters
and making sure they were secure and the safewas locked.Since the
internet was not invented by Al Gore at thetime, Herb regularly
mailed home letters and packagesand received the same. He
especially appreciated anytreats that arrived, even though he
thought the food wasgood. He did learn a lesson about eating the
localcuisinecame down with amoebic dysentery. On rareoccasions, he
was able to phone home by going throughthe local Vietnamese network
to a radio operator, whowould radio to a ham operator, who would
then phonehis wife, so they would be able to talk.
During any breaks, Herb would drink or go to theOfficers Club,
where there would be entertainment.He didnt keep a journal or take
any pictures, but mademany friends. Unfortunately, he isnt still in
touch withany of them. His service awards include campaignribbons
and a Fort Dix Certificate of Merit.On the day he was discharged,
he remembers steppingoff the plane in Hawaii and kissing the
ground, he was
Mel Geiger joined the Delaware National Guard inJuly, 1965. He
grew up and was living in Dover, DE atthe time. It was a very
common thing for young menof his age group to do where he grew up.
He wasalso acquainted with the First Sergeant of the localunit, as
well as several other members of the Guardunit, so it was
Mel didnt ship out forbasic training at FortBragg,
NorthCarolina, until August,1966. He spent eightweeks there
doingthe things you do inbasic training;marching, p-t,
firingweapons, etc.) Histime there wasstrenuous but uneventful. He
said he also met somevery interesting people from all walks of
so glad to be back in the United States. His wife methim in
Hawaii and they stayed at the Marriott for a fewdays. Herb kept mum
about anything beyond that.
Upon entering civilian life again, Herb worked with theBoy
Scouts of America as a professional scouter.Then he started on his
insurance career with LibertyMutual Insurance Company as a claims
adjuster. Overtime he worked for other insurance companies, and
atage 45 became an expert witness and testified forpeople who were
suing insurance companies.
Jerry Geftman is among those who served theircountry, but are
very private concerning that service.Jerry did share thathe
enlisted in theUnited StatesMarine Corps inOctober of 1956. Itwas
during the timewhen people werebeing drafted and hepreferred to
make hisown choices and soenlisted for a three-year tour.
During that time heserved aboard a number of ships and had
theopportunity to sail to numerous ports. He washonorably
discharged in October. 1959.
From basic training, Mel moved on to Fort Dix, NewJersey for
Radio Operator training. He remembersMorse code was not easy for
him to absorb, but hegot through it. Soon after, a major
reorganization ofthe Delaware National Guard began.
Thereorganization move Mel to four other units within thestate
during his period of service; Harrington,Seaford, Georgetown, and
Milford. During this timehe didnt recall using Morse code even
Mels unit was most active in 1968, when he was in theGeorgetown
Unit. His unit received a call to serviceduring the riots at
Delaware State College (nowDelaware State University). His unit had
several face-to-face contacts with the dissidents, but no
dangeroussituations arose. They were stationed at the collegefor
several days until the unrest eased and classesresumed. They were
also called out when riots andburning in the city of Wilmington
occurred in 1968.Their unit was on call as back-up to the units
that werepatrolling the streets of Wilmington. His unit also
spenttheir summer training in the City of Wilmingtonbecause of the
civil unrest at the time.
Each year the National Guard units participate in atwo-week
summer training exercise to improve andmaintain their military
skills. Mel said, These arealways interesting and fun. Besides
their summertraining in Wilmington, they got to train at
BethanyBeach, DE, New Castle County Airport, and even flewas far as
Fort Bliss, Texas.
While Mel didnt have any photos to share of his timein the
National Guard, he had many memories of thetime he spent in the
several different units and of themany people he met.
The National Guard was quite different in the 1960sthan what you
see today. It was what the namesuggests; protecting our nation, not
fighting a war inanother part of the world. Few, if any, National
Guardunits were activated for overseas duty back then.
Bill Herbster, of 525 Whispering Trail, spent 23years in the
service of the United States MarineCorps and the United States Air
Force. Billshared I enjoyed every position and assignmentwhile
serving in both services.
Bill grew up in Brookhaven, PA. He enlisted inthe United States
Marine Corps in 1953. Hewas transferred to Washington D.C. and
wasassigned to the National Security Agency. Aftersome research, I
discovered that it is anintelligence organization of the United
government. Its parent agency is the U.S.Department of Defense.
It is home to Americascode makers and code breakers, providing
timelyinformation to U.S. decision makers and militaryleaders. It
is unique among the defense agenciesbecause of its government-wide
responsibilities,delivering critical strategic and tactical
informationto war planners and war fighters. By its verynature, the
job requires a high degree ofconfidentiality. It exists to protect
On August 5, 1956,Bill completed hisMarine Corpsenlistment and
onAugust 7, 1956, hesigned a re-enlistmentcontract with theUnited
States AirForce. He wasassigned to Libyafrom 1960 to 1963.Then from
1963 to1967, he was assigned to the USAF Flight TestCenter at
Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Bill moved again from 1967-1968, when he wasassigned to LG
Hanscom Field in Massachusetts(ESD-Electronics Systems Division).
The next yearwas spent on Johnston Island with the AEC, andthen
from 1969 to 1972 he was stationed atMcGuire Air Force Base.
Bill spent some time overseas from 1972 to 1975,when he was
assigned to a Tactical Unit of A-2/O-2 Aircraft Squadron out of
Vietnam to Wheeler AirBase in Hawaii.
In 1975, Bill and his family relocated to Ellsworth AirForce
Base in South Dakota. Bill retired from theUSAF on November 1,
1976. Bill and Shirleysmilitary life was filled with many
wonderfulmemories as their assignments took them fromcoast to
coast, as well as overseas. Once Billretired, the family settled in
North Wilmington,where Bill accepted a position as vice president
ofan electronic systems company in Pennsylvania;Bill subsequently
moved his corporation toDelaware in 1986. He retired for a second
time in1992, and the couple moved into their summerhome on the
water near Bethany. In 2002, Bill andShirley purchased a home in
Robert Hill, of 346 Daylilly Way, enlisted in the U.SNavy in
July of 1957. At the time he was living athome in Delaware City,
DE. After completing bootcamp in Bainbridge, Maryland, and six
months oftemporary duty at Pre-Electronics school in
NormanOklahoma, he spent twenty-eight weeks in AviationElectronics
School inMemphis,Tennessee. Robertwas then transferredto McGuire
Air ForceBase in New Jerseyfor eight weeks ofRadio
Once Robertstraining wascomplete, he wasassigned to a flight
crew for eighteen months as theElectronics Tech and Radio Operator
on a C-118airplane for 18 months. He flew all around the world.Most
of the flights were in Europe, particularly inGermany. He also made
special trips to the Pacific;Hawaii, Guam, Wake, Philippines, Fiji
and NewZealand.Robert commented that he had a great tour of
dutywhile in the Navy. He was a small town boy who gotto see the
world. He was discharged in August of1960.
