"In honor of allSpringfield Veteranswho served their country inWorld War I - 1917 - 1918World War II - 1941 - 1945Korean War - 1950 - 1953Dedicated November 11, 1995"
"Korean War1950 - 1953Freedom Is Not FreeUSAKilled 36,940Wounded 92,100MIA 8,176POW 7,140Dedicated by \Korean War Veteransof Western MassachusettsChapter 2000"
TO ALL MARINES
1775 - NOV. 10 - 1975
OUR MARINES CELEBRATE 200
YEARS OF VALOROUS SERVICE BY
A RELAY RUN FROM TUN TAVERN
TO SPRINGFIELD AND BY
REDEDICATION OF THIS MONUMENT"
"VietNam1964 - 1975In deep appreciation to themen and women of Springfieldwho in the midst of controversyanswered their country's callto serve in the Republic of VietNamand did so with great courage and sacrificeDedicated through the concerted efforts ofThe Winchester Square VietNam Era Veterans LtdCity of Springfield, Theodore F. Demauro, MayorRichard ???, Mayor"
The general nature of the WW I, WW II, and Korea monuments seem to enhance the honor roll presentation of the VietNam era memorial. I am especially impressed that the VietNam monument mentions that veterans of that era had served despite the discontent of most of America in the latter years of that war.
Few of the honor roll presentations I visit show the rank of the fallen men as does this one. In this case it reveals that only ten of the fifty were officers, and just two of them were above the rank of O-3.
Capt Ralph Earle Hines, USMC, was killed officer from Springfield killed in action, on February 19, 1967, at Thua Thien, VietNam. He came from a family with military tradition, his father was Rear Admiral Joseph F Hines, US Navy. Capt Hines was a Marine Corps grunt, an infantry officer, that left a widow and young sone at home. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Capt Steven Popkin, US Army, was piloting an OV-1 Mohawk when he crashed during an observation mission near Kien Phong, South Vietnam, on February 28, 1968. There was some speculation that he stayed with the aircraft while trying to assist his observer in bailing out. Capt Popkin and his wife had three sons. He is buried in the national cemetery at Knoxville, Tennessee.
Major Robert P Green, USMC, was an artillery officer and had been in the Corps for 16 years, having joined during the Korean War. He was killed in action, May 28, 1968. He left a widow and two sons. Like Hines, he too was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
LtCol John Francis Overlock, USAF, is the most senior listed, although he was still a Major (O-4) at the time his aircraft went missing.
Overlock was the back-seater/co-pilot aboard an F-100 assigned as a Forward Air Controller flight when communications with the aircraft were lost during a long mission. He and his pilot, Major Michael McElhanon, were listed as missing in action on August 16, 1968. Their status was subsequently changed to killed in action in 1975 when the last group of American POW's were repatriated and the pair were not among the survivors.
Contining recovery efforts by the US government revealed that parts of the aircraft, including a serial number data plate for Overlock's ejection seat, had been found in a North VietNamese museum. A report in 2005 indicated physical remains had been located at what was believed to be the crash site. As yet, no confirmation has been revealed by DNA testing.
One day after Overlock's crash another Springfield aviator was killed. Capt Nobe Koontz Jr, USAF, was a high school hockey player just eight days short of his 30th birthday. His F-105D "Thud" developed a problem on a flight from Korat, Thailand, and he attempted an emergency landing at Danang air base. He got the aircraft to the ground okay, but was unable to keep it from running off the far end of the runway. The landing gear dropped into a large puddle of water and flipped over. Koontz was trapped in the cockpit and drowned as a result, on August 17, 1968.