LTC (R) Alvin “Al” H. Buckelew (88 years. Born: 11 November 1930 at Richmond, VA. Died 25 May 2018 at Gainesville, GA)
Al Buckelew in 1972
After dropping out of high school in Lynchburg, Virginia, Al Buckelew began his Army career in November 1947. Graduating from Parachute and Glider Training at Ft. Benning, GA in February 1948, he first served with the 307th Airborne Medical Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division where he was trained as a surgical technician. When the call went out for Ranger volunteers in 1950, he volunteered and joined, as a combat medical aidman serving in Korea with the 1st Airborne Ranger Infantry Company which was attached to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
He voluntarily extended his tour in Korea and served heroically as a combat medic throughout four campaigns. During the May Massacre in 1951, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor and the Purple Heart when he twice exposed himself to enemy automatic weapons fire to rescue two seriously wounded infantrymen. Other awards while in Korea included the Combat Infantryman Badge.
In 1951, he was discharged and decided that only through education would he escape poverty. When he tried to enroll in a Hollywood (California) high school, he was told they didn't want a combat veteran going to school with young girls, so he applied and was admitted to the junior college nearby. He drove an ambulance at night and went to school during the day.
With his AA degree, he reenlisted in the Army in September 1954 and was selected to attend the Infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning. Graduating OCS in January 1956, he was again assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division's 23rd Infantry Regiment, then in Anchorage, Alaska, responsible for search and rescue missions and inland waterway reconnaissance, on and around Mt. McKinley. While there, he particularly enjoyed working with the Eskimo Scouts, the Alaska National Guard unit made up of Eskimos.
In 1961, Buckelew, now a captain, volunteered for Special Forces, graduated Special Forces Officer Course Class 33-G-F3 in 1961, and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group. He was selected for assignment to Operation White Star, described as an "unconventional warfare operation" in Laos, under the command of Colonel Arthur D. "Bull" Simons. Returning from Laos, he was selected by Colonel Simons to serve as his group intelligence officer for the 8th Special Forces Group in Panama. After serving in Panama for three years, Captain Buckelew attended the Infantry Advanced Course in 1965. On completion of that course, he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam form 1966-1967 as the XO Detachment C-5 (Special Operations) and was the Team Leader for Project OAK where he commanded a unilateral intelligence collection operation with operations in South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. His small collection operation was commended by General Joseph McChristian, the MACV J-2, "as one of the most important and valuable activities under my control."
Later Major Buckelew recruited a high-level source in the Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN), the central command for North Vietnam's operations in South Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he was awarded his second Combat Infantryman Badge and a Bronze Star for meritorious service. Returning Stateside briefly to attend the Area Intelligence Officer Course at Ft Holibird, MD from 1967 – 1968, he was transferred from Infantry to Military Intelligence and was then assigned to the 500th Military Intelligence Group on detached service to Taiwan with another intelligence agency from 1968 to 1969. Major Buckelew volunteered for a second tour in Vietnam and was assigned as acting battalion commander to the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion, 525th Military Intelligence Group, in I Corps. He received a second Bronze Star for meritorious service and promotion to lieutenant colonel.
His last assignment before retiring was Director of Intelligence, Directorate of Intelligence and Security,, US Army Pacific (USARPAC) in Hawaii. While in Hawaii he also earned his Bachelor's in Political Science and History from Chaminade University in 1971. He was awarded the Legion of Merit on his retirement in March 1972.
Leaving the service did not mean a more leisurely life for Al Buckelew. He earned a Master's in Public Administration in 1973 and Doctor of Philosophy in 1982 from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and then taught graduate international politics and national security affairs at Golden Gate University in San Francisco for 19 years and served concurrently as a National Defense Executive Reserve (NDER) to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and as a guest lecturer on terrorism to that agency's Emergency Management Institute. He also served as an analyst on terrorism and national security to the National Strategy Information Center and to CBS television.
In 1993, Al’s wife of 37 years was killed in Zanskar-Ledakh, India.
In 1996 Al married Helen-Ruth, an Army nurse he met in Vietnam in 1966.
In 1997, Al and Helen Buckelew relocated to Big Canoe, Georgia (near Dahlonega). He joined the adjunct faculty at North Georgia College & State University, The Military College of Georgia in Dahlonega. He taught freshman American Government, and two upper-division political science courses: Terrorism and Political Violence, and Spies and Statecraft. He was also a professor for National Security, Intelligence Studies, and International Relations at the American Military University.
