RICHARD C FINA
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HONORED ON PANEL 68E, LINE 1 OF THE WALL

RICHARD CARL FINA

WALL NAME

RICHARD C FINA

PANEL / LINE

68E/1

DATE OF BIRTH

06/08/1947

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG NAM

DATE OF CASUALTY

05/24/1968

HOME OF RECORD

HUDSON

COUNTY OF RECORD

St. Croix County

STATE

WI

BRANCH OF SERVICE

NAVY

RANK

HN

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR RICHARD CARL FINA
POSTED ON 6.8.2021
POSTED BY: Jury Washington

Thank You For Your Valiant Service Sailor.

We can never truly repay the great debt we owe our fallen heroes. May those who served never be forgotten. Rest in peace HN. Fina, I salute your brave soul. My heart goes out to you and your family. Fair winds, and following seas "Doc"! From a Coast Guard vet.
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POSTED ON 6.4.2021
POSTED BY: ANON

Never Forgotten

On the remembrance of your 74th birthday, your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Semper Fi, Doc...You did good
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POSTED ON 11.9.2020
POSTED BY: Jim Fina

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Rick, you nailed this one perfectly
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POSTED ON 11.11.2019
POSTED BY: A Volunteer Picture Gatherer

RICHARD FINA- INTERVIEWED IN COUNTRY

Arlin Albrecht was in Vietnam for about 6 weeks. He served as a photo journalist interviewing servicemen from the local area around Red Wing, Minnesota. Richard Fina was from nearby Hudson, Wisconsin. The photo of Richard in country, sitting in front of sandbags, was taken by Arlin. The other three photos of Richard, at this time, are from his days at Hudson High School. Richard would only live a few more weeks after this interview. The following article was republished by the Hudson Observer:

RED WING EDITOR INTERVIEWS HUDSON SERVICEMAN IN VIETNAM
The following article, written by managing editor of the Red Wing (Minn), Republican Eagle, Arlin Albrecht, who is now in southeast Asia, tells of his interview with a Hudson serviceman.
Jerry Wallin, a 21 year old Red Wing Marine, knows what it's like to be a human mine sweep.
Richard C. Fina, a Navy hospital man attached to the Marines, saw his 51 man platoon whittled down at one point to 13 men. Of the original 51, he is one of only four or five without a purple heart.
The experiences of the two of them are typical of the wide variety of risks and jobs held by U. S. servicemen in Viet Nam. Neither is to be envied his work.
Lance Cpl Wallin is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Royce Wallin, R2, Red Wing, and is in A Company of the 7th Engineers attached to the 1st Marine Division.
Fina is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Fina of Hudson and is with K Company, 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines.
One of Wallin's jobs is to lay mine fields and also to take them up. He recalls one time when his outfit cleared an unmapped minefield near Da Nang airfield and he saw a man get the lower part of his leg blown off.Clearing a minefield can take up to a month, he said. The technique is to take a metal rod and probe every inch of ground. When the rod comes into contact with something hard, the earth is very carefully moved away. Sometimes it's a mine and sometimes it's a rock.
From late November to early February Wallin was stationed near the DMZ (demilitarized zone), the noman's land between North and South Vietnam. He had some close calls at Con Thien from rockets and mortar attacks.
But the situation is somewhat different than he thought it might be. "I expected to live in a foxhole," he said. In reality, he's only slept on the ground about three times since arriving here more than a year ago.
Fina is in a different position. In Marine terms, he's a "grunt," a front line soldier. His outfit is in a triangle area southeast of Da Nang airstrip and helps form the protective southern perimeter for Da Nang. He calls this area "booby trap alley." The VC regularly set grenade traps and once even a buried mortar round was set off at the touch of a foot.
Snipers sit around the perimeter, fire off a magazine of ammunition and disappear into the countryside. "We're fighting in their backyard, and they know the area," Fina said.
The communists are now using more mortars, Fina said. "If it hadn't been for one dud, I wouldn't be here. It landed about five feet in front of me."
Fina said he finds it difficult to describe the war in terms that can be understood by people living in the States. He is in much the minority here. More common are the men like Wallin whose jobs are potentially dangerous, but who have a great deal less direct contact with the enemy.
While stationed near the DMZ, Wallin's outfit ran daily mine sweeps on roads with electronic gear before each day's truck traffic began.
He also did "fence work," building of bunkers and the like on perimeters. His outfit had fired on enemy positions. But he has never really seen the enemy.
That fact is a key to understanding this war. It seems quiet in the base camp area where Wallin's outfit is now building bridges, roads and buildings. And Wallin said things can go along that way for perhaps a month or so 'Then all of a sudden something happens.'
Both Wallin and Fina have considerable respect for the enemy. Fina remembers the two North Vietnamese regulars that he saw shot down by a man in his outfit. Both were hit several times before they stopped running, and one turned and began firing even as he was dying.
One time when Wallin's battalion got hit hard, one of the VC was wounded in the head by his own satchel charge. Wallin found he was trying to kill himself by tearing his own head open.
Fina has about 9 1/2 months to go on his tour here. But Wallin expects to leave for home late this month or early next. Marine tours here are about 13 months. The other services are 12.
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POSTED ON 11.11.2019
POSTED BY: A Volunteer Picture Gatherer

