The Wall of Faces

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is honored on Panel 7E, Line 25 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance


  • In Honor

    Posted on 5/4/18 - by John Braun
    Gene, You are remembered and honored. Your brother Roy has now joined you in the Spirit World.

    Posted on 4/25/18 - by COL(Ret) Sam Russell
    Staff Sgt. Gene Hawthorne, son of the late O.L. and Desbah Hawthorne of Lupton, Ariz., and holder of the Bronze Star medal as well as the coveted Army Commendation medal, has been posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross for meritorious and heroic service in Viet Nam. The latter award is this nation's second highest honor and is given for military valor. In addition to these awards, the Republic of Viet Nam has awarded Sgt. Hawthorne that country's Military Medal Of Merit.
    Hawthorne, an airborne ranger, and veteran of 16 years service, which included duty in Europe and combat in Korea, was killed in action north east of Saigon on May 4, 1966, year.
    Presentation of awards will made during the memorial day ceremonies at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe on May 30.
    The following article was written by Lt. John Hensley in Phan Rang, RVN.
    He was called "The Indian" and that's exactly what he was, a full blooded Navajo from Shadow Rock, Ariz. He didn't give his all part of the time, or every once in a while, but all the time. His all was best.
    SSgt. Gene Hawthorne was a squad leader in 3rd Platoon, 'A". 2-502d Infantry Battalion. The Ranger-Airborne qualified "Screaming Eagle" arrived in Vietnam in December 1965 and saw his first major action at Tuy Hoa near the now infamous hill 51. It was at Hill 51 that he recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross and received the Purple Heart. He took out an eight-man patrol and only two returned without wounds--some didn't return at all. They were attacked five times by an undetermined VC force killing at least 35 of them. He was wounded several times throughout the fierce battle. At dawn, he was unable to move, he bleeding profusely, but he continued to resist by calling and adjusting artillery fire by sound only. When the medics found him he was unconscious nearly dead from lack of blood.
    He gave his all that day and after a short rest in a hospital he returned.
    By the way he read a map you would think he had grown up in any area he was in. On the darkest night, in the thickest jungle, over any type terrain, he could pinpoint any objective.
    Devotion, loyalty, trust,--they all fall short of the feeling his men held for him. Whatever mission and intelligence reports with it, his men were ready and assured --"The Indian" was going to lead them.
    He didn't have parents, or a wife and children to go home to. The Army was his life. I once overheard his squad razzing him about not being married but he quipped back, "if the Army don't issue one, I don't need one."
    He developed "jungle rot" on his right foot and much to his disagreement was evacuated to the rear for treatment. After arguing with the medics for 5 days to let him return to his unit they finally consented. He limped to the chopper for the ride back but he never made it. The chopper went down during the night in a ball of flame.
    He gave his all; everything man can give -- his life.

    From the The Gallup Independent (Gallup, New Mexico), 04 May 1967, Thu • Page 3
  • The hero uncle I never met

    Posted on 5/21/17 - by Yvonne
    My uncle Gene was killed during the Vietnam conflict. I was about two years old when he died. I never met him, but through my father's stories, I learned of his determination and courage. I wish I would've gotten to meet him, but my faith is one day I will see him and my father.
  • In Honor

    Posted on 5/4/17 - by John Braun
    Gene, You are remembered and honored.
  • Uncle Gene

    Posted on 5/3/17 - by Dora Speirs
    I never got to know or meet Gene. He was KIA 6 months before I was born. But I am proud of him.
    He was my mom's brother, Naomi (Hawthorne) Speirs
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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