TAPS Archives: A-H

In remembrance of those who served, those who sacrificed,
those we left behind, and the ones who carry on.
We thank you for your service.


The TAPS archives are arranged alphabetically by last name.  Readers are welcome to send information on 3/26 members for posting.  waltwhitesides@verizon.net

TAPS Archives – Rayford “Ray” William Addington, Jr

Rayford “Ray” William Addington, Jr 

Rayford “Ray” William Addington, Jr., age 69, passed away at his home in Boerne surrounded by his family on Sunday, December 27th, 2015. 

 Mr. Addington is survived by his wife, Martha, and two daughters, Moshelle Carlson of Ladera Ranch, CA and Meredith Wiskur of Murphy, TX. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Nathan, Sophie, Anna, Avery and Lilly; sons-in-law, Todd Carlson and Matt Wiskur; his sister, Shelley Addington of Dallas, TX; and brother, Mike Addington of Lynchburg, VA.

Ray grew up in Dallas, the eldest son of Rayford Addington, Sr. and Martha Addington. He served two years with distinction as a Marine in the Vietnam War. Marine Sargent Ray “Big D” Addington fought in the Battle of Khe Sahn, Hill 881 South in a desperate 77 day fight where the only way out was to be “Flown Off or Blown Off.” The discipline, patriotism, and servanthood he learned in the Marines never left him, as friends and family will attest. He will be remembered fondly by many as “Uncle Ray”, the “go-to” guy at Reinhardt Bible Church and Christ is Life Ministries, always willing to teach the children’s Sunday school class, drive the church bus to camp, and to lift, carry, or fetch anything needed. He had fond memories of singing with the Firewheel Bible Fellowship Choir (he loved to sing, dance, perform and make people laugh). In later years, he spent his time teaching Bible study to prisoners as a chaplain at the Kendall County Jail and collecting food for Hill Country Daily Bread.

TAPS Archives Loyde P. Arender

Loyde P. Arender

Funeral services for Loyde P. Arender were held at 10:00 AM Friday, August 26, 2016 at Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Monroe, Louisiana with Rev. Ricky Baker officiating. Interment will follow at the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Rayville, LA.

Loyde was born on October 19, 1950 in Monroe, LA to Monroe and Nadine (Sutton) Arender and having achieved his lifelong goals of being a combat Marine, a good husband and a good father, he entered the gates of Heaven on August 24, 2016 in Monroe, LA. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Monroe Dwight Arender.

He was active in community service, especially in service to Veterans. He was Director of the Ouachita Parish Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the grounds of Monroe City Hall. In Vietnam he served as a member of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 26th Marines.

He is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart of 48 years, Sharon Kay Keen Arender; daughter, Annette Arender Little and husband, Paul; sons, Loyde Patrick Arender II and wife, Christy and Brandon Arender and wife, Mindy; grandchildren, Derek Hilton Arender, Madelyn Renee Arender, Ryne Michael Little, Mallory Ember Arender, and Maisy Isabella Arender; step grandsons, Tyler Brown and Griffin Bishop; brothers, Franklin Latheyl Arender, Doyle Isaac Arender, and Steve Otis Arender.

TAPS Archives Bob Arrotta

During the night of 4 November 2009, Bob died in his sleep.  A victim of cancer, he was born in Bethesda, Maryland and joined the Marine Corps in 1966.  On Hill 881S, as a member of 3/26 Comm Platoon’s Tactical Air Control Party, he was known as the “World’s Mightiest Corporal” due to his prowess in running airstrikes.  Bob lived in San Diego after leaving the Marines.  He will be missed by all who knew him. Funeral services will be at Arlington National Cemetery at 1100 on 15 December 2009.

Anthony Tony Benedetto

Anthony Tony Benedetto, 74, entered into Gods loving care on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at Samaritan Hospice in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. Born in Trenton, Tony was a lifelong resident of Hamilton. He was a highly decorated US Marine Corps Veteran who completed two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. Tony was the recipient of three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star with Valor, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon and the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.

Tonys desire to love and protect did not end with his tour in Vietnam. He retired from the Mercer County Sheriffs Department after 25 years of service. During his tenure, Tony held various positions in the department but he most enjoyed his time as a Detective. His hard work ethic paid off as Anthony was the recipient of Officer of the Year and several other awards but even more importantly he was well loved and admired by his coworkers.

