The following information are statistics and facts that surround the Vietnam War.
Beallsville, Ohio (pop. 475) gained unwanted national attention between 1966 and 1971 by having suffered the largest per-capita loss of life in the Vietnam War. Six young men lost their lives in the war, a terrible and profound loss for this small town.
West Virginia had the highest casualty rate in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The state had 711 casualties -- 39.9 deaths per 100,000 people. Oklahoma had the second-highest casualty rate.
Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia sustained the largest number of Vietnam war casualties of any high school in the nation with 54.
They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home. Robert Dale Draper, 19, was killed in an ambush. Stan King, 21, was killed less than a week after reaching Vietnam. Alfred Van Whitmer, 21, was killed while on patrol. Larry J. West, 19 was shot near Quang Nam. Jose Moncayo, 22, was part of an entire platoon wiped out. Clive Garcia, 22, was killed by a booby trap while leading a patrol.
LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Three hallmark all-American days. Three more names to be placed on the The Wall.
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999. First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961. The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident. Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131. The last pilot casualty in the country of Vietnam occured during the Embassy evacuation in Saigon, William C. Nystal and Michael J. Shea both died on the helicopter on April 30, 1975 approaching the USS Hancock in the China Sea (both are located at 1W, 124). The last pilot killed in the Vietnam war was Air Force helicopter pilot Second Lieutenant Richard Vandegeer who was killed on Koh Tang Island, Cambodia. This occured during the Mayaguez incident when his helicopter crashed on May 15, 1975. It is concidered the last combat action of the Vietnam War.
Steven E. Amescua and Anthony J. Blevins joined the Marine Corp on the buddy plan. Steven was KIA May 15, 1968 and Anthony was KIA August 23, 1968. John A. Jensen and Charles D. Turnbough were buddies who graduated from high school together and joined the Marines together. John was KIA August 27, 1967 and Charles was KIA three days later on August 30, 1967.
Sgt. Davison of Muskegon, Michigan joined the Marine Corp at the age of 14. He had four years of service in the Marines when he was shipped to Vietnam at age 18. Robert was KIA on Dec 17, 1966 one day before his 19th birthday.
Corporal Perkins Jr. of Sepulveda, California was a Marine combat photographer. He is the only military photographer to be awarded the Medal of Honor. He was killed in action on October 12, 1967.
Corporal Bennett of Morgantown, West Virginia was a U.S. Army medic and was the only conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam war. He was killed in action on February 11, 1969.
Richard Earl Sipes and Raymond Omer Kincannon were step brothers and raised together in Chula Vista, CA. They were both killed in Vietnam. Richard on Dec 29, 1966 and Raymond on April 1, 1968.
Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. was killed June 08, 1956 his son Richard B. Fitzgibbon III was KIA September 07, 1965. Leo Hester Sr. Died March 10, 1967 in a aircraft crash his son Leo Hester Jr. was KIA November 02, 1969 also in a aircraft crash. Fred C. Jenkins Died April 2, 1968, his son Bert M. Jenkins was KIA April 28, 1969. (unconfirmed)
Although both father and son served in Vietnam during the same time frame, the father is not on the Memorial. Lt. Rex Chrisman, US Navy, died of a heart attack while assigned on the USS Estes that was being serviced in Bangkok. The ship was waiting for its next maneuver to the China Sea. His son, PFC Rex G. Chrisman took his father back home for burial. Returning to Vietnam, Rex was killed a month later.
These are brothers that were both killed in Vietnam.
11th Light Infantry Brigade - Vietnam
December 1967 to November 1971
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