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Children of the Fallen

Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2021

To commemorate Memorial Day, the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial (PVVM) is conducting a search for children or relatives of the 648 honored on the Wall of Names. The Memorial plans to hold a special ceremony for remembrances of those who perished in the war.

PVVM hopes to find family stories like that of SP4 Angelo Carmelo Santiago whose daughter, Jeanette Santiago Vargas, was only two years old when her father was killed in Vietnam in June 6, 1968. The Kensington native was one of the 64 from Thomas Edison High School to be killed in Vietnam.

PVVM Treasurer Darryrl Johnson tracked down Ms. Vargas, who currently lives in Florida, through relatives. She has little memory of her father, but recalls how her widowed mother, Carmen, struggled to build a life for her.  With only an 8th grade education, her mother went on to earn her high school and college diplomas.  She eventually went to law school and became a prominent federal judge in Puerto Rico.

This reminds us of the impact on the families left behind and how the legacy of sacrifice also has been a source of inspiration.

The PVVM web site, pvvm.org, lists 29 names and the number of immediate family who are known, but not yet found.  If anyone can put us in touch with relatives of the fallen, they can contact Board Member Pat Mitchell at 610-637-3013, who is heading the search project, or Board Member Gerry Miller at 610-937-7929.

The information on the 32 along with bios of all the fallen was the result of the Philadelphia Daily News, which over the course of two editions listed those who were lost in the war and the number of known family members.

PVVM Children of the Fallen

      Name                                    Year of Loss          Community            Children

  1. Rowland J Adamoli#3         1965             Germantown             daughter                                          
  2. Joe Amos#14                        1967                                             son/daughter  
  3. William Barot #29                1966                                         2 sons/3 daughters
  4. George J. Belancin#35         1968             Point Breeze            2 daughters
  5. Lural Blevins #45 (MIA)*     1968             North Phila                 daughter 
  6. Bryant Brayboy  Jr.#52        1965             North Phila                 daughter
  7. Zachrie Brookins Jr.#59       1966             North Phila               2 daughters
  8. Richard Brooks III #60          1967                                         expecting first child
  9. Robert Campbell #73           1965            North Phila                      son
  10. William Chapman Jr.#89    1968            North Phila               3 daughters
  11. Alexander Cooper#115      1967          Jules Mastbaum         3 daughters
  12. Charles E. Dyson Jr.#152    1966             North Phila               2 daughters
  13. Jerry M. Foy#176                 1971             West Phila             son/daughter
  14. Robert Hanna#221              1966            Dobbins Tech       son/3daughters 
  15. Howard W. Johnson #274  1972            Simon Gratz         2 sons/2 daughters 
  16. Joe T. Johnson#275             1966             North Phila                    son
  17. Roosevelt Jones#282           1968                                            2 sons/daughter 
  18. William Jones#283               1966           North Phila             2 sons/daughter
  19. Herbert Kirk#298 (MIA)**  1968           Northeast                      2 sons 
  20. Peter Kretzchmar#304        1968                                                      son
  21. Andrew Machristie#338     1970                                           3 sons/daughter
  22. Edwin MacNamara#340     1966                                            4 sons/daughter
  23. Nathaniel Phillips#436        1970          Ben Franklin         3 sons/6 daughters
  24. Antonio Solis#536                1966                                                    2 sons
  25. James Stancell Jr.#544        1968          South Phila       son/d—er/step d—er

26. Joseph Stojinski Jr.#552        1970                                                      son

27. Henry Tipping#571 (MIA)** 1968                                                2 daughters

28. Ervin Warren#592 (MIA)*     1966                                son/stepson/step d—er

29. Tyrone Watson#595               1970                                               step daughter

MIA*: missing in action remains recovered

MIA**: missing in action body not recovered

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Memorial Day Ceremony 2021

Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2021

After a two- year hiatus, the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial will hold a traditional live Memorial Day ceremony featuring as speaker Captain Benjamin Cooper, USCG on Monday, May 31 at 12:30 p.m. at the Memorial at Spruce Street and Columbus Blvd.

                “We will follow whatever pandemic restrictions in place at the time, but intend to ensure social distancing by placing chairs the required distance apart,” noted Terry Williamson, Memorial president. “We are excited about honoring the 648 Philadelphians lost in the Vietnam War featuring all those who have participated in our ceremonies in the past.”

                Participants will include the 82nd Airborne Division Association, Hadjak Mokan Chapter (color guard); VVA Liberty Bell Chapter 266 (firing detail); USMC Sgt. Bill Mead (vocalist); City Police Department Firing Team and buglers, and the AOH Division 88/Police Officer Danny Boyle (flag detail).

                Capt. Cooper will retire in July 2021 after a 30-year career in the US Coast Guard. He was the chief of staff for the Ninth Coast Guard District in the Great Lakes region, and previously served as the Deputy to the Assistant Commandant for Capability where he helped deliver operational policy and capabilities for aerial, surface, shore and cyber domains. He recently started a new career as Director of Marine Affairs at US Wind Inc. of Baltimore, MD.

                Capt. Cooper probably is best known in the Philadelphia area for his stint as Captain of the Port and commander of Sector Delaware Bay headquartered at Penns Landing. He also led maritime security efforts for the Pope Francis 2015 visit to Philadelphia and the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

                A 1991 graduate of the USCG Academy, Captain Cooper has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and is a graduate of the Naval War College. He currently resides in Avon Lake, OH. 

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