The Springfield 50 Project
Western Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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December 12, 2003


    First I commended you on setting something up for the Civilians.  Now I applaud you.  I took a couple of minutes to go into your Springfield 50 referenced site, and was amazed at the work you put into this.  For many years now, I've been working with small communities across the country doing the background research to document what happened to their KIAs on those fateful days...and your overviews/format is probably the best I've ever seen.  I will check my database to see if I have worked on any of these men in the past, and will let you know if I've got any further information.  Great Job!!

    One name that caught my eye was 1LT Mark Rivest.  While I don't have this confirmed yet, off/on I've been working on the case of a Sgt Harry Wilson (USMC), who was killed in a helicopter crash.  We believe that he was part of the crew going in to extract Rivest that day when it was shot down.  Wilson was the only loss, and they were not able to retrieve his remains.  Based on my notes, we know that Rivest was on a SOG mission, and we're pretty sure that he was along with some other Marines from 3rd Recon in Laos that day.  By June/70 things were a real mess.  I was on my second tour in Nam when we got Orders to pull-out in May/70 with 2-days notice.  All of Quang Tri was gone, and most of Phu Bai and Danang looked like a ghost town.  Most of the extraction/recovery for the Laos/SOG incidents were left up to the few Marine helicopters Units that were left.  Will see if I can cross-reference coordinates and let you know on this.

    Anyways, job well done...and our paths will probably cross again.

B. Swander
Washington, DC

(page last revised  07/04/2004 09:51 PM -0400)

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