Two Philadelphia Soldiers Added to Vietnam Memorial Wall
The names of two career noncommissioned officers, who became ill in Vietnam and later died in military hospitals, will be unveiled in a special ceremony at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial (PVVM) on Monday, May 30 at 12:30 p.m.
Master Sgt. Francis G. Corcoran, a Port Richmond native, and Master Sgt. George L. Wilson, a 1948 graduate of Frankford High School, were approved in 2013 by the Department of Defense for inclusion at the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial and were added to the Washington DC “Wall” last May. This will bring to 648 Philadelphians honored at the Memorial at Spruce Street and Columbus Blvd.
“This is the first addition to the wall in 13 years,” said Terry A. Williamson, PVVM Fund president. “It is another reminder of the toll the war took on not just members of the Armed services, but on their families as well.” He pointed out that it took nearly 50 years for the sacrifice of these two soldiers to be recognized.
Lt. Col. Vincent J. Connolly, USAF, was added to wall in 2003. The officer was listed as missing in action after being shot down in 1966. His remains were returned from North Vietnam in 1984,
Corcoran is survived by his wife Elizabeth, of North Wildwood, and eight children who have been invited to the ceremony. Frank Wilson, of Clarksville TN, will be attending the ceremony.
Corcoran died of hepatitis Dec. 9, 1967, in Walter Reed Hospital in DC after being transferred from Vietnam. He started his tour in Vietnam on Nov. 25, 1966, and served with the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. The 39-year-old soldier was a Green Beret and had served a tour of duty in in Korea.
Wilson, 43, died of pancreatitis and related illnesses on Nov. 8, 1967, in Japan where he was medivaced. He started his tour in Vietnam on July 30, 1967, as an imagery analyst with the 525th Military Itelligence Group. He also had previously served a tour of duty in Korea.