Tonys zest for life and helping others did not stop at work. He was passionate about all sports, especially baseball. He was heavily involved in Mercer County Baseball. Tony spent many years coaching his son during Little League and Babe Ruth. His coaching continued with American Legion Post 458 and Nottingham High School. During his tenure as a coach, Tony led his teams to various victories. In 1993, he took the 15- year- old Babe Ruth All Star team to the Southern New Jersey State Championship. Once again in 2008, Tony helped lead the Nottingham High School Baseball team to their first ever Mercer County Tournament Champion. Due to his dedication and love for Nottingham baseball, Tony was inducted to the Nottingham Athletic Hall of Fame. He is often described as a players coach and an even better mentor. His influence was felt by many in Mercer County Baseball.

Although baseball was a passion, his first love was traveling with his wife Bonnie along with taking cruises with his family. No matter what Tony was doing, he always found time to be in the sun!! Tony was a larger-than-life character who was extremely witty, always making jokes. His world revolved around his wife, children, and grandchildren. Tony was well loved and respected by many and will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.

Tony was predeceased by his parents, John and Assunta (Lattera) Benedetto and is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Bonnie (Borland) Benedetto, a son Anthony Benedetto and wife Jaime, along with a daughter, Nicole and husband Eric Skurjunis, six grandchildren, Gianna and Alexa Benedetto, and Jillian, Skylar, Jacob, and Anthony Skurjunis. He is also survived by his brother Joseph and wife Felicia Benedetto along with brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Linda and husband Roy Lovett, Rich Borland and wife Maureen, Patricia Cranstoun, Denise and husband George LaFalce, and Chuck Borland and wife Betty Ann. Tony is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and other family friends.

On January 6, 2021 Tony was buried at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 250 Provinceline Rd., Wrightstown, NJ.

John Reynolds Brice

John was born on July 26, 1949, in Orange, California to Basil and Juanita Brice. In 1967, at only 17 years old, John joined the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California. John would go on to serve two tours of duty in the Vietnam War. Upon his return, he served as a Drill Sergeant at Camp Pendleton until he left the military in 1972, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. John worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a corrections officer while working towards his Associates Degree in Engineering from Los Angeles Harbor College. Afterwards, he worked for various companies in the oil refinery industry before settling in at Unocal (now Phillips 66) until he retired in 2004.

John met Toni Godinet in 1969 while home between his tours in Vietnam. He married her on February 9, 1970 after returning home. They settled in Wilmington, California, where they had three children. John loved his family deeply. John liked to spend his time attending his grandkids’ sporting events, plays, and graduations. He also had a passion for bass fishing, hunting, and watching football, especially USC football. John loved attending church in person or online at Lifted Fellowship where he was an usher and on the hospitality ministry. As a proud husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, Christian, and Marine, John will be profoundly missed by his family and friends.

John is survived by his wife of 52 years, Toni Brice; Children: Tanya Rentfrow (Todd), Aaron Brice (Angelica) and Shawn Brice (Anna); Grandchildren: Justine Jefferson, Amber Brice, Mariah Johnson, Aaron John Brice, Vincent Costa, Kaelin Brice, Hailey Brice and Jacob John Brice; Great Grandchildren: Cameron Johnson, Dani Jefferson, and Hayden Jefferson; Sisters: Judy Goodier-Van Voorst, Mary Kathleen Savage, Elizabeth Poff, along with many nieces and nephews. He is proceeded in death by his parents and sister Carol Rebando.

(Posted September 2022)


TAPS Archives Joe Cote

Joe Cote, Mike 3/26, passed into eternity on 29 October 2015 in North August, South Carolina.  Joe was a graduate of Kankakee Community College, Kanakee, Illinois.  Joe was in the battalion in 1966-1967 to include the battles in September 1967 up near the DMZ.  After his tour in the Marine Corps, he worked for Husqvarna for 30 years.

Joe was proceeded in death by his wife Cynthia Cote and his mother and father Lily and Kenneth Cote, and survived by his brother Kenneth Cote, son Jason Cote and wife Wendi Cote, daughter Catherine Cote, and granddaughter Jessica Hutto.

He had been a dedicated member of the Marine Corp League for several years and was currently Senior Vice Commandant of the Riverfront Marines, Detachment #1132, North Augusta, SC. He was very involved in the Toys for Tots program and other community beneficial programs. He was a loving father, and truly amazing grandfather.

Joe will be buried in his home state, Illinois.

