Ten Sailors have not received recognition for the sacrifices made in direct support to combat operations in Vietnam. Their names are not on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall, and we need to correct this wrong! We need to petition our government and respectfully request the names listed below be added to the black granite walls in Washington D.C!
LT Vetal C. LaMountain, 28
LTjg Gale V. Woolsey, 24
ABH3 Richard C. Gaynor, 21
AN James M. VanBussum, 22
The Cryptologists Passengers:
CTOC Donald E. Dickerson, 34
CTR1 Walter R. Woods, 25
CTM2 Gregory K. Zeller, 23
CTO3 James M. Coon, 20
CTOSN Stephen H. Elliott, 21
CTISN John R. Deremigio, 25
Read the Report:
Unwritten In Stone RG 407: https://stationhypo.com/2020/12/12/remembering-the-crew-and-cryptologist-passengers-of-rg-407/
There has been a concerted effort by a small group of people to have the 10 names added to the Wall. Their research discovered the six cryptologic technicians (CT) posthumously received a Navy Commendation Medal with “V” device. There is also a possibility the four crewmembers posthumously received the Purple Heart.
Significance of the “V” Device:
According to DOD Manual 1348.33, Volume 4, “For the period from June 25, 1963, through March 31, 1976, the “V” device is authorized if the citation is for an act or service involving direct participation in combat operations.”
Below is a copy of CT1 Woods’ citation that reads in part:
“Petty Officer Woods performed his duties in an exceptional manner while serving in various assignments in support of combat operations against the enemy, often under extremely hazardous conditions. Through his attention to detail, technical expertise and initiative, he made many significant contributions to the success of United States naval operation in Southeast Asia.” Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.
Note: Admiral E. R. Zumwalt, Jr., the Chief of Naval Operations, signed the citation.
There must be a deliberate effort to inform the American people to petition the Government to act. For those who are interested, I respectfully request the following:
Please write your U.S. Congressmen/women and U.S. Senator and request the 10 names be added to the Wall.
Military, active duty, retired and Flag/General officers, please write to the Sectary of Defense and Sectary of the Navy and request the 10 names be added to the Wall.
Office of the Secretary of Defense
The Honorable Lloyd J. Austin III
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-1000
Office of the Secretary of the Navy
The Honorable Thomas W. Harker
1000 Navy Pentagon, Room 4D652
Washington, DC 20350
If you are a next of kin to these Sailors, or knew these men, please contact me via Station HYPO. We are looking for documentation that will help in this effort.
Finally, please share this post with your family, friends and colleagues. If you are a blogger or know a blogger, please share this post.
The featured image is CT1 Walter Ray Woods’ Navy Commendation Medal with “V” device.
13 March 2021 at 16:30
When a worthy issue is involved, never give up hope. As a means of offering the little support I can give to this matter at this time, please allow me to quote something Admiral Harold R. Stark, the then CNO wrote to Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel under date of 21 February 1942: “Pending something definite, there is no reason why you should not settle yourself into a quiet nook somewhere and let Old Father Time help this entire situation, which I feel he will—if for no other reason than that he always has.”
This December marks the 80th anniversary of the raid on the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Walter C. Short were both relieved of their commands. Both men reverted to their permanent rank, RADM for Husband Kimmel, and Major General for Walter Short.
Those of you who serve honorably doing highly classified work are the lifeblood of our country.
All of us who read the Station HYPO blog well appreciate what Duty, Honor, and Country mean. Sooner or later the issue in question in Mario’s email of today will be justly and properly resolved.
Andy McKane, Maunaloa (Molokai), Hawaii
14 April 2021 at 12:23
Interestingly, the Navy awards data base maintained by NARA only shows three awards (Woods [as shown above], Gaynor and VanBussum (the latter two with a Navy Achievement Medal – no “V”). This data base doesn’t include awards of the Purple Heart, so no indication one way or the other. There are omissions in that data base, so there might be other information available (e.g. citations presented to family) that should be collected by the “postulator of the cause.”