Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The McNamara Circle Widens

Ray Calhoun, USMC

If you read the tributes posted for Donald on the Vietnam Vet memorial Fund website you would recall a quote from a Ray Calhoun:   Don and I would lay on our backs, looking at the stars, and singing Up Up and Away to the top of our lungs. They all thought we were crazy.

A search with The Google provides a great deal of information about Mr. Calhoun, including a story about his receiving a Silver Star medal. Mr. Calhoun is pictured at left, a photo taken from that story.

His email address was included somewhere in the many stories about him, and when contacted, his reply came back shortly:  Donald was a good friend of mine. Please call me.

Ray has confirmed that he was indeed the guy who sang with Donald.  They both served in the same platoon but different squads, Ray in the 2nd and Donald in the 3rd.  They normally worked patrols together, but on the day that Donald was killed, they were separated by geography, so Ray was not there when it happened. Donald's squad was ambushed and by the time Ray's squad was able to get there, it was all over.

Ray described him as a happy guy, a great leader, and a friend. He has since sent an email wherein he copied two other Marines who also recall Donald as a great friend, and more information and insights will be forthcoming.

Cpl McNamara was not a member of the Class of '62 and to our knowledge none of the classmates know who he is, so one might say the blog is skewing away from its mission.  So be it.  He is one of so many Viet Nam Vets who never made it back, and one who listed Northwood as his hometown - without ever receiving any local acclamation for having given his life.  This is all about us - and we will see it through.

His photo has been posted on the Viet Nam Vet Memorial Fund site, and the remembrance can be viewed on their website,

1 comment:

  1. Ray Calhoun viewed the above post and sent some corrections, which are reflected above:

    I read your blog and appreciate the connection and recognition. A couple of clarifications. Don and I, along with Bobby and Joe were all in the same platoon, 2nd. We had 3 squads and Joe and Don were in 3rd and I was in 2nd. Bobby was in guns and we all filled in with each other from time to time. Patrols and ambushes were usually done with a squad size of 10 to 12 or so. Also we are not soldiers, we are Marines. (Soldiers are in the Army).


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