In 2007, Al was inducted into the U.S. Army’s RANGER HALL OF FAME for his distinguished military service during two wars and his continued civilian service to his country. “During his twenty-two years of dedicated service, as an enlisted man and as a commissioned officer, Ranger Buckelew demonstrated Soldierly attributes expected of a Ranger.” Al’s Personal Awards and Decorations are: the Legion of Merit, one Bronze Star for Valor two for Meritorious Service, Purple Heart, two awards of the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service medal with two bronze stars, Korean Service Medal with four battle stars, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Laos), Vietnamese Service Medal with a silver battle star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Vietnamese Honor Medal 1st Class, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge with two stars, Master Parachutist Badge, Glider Badge, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, Republic of Vietnam Parachutist Badge, Republic of China Parachutist Badge, Kingdom of Thailand Border Police Parachutist Badge, Presidential Unit Citation with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, and the Vietnamese Civil Actions Unit Citation.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Nancy, and their son, Mark. He leaves behind his two daughters, Kelley Goldsmith and Shawn, their children and grandchildren, all living in California.
He is survived by his wife,Helen-Ruth von Miller Buckelew of Gainesville, GA and Helen’s children: Charles, David, Abigail and Steven Smyth and their families who all loved and admired him.
Please send memorial contributions to the “U.S. Army Ranger Association, Inc., (USARA)-Ranger Hall of Fame” at: https://ranger.org/Donations or “US Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum” at: https://www.asomf.org/support-the-museum/donations/ .
Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be determined.
March 17,1949 - January 13, 2019
Ranger Pye passed away in Viet Nam while vacationing. Husband to Carolyne. Father to Michael and Jeffery. Left behind five grandchildren. His greatest love was his Harley Davidson motorcycle which he rode daily and enjoyed the fellowship of his group members.
Ranger Pye served during Vietnam with Company O Rangers, 82nd Airborne.
Ben Jackson died in Cresco, Iowa. He was part of the Red Combat Team, 1st Battalion in Burma. He was one of the small number of men in the "expendable" unit healthy enough to continue fighting after Merrill's Marauders were disbanded on Aug. 10, 1944, and also served with the 475th in the China Burma India Theater. When he passed, he had the 3rd Ranger Battalion challenge coin in his pocket, which was contributed for the 2018 Memorial Day "care package" which was recently sent to the surviving original Merrill's Marauders.
Condolences can be sent to his widow at:
1004 North Elm St. Apt 104
Cresco, Iowa 52136
Bill’s postwar experiences included management positions for the National Cash Resister Company (NCR) and ITT-Sheraton World in Boston where he managed hotel computer systems, traveling around the world. When he turned 65, he completed 46 years of working for national corporations. He wound up his professional career with the Adaco Corporation, where he marketed automated procurement systems for the hotel industry.
Bill enjoyed many hobbies including tennis and golf, but especially sailing his Cape Dory around the Boston Harbor. He was also a member of many civic organizations, including Rotary and received an Honorary Life Membership in the Elks at age 33 for work in initiating a crippled children’s program.
A private memorial service will be held at Old Ship Church in Hingham, MA in June.
Donations can be made to:
Frances Georgeson Hospice House
1095 Whippoorwill Lane
Naples, FL 34105
General and Mrs. Healy have lived in Jacksonville, FL. They are the proud parents of six sons and several grandchildren.
Condolences may be dispatched to the Healy family in care of:
Mrs. Jackie Healy
12968 Night Heron Court
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Beloved husband of Mildred. Loving father of Constance (George) Gengle, Stephen Reott, Mary (Larry) Marschall, Diane (Bruce) Jacobs, Adela (Steven) Widman, Annette (Michael) Martin and Laurie (Floyd) Drouillard. Dear brother of Beatrice, Dian, Gloria, Julia and Donald. Dearest grandfather of 20. Loving great-grandfather of 19. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Adela; his siblings Sue, Dolores, Richard, Henry and Dale as well as his grandson Michael. Bob will be deeply missed by family and friends.
Visitation Thursday, February 01, 2018 from 2- 9 p.m. at the Taylor Chapel of VoranFuneral Home, 23750 Goddard Road. (313) 291-1800.
