VIETNAM WAR

On March 23, 1961, the first American died in Indochina. He was on an intelligence gathering flight returning from Vietnam. The last American died on April 30, 1975.
 
 

Bolan, Edward William McCartney, Andrew C.
Byrne, James Patrick McPike, James E.
Chahoc, David K. Mikitis, Michael A.
Cook, Charles R. Pastva, Michael J.
Freeman, Jeffrey A. Tsiros, Alexander
Hall, James A. Winch, Gerald J.
Kilbane, Terrence P. Zehnder, John M.
Bolan, Edward William Marines Lance Cpl. 2-25-69
1583 Lincoln S. Vietnam
Lance Cpl. Edward Bolan was shot in the head while on a helicopter rescue mission in Quang Nam Province.  He died a short time later in a Da Nang hospital.  His family never knew whether he received the letter stating he was to become a father.

 
Byrne, James Patrick Marines Sgt. 3-8-1967
1335 Webb Road S. Vietnam
Sgt. James Byrne died March 8, 1967, just eight days after arriving in Vietnam. His family is sure he died a hero's death because he lived a hero's life. He became the high school editor of a special column devoted to school news for the Lorain Journal in his Junior year. He volunteered in the Marine Corps, and after his training he became a member of the honor guard in Washington, D.C. He requested a more interesting assignment, and the Marines sent him to Okinawa in December, 1966. He had an injured knee and while having an operation to repair the damage, he met and talked with several hospitalized men who were home from Vietnam. He was so impressed with their contribution that he felt compelled to sign up for another tour of duty. He told his dad that he had to go so that another Marine could come home. His father said, "Pat was the eldest of my six children and they are all a success. I believe it is in part due to the fact that they had him as their example. He was a wonderful person."

 
Chahoc, David Keith Army  1st Lt. 9-27-1968
1570 Highland Avenue S. Vietnam H.S.1966
Lt. David Chahoc volunteered for combat duty because, according to letters to his parents, "Without being there, I am not doing enough for my country." He believed in the United States commitment and was "very interested in the welfare of the Vietnamese people." He was killed while on combat operations during a fire fight near Pleiku, according to the official message.

 
Cook, Charles R. Army  Cpl. 12-27-1968
1487 Belle Avenue  S. Vietnam
Cpl. Charles Cook was killed in action in Vietnam on December 27, 1968. Services for him were held at Lakewood Methodist Church. He was buried in Arlington Cemetery.

 
Freeman, Jeffrey A. Army Sgt. 4-8-1970
17401 Edgewater Drive S. Vietnam
Sgt. Jeffrey Freeman was a father and had seen his child only once. He was killed during a combat mission in the central highlands of Vietnam. He was drafted in September 1968 after receiving a degree at Miami University and planned to enter law school. His mother said Jeffrey was against the war but he never tried to avoid the draft. Although he opposed the war he loved his country.

 
Hall, James A. Army  Pfc. 7-9-1965
1447 Maile Avenue S. Vietnam
Pfc. James A. Hall was the first man killed from Lakewood in the Vietnam War. He was assigned to a helicopter unit and acted as a door-gunner. His family are very proud of  his service record which included a Bronze Star Air medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters and 2 Purple Hearts. Pfc. Hall was in the service less than two years and officially with the 20th Infantry.

 
Kilbane, Terrence P. Army  Cpl. 2-6-1969
1540 Hopkins Avenue S. Vietnam
In combat, the men take turns acting as point-man for their platoon. Sometimes the enemy shoots the point-man and sometimes they wait hoping to ambush the men who follow. On February 6, 1969, Cpl. Terrence Kilbane was acting as point-man and was killed instantly at 12:20 P.M. He was serving with the 4th Division at Pleicu. His sister said "He wanted to serve and get his duty over with. He knew he had to do it for his country."  He never saw his baby daughter.

 
McCartney, Andrew C. AAF Airman 1/c 4-10-1970
1560 Arthur Avenue Thailand H.S.1967
Airman Andrew McCartney was killed when a reconnaissance plane crashed into the radio shack in which he was working at Udorn Air Force Base, Thailand. Eight others also died in the accident. His father said, "he was a technician at WEWS and loved his work, but he decided he would have to serve his country, so he enlisted in the Air Force and became a radio technician."

 
McPike, James Edwin Army Specialist/4 7-19-1969
1426 Wyandotte Avenue S. Vietnam H.S.1961
James Edwin McPike was with the 9th Infantry Division. He was killed while on patrol near Dong Tam.

 
Mikitis, Michael A. Marines  Gunnery Sgt. 1-27-1968
1652 St. Charles Avenue S. Vietnam
In 1949, George and Mary Mikitis left Latvia. They brought their family to America to escape from the Russians. Michael got his high school degree while serving in the Marine Corps. He became a career Marine and was proud to go to Vietnam on a second tour of duty. He believed in fighting communism, and thought it was correct for America to be in Vietnam. He died for his adopted country in Quang Tri Province where heavy fighting had been in progress for more than a week.

 
Pastva, Michael J. Marines    L. Cpl. 12-6-1967
1572 Larchmont Avenue S. Vietnam H.S.1964
The circumstances of Cpl. Michael Pastva's death are a mystery. The marine compound that he was in was bombed by our own Air Force planes. Michael's body was never found.

 
Tsiros, Alexander Army  Cpl. 4-30-1968
1543 Rosewood Avenue S. Vietnam H.S.1966
Cpl. Alexander Tsiros was wounded with shrapnel fragments and spent two weeks in a field hospital before returning to duty. He had been offered an assignment as a company clerk but refused because he wanted to stay in combat with his friends. He was born in Samos, Greece and came here with his family in 1951. The entire family became citizens and Alex was drafted while attending Cleveland State University. He was killed in action in Quant Tri Province South Vietnam.

 
Winch, Gerald J. Army   Capt. 3-15-1968
2099 Elbur Avenue S. Vietnam
Capt. Gerald Winch was on his 2nd tour of duty when he was killed during the Tiet offensive. He was attached to the 25th Infantry Division. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery.

 
Zehnder, John M. Army  SP/4 9-28-1967
1346 Belle Avenue S. Vietnam
John M. Zehnder graduated from Lutheran West High School and joined the army. He was killed at Chulai. He was awarded the Bronze Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart posthumously. The award said in part, "...while on a search and destroy mission, Specialst Zehnder was walking point for his platoon when they were suddenly pinned down by a heavy volume of enemy automatic weapons fire .... realizing the need for instant retaliation he started crawling to the nearest enemy position and when he was within a few meters of it he assaulted the position by firing his weapon and throwing hand grenades into it...he succeeded in knocking out the position and broke up the assault .... then observing a wounded man lying in an exposed position and with complete disregard for his own safety he ran through the withering hail of enemy fire in an effort to reach his wounded comrade when he was mortally wounded.

 

57,939 American soldiers were killed in the South Vietnam War. 313,616 were wounded and 1,340 were declared missing in action.

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