TAPS Archives Duane Crawford

Duane Crawford, 81, of Unionville, MO passed away in his home, Sunday, January 15, 2017 after a year-long battle with his health.

Duane was born February 17, 1935 on a farm in Washington County, IA near Keota, the oldest son of Omer and Viola Faye Crawford who preceded him in death. He graduated from Keota High School in May 1953.

On June 2, 1953, Duane entered the United States Marine Corps.  Duane served his country for 26 years, retiring in 1979 with the rank of major. He spent 13 years as an enlisted Marine and 13 as an officer. His military specialty was infantry. As a staff sergeant during the Vietnam War in 1966, he was given a battlefield commission to second lieutenant but never forgot his enlisted roots. 

Upon returning from the war in late 1966, he met and married Kathryn “Kay” Sayres on June 6, 1967 in Centerville, Iowa. Kay, who was her husband’s inspiration, passed away on August 1, 2012. 

Duane began his second tour in Vietnam in October, 1968 and was assigned duties as Commanding Officer of Mike Company, 3rd Battalion 26th Marines. During his two tours in Vietnam, he was decorated with four Bronze Star Medals for Valor, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for Valor, Purple Heart Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and lesser medals. He made many parachute jumps with the elite 1st Force Reconnaissance Company.

In 1964, an infantry squad of 13 Marines he trained was named second best in the entire Marine Corps, losing the gold medal by one point. In 1975, a squad from the company he commanded received first place and the coveted gold medal in a ceremony at Marine Barracks 8th and I. He always remarked that of all his time in the Marines his three years training thousands of recruits at Parris Island, SC was his most satisfying and challenging of duties.

After retiring from the Marines in 1979, he attended Northeast Missouri State University, now Truman State University, and graduated cum laude in 1982 with a BA in Physical Education and Social Studies. In 1982, he was hired by Superintendent Marcus Hounsom to teach social studies and coach football and girls’ basketball at Putnam County High School. Working with teachers, coaches and the youth of Midget County became a delightful and memorable experience for him. He coached and taught for 25 years and, after retiring from teaching, coached another 5 years.

Duane was deeply engaged in free-lance writing for a hobby. He wrote countless articles for several newspapers and completed three books based on history. Together, he and Kay were actively involved in numerous community projects, including hosting the Vietnam Veterans Moving Memorial Wall and building the Veterans Memorial and the Flight 11 Memorial.

Duane was a lifetime member of the Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Force Reconnaissance Association, and the American Legion. Locally, he was a Super Booster of the PC Midgets and member of both the Unionville Lions and Rotary Clubs. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Unionville.

Duane is survived by his daughter Sandra and grandson, Payne. 


TAPS Archives Ronald S. Cunliffe-Owen

Corporal Ronald S. Cunliffe-Owen was a machine gunner in Kilo 3/26.  He served on Hill 861S.  Ronald lived in Lompoc, California, and passed away on 8 July 2016.  He was 69 years old.


Albert Cupps, Jr

Albert John Cupps Jr. age 76 passed 13 May 2017 at home as per his final request to his children. Al was known by his friends and family as being an extremely generous man, quiet and a man of honor. Nicknamed Butch by his family back home, he is survived by children, David, Richard and Steven Cupps and Beth Yocom. Al left for Vietnam in December of 1967. He was with Mike Company 3/26 on Hill 881S at Khe Sanh through The Siege. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Marines never left him as his friends and family will attest.

(Posted August 2022)

TAPS Archives Bill Dabney

Colonel William Dabney died 15 February 2012 in Lexington, Virginia. He was 77 years old. Colonel Dabney served a total of 37 years in the Marine Corps with both enlisted and commissioned service. He was an infantry officer who commanded India 3/26 in Vietnam and later commanded 1st Battalion 1st Marines, the 9th Marine Regiment, and Headquarters Battalion, HQMC. He retired in 1990 after serving two years as the Commandant of Cadets at the Virginia Military Institute where he graduated in 1961. After graduation and commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant, in September 1961 he married Virginia Puller – daughter of Marine Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller.

Colonel Dabney was awarded the Navy Cross for his leadership and bravery while serving as the Commander of India Company and all attached troops on Hill 881S during the Siege of Khe Sanh. Through his continued leadership, he collaborated with the late Major Frank Gulledge in establishing a web page Warriors of Hill 881S http://www.hmm-364.org/warriors-web-site/warriors.html on the overall HMM-364 Purple Foxes website http://www.hmm-364.org/ . During his two tours in Vietnam, he was also awarded two Bronze Stars. Colonel Dabney is survived by his wife Virginia, his son Lewis Puller Dabney, his daughter Virginia Keane Dabney Kauders, and six grandchildren.