Richard C. Fina, 20, Hudson's First Casualty in Viet War

Wednesday noon, May 29, Mr, and Mrs, Edward L. Fina, 629 Kinnickinnic St., were notified by the Navy department that their son, Richard Carl, 20, had been killed Friday, May 24 in Viet Nam.
The sad message was given personally to the parents by two Navy Lieutenants.
According to the official notification, young Fina was killed in action at Quang Nan, South Viet Nam, May 24, as a result of a gun shot wound from enemy fire while on operation 'Allen Brook'.
He was Navy Corpsman attached to the U.S. Marine Corps, and has recently been promoted to HM third class.
According to the sailor's father, he had been in Viet Nam since Feb. 20 of this year.
He was the first Hudson man to be killed in the Viet Nam war. Out of respect to his death, flags in Hudson were lowered to half staff when it became known Fina had been killed.
Arrangements for a full military funeral are pending until the arrival of the body by air from Southeast Asia. Burial will be in Willow River cemetery, with the Kramer Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Richard Carl Fina, who would have been 21 Saturday, is a graduate of Hudson High school in the class of 1965. He entered the U.S. Navy April 20, 1966.
A1/c James E. Fina, USAF, 22, a brother of the Hudson corpsman, was flown back from the Asian theatre for an emergency 30 day leave.
Less than a month ago, the Star-Observer published an article written by the editor of the Red Wing Republican Eagle- Arlin Albrecht- who has visited with Richard Fina in Viet Nam.
Albrecht in his article said that Fina had seen tortuous action on the field. At that time Fina saw his 51 man platoon whittled down at one time to 13 men. Of the origianl 51, he was one of only four or five without the purple heart.
Flash
As of noon Wednesday the Star-Observer was notified that the body of Richard Fina has arrived at Dover AFB, Delaware. It is reported the body will arrive here Friday or Saturday.
In a dramatic turn of events, a Marine from St. Paul Park whose life was saved by corpsman Fina on the field of battle in Vietnam in May has asked permission to escort (Fina's) body home.
Marine Pfc. Tim Oringer, who was home on leave last weekend from Fitzsimmons General hospital, Denver, Colo. asked if he could escort Fina's body to Hudson.
Oringer lost a leg after he stepped on a land mine near Da Nang March 14. Fina, a medic with the Marine's unit, pulled Oringer to a medical evacuation helicopter.
Last Letter
Fina's last letter to his parents was written only several days before he was killed.
In his letter he wrote:
"We are going out on an operation (3 or more companies go into an area that has excessive V.C. activities and attempt to completely clear the area!) which will take from 4 days to a month or so, so I don't know when I will be able to write you next.
"We have to travel light so I can't take anything except my combat gear. I'll write you first thing when I get a chance but I can't say when it will be. I get to spend my 21st birthday in combat. I spent my 19th in Balboa hospital with tonsilitis, my 20th standing duty, and now my 21st in Vietnam. Usually they try to let men have a day off for their birthday but corpsman are scarce so I 'gotta go' with.
They found a battalion of N.V.A. and V.C. on the island south of us so we are going in after them. Hopefully we will completely overrun them all. I hope so! At least now we can shoot back at the enemy. You can't fight against mines and foot traps but you can shoot the V.C.! This is our chance to make a "pay-back" for our men they hurt or killed with mines in our area.
"Don't worry about me. I'm a devout coward and I'm not going to make any heroic plays."
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