A Rosary will be held Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. with the Downriver Veteran Honor Guard to pay tribute starting at 7:30 p.m. In state Friday 9:30 a.m. with a 10:00 a.m. Mass of the Resurrection to follow at St. Alfred Catholic Church, 9350 S. Telegraph Road, Taylor. Interment St. Patrick Cemetery in Carleton, MI. Donations may be made St. Alfred Parish Church.
Please share memories and/or leave condolences on Bob’s guestbook - www.voranfuneralhome.com/obituary/Robert-R.-Bob-Reott/Taylor
Frank Mattivi was born November 8, 1918 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Frank signed up for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in 1938. He served in Idaho, Minnesota, and Iowa.
On January, 16, 1941, Frank went to Des Moines, Iowa and enlisted in the 34th Division Iowa National Guard. It wasn’t long before he was sent to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana for basic training. After going overseas, Frank volunteered to join a new American Commando outfit that was being formed. Frank was assigned to D Company, 1st Ranger Battalion, known as Darby’s Rangers, which was trained by British Commandos in Scotland. He then participated in the North African Campaign. Rangers spearheaded the landing at Arzew, Algeria (he got to invade Algeria on his birthday), and moved into Tunisia for successful missions at Sened Station and El Guettar. After those campaigns were concluded Darby’s Rangers were expanded from one Battalion to three. Frank stayed in the 1st Battalion Company F, serving as cadre to the new volunteers.
The Rangers landed at Licata, Sicily and fought through the conclusion of the Sicilian campaign. The Rangers then landed at Salerno and advanced to the Chuinzi Pass, which they held against stiff German counterattacks. The Rangers were then put into the Volturno line before being withdrawn to rest and refit for the Anzio landing. On 30 January 1944 during the battle to take the town of Cisterna during the Anzio campaign, a German tank was maneuvering its turret to strike a building Frank knew was occupied by many Rangers. Without thought, he bravely jumped on the rear of the German tank, opened the tank hatch, and dropped a phosphorous grenade inside. A Ranger on the other side of the tank fired a rocket launcher into the side of the tank, knocking Frank off the tank and he was momentarily stunned. Through his heroic actions in destroying the tank, he saved the lives of countless Rangers taking cover inside this building. Frank, along with many other Rangers, was captured at during this battle. Frank was interned at a German prison camp for 16 months.
Frank was awarded the following Medals as a result of his service:
Good Conduct Medal 1rd Ranger Bn, Presidential Unit Citation 1st Ranger Bn, Combat Infantryman’s Badge 1st Ranger Bn, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five Bronze Stars (Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Anzio), American Defense Service Medal, six Overseas Bars, Service Stripes, and POW Medal
Frank mustered out of the Army in 1945 and returned home to Missouri. He reenlisted in the Army Infantry Reserves and was honorably discharged 1 September 1948. Frank married Lorena June May 1946 and raised three sons and a daughter. Frank worked at Leeds Plant, manufacturer of Chevrolets until a steel strike occurred in 1951. Frank then manufactured tanks for semi-trucks until July 1951 when he was employed at Ford manufacturing B-525 bomber wings. In 1957 Ford started manufacturing vehicles at the plant. In 1963 Frank was promoted to Foreman. He retired from Ford in 1979.
Frank was inducted into the RHOF in 2012. He was a member of the WWII Ranger Battalions Association, life member of the Excelsior VFW, and member of the American Legion. He died February 2, 2018 at home at the age of 99. Frank is survived by three children, eight grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 12 great-great-grandchildren.
Frank Mattivi will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Services for Frank Mattivi will be held Thursday at United Methodist Church, 1650 Rainbow Blvd, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024.
Visitation 10 to 1130. Service at 1130 hours followed by graveside services.
Some Regiment Rangers will be in attendance. Rangers are needed to attend this funeral for the ‘Once an Eagle’ ceremony at the gravesite.
Daniel Farley was born in Kayford, West Virginia on May 4, 1924 and joined the Army during his Senior year of High School.
He later volunteered to be trained as a Ranger by British Commandos in Achnacarry, Scotland. His stated reason for volunteering for the Rangers was he wanted to "fight with the best."
After having been discovered to be part American Indian he was made "Lead Scout." A position that put him on