Verdugo Hills High School

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Veteran's Memorial

WE ALL HAVE DREAMS about our lives after high school. Some of our fellow alumni were never able to realize those dreams because their lives were cut short in their prime. We want to always remember the sacrifices made by our friends and classmates who were killed in action in the service of their country.

This list is just getting started. As a school community, we have have lost classmates in every conflict since, and including, World War II. The major difficulty we have is in confirming whether and when a G.I., who was killed in action, actually attended Verdugo.

If you know of fellow classmates who were killed in action during any war or conflict, please drop us an e-mail and let us know. Please include their class year, if you know it.

With your help, we will be able to compile a complete and accurate listing in this space.

O SAY CAN YOU SEE ?

In Memoriam

Class of 1942
Sheldon Theriot
Killed in action when his ship was torpedoed during World War II.

Class of 1943
Bernard Fogel
Killed in action while serving with the US Army during World War II.

Class of 1943
Douglas Goodwin
US Naval Reserve. Killed during WWII when his ship was sunk in action.

Class of 1944
William "Bill" Moore
United States Marine Corp, KIA, killed on Peleliu, where his engraved canteen cup was located by members of a party, visiting the islands of WW II in the South Pacific in 2002. The article on William Moore's story was published in a local newspaper on January 14, 2003.

Class of 1944
Jack A. Robertson
Missing in action in 1950 and declared killed in action in 1953.

Class of 1955
Ronald Howard Brown
Age 31
Killed February 7, 1968 while serving as a Captain with the US Marine Corps Reserve in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. In the 1955 yearbook Ronald was called "Wired for Action."

Possibly Class of 1955
Jasper Dean Sturdivant
Killed July 3, 1966 in Vietnam as a second lieutenant. He sacrificed his life to save the lives of his men. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his herioc actions, as described in this article from Headquarters United States Army Vietnam.
Sturdivant was killed on Operation Paul Revere one. There are almost no records of the ambush that took place on 3 July 1966. Sturdivant and 19 other men died from this ambush, along with 28 men wounded. Log onto the cacti website and read the citation for the award of the DSC to Sgt. Clifford Totten, the real hero. The 35th infantry association (CACTI) has a website regarding this: cacti35th.org.
(Info submitted by Marshall Jackson, a member of sturdivants platoon).

Platoon leader, Jasper D. Sturdivant (on the left, looking at the photo). On the right is Bruce Hulin who was the artillery foward observer for the company. Sturdivant arrived in May, and was KIA (Killed In Action) on the 3rd of July, 1966.

Class of 1957.
Arnold C. Pearson
Killed in action on 11/20/1966 in Vietnam. Serving as SSgt U.S. Army. Second tour of duty when the plane went down over Vietnam.

Class of 1960.
Rick (Richard) Charles Ramsey.
Rick left Verdugo in December 1960 and entered the Navy. After four years active duty, he left the military, but after a brief stint as a civilian, he enlisted in the Air Force, in early '66. As many of this generation did, he was sent to Vietnam. While stationed at Ton Son Nhut (?), he was killed during a mortar barrage.
Rick was survived by his younger sister, Mary, and a younger brother. Rick was a great guy, and deserved the right to a full life, but gave it, serving his country. Now, so many years after his death, who remembers him?

I believe that I knew Richard Charles Ramsey at Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base at Saigon, Vietnam. If he was with the Seventh Air Force Headquarters Combat News Team, then he is definitely the man I knew. Your web site asks the question, who remembers this man? Well, I do. He received the assignment I was originally supposed to have, months before I was sent to the same location with another assignment. We got to know one another on a casual basis. I was walking behind the building where he worked, on my way to lunch, and a mortar round hit in front of the building. I fell to the pavement, felt pieces of stuff falling on and around me. Then I got up and continued on my way to lunch at the cafeteria. Richard was the only one in his office, minding the shop while the others were at luch. A fragment of the mortar found him at his typewriter, ironic considering the dangerous job that sent him to so many places around Vietnam. I believe Richard Charles Ramsey is the man I knew. He died on the job, serving his country. He deserves to be remembered.

Class of 1962.
Richard Wayne Billingsley
Age 22
PFC - E2 - Marine Corps - Reserve. Born on April 27, 1944 in Glendale.
Casualty was on August 25, 1966 in Quang Nam, South Vietnam. Hostile ground casualty gun, small arms fire. Body was recovered. Listed on the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C., panel 10E, line 36.

