This page is to honor those veterans of F/51st Long Range Patrol (Airborne) Infantry who have passed away since returning from Vietnam. If you know of any F/51st men whose name should be on this page, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. REST IN PEACE
Walter P. Butts, 1st SGT, F/51st LRP (ABN) INFDied March 13, 2007
These three photos were provided by Sgt. Butts before his death.
Seferino Alvarado, SGT., 2nd platoon August 28, 1949 to May 1, 2003
Left: Seferino Alvarado. (Photo courtesy of the Alvarado family.) Middle: Seferino in F/51st in Vietnam. He’s holding an M-60 machine gun. (Photo courtesy of Ted Godwin.) Right: Don Hall (L) and Seferino (R) at the 1991 Austin reunion. (Photo courtesy of Don Hall.)Comments about Seferino from his team leader, Don Hall:Sef was my RTO. He was one of the finest men I ever had the privilege to meet. He was one of the most dependable people I served with, and was always there for every mission. He was a very moral man, quiet, dignified, and spiritual. I am so glad I had a chance to see him again, in 1991 at the F/51st Austin reunion. Rest in peace.—Don C. Hall
Bob E. Baker, SP/4, HQPassed away July 2, 2003Comments about Bob from F/51 vets, forwarded by Speedy Gonzales:You'll be able to add my name to that list soon enough. God bless Bobby and grant him peace. —Maurice ArnoldSorry about Bob. I knew him well also. He was a good soldier. —Dave NicholsMay God have mercy on the soul of a kind and decent soldier. —Bill Houser (aka Teacup)
Franklin Robinson, SSG, team 1/6Passed away January 4, 2004The family of Frank Robinson announced that he passed away from cancer at his home in West Virginia. The family said they would appreciate hearing from anyone who knew him and/or served with him. Their last knowne-mail address is RRfromWV at hotmail dot com. If you have a remembrance of Franklin, or a photo of him, please contact email@example.com.
Maurice Arnold, SGT, 2nd PLT Passed away October 13, 2004
Left: Maury Arnold and Sef Alvarado. They’re on God’s team now. Middle: Don Hall and Maury, at the Sedona Int’l Film Festival in 2003. Right: Maury in the backwoods, a place where he felt most at home. (Photo courtesy of Terry Wilund.)Comments about Maury from his team leader, Don Hall:Maurice Arnold was my assistant team leader in Vietnam. I owe my life to him. Maurice was a courageous and honorable soldier who had an uncanny ability to track the enemy. Growing up in the swamps of Florida prepared him well for Vietnam. He saved my life and the lives of other team members many times. Right before he went to live with his family last year, Maurice called me. He said he probably wouldn’t see me again, that his time was coming soon and he was going to spend his last days with his son and grandson.I last saw Maurice in March 2003 in Sedona, AZ, when he came to see the screening of “Silent Victory” at the Sedona In’tl Film Festival. As we said our goodbyes afterward, he winked at me and said, “Charlie Mike, Hot Steel 2-6.” Maurice Anrold was laid to rest with full military honors. A good man has departed this Earth. Rest in peace.—Don C. Hall
Les Ervin, SP/4, 2nd PLTPassed away March 5, 2005
Comments about Les from Don C. Hall:Les served bravely in Vietnam, in both the 173rd Airborne Brigade and F/51st LRP. I didn’t know Les in Vietnam because he arrived in F/51st LRP after I left, but I grew to be friends with him after we met in 1998 at the Ft. Bragg shoot for our documentary SILENT VICTORY. He is one of the few men to survive the Battle of Hill 875 in November 1967. Les was also a talented musician whose music gave him great satisfaction and contentment. In his interview for SILENT VICTORY, he spoke humbly and movingly about what soldiers face in combat. He provided one of the more poignant stories for the “War Stories” section of our book, I SERVED, describing in detail his team’s experiences out in the field that day when team1-5 was hit and wiped out. Some of the other men who were out there that day contributed information, and we also used documentation from the National Archives to flesh out what happened. To read the story, click here. I talked with Les a few days before he died of brain cancer. He was weak and fragile, but we had a very heartfelt and emotional conversation. Les was proud of his service with F/51st LRP, and was glad he was able to contribute to the telling of the story of our unit, in both the documentary and book. Les’s family was with him when he passed away. His sister, Barbara, was holding his hand when his heart stopped. The day after Les died, I spoke with Dave DeShazo, his team leader in Vietnam. Dave said, “Les is in God’s arms now.” Rest in peace.—Don C. Hall
Ron “Short Round” Thorne, SP/4, team 2/6Passed away July 10, 2006Comments about Ron from Don C. Hall:Ron was a good soldier. He loved his family above all things. Rest in peace.—Don C. Hall