The ‘lucky ones’
Fifty years after Vietnam’s bloodiest battles, veterans gather for what could be a final reunion
Story by Michael E. Ruane Published on April 29, 2017
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Kathryn Barents got home from work that fall night in 1967 to find somber family members gathered in the living room, and her shaken father, Henry, waiting to speak with her.
She feared this was about her husband, Paul, a Marine Corps lieutenant in Vietnam. They had been married only a few months, and his class had just completed the Basic Officer Course in Quantico, Va., in August.
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At dusk on Jan. 28, 1968, Jack Callanan, call sign “Gold Lemon 1,” was studying a map and reporting over the radio that he and his men had just seized part of the enemy hamlet of Lam Xuan.
He had collected documents from dead enemy soldiers and crammed them into his pockets for intelligence purposes.
Suddenly his radioman yelled, “Grenade!”
Callanan never saw the North Vietnamese soldier who had popped out of a spider hole, and never saw the crude grenade he threw.
But he heard the “kerplunk” when it hit the ground between him and the radioman.
It exploded with a bang, flipped him on his back and drove hot shrapnel into his abdomen, pelvis and left side.
Callanan, 23, was a second lieutenant from the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx in New York City, and one of the five children of parents who had been born in Ireland.He was a math whiz, with an electrical engineering degree from Manhattan College. After leaving the Marines’ Basic School he had gone to the Army’s Fort Sill, Okla., for 12 weeks of artillery training.
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Callanan, Jack [MC????]
# – # – # – # – # 2017-Apr-30 @ 10:48
I believe that Jack is a member of the Class of 1966.
McEneney, Mike (MC1953)
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]
Callanan, Jack [MC1966]
# – # – # – # – # 2017-May-03 @ 12:24