These 18 McCaskey grads were killed in Vietnam

More than four decades after the Vietnam War ended, J.P. McCaskey High School recognized 18 former students who died while serving in the military during that war.

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More than four decades after the Vietnam War ended, J.P. McCaskey High School recognized 18 former students who died while serving in the military during that war.

On Friday, the high school’s alumni association dedicated a plaque in their honor. It hangs in the lobby of the high school.

“These were special people, and they didn’t have the chance to take that next step in life and blossom,” says Ken Keener, who helped start this project. “They deserve some recognition for that.”

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Here are stories from LNP | LancasterOnline archives about the students: 

Charles Ballou

Charles Ballou

Air Force Lt. Col. Charles Davison Ballou

Died Nov. 7, 1968, at age 40.

Ballou’s plane was shot down over Laos. He was coordinating close air support strikes for Special Forces.

Read more about Ballou here.


Lynn Blessing

Lynn Blessing

Marine Pfc. Lynn Blessing

Died May 16, 1975, at age 18.

Blessing’s helicopter exploded and went down off the coast of Cambodia during efforts to free the merchant ship Mayaguez.

Read more about Blessing here.


Steven Boyer

Steven Boyer

Army Pfc. Steven Hess Boyer

Died Dec. 5, 1965, at age 22.

Boyer was struck by enemy fire during a jungle patrol in South Vietnam.

Read more about Boyer here.


Percy Campbell

Percy Campbell

Army Maj. Percy Leroy Campbell

Died Nov. 6, 1966, at age 49.

Campbell died of a heart attack while serving in Que Nhon, South Vietnam.

Read more about Campbell here.


Bruce Cunningham

Bruce Cunningham

Marine Pfc. Bruce Edward Cunningham

Died Feb. 8, 1968, at age 19.

Cunningham was killed in combat at Quang Tri, South Vietnam, as result of enemy rocket fire.

Read more about Cunningham here.


Joseph Jackson

Joseph Jackson

Marine Sgt. Joseph Eugene Jackson

Died Jan. 27, 1966, at age 27.

Jackson was killed in combat in the Chu Lai area of South Vietnam by an explosive device.

Read more about Jackson here.


Ernest Jamison

Ernest Jamison

Army Sgt. Ernest Cecil Jamison

Died April 24, 1969, at age 22.

Jamison was killed by small arms fire in Cambodia while serving as a medical adviser to Special Forces.

Read more about Jamison here.


Thomas Jennings

Thomas Jennings

Marine Pfc. Thomas Edward Jennings

Died March 5, 1968, at age 19.

Jennings was killed by fragmentation wounds incurred while on outpost duty at Quang Nan, South Vietnam.

Read more about Jennings here.


Michael Kiscaden

Michael Kiscaden

Army Staff Sgt. Michael Edward Kiscaden

Died July 1, 1970, at age 19.

Kiscaden was killed when the military vehicle he was driving was ambushed by enemy forces in South Vietnam.

Read more about Kiscaden here.


William McFarland

William McFarland

Army Pfc. William Leroy McFarland

Died March 14, 1969, at age 20.

McFarland was killed during a combat mission against enemy forces in South Vietnam.

Read more about McFarland here.


Gerald McKinney

Gerald McKinney

Army Pfc. Gerald Lee McKinney

Died Nov. 22, 1967, at age 20.

McKinney was killed by enemy fire during combat in South Vietnam.

Read more about McKinney here.


Carl Mellinger

Carl Mellinger

Marine Sgt. Carl B. Mellinger, Jr.

Died July 2, 1968, at age 24.

Mellinger was killed by enemy action during his third tour of duty in South Vietnam.

Read more about Mellinger here.


James Miller

James Miller

Marine Lance Cpl. James Edward Miller

Died Oct. 27, 1970, at age 18.

Miller was killed by enemy fire and fragments of a land mine during a battle just south of Da Nang, South Vietnam.

Read more about Miller here.


Robert Mowery

Robert Mowery

Army Sgt. Robert Allen Mowery

Died April 2, 1968, at age 24.

Mowery was killed by shell fragmentation wounds suffered while traveling in a military convoy outside Saigon.

Read more about Mowery here.


Chester Rowe

Chester Rowe

Marine Cpl. Chester Earl Rowe, Jr.

Died April 5, 1967, at age 20.

Rowe was killed in action near Thau Thien, South Vietnam, four days after returning to duty from the USS Repose, where he recovered from wounds sustained a month earlier.

Read more about Rowe here.


Dennis Sollenberger

Dennis Sollenberger

Navy Fireman Dennis Milton Sollenberger

Died May 26, 1968, at age 20.

Sollenberger died of an accidental drowning while swimming with friends in Binh Thuy Bay, South Vietnam.

Read more about Sollenberger here.


Carl Walls

Carl Walls

Army Spc. 4 Carl William Walls

Died May 15, 1969, at age 24.

Walls was killed during combat in South Vietnam.

Read more about Walls here.


James Wieler

James Wieler

Army Sgt. James Lawrence Wieler

Died March 7, 1971, at age 21.

Wieler was killed in a helicopter crash in South Vietnam while serving as a medical aide.

Read more about Wieler here.