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The following copy of a remembrance, posted on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website in 2003, provides some insight into a discrepancy between official statistics and those used on this website.  Both Joyce's and Preskensis' names appear on the Wall and in official casualty records, but in truth they represent only one person, and only Joyce is deceased.

2007 The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

Draft reject dies in Viet Nam


Draft reject dies in Viet Nam

STOUGHTON, Mass. (AP)-A young Marine, who met death in Viet Nam, was revealed Thursday as a 4-F draft reject who assumed another man's identity to enter the service.
Pfc. William F. Joyce, 25, of Stoughton, was killed in action at Quan Lai (sic) after serving in Viet Nam since January.
But Marine Corps records listed Joyce as Richard J. Preskenis, the name he used when he entered the service in April 1963.
The bizarre story came to light when a Pfc. Richard J. Preskenis was on a casualty list issued by the Defense Department.
The real Richard J. Preskenis, 22, a resident of nearby Canton, was shocked at Joyce's deception and was reluctant to discuss the mixup.
Stoughton and Canton are adjoining suburban residential towns south of Boston.


Records at the draft board showed that Preskenis was listed as on active duty since April 15, 1963 - the date Joyce joined the Marines.
At the same draft board, Joyce - even now - is listed as 4-F, with the notation "court record." The classification was made in August 1961, according to the board records.
However, the Marine Corps in Washington said its records have been changed to show that Joyce actually had been in the service - not Preskenis. The change was made Wednesday night after Mrs. Paul Collins of Brockton, sister of Joyce, informed the Marines the dead man actually was her brother.
Relatives of both youths refused to talk about the case, but Preskenis' 22-year-old wife said Wednesday they first learned of the masquerade on their wedding day, November 20, 1965.
She said a newspaper that day carried a story saying "Richard J. Preskenis was accused of attempted rape." She and her husband went to police headquarters and informed police of the name switch.
Mrs. Preskenis said the charge against Joyce was reduced to assault and he was put on probation. She said Joyce apparently had been home on leave from the Marine Corps when the accusation was made.
"Richard's brother, John, went to school with Billy," she said, "and they were pretty close for seven years."
Mrs. Preskenis added that her husband knew Joyce but was not a close friend.
Preskenis, a sopomore at Bentley School, a Boston business college, has been reclassified 3-A, married with dependents.

Article appeared in the Daily Intelligencer Journal, the newspaper of Lancaster County, PA, on April 8, 1966.

Semper Fidelis, Marine!

Posted by: Jim McIlhenney
Relationship: Marine Viet Nam Veteran
Wednesday, August 13, 2003


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