Staying in touch with family was accomplishedthrough phone
calls, letters, and an occasional leavefrom duty. Robert said he
got many treats fromhome, which he, and most of the others, shared
withtheir comrades. Ironically, the best food on the postwas cooked
at the stockade, so he made a point ofeating there most of the
time. Because he wasassigned to a Headquarters Unit, he usually
gotenough of anything he needed; food and supplies.
During any freetime, Robert wouldutilize the Post GymFacility,
go to townon occasion, andgenerally use otherPost
facilities,including church.He didnt keep ajournal or takemany
pictures.Now he wishes thathe had. He still hashis Army yearbook
packed away somewhere inthe attic. He made several friends and
stayed intouch with a few over several years after hisdischarge.
Hes not in touch with any of themnowfifty-two years since being
drafted takes itstoll. While in the service, Robert received
theGood Conduct Medal and a Marksman RifleAward.
Robert was honorably discharged on Dec. 1, 1965.He rode home, in
an Army buddys car, from Ft.Campbell, Kentucky. His friend was on
his wayhome to Holyoke, Massachusetts. Robert said, Wewere so happy
to get out of the Army, that we hardlynoticed the long ride home.
My buddy met myfamily, had a meal, and hit the road again.
Robert returned to his Federal Government jobas a clerk and was
promoted to a ProcurementOfficer Trainee. He also reenrolled in
TempleUniversity, and married his fianc shortly aftergetting home.
He did join the American Legion.
Overall, Robert said, I was drafted and did notwant to go. But
my experience was okayconsidering the part of the country to which
I wasassignedin the middle south, Kentucky,Tennessee. I did take
advantage of some of theopportunities for which I qualified. I
almost wish Ihad stayed in the Army longerjust long enoughto
receive the specialized training offered.
Robert B. Jackson, Jr., of 19 Springmill Drive,was drafted Dec.
1, 1963, during the Vietnam era.He was living in West Philadelphia,
Pennsylvaniaat the time. He reports that those first few days
ofbasic training were scarythere was the fear ofthe unknown and
many rumors about basictraining. Surprisingly, he didnt think basic
trainingwas that bad after a few weeks.
Robert was never sent overseas, he just stayedstateside, so he
never saw combat. He wasassigned to a Military Police Company.
Heworked at the Post Stockade as a prisoner intakeand work
assignment specialist. One memorywas when he escorted one of the
most cunningprisoners to Leavenworth Federal Prison in KansasCity,
Kansas. At the time, he was issued a 45caliber pistol, which he had
never fired before. Hisprisoner was delivered safely and securely
after asix-hour layover in St. Louis, Missouri.
Richard Jewett, having been in the ROTC during hiscollege years,
was commissioned as a SecondLieutenant in the U.S. Army upon
graduation fromBowling Green State University in 1956. At the
timehis home was in Wellington, Ohio.Richard remembers the first
days in the Army asbeing challenging; mostly because he
becameresponsible for somebody else besides himself. Hesaid it was
a very maturing time of life; he was new tothe Army, in charge
ofother soldiers, anewly marriedhusband and a littlelater a
Eventually, he did gooverseas five times;Korea
(1960-1961),Germany (1964-1967), Vietnam(1968-1969),Germany
(1971-1974), and Hawaii(1981-1984). During his career in the
service heserved in command and staff assignments in AirDefense
Artillery, Personnel Management, andService Schools Instructor. He
feels his mostimportant assignment was as Commander, 3rdBattalion,
61st Air Defense Artillery, and 3rdArmored Division in Germany from
Richard was involved in combat during his time inVietnam but was
never injured. His family did notaccompany him when his tours took
him to Koreaand Vietnam; he did keep in touch though letters
andtapes. He didnt rely on treats from home becausethere wasnt
anything from home that he couldntalso get on base. He did comment
that the foodwas like anywhere in the United Statessome goodand
some bad. He always had enough equipmentand supplies on his tours,
except for Korea (1960-61), when things could sometimes be secured
fastervia the Korean Black Market.
During his off-hours, he played sports (hardshiptours) and
traveled during the European tours ofduty. He didnt keep a journal
or take pictures. Hedid make friends while in the service and keeps
intouch with a few who are still living. Richard alsoreceived
numerous service awards; Legion ofMerit, Bronze Star Medal,
Meritorious Service Medal(2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation
Medal(1st Oak Leaf Cluster) National Defense ServiceMedal, Vietnam
Service Medal, Army Service
Waldo Jones, of 639 Poets Way, but originallyfrom Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania wascommissioned as a U.S. Navy Ensign in Juneof 1955,
afterparticipating in theNROTC program atMiami University.He
comments thathe was a ColdWar vet.Waldo went directlyto Naval
Aviatortraining atPensacola, Florida,then to AirshipTraining at
Glynco, Georgia. He receivedNaval Aviator Gold Wings upon
graduating.He was then assigned to Airship Squadron 3and stationed
in Lakehurst, New Jersey, whichwas an anti-sub assignment. He also
flew anti-missile flights using radar to detect possiblesoviet
attacks. The flights were approximately24 hours each and they ate
and slept on boardthe airship.
Waldo shared that he made many friends,which he still keeps in
close touch with today.At his discharge he had attained the rank
ofLieutenant Commander. He did not join anyveterans organizations,
since he was notassigned overseas.Overall, Waldo feels serving in
the Air Forcewas a great experience, which he was glad hehad the
opportunity to do. When he returnedhome in May, 1959, he joined the
NavyReserves at the Lakehurst, New Jersey AirStation.
Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2), VietnameseCross of
Gallantry with Palm and Republic ofVietnam Campaign Medal.
Richard remembers all five times he returned home.His final
return home translates to his final day in theArmy. His Military
Retirement Ceremony was inMarch of 1984. Once he retired, after 28
years inActive Army, he worked for ten years for agovernment
contractor. He is a life member ofseveral service organizations. He
has no regrets forserving in the Army, stating, It was an exciting
andrewarding experience for me and my family.
What makes Johns service different from anyoneelses in this book
is that he has served in threebranches of the service; the Navy,
the ArmyNational Guard, and the Pennsylvania AirNational Guard.
In January of 1955, John Kish took an audition testas a civilian
at the U.S. Naval School of Music andwas accepted as aguaranteed
musicianupon a four-yearenlistment in theNavy.John spent one yearat
the school andwas then assigned tothe WWII aircraftcarrier, CVA
IIU.S.S. Intrepid,which still had theold wooden deck,but was a
front line attack carrier. (CV stands forcarrier and A means
John spent six months on sea duty in theMediterranean Sea;
stopping at ports in Lisbon,Portugal, Barcelona, Spain, Naples and
Rome, Italy,Cannes and Paris, France, Athens, Greece, andIstanbul,
Turkey. His military band duties included:(1) Change of Command
Ceremonies, (2) Pass inReviewmusic to show off troops in formation,
(3)U.S.O. dance band music, (4) Morale Concertsaboard ship and
music for dances in the hangerdeck area, (5) Parade Music, and (6)
Public RelationConcerts in ports of call and tours in
**The U.S.S. Intrepid is now a museum in New York.Anyone can
tour for an admission price. Many yearsafter Johns tour of duty,
the Navy installed a newmetal angle deck you can walk on today.
After six months shore duty in Norfolk, VA, Johnsseventeen-piece
band was assigned to the AdmiralsFlag unit aboard the Navys newest
angle deck supercarrier, the U.S.S. Forrestal CVA59. This new
1957carrier was a proud showcase for public relations.John
remembers that Grace Kelly and PrinceRainer came aboard for a tour.
The band greetedthem on the quarter deck for a ceremony with
theFleet Admiral. After sea duty, John was transferred tothe
Brooklyn fifty-piece Navy Yard band, whichcoincided with the
conclusion of his Navy time in1959.
Allentown Marine Band MemberIn 1962, he joined Pennsylvanias
famous AllentownMarine Band as a tuba player. This is the
oldestconcert band in the United Statesformed 187years ago. Its
name needs a bit of an explanation. Itis not a military band, but
the name reflects on militarymarine bands, especially the United
States MarineBand in Washington, D.C. During his
four-yearmembership, the band invited the director of theWashington
D.C. band to guest conduct duringseveral concerts in Allentown.
Allentown, PA washonored in 1967 with the title Band City
USAbecause this small city has four great fifty-membercommunity
concert bands. Every concert or paradepaid a union scale of $4.00
per job, which proved themusicians did each performance for love of
music, notmoney. The Allentown Marine Band has producedmany
records, CDs, and a 94 page history book onthe band. The Pioneer
Band (1888), the Marine Bandof Allentown (1903), and the Municipal
Band ofAllentown (1926) are the other three communitybands.
Pennsylvania Army National Guard BandIn late 1979, a buddy who
was a dedicated PA ArmyNational Guard musician suggested that John
enlistfor a one-year trial period so he could play in theirband,
which he did, but he ended up serving two anda half years. His duty
included concerts and paradesin eastern Pennsylvania. This was a
big step for John,who had been out of the military for twenty
yearshewas starting again at age 44.
Pennsylvania Air National Guard BandThen in 1982, John
transferred from the PennsylvaniaArmy National Guard Band to the
Pennsylvania AirNational Guard Band in Middletown, PA. Why?
Becauseafter hearing just one concert he was hypnotized anddreamed
of playing with them. Out of the twelve Air GuardBands in the
United States, the Command Officer of allthe bands in Washington,
D.C. chose this PA band to setthe high standards for all the other
bands to follow! Thequality of sound from each section of musicians
wasdynamicblending into one beautiful sound. Concertsand parade
duties in state took him from Harrisburg toAllentown, PA. The band
also performed concert tours inEngland, Holland, and Norwaygetting
from place toplace in a C130 cargo plane.
In conclusion, John shared this story: A three-seconddecision
that changed my life occurred in seventhgrade. I was a snare
drummer in our school band andorchestra. I loved every minute in
rehearsals andconcerts. One day, I was walking in the hall, and
myband director stopped me and said he needed a basshorn player,
and would I try it? It took me threeseconds to say, OK and my
exciting civilian andmilitary career changed my life forever. Uncle
Samwas my friend and responsibility for twenty years.
Peter Kurych, of 627 Poets Way, enlisted atage 21 in the United
States Army Reserve inMay of 1961. He was living in Pennsylvania
atthe time and served for six years. He said thefirst few days in
basic training at Fort Knox,Kentucky, were lonely and a bit sad;
notunusual for theyoung menacclimating to amilitary climate.
Pete shared thathe never wentoverseas, but hisunit was always
onalert. His primaryjob was to supplythe helicopterunits. He always
had enough equipment andsupplies to do his job. He stayed in touch
withfamily and friends by phone and through themail. He enjoyed
receiving care packages fromhome even though the food was good in
During his free time, Pete enjoyed going to theS.O.S shows and
the movies. While he made anumber of friends, many he kept in touch
withare now deceased.Pete remembers the day he returned home
afterhis discharge on January 31, 1967, becausehis future wife was
waiting to greet him at thePhiladelphia Airport with his family. He
startedjob hunting on his return. As for his overallexperience, he
shared that it was a learningprocess of dealing with various
George, at first, responded saying, I am a vet butwas too young
for the Korean War and hadalready served my time before Vietnam.
Myservice dates were 1957 to 1963, with 20 monthsoverseas, in
Germany, but during peace time.