TAPS Archives Andy DeBona

 Andy DeBona was born in Johnston, Pennsylvania on October 3rd 1936.  After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 1955 and subsequently graduated as the Honor Man of his platoon and was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class.  Within two years he reached the rank of Sergeant.  Selected for Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in December, 1961.

As an infantry officer he served with the 3rd Battalion 1st Marines, the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines, the 7th Marines, and with the 3rd Battalion 26th Marines where he was most notably the Commanding Officer of Mike Company.  During his command of Mike Company, he was awarded the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart for heroism during an engagement with a North Vietnamese Army regiment south of the Demilitarized Zone on 10 September 1967.  LtCol DeBona also served an additional tour in Vietnam as a Senior Advisor to the 7th Vietnamese Marine Battalion.  Additionally he served as the Officer-in Charge of Recruiting Station, Cincinnati and as the Executive Officer and later the Commanding Officer of the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD San Diego.

LtCol DeBona retired from active duty on September 1st, 1980.  Since retirement he was active in various service organizations including hosting two reunions for the 3rd Battalion 26th Marines in his adopted hometown of Ennis, Montana.  Andy died on February 6th, 2018.  He is survived by his wife Christine, his stepdaughter Romaine, his son Andrew, Jr., and his grandson Andrew.


TAPS Archives Al Drotar 

Al Drotar was a member of the original Vietnam era battalion serving in Lima Company.  He died on 3 December 2011.


TAPS Archives Richard Franklin Dworsky

Dr. Dick Dworsky of Steamboat Springs CO and Anchorage AK died November 5th returning from a pheasant-hunting trip taken with friends he’d known for over 55 years. Richard was born in Lebanon, Missouri, August 13, 1942 where his parents Leonard and Diana Dworsky were stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood during WWII. He attended Lincoln High School in Portland Oregon, graduated from the University of Michigan in 1965 (Forestry), playing football and developing unreserved affection for the Wolverines. He received his Master’s degree in Natural Resources from Colorado State University in 1972, and his Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Massachusetts 1986.

Over his career, Dick spent 37 years in Alaska, 15 with the Bureau of Land Management working to effectively manage and preserve the lands of the western US and Alaska. He met his wife Sally while living in Waitsfield, Vermont, directing projects for the New England River Basin Commission, and skiing at Mad River Glen. Before that, he was the Director of Forestry for the Department of Natural Resources San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Maryland Land Use Specialist for the Interstate Commission of the Potomac River, and Natural Resources Planner for the Genesee Finger Lakes Regional Planning Board in Rochester New York.

Richard was proud to have served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, Basic School 5-67, serving in Vietnam from 1967-1970, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines as Rifle Platoon and Company Commander. He was a reserve officer from 1970 to 1977. A decorated combat hero with numerous personal citations, his actions with India Company on Hill 881S during the siege of Khe Sanh earned him the Bronze Star, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Additional citations include the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, the National Defense Medal, and 3 Purple Hearts. He maintained important friendships with his brothers-in-arms throughout his entire life, and recently wrote in a newspaper article, “I didn’t pick the men I fought with but I have an attachment to them that cannot be described – and I have the same attachment to those who carry on today. Never have I given anyone the trust I gave these men.”

His entire professional and intellectual career reflected his deep respect for the natural world. Like his father and his brothers, he focused on the planning and management of water and land resources, balancing the needs of people and nature. He authored numerous professional papers, and was a member of the American Water Resources Association, as well as Rotary International in Anchorage East, the Michigan Alumni Association, Trout International and the Rocky Mountain Angling Club.

He was an excellent charismatic friend and raconteur; a skier, an avid hunter, an expert marksman, an adventurous traveller, and an accomplished fly fisherman. Pursuing trout, bonefish and salmon worldwide with his fly rod was his passion. In Alaska, he volunteered at Alpenglow Ski Area skiing with veterans and individuals with special needs. He was a genuine scholar and a voracious reader of history of all kinds focusing on military, American, and natural history. Richard carried on his family’s legacy: public service to his country, care for the world around him, steadfast affection for colleagues and friends, and an unwavering devotion to his family.

