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POSTED ON 1.29.2018
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Hospitalman Louis Joseph Toner, Served with the Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, Third Marine Amphibious Force.
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POSTED ON 8.4.2015

Final Mission of HM3 Louis J. Toner

The Fairchild C-123 "Provider" was a night attack system/transport aircraft based on an all-metal glider designed by Chase Aircraft. The airplane's C-123B prototype first flew on September 1, 1954. The C-123B, in the hands of a group of airmen who called themselves "The Mule Train" became the first transport to see Vietnam service. The Provider, particularly in camouflage paint with mottled topside and light bottom side, resembled an arched-back whale suspended from the bottom midpoint of huge dorsal wings. Like other transports, the Provider proved its versatility during the Vietnam War. On March 6, 1968, a U.S. Air Force C-123K was scheduled to fly to Phu Bai Airfield, South Vietnam, some thirty-nine miles northwest of DaNang, then on to Khe Sanh, Quang Tri Province. Aircraft commander LTC Frederick J Hampton, co-pilot 1LT Ellis E Helgeson, and crew chief SGT Jeffrey F Conlin comprised the crew of the C-123K (serial # 54-0590), Mission # 702. All members of this aircrew were assigned to the 311th Air Cargo Squadron, 315th Air Cargo Wing, Phan Rang Airbase, South Vietnam and were detached to DaNang Airbase. Mission # 702 departed DaNang with its cargo for Phu Bai. After off-loading its cargo was accomplished, the aircraft was subsequently loaded with 43 U.S. Marines bound for Khe Sanh. Phu Bai’s passenger representative assisted the aircraft’s loadmaster in organizing various pallets loaded with the passengers’ gear, another set of pallets stacked with M-60 machine guns and other weapons, and more loaded with beer and soft drinks that were all to be delivered to Khe Sanh. When Mission # 702 departed Phu Bai Airfield, it carried a total of 51 passengers and crew--43 Marines, 1 Navy corpsman, 1 civilian photographer, 3 U.S. Air Force passengers and the 3-man Air Force aircrew. Once in the vicinity of their destination, LTC Hampton established radio contact with ground control and was cleared to land. He initiated his final approach to Khe Sanh’s airfield, but was forced to abort the landing because of a South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) light aircraft that obstructed the runway. The Provider circled around at low altitude to set up for a second approach. However, as it did so, it was hit by enemy ground fire in the port jet engine. LTC Hampton climbed for altitude as he transmitted their situation and reported that he was returning back to DaNang with battle damage. Shortly thereafter, the Provider spiraled into the ground exploding on impact. The crash site was located in extremely rugged jungle-covered mountains that was dotted with small clearings covered with elephant grass and bamboo just a mile southeast of the base’s runway, less than a mile east of the closest point along Route 9, and just north of the closest location on the Song Quang Tri River that nearly encircled the loss location. The crash site was also located approximately 14 miles east of the South Vietnamese/Lao border, 58 miles west-northwest of the Phu Bai Airfield and 100 miles northwest of DaNang Airbase. Due to the tactical situation in and around Khe Sanh, ground search parties first reached the aircraft’s wreckage on April 26, 1968 to begin the grizzly task of recovering remains. Other search teams returned to the crash site on June 24 and July 3, 1968 respectively. On each occasion, human remains, dog tags, other identification media and personal effects were recovered. All possible human remains and personal affects that were recovered were transported to the U.S. Army mortuary facility at DaNang for the arduous task of identification. Military morticians were able to positively identify less than half of the men aboard the Provider. Those remains were embalmed and returned to each man’s family for burial. They included PFC George E. Beale, PFC Willis Beauford Jr., LCPL John H. Clark, 1LT Ellis E. Helgeson Jr., PFC Ralph E. Higgs, PFC Robert J. Horvath, PFC Harry K. Latshaw, CPL Dennis J. Medeiros, PFC Ronnie C. Presley, PVT Domingo Rodriguez Jr., CPL Ronald R. Ryan, CPL James H. Smith Jr., PFC James O. Taylor, LCPL Louis G. Taylor, LCPL Robert L. Vickers, PFC Stephen A. West, PFC David R. Wienckoski, LCPL Hollis Williams Jr., and PFC Thomas H. Williams. Remains of the other personnel on board could not be positively identified, therefore they were returned to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery for group interment on November 23, 1968. The names include PFC Herbert R. Aldridge, PFC David G. Anderson, SSGT William F. Anselmo, PFC Charles G. Boyer, CPL Joseph P. Brignac, PFC Donald R. Bumstead, PFC George L. Elliott III, PFC Michael D. Gray, PFC James A. Grzegorek, PFC Blucher R. Hall, PFC Paul E. Hicks, PFC Howard E. Hollar, LCPL Andrew Jackson, CPL Larry S. Kennedy, LCPL Thomas MacMillan, PFC Joseph A. Marturano Jr., LCPL Winford McCosar, PFC Dennis M. Mead, PFC James E. Miles, PFC Roger C. Minch, PFC James E. Moore, PFC Thomas J. Moss Jr., PFC Richard J. O'Hare, CPL Vic M. Pizarro, SSGT Noel L. Rios, CPL Samuel P. Robinson, CPL Michael Sears, LCPL Kenneth A. Stanciu, CPL Stanley G. Strong, PFC Daryl B. Terhune Jr., CPL William L. Terrell, HM3 Louis J. Toner, MSGT Howard B. Waldron, and Robert Ellison, a civilian photographer for Newsweek magazine. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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POSTED ON 3.6.2015
POSTED BY: A Marine, Quang Tri

Semper Fi, Doc.

Thank you for your devotion to our Country and to your Marines.
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POSTED ON 3.7.2014
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear HN Louis Joseph Toner, 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.

With respect, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 11.24.2012

For HN Louis Joseph TONER, USN...another of Pittsburgh's bravest of heroes, who gave his all!!!!!!!!

He loved us so.

Every day, in a hundred ways, he told us so.

In honesty, in affection, he told us so.

He loved us so.

Every day, in a hundred ways, he showed us so.

With loyalty and bravery, he showed us so.

He was our defender, and he kept us free!

He took an oath to guard us, and fought for liberty!

He loved us so, and we should know.

For we loved him so.

Hospiotalman Toner, you had given all that mortality can give! You had been there and done that in Vietnam, serving as a medical Corpsman to keep Marines alive! You were one brave man who did brave deeds for our America! You were one of Pittsburgh's...and America;s...bravest of knights, who fought for the right, without question or pause! Your name and fame are the birthright of EVERY American citizen! In your youth and strength...your love and loyalty...you had given all to defend liberty everywhere! You had brought honor to Pittsburgh, the home of heroes BRAVE AND TRUE!...yes, to the city where three rivers meet...to the home of the BUCS and the STEELERS! You had lived up to the code of conduct and chivalry of those who guard this beloved land...an ideal SO NOBLE that it arouses in all of us a sense of pride, and yet, of humility! I strongly believe that Jill Corey, whom Avonmore (her home town) and Pittsburgh (where she got her start) can claim as one of their own, and whom I greatly admire as one of my three top favorite songbirds of all time, which includes Julie Andrews, England's grande dame of music, and another thrush from England, Dusty Springfield, who passed on some years ago, would be very proud of your service to America, and the sacrifices made by you to keep us free! Well done, Sailor! Be thou at peace. SAIL ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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