George enlisted as a volunteer for the draft inthe U.S. Army in
New Castle Pennsylvania.The year was 1957. He did basic training
clerical training in the United States. Georgethen spent 20
months in Karlsruhe, Germany asa battalion clerk. He also spent
four years inthe US ArmyReserve (2 yearsactive, and 2
Because wewanted to honorALL our vets whoserved during thetime
from Koreathrough Vietnam,we added a sectionfor those who protected
our nation, but were notnecessarily involved in the war effort.
Joel (Skip) Leeson, of 339 Daylilly Way, was living
inWoodbridge, New Jersey when he was accepted intoRutgers
University. Following college, he joined the Navy.He went to
Officer Candidate School in 1967. At 22 yearsof age, he was
commissioned an Ensign in the U.S.Navy. He spent 2 years on active
duty. When hecame home, Skip became a member of the U.S.
NavyReserve, drilling on weekends, and working for MineForces.
Skip shared that back then, Officer Candidate Schoolwas not the
most pleasant. They tended to cram as muchas possible into four
months of training. He graduated asColor Company Commander and
received six awards.After that, he went to Anti-Submarine Warfare
School inKey West, Florida before being assigned to a destroyer,the
USS Buck DD-761, off the coast of Vietnam.
Skip said his biggest concern was that they were the firstship
in the Sea of Japan when the USS Pueblo was takenby the North
Koreans. They were the designated ship togo into Wonsan Harbor and
get it back if the order wasgiven. Thankfully, the order was not
Skip became and ASW (Anti-Sub Warfare) Officer andGunnery Plot
Officer. His most important job wasstanding bridge watches, as the
Officer of the Deck wasrunning the ship. As Gunnery Plot Officer he
wasresponsible for shore bombardment.
At that time, Vietnam was divided into five sections northto
south. 1 Corps was the DMZ (demilitarized zone). 5Corps was the
Mekong Delta. He worked mostly off 3Corps, at the mouth of the
Saigon River, where his unitwas assigned to help the Australians.
He was alsoresponsible for protection of the USS New Jersey offof I
Corps on the DMZ.
Skip shared that he was never injured and no one shot athim at
sea. He managed to stay in touch with family bymail. He did get
some treats in return mail, but the mailwas always late. He had no
breaks at sea; he did twobridge watches a dayand refueled at
seaevery three days, sothere was lots ofpaperwork to do.
Skip has stayed intouch with many of hisofficer shipmates;
onelives in Australia, onein Guam, and someothers are in theUnited
After his dischargefrom duty in 1969, he joined the VFW. He also
stayed inthe reserves and retired as a Commander. He
becameCommanding Officer of the Reserve Unit attached tothe USS New
Jersey. The USS New Jersey wasstationed off the coast of Beirut in
1983-84 and was notgiven a relief. Skip, as part of the reserve
unit, contactedthe Chief of Naval Reserve and got an airlift to the
ship torelieve part of the crew. It was so successful,
fiveadditional flights were scheduled, and reservists from allover
the country volunteered. Reservists, during thisaction, relieved
over half the crew in increments, so theywere able to go home on
leave. It was the largestpeacetime crew relief in the history of
Dr. Steven LeShay, 7 Springmill Drive, enlisted in theUnited
States Navy in 1961, at age 17, shortly after hegraduated from high
school in Hartford, CT, thus taking thefirst step in an interesting
and eventful career of interruptedactive duty and reserve military
service that lasted fortwenty-six years.
After completing basic training at Great Lakes (IL)
Navaltraining Center, and attending Journalism School there,Steven
served on active duty until 1964 as an enlisted NavyJournalist
(E-5) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during theCuban missile crisis. He
became editor of the base dailymimeographed newspaper, The Gitmo
Gazette; and was anArmed Forces Radio and Television Services
(AFRTS)personality for WGBY, the Voice of the Windward Passage.
During the missile crisis, Steven had the opportunity to meetand
interview many celebrities who visited the base toentertain the
Sailors and Marines stationed there. Some ofthese performers
included singers Connie Francis andFrankie Lane, NY Yankee
sportscaster Mel Allen,Ventriloquist Senor Wences, and Perry Como
along withsome of his Kraft Music Hall entourage.Steven was also at
Guantanamo Bay, in October 1963,when Hurricane Flora, one of the
deadliest (7,000 lives lost)Atlantic hurricanes in history smashed
into the southeast tipof Cuba with 120 mph winds and torrential
rain. He had to
relocate to a concrete-reinforced bunker to stay on the air.He
was present in February 1964 to report R Adm John(Bulldog) Bulkeley
turning off Fidel Castros Yateras Riverpipeline as a water source
to the base.
After leaving active duty, Steven earned his Bachelors Degree
inElementary Education in 1967, before pursuing a Masters Degreein
Public Relations at Rowan University (formerly Glassboro
StateCollege). His first day on campus (June 23, 1967) was the
first dayof the historic three-day Glassboro Summit Conference
betweenUS President Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin,
whichwas held in the home of the college president.
With the decade, Stevenmarried, raised a family, andstared his
own advertisingcompany. Then in 1972,while calling on anadvertising
client, hestopped into the local Navyrecruiting office in NewJersey
to see aboutrejoining the Navy as areservist. He was told hecould
get a directcommission as an officer, sohe joined a Naval Reserve
unit stationed at Floyd Bennet Field inBrooklyn, NY, where he
drilled one weekend a month.
From 1972 to 1995, Steven was a Public Affairs Officer(PAO)
assigned to a 40-person Combat camera unitresponsible for producing
documentaries as well as trainingfilms primarily for the Navy. The
unit moved to the Naval AirStation in Willow Grove, PA; eventually,
Steven waspromoted to Commander (O-5) and became that
unitsCommanding Officer. One of the highlights of this passage
inhis career was the opportunity to write the script for actorJohn
Waynes last motion picture filmed several monthsbefore the Duke
died in June 1979. It was a shortdocumentary about the Seabees and
how they were able tomove equipment within 48 hours to any location
around theworld. Wayne, who starred in Hollywoods The
FightingSeabees, agreed to appear on camera and narrate the
Steven concluded his Navy career by working one year as aPAO at
the Philadelphia Navy Base and then two years witha public affairs
unit in the Office of Information, Washington,D.C. During that
time, he was recalled to eight month ofactive duty to the Pentagon
during Operation Desert Storm(1991), working in the Command
Information Bureau for theNavy Chief of Information. After the war
with Iraq was over,Steven remained on active duty to help plan the
Navysinvolvement in the Mother of all Parades in Washington,D.C.
and New York City to welcome home the United StatesMilitary.