Richard is survived by his beloved children Karenth Love, Joshua Crosby and his wife Sally Love, his sister Barbara (Carl) Shulman, his brother Donald (Lynn), nephew Misha Dworsky, his nephews Michael Kaikane, Noa Tagiilima, and Reuben Leonard and his sister-in-law Elena Dworsky. He is predeceased by his younger brother Michael, his sister Andrea, and his parents.

Richard is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There was a Celebration of Life on Tuesday November 13  in Steamboat and another in Anchorage on December 8.

Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made in his name to Khe Sanh Veterans Scholarship Fund, C/O: Tom Eichler, KSV Scholarship Fund, 3221 N. Opal Ave., Chicago, IL 60634-3042. 

Colonel Thomas Michael Early, USMC, (ret.)

On Monday, November 2, 2020, Colonel Thomas Michael Early, USMC, (ret.), loving husband of Marie and father of Patrick and Kathleen, passed away after a long illness at the age of 78.

Thomas was born on June 25, 1942 in Worcester, Mass. to Luke and Mabel (Hill) Early.  He graduated from St. John’s Prep in Worcester, North Adams State College (BS), and Central Michigan University (MA.)  He received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in May 1964.

Throughout his long distinguished career in the Marine Corps, he earned 3 Legions of Merit, a Bronze Star with Combat V, a Purple Heart, and numerous other citations.  He served with distinction in Vietnam as a company commander with the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines.  Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, he led a JROTC program, taught high school science, and was the director of the Virginia Commonwealth Challenge program.

Thomas had a passion for long-distance running, competing in the Boston, Honolulu, and Marine Corps marathons multiple times.  He was an avid sports fan, coaching soccer and track and rooting on Notre Dame and the Washington Redskins. GO IRISH!  He was devoted to his family and known for his dry wit, strength of character and loyalty.

Thomas is survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Marie, his two children, Patrick (Karina) and Kathleen, and three grandchildren, Liam, Meghan, and Mikayla.

TAPS Archives Richard “Rick” Eilert

TAPS Archives Bernard G. Goddard

TAPS Archives Ronald E. Harriman

Dennis Wade Healey

Healey, Dennis Wade, 71, of Coral Springs, passed away October 27, 2019. Dennis was born in Newark, New Jersey on July 22, 1948 to the late James Daniel and Elizabeth Grace (Wade) Healey. Dennis graduated from Fort Lauderdale High School in 1966 and furthered his education after his military service graduating from the University of Florida as a Certified Public Accountant. He served his country honorably during the Vietnam War in the U.S. Marine Corps. Dennis was a proud patriot and countryman. He was a gentleman to all who knew, loved and admired him. He enjoyed hunting geese in New Jersey. Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife, Maria, daughter and son-in-law, Erica Healey Martin and Dale Martin, sons, Dennis Wade Healey II, David James Healey, stepson, Kevin Eduardo Diaz, grandchildren, Santiago Wade Riello-Healey, Sarah Catherine Healey, Penelope Diaz, sister, Suzanne Healey, brothers, Robert Healey, David Elder, several aunts, uncles, cousins & friends. The family will receive friends on Saturday, November 16, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00pm at Kraeer Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 1655 University Drive, Coral Springs where a Celebration of Life service will begin at 3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Dennis’s memory to the Wounded Warrior Project.

(Posted September 2022)


TAPS Archives Gerald “Gary” Heller

TAPS Archives Ken Hilliard

TAPS Archives Calvin Holley

TAPS Archives Ron Hoover

Don Houser

September 27, 1937 – September 23, 2021

Donald J. Houser passed away surrounded by loved ones on September 23 after battling various illnesses consistent with Agent Orange Exposure in Vietnam.
Born in Angels Camp, CA, Don was raised in Livermore and graduated as an LHS Cowboy in 1955. Serving with the USMC in Vietnam, he distinguished himself as a calm leader and received a battlefield commission to platoon commander, a billet normally held by a commissioned officer. His citations include the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Bronze Star with “V,” Navy Commendation Medal with “V,” and two purple hearts. After 24 years of service, he retired with the rank of First Sergeant.
Don established Don’s Photography of Poway in 1979. He was fortunate to reside for 55 years on Holland Road, surrounded by dear friends and neighbors. In his golden years, he was an avid traveler who enjoyed his grandchildren’s racquetball and gardening.
He is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn, of 61 years; his children: Kathleen, Donna, and Darren; seven grandchildren; and his sister, Jacqueline LaLonde.