County fatalities in Vietnam rise through 1969
Many were younger.
But many were also older.
Paul Harold Abraham, a Pittsfield native, was 38 when he was killed in Bien Hoa province on April 2, 1969 as a member of D Co., 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 119th Infantry Brigade, USARV (United States Army Vietnam).
“Mr. and Mrs. Albin H. Abraham, Pittsfield, have been notified by the Pentagon that their son Sgt. Paul H. Abraham, 39, was killed in action in the fighting in Vietnam,” the Warren Times Mirror and Observer reported on April 5. “He was among 27 servicemen listed by the Pentagon on Friday.”
He was survived by his wife, parents, two brothers and three sisters.
“Mr. and Mrs. Abraham received word a week ago that he had been severely injured, suffering the loss of both legs, a hand and severe face and neck injuries in a mine explosion,” the newspaper reported. “This was his second tour of duty in Vietnam, having been home last Christmas after being hospitalized with malaria.”
Abraham graduated from Youngsville High School as part of the Class of 1948 and served for three years in the Army before returning to Warren County, working at the Irvine Manufacturing Company in Garland for 10 years.
He re-enlisted in the Army in 1960 intending to make the Army his career, the paper said.
The family was told that Abraham’s body would be returned home in 10 to 14 days.
In reality it took a week before his remains landed at the Buffalo airport.
A funeral was held a couple days later and Abraham was laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery.
This comes from a comment on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund page for Abraham: “This is in memory of my uncle who I never met. I love you with all my heart and soul for your courage and your sacrifice, to be able to go back to a war that was pure hell. I would be honored to shake your hand and to give you thanks for giving your life in order to keep our country free. You (were) one of the many brave that did this.”
Nearly 18 years his junior, William David Lounsbury was killed at the age of 20 in Quang Tri province on July 21.
A private first class in the Marines, Lounsbury was born on April 8, 1949.
The Times Mirror and Observer reported his death on July 24. He was a combat engineer in the 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division.
He enlisted on Sept. 4, 1968.
“Marine Pfc. William D. Lounsbury, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harley Lounsbury, 12 Bradley St., Warren, was killed in action in Vietnam Monday. He was 20,” the paper reported.
“He was mortally wounded by a rocket propelled grenade while on a road sweep in Con Thien, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. Pfc. Lounsbury, was the 14th Warren County serviceman to die in action in the war.”
Lounsbury had “resided here all his life.”
The report states that he was a 1968 graduate of Warren Area High School and worked with the then-Warren Borough Parks Department before enlisting in Sept. 1968.
He had been in Vietnam for about eight months when he was killed. He was survived by his parents, two sisters and two foster brothers.
“He was a soldier in the Salvation Army, a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Forest and Waters forest fire crew and also of the Scandia Volunteer Fire Department,” the paper added.
He is buried at the Warren County Memorial Park.
“Don’t know how many from our Plt. (platoon) was killed in Nam,” a post on his Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund page. “I was almost taken out from an RPG, just above my head in June 1969. But I will always remember you as a friend and comrade.”