Steven had extensive joint service experience, via activeduties
for training, at the U.S. Naval War College in theOffice of
Assistant Secretary of Defense, Public Affair
forCommander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval forces-Europe(CINCUSNAVEUR) in
London, England.During that time he earned his Ph.D. from
TempleUniversity in Philadelphia and began and completed a 35-year
academic career as a Professor at Rowan University(20 years), an
instructor for University of Maryland (5 years)
hospital, theater, schools, housing for officers andenlisted.
Everything you needed to live was on that post.
Al did go overseas. His first duty assignment, following
officersbasic training, and an additional few weeks of
specializedtraining, was Vietnam. His first three duty assignments
in theArmy were overseas; beginning with Vietnam, then toGermany
for two years, and then back to Vietnam.
Als primary duty was in Military Occupational Specialty67K
(Hospital Logistics). Later in his career, another suffixwas added
to identify him as an instructor. Following hisoverseas
assignments,Al attended AdvancedOfficers Training at Ft.Sam
Houston, and thenschool at FitsimmonsGeneral Hospital inDenver
Colorado. Hereceived another level ofspecialty training as
abiomedical maintenancespecialist. He returnedto Ft. Sam Houston
laterand was then assignedto teach at the Academyof Health
Sciences. Al served as the Course Director for theEnlisted Medical
Supply course, and as an adjunct professoras part of the Baylor
University Hospital AdministrationProgram. He received another
level of specialty as abiomedical maintenance specialist. Because
Al was trainedin the area of biomedical equipment maintenance, he
waslater assigned to the Office of the Army Surgeon Generalas
Director of the Medical Maintenance Division atTobyhanna Army Depot
Al was not involved in combat during his tour and was
neverinjured. The mission of the Army Medical Service Corp isto
conserve the fighting strength. In Vietnam his focus wasalways
around hospitals and caring for the wounded.Although he never had
to touch a patient, every thing,other than humans that touched a
patient, went through hisoffice; from bandages to bedpans. As Chief
of Services foran Evacuation Hospital and a MAS Hospital, his
duties werealways anything that kept the patients safe.
There were two events that stand out in Als memoryduring those
Vietnam days. In his first assignment incountry, he was flown to a
station in Go Cong Provincein an Army Caribou (C-7) airplane. The
makeshift runwaywas short, so it never really stopped. He was
literallydropped off while the plane kept going and then took
offagain. There was no one to greet him, but after a LONGten
minutes he could hear a jeep coming through the highgrass bordering
the runway. Eventually he could see thejeep and the driver, Major
Werth, his new commander.They had a quick introduction and then had
to go lookingfor a jeep late returning to the station. So, welcome,
andlock and load. And off they went.
His other major experience was on his first Christmas inVietnam.
He would often receive a box of goodies from
Alfred Maloney, of 421 Morning Glory Lane, wascommissioned a 2nd
Lieutenant in the Army MedicalService Corp in July, 1965, following
his ROTC trainingcamp at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He graduated in
May,1965 from North Carolina A&T State University andreceived a
delayed commission. At the time of hiscommissioning, his home of
record was West PalmBeach, Florida. He had just gotten married in
April of1965 and his wife was graduating in June from
FloridaA&M State University.
His first days in the Army were a combination of
things,including being married and entering the Army. It was abig
adjustment for him but easier for his wife, an Armybrat, who had
lived most of her life on bases around thecountry. Her father was a
career non-commissionedofficer and was stationed in Germany at that
time. It washis wife who quickly adapted to their new post, Fort
SamHouston, Texas, while he was trying to figure out all
theacronyms and abbreviations. In 1965, a military post
wasself-contained, meaning that they had no reason to leavethe
post. He had to learn about the commissary, PX,
Richard Lyons of 165 Springmill Drive, at age 18,enlisted in the
United States Navy on January 25, 1955.When asked why, he said, I
just wanted to be a sailor.
Surprisingly, Dick and JohnKish were in boot campand did basic
training in thesame place and at thesame time. They didntknow each
other then, butended up being diagonalneighbors when they movedto
Springmill. It truly is asmall world. Both did theirservice between
the Koreanand Vietnam Wars.
Dick eventually went overseas to Kwajalein in the
MarshallIslands. He also has assignments in Washington, D.C.
andWashington State. During his time in the service he wasnever
injured. His primary job was as an aviationstorekeeper. He made
sure the inventory of aircraft partswas up to date, stored them and
also dispersed them.
Dick was discharged on January 25, 1959. He sharedthat he loved
his time in the service. For a young man, itwas a joy to be able to
travel all over.
and their Director of Marketing Communications (1 year),and
finally in 2014 retired as a Professor and MarketingChair after 10
years at Wilmington University in Delaware.Upon his retirement in
1995 from the Naval Air Reserve,Steven was awarded the Navy
Commendation Medal bythe Secretary of the Navy for his service.
Richard Mullen, of 406 Morning Glory Lane,was drafted in August,
1966 for the VietnamWar. He eventually enlisted for an
additionalyear in 1969. At the time he was living onEdgewood Avenue
in Green Brook, NewJersey.For the first fewdays of service
forRichard werespent taking tests,being issuedclothing, and
thengoing off to bootcamp for 8 weeksat Fort Dix, NewJersey. He
didhave a tour of dutyoverseas in 1968-69, when he wasassigned to
Germany for 18 months.
While in the service Richards primary job wasthe maintenance and
repair of heavyequipment. Equipment and supplies werealways kept
ready to go. He was assigned to atank battalion, and the equipment
was oftenused on maneuvers, but he was never in acombat situation.
Letters kept him in touch withhis familyhe only received a package
fromhome twice. Luckily for him, he thought thefood in the service
was fine.Richard remembers one particular time off-duty,when he
went to Amsterdam on a three-daypass. While in the service he made
two goodfriends, but they are not in touch today. Hedidnt keep a
journal or take pictures, and didntreceive any particular
The day he left the service, he remembers howdisappointed he was
at all the garbagealongside the road, though he didnt share whythat
memory stood out. Once home, he wentback to his old job as a
draftsman at anengineering company. Richard doesntconsider himself
a Vietnam Veteran becausehe didnt serve in Vietnam. But we thank
himfor his service during those war years.
home and audio tapes of his wife and daughter sharingstories.
