The Wall of Faces

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JESSE RODRIQUEZ ACOSTA

  • Wall Name:JESSE R ACOSTA
  • Date of Birth:8/6/1934
  • Date of Casualty:5/16/1965
  • Home of Record:SAN ANTONIO
  • County of Record:BEXAR COUNTY
  • State:TX
  • Branch of Service:AIR FORCE
  • Rank:SSGT
  • Panel/Line: 1E, 115
  • Casualty Province:BIEN HOA

SECUNDINO BALDONADO

  • Wall Name:SECUNDINO BALDONADO
  • Date of Birth:7/1/1927
  • Date of Casualty:5/16/1965
  • Home of Record:JARALES
  • County of Record:VALENCIA COUNTY
  • State:NM
  • Branch of Service:AIR FORCE
  • Rank:TSGT
  • Panel/Line: 1E, 117
  • Casualty Province:BIEN HOA

JOSE RUBEN ARAGON


is honored on Panel 1E, Line 115 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Remembered

    Posted on 9/20/16 - by Lucy Conte Micik bennysgift@gmail.com
    DEAR STAFF SERGEANT ARAGON
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE IN THE AIR FORCE. I COULD NOT FIND YOUR MOS, BUT YOU SERVED. REST IN PEACE.
    MORE
  • Over the Years

    Posted on 8/6/16 - by Mark Kruse, Grandson
    Over the years I periodically visit the wall to see your name and look you up on the internet to read about you and see your memorials. The first time I wrote one of these I was just a boy learning about my family history. The second time, I wrote as an Airman in the same Air Force that you fought and died for. Now I am not only a man, but a father as well. When I look at my children and hear stories about how much of a caring and dedicated father and person you were, I wish that I could have known you and had my children meet you. Sometimes when life gets tough I wish I could hear your advice and guidance because I know that you were an amazing human being, because you left so many beautiful memories behind. I'll check back in a few more years, but in the mean time, I know that you are with me in my heart and I hope that I can be even half the man and father that you were.
    MORE
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 5/16/16 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net
    Dear SSGT Jose Ruben Aragon, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, Sir

    Curt Carter
    MORE
  • Bien Hoa Air Base Disaster

    Posted on 7/30/15 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    On November 1, 1964, Viet Cong squads shelled the airfield at Bien Hoa with mortars. The attack was effective as 27 aircraft were hit, and four U.S. and two Vietnamese were killed. Further Viet Cong mortar attacks led General William Westmoreland on February 19, 1965 to release B-57Bs for combat operations, including raids into North Vietnam. As the B-57 mission continued to increase it became an around-the-clock commitment. This forced the weapons storage facility at Bien Hoa to deliver ordnance well ahead of the frag orders. This resulted in bombs being stored underneath the wings of the B-57s sitting on the tarmac. The ordnance consisted of 250, 500 and 750-pound general purpose bombs, many armed with time-delay. There were also 750 lb. of napalm stored on the ramp. The pre-positioning of this ordnance was the basis for one of the "worst disasters in Air Force history". On May 16, 1965, while waiting to takeoff on a mission, a B-57B exploded on the ground. The B-57 was started with a black powder cartridge that fired when the pilot hit the starter switch, causing a small starter turbine to spin. These turbines sometimes spun loose and flew out of the starter housing. On this day, a loose turbine hit the fuse of an armed 500 lb. bomb, setting off a whole chain of secondary explosions. Five 50,000 gallon bladders of JP-4 jet fuel went up in smoke. When the explosions finally ceased, ten B-57s, one Navy F-8 Crusader and fifteen A-1Es were destroyed plus several ground support units. Twenty-seven men killed, including the following: SSGT Jesse R. Acosta, SSGT Jose R. Aragon, TSGT Secundino Baldonado, MAJ Robert G. Bell, SSGT Brian D. Brown, TSGT Claude M. Bunch, SSGT James M. Cale, SSGT Robert L. Clark, SSGT Edgar S. Donaghy, A1C Terence D. Engel, TSGT Aaron G. Fidiam, CAPT Charles N. Fox, CAPT Vernon L. Haynes, SMS William D. Hicks, CAPT Arthur C. Jepson Jr. CAPT Andrew M. Kea, CAPT Ernest McFeron, TSGT Charles W. Rachal, A1C Clifford H. "Hal" Raulerson Jr. TSGT Donald J. Seaman, CAPT Billy E. Shannon, TSGT Gerald A. Snyder, MAJ James E. Underwood, 1LT Lee C. Wagner Jr., and A1C Hayden E. Weaver. Over 100 were wounded. The most severely wounded were evacuated to Clark AB. After the explosions, a great number of generals and their staffs came to Bien Hoa to see for themselves what had happened. General Westmoreland along with retired General Maxwell D. Taylor, Ambassador to Vietnam, came to see the extent of damage so they could brief their superiors. General Westmoreland said that Bien Hoa looked worse than Hickam Field after the Pearl Harbor Attack. The Bien Hoa Air Base Conflagration/Fire Accident Investigation Board concluded the accidental explosion of a bomb on a parked B-57 at Bien Hoa triggered a series of blasts. The aircraft and the ammunition were stored too close together which allowed the fires and explosions to propagate. The accident investigation board recommended improvements. In the face of such experience, engineers initiated a major program to construct revetments and aircraft shelters to protect the valuable assets. [Taken from wikipedia.com]
    MORE
  • Honoring Colorado Casualties of Vietnam

    Posted on 6/11/12 - by Billy M. Brown bmbrown@grandecom.net

    May his sacrifice not be forgotten

    MORE
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit www.buildthecenter.org.