Class of 1963
Ronald Harvey McNees
Age 21
Killed June 5, 1965 while serving with the US Marine Corps in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.
"My name is Oscar Benitez, I was on patrol with PFC Mc Nees when he died. I was a scout assigned to his unit and was point man all day June 4, 1965. For some inexplicable reason known only to God, the next day PFC Mc Nees was assigned point duty instead of one of the scouts. I was behind him when he stepped on the booby trap that killed him. May he rest in peace."

Class of 1963
Arthur Rivera
Killed in Vietnam. Exact date and circumstances unknown. Mentioned on the wall in Washington.

Class of 1964
Fred B. Beckerman, Jr.
Age 20
Killed on July 3, 1966 while serving as a Lance Corporal with the US Marine Corps in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam.

Class of 1964.
Roland de Rosa.
Killed in Viet Nam.

Class of 1964.
Charles Wilder.
Age 24.
Died in a plane crash in Alaska on 12/02/1968, coming home from his finishing tour of duty in Viet Nam.

Class of 1965
Richard Hugh McHam
Age 20
Killed on December 21, 1967 while serving with the US Navy in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.
Richard was a Navy Corpsman attached to the First Marine Division at Da Nang. He was called “Doc Mac” by his fellow Marines. He was there 8 months before he was killed, and he posthumously received the Bronze Star for Valor.

Class of 1965
Steven Donald Pleasant
Age 20
Killed in action on March 20, 1967, five months after arriving in Vietnam, just before midnight March 20, as he was landing in an Army helicopter he was shot with small arms fire by the enemy.
Two hours later he died in a field hospital. He was serving with the First Calvalry, Fifth Division Air.
Steven graduated with honors from Verdugo Hills High School, class of winter 1965. At Verdugo, he held several offices including
Vice President of his senior class and president of previous classes. He also was active in campus activities and won several trophies in swimming and was on the basketball team. Steven was enrolled in Pre-Med at Valley college when he enlisted on May 17, 1966. Steven planned to become a dentist.

Class of 1966
James Boyd Anderson
Age 20
Killed on May 9, 1968 while serving with the US Army in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam, after only 45 days in country. James received a posthumous promotion to Sergeant.

Class of 1966
Jack Dennis Downs
Age 20
Killed on April 6, 1968 while serving with the US Army in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.

Class of 1966
Jack Dennis Downs
Age 20
Killed on April 6, 1968 while serving with the US Army in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.

Left in June 17, 1966
Steven Patrick Steele
Age 20
Killed on April 20, 1970 while serving with the US Army in Binh Long Province, South Vietnam.

Class of 1968
Manuel Miranda
Age 21
SP5 - E5 - Army - Regular 1st Cav Division (AMBL).
21 Years old, single, caucasian, male.
Born on Sep 18, 1949. From Tujunga, California.
His tour of duty began on July 13, 1970. Casualty was on June 14, 1971 in Long Khanh, South Vietnam. Hostile, ground casualty gun, small arms fire. Body was recovered.
Religion: Roman Catholic
Panel 03W - - Line 76

Class of 1968?
Duane Paepke
Age 20
SP4 - E4 - Army - Regular. 11th Light infantry brigade.
Born on June 04, 1948 in Galt, California.
Length of service 1 year. His tour of duty began on May 17, 1968
Casualty was on March 03, 1969 in Quang Ngai, South Vietnam. Hostile ground casualty gun, small arms fire. Body was recovered.
Listed on the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C., panel 30W, line 28.

Class of 1968
Michael David Sheahan
Age 18
Killed on February 25, 1968 while serving with the US Army in Dinh Tuong Province, South Vietnam.

Class of 1968
Mark Edward Smith
Age 18
Killed on March 2, 1968 while serving with the US Army in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam.

Class of 1980
Chet "Alderson" Troxel
Age 44
Chief Warrent Officer Chet Troxel died piloting a Blackhawk helicopter in Northern Iraq on January 7, 2006. Chester was a pilot in command of a UH60 Blackhawk helicopter when it went down with a crew of four and eight passengers. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. There were no survivors. Chester was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

This article about Chet and his family was published online in the Anchorage Daily News.

Chet Troxel
Chet "Alderson" Troxel

"Original research and compilation by Dave Robertson VHHS '68 and Sean Curtis VHHS '70"