Audio tapes were their primary way ofcommunicating during those
days. His daughter was justlearning to talk, so she spoke in her
own unknownlanguage. The good thing about the tapes was that
theycould be played over and over again. Christmas in the unitwas
an isolated event with ten or fifteen other men. Theysang carols
and had a few drinks. One member had aukulele and knew how to play
Silent Night, so they sang itover and over. Al committed to himself
to learn how to playthe instrument. He did get the ukulele and
learned to playSilent Night, but is still trying to learn to play
Other than the audio tapes, Al kept in touch with family
thoughany means available, mostly letters (postage was free)
andsome phone calls. During his second tour in Vietnam, keepingin
touch became very importanthis wife was pregnant withtheir second
child. One afternoon a Red Cross workerstormed into the office and
threw something on his desk.When he looked up he saw a paper that
said, Its a GIRL. Ittook him a few moments to realize what he was
seeing, thenhugs and laughing ensued, followed by a party that
Al felt the food in Vietnam was basically army food. Theyate a
lot of steaks and drank a lot of sodas. If you venturedout to try
Vietnamese food, it was always at some risk. Hedid have an
assignment in the Saigon area, and said theFrench food there was
Since Als job was in the supply area, they basically had
morethan enough of everything they needed. They had so much infact,
that they took the opportunity to furnish a Catholicorphanage with
baby beds. The baby beds, strange as itseems, were part of their
Evacuation Hospital equipment list.
During breaks, Al played a lot of softball and volleyball.Their
play area was near the helicopter pad and theemergency room, so
they were often interrupted byincoming wounded soldiers and
sometimes civilians.Everyone would just scramble to their posts and
pick up thegame later. There was a Medivac helicopter unit
attachedto the hospital and flew 24/7 in all types of weather
andsituations. They were accustomed to having the birdsnoise around
day and nightit became part of thebackground and actually helped
them feel secure.
Al didnt keep a journal, but did take some pictures, but only
afew are still available. He shared that the awards he receivedwere
a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, MeritoriousService, Army
Commendation with Oak Leak, VietnamService with Gold star, Campaign
Medal and others. Hemade many friends, but is not currently in
touch with them.
Al will never forget his return home for a number of reasons.He
had been advised about wearing a uniform home, so hehad civilian
clothes waiting for him when he arrived inCalifornia. He then flew
to Denver, CO where his family was.They met him with banners,
balloons, and a lot of noise at theairport. They celebrated his
return. He was glad to be homeagain. Since he was a career soldier,
after his last tour, hereturned to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas for
advanced training.He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1993.
Roy Peters shared the following about his time in theservice of
the United States: I served in the U.S. Armyfrom 1958 to 1960. I
was drafted at the ripe old age of20, in the fall of 1958, and sent
to Fort Dix, New Jersey,where I received basic training, advanced
infantry training,and then clerk typist school. (Roy factitiously
commentedthat this was quite logical, of course, because in
civilianlife he had been a professional photographer.)
The Armys philosophy in those days was to break downenlisted men
to thepoint where they nolonger questionedorderseven stupidorders.
I rememberquestioning an orderearly on, and for mypunishment, I got
tohand shovel out acoal storage bin,scrub it out, thenshovel the
coal backin. The bin held abouta dump truck full ofcoal. Lesson
learned. Our basic training and advancedinfantry training were
performed in unusually coldweather and we had only summer issue. We
slept in puptents with only one blanket. Most of us got sick.
After my Fort Dix training, I was shipped across the Atlantic
toGermany in January, 1959 during a noreaster. I wasassigned to a
trucking company to be their company clerk,but they already had a
clerk, so I was sent to the motor poolto become a twelve-ton
wrecker driver/operator. Over thenext several months, I managed to
negotiate my way througha variety of outfits and jobs and finally
was sent to train to bean Intelligence and Security Analyst. The
years 1959 and1960 were a period of high tension between the USSR,
EastGermany, and the U.S. We could observe the Russians andthe East
Germans blowing up the forests borderingCzechoslovakia and West
Germany and installing machinegun towers and barbed wirethe
preliminaries to theBerlin Wall being built. We were always on high
alert andwere preparing for when the balloon goes up, signifying
warbetween Russia and America. West Germans were notallowed to have
weapons, and the French were busy trying tocombat Algerian Muslim
terrorism (sound familiar?). Wewould have alerts at least monthly
and often did not know itwas practice or the real thing.
I spent time going to various posts and evaluatingtheir security
and was responsible for helping to write,and for storing, NATO top
secret documents dealingwith pre-war planning. The Russians and
East Germanswere constantly testing usdoing things like closing
theroads from West Germany to Berlin, which was well insideEast
Germany. I was not allowed to travel to Berlinbecause of my job and
security clearance, lest I bestopped and interrogated, which
Richard Porter enlisted in the Navy. He was living inElsmere, DE
at the time. After basic training he wasassigned to duty as a
Quarter Master of Navigation,completing two tours in Vietnam
starting in 1969.
After completing his sixyears in the Navy, Tomdecided to make
theswitch to the AirForce in 1973,completing many toursof duty in
that branch ofthe service. During thistime, he moved into therole
of Chief ofOperations for the 166Civil EngineeringSquadron in
DiegoGarcia during the IraqiFreedom and Enduring Freedom campaigns.
Heconsiders his most important job as being a member of aRoving
Patrol aboard an LST landing Ship in theMekong Delta. While
inVietnam he was involved in combat, but with 34 yearsworth of
experiences, he felt there were too many to share.
Richard stayed in touch with family with letters, but wasunable
to get anything from home. He thought the food
When we could get passes or leave, we would travel andtour
Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland,Belgium, and
Denmark. The history and sights werefascinating, although West
Germany was still 25% ormore just bombed out rubble.
I made many friends while in the Army, includingGermans, but the
tension of this time period made mostof us relieved when we finally
got back to the UnitedStates. One of my buddies came to visit
afterwards, and Ivisited one in Chicago. Thats about all I did to
keep intouch. We all wanted to put our Army time behind us andget
on with our lives.
I went into the Army a boy, and I came out a man. Somemonths
after my discharge, I was summoned to a U.S.military post to
receive a special commendation for myservice, presented by the
commanding general. While Irecognized this was a special honor, I
really did not wantto put my uniform back on. I had turned the
page. I hadfulfilled my obligation to my country.
Once discharged, I went to work for Union Carbide intheir
research and development section as a labtechnician. During the
1960s almost everything wasbased on brain power, so if you were
suited to that typeof work, jobs were readily available in and out
of theservice. While working at my full-time job, I also went
tonight school and did part-time work as a photographerand piano
player. Life after the service was very hectic.
Clint Robertson, originally from Clayton, Delaware,
wascommissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. Heserved as an
engineer in the U.S. Merchant Marinestarting in June of 1968, at
age 22, after graduating fromthe Merchant Marine Academy in Kings
Point, New York.He had chosen to attend the Merchant Marine
Academybecause of the travel opportunities this branch of
theservice afforded. He commented that his first trip tookhim to
theMediterranean andTurkeyvery excitingfor someone who hadntreally
traveled far fromhis home state.
When asked about hisfirst days in the service,Clint explained
that hewas quite preparedbecause he had gonethrough four years
ofeducation learning whatto do as an engineer aboard a ship. He
spent his time atsea on freighters. His primary job was as a
marineengineer, which entailed keeping the ships engine runningso
that there was sufficient water, electricity and power. Asfar as
having enough equipment and supplies, he sharedthat his ship did
run out of fuel one time and coasted intothe nearest port on fumes.
They also ran out of water onoccasion and had to catch rainwater in
barrels until theycould get additional supplies; things like that
can happenwhen youre at sea for four and five months at a time.
Regarding his travels, Clint said that he did get overseas.He
got to visit 65 different countries and made about threetrips to
Vietnam. He visited combat zones, but was neverinvolved in the
fighting. Just being at sea did have risks ofits own. He lost a
friend on a sister ship that was carryingbombs. One of the bombs
got loose and created a hole inthe ship. The crew had to abandon
ship in lifeboats. Atthat point, some other bombs got loose; one
fell in alifeboat and killed his friend. Eventually the Navy had
togo out and sink the shipwrecked ship.
As far as the food, Clint said that the crew depended onwhat was
aboard shipprimarily frozen food. Being at
Dick Rausch was in the US Army ROTC throughout hiscollege years.
He was commissioned as a Second Lt.after training at Fort Gordon,
Georgia in 1960. He went tograduate school after he was
commissioned and enteredthe Army two years later in July, 1962. He
was thenassigned to the Communications Zone (ComZ) inOrleans,
France. Heflew from Maguire AFBin New Jersey toFrankfurt,
Germany,and then to Parisbefore taking the trainfor Orleans just
beforeThanksgiving in 1962.
Dicks primary job wasa Chief of theAutomatic DataProcessing
Section ofComZ. This positionutilized his educationalexperience,
which was a Masters Degree in ComputerScience. He was never
involved in combat. He was ableto stay in touch with his family
through weekly letters,which were saved by his family and serve as
a detaileddiary of his 18 months in Europe. He also made
anoccasional phone call home. When he returned home fora ten-day
leave during the Christmas holidays in 1963, hebrought a new wife
along (Sheila). They had a chance tomeet each others family for the
first time during that visit.
While Dick thought the food on base was fine, as anofficer he
got a food and living allowance that enabled himto eat off base
much of the timeif they were economical.During his service, Dick
traveled all over Europe as part ofhis job overseeing the data
transmission operation ofabout ten bases in France, Germany, and
Italy. (He andSheila also took a two-week honeymoon in Italy.)
Dickshared that he had an extremely detailed week-by-weekjournal of
his time in Europe, as well as a few pictures,and some video made
from old 8mm film.
Dick made a number of friends and keeps in touch withseveral of
themeven after 50 years. Before he returnedhome from France in late
June, 1964, he was promoted to
was good during his time in the service, and he alwayshad enough
equipment and supplies for the variousmaneuvers. Since he was in
the field a lot, there reallywerent many activities or free time,
except for a movieonce in a while. While he didnt keep a journal of
his timein the service, he did take pictures. He also made
friendsthat he still keeps in touch with.
On Richards return home, he eventually retired from theAir Force
as a Chief Master Sergeant. He also joined aveterans organization.
The Air National Guard was asecond job for Tom; his primary careen
was in the area ofplumbing and pipe fitting. He was employed by the
DuPontCompany for thirty-eight years.
First Lt. Once back in civilian life, he started a job as
aSystems Analyst with RCAs Computer Systems Division.He had worked
for RCA while going to graduate school twoyears previously. The
Rauschs first child was born while hewas training for his RCA job
in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Dick continued with the US Army Reserve for anadditional two
years to fulfill his six-year ROTC obligation.He thought his Army
experience was great, especiallysince he got a chance to see the
world as part of hisjoband he was lucky enough to meet and marry
hiswife of 52 years during his time of active duty.
Fred Robinson, of 305 Daylilly Way, enlisted in themilitary in
February of 1967. His enlistment was for afour-year tenure.
Thebranch of service hechose was the UnitedStates Air Force.
Fred was assigned tothe USAF SecurityServiceHeadquarters(USFSS
HQ) at theKelly Field SecurityAnnex in San Antonio,Texas. He said
themission was toprovide communications intelligence
(COMINT),communications security (COMSEC) and
cryptologicequipment/support to the United States Air Force.
Theirmotto was Freedom Through Vigilance, which seems asappropriate
today as it was during the Vietnam War era.His primary job was as a
computer programmer. As
sea for 4-5 months, you really couldnt take on freshsupplies and
in most ports really wouldnt want to. Hesaid that the crew usually
had three choices each day,some of them rather unusual. One that he
remembered,but never tasted, was codfish tongue. He said
theAustralians on board ate it, but he didnt go near it.
Clint kept in touch with family through letters on occasion,but
not on a regular basis because they werent in portvery longusually
just passed through places. Thats thesame reason he couldnt rely on
getting care packagesfrom home. While he did take photos, the
onlyjournaling he did was via letters home, which his motherkept.
He used to tell all about the places he visited andwhat he was
doing while at sea. He said his awards werethe usual commendations
and nothing out of the ordinary.Upon returning home, after he was
discharged in 1972,Clint bought a boat. He also joined the Naval
Reservesfor the next five years. He met his wife, Angie, when hewas
between ships in 1972. After marrying, their firsthome was in
Seaford, where Clint worked as a plantengineer at DuPonts Nylon
Clint made a number of friends while in the service andkept in
touch with his roommate from Kings Point. As hereminisced, he
realized that they would be having their 50thclass reunion in
2018.As far as his experience in general, Clint said that it was
areal adventure for a young man and it gave him an interestin
different countries and different cultures. He had aspecial
affinity for West Africa and actually helped start aschool there.
These days, hes putting his engineeringskills to use on an
electrical project in Liberia. It seemsthey have a problem with
people getting electrocuted, andso he is working on creating a
trade school like Del Tech,where students could take programs
on-line. Its good toknow our veterans continue to give back.
part of that assignment, he wrote programs supportingthe USAFSS
Cryptologic Depot and Engineering Lab. Heheld a Top Secret
Clearance with Crypto access.
Fred had many memories as he served his country duringa time of
war. He commented that I was very fortunateto serve my enlistment
statesidenot to say Texas waswithout its threats. He shared that
they had hail the sizeofgolf balls, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and
tarantulas. Withthe exception of the hail, all the other threats
would showup inside their barracks.
The Mexican food was excellent in San Antonio,according to Fred.
There was also cheap gasa plus,but one downside was the lousy
weather. It was hot andhumid for the summer and beyond.
Fred was discharged in February of 1971. He lookedforward to
returning to his home state of Maryland. As forhis overall
experience in the military, he had the followingobservations:
First, serving stateside was a bonus, evenwith the invading
indigenous denizens of the Texaslandscape. My military training as
a computerprogrammer served as the foundation for my civiliancareer
as a programmer and later, as a systemsanalyst. My career in this
area lasted thirty-five years. Ibelieve that every young man and
woman would benefitby serving our nations armed forces.
Raymond C. RouillerIn 1963, while living in California, Ray
Rouiller decided toenlist in the U.S. Navy. He decided on the Navy
becausebeing drafted was a good possibility and he didnt want togo
into the Army. The Navy also provided many moreschooling
opportunities,and he wanted to bestationed on ship to seemore of
After completing the firsttwelve weeks of hisenlistment at a
boot campin San Diego, he wasassigned to Electronicstechnician A
School atGreat Lakes, Illinois forthe next eleven months.Upon
completing the A School, he was assigned to theNavy Communication
Station in Cheltenham, Maryland.The Cheltenham base was the radio
receiving station fornaval communications between the fleet and
thePentagon. As an electronics technician, his job was tomaintain
and repair the many different radio receiversused in this effort.
Ray commented, I got the schoolingbut ended up being a dry land
In 1967, Ray completed his four-year enlistment and
wasdischarged to the inactive reserves. Once a civilian, hereturned
to California and went to work for WestinghouseElectric
Corporation, Defense Division, Field Services.
James Rutolo, of 219 Patience Way, enlistedin the United States
Army on July 29, 1954.At the time he was living in
Hazelton,Pennsylvania. He was twenty years of age atthe time.
Jim said his basic training was an easyadjustment. He never went
overseas or wasinvolved in any of the fighting. He spent all of
hisenlistment in Connecticut ata missile site. He wastrained as a
radar operator.He liked his assignmentbecause it was a clean
job.For 33 months hemonitored our bordersperimeters with Nike
Ajaxmissiles (Later, Nike Hercules missiles wereused.) There were
twenty-two soldiers in hisbarracks. The only time things got
difficult waswhen they were at a 4A Alert; that meant theywere up
all day and most of the night without abreak.
One particular memory dealt with NikitaKhrushchevs visit to the
United States. It wasthe only time when ALL of the radar across
thecountry was directed toward Khrushchevsincoming plane. No one
wanted an incidentduring his arrival.
James was discharged on July 28, 1961. Hejoined the American
Legion when he moved toSpringmill. Regarding his military career as
awhole, he said, It was fine; I got an educationin computers and it
helped me meet my wife.Once in civilian life, I continued my
interest inthe computer industry and worked in it foryears.
John Rutt enlisted in the US Navy aftergraduating from Milford
(DE) High School, Hisrationale was that he didnt want to be
draftedand live in a foxhole in Vietnam. He had justturned 18, in
August of 1963, when he went tothe recruiters office in Dover. He
went onactive duty in October. The recruiter asked himwhat he liked
to do. Having taken mechanicaldrawing and basic electricity as
electives in highschool, he responded, Mechanical drawing,only to
be told that rate did not have goodadvancement possibilities. His
secondresponse was electricity. The recruiterpreferred that
response, gave John a short test,the results of which guaranteed
John a place inthe Electronics Technician A school rightafter basic
training in boot camp. John waseven given the choice of where he
wanted to gofor his basic training; Great Lakes, Illinois orSan
Diego, CA. This was a no brainerSanDiego, since the furthest he had
traveled upto then was to Bangor, PA.
When Johns father drove him to the recruitdepot in Philadelphia,
there were severalhundred young men waiting to join the Navy
orMarine Corps. They went through the assemblyline of doctors,
dentists, and recruiters, whichtook up a good part of the day.
Finallyeveryone went into a large room, where theyseparated the
Navy recruits from the Marinerecruits. Then a Navy Petty Officer,
with astack of manila envelopes called out sevennames, including
Johns, and asks, Which oneof you is John Rutt? John gulped
andremembering what his uncle, who had been inWWII, told him about
not volunteering, butraised his hand anyway. The Petty Officer
thenhanded him the stack of envelopes and told himto be sure you
and these six other guys get toSan Diego. John thought, Who, me?
but hedid get everyone there safely.
At that time, basic training was 3 months long.John started
wondering about his decision toenlist. He was homesick for sure.
Knowinghow to type, he never had to serve KP (kitchenpatrol), but
instead was assigned to a UHF
radio hut. He was in the radio shack onNovember 22, 1963,
listening to a small AM/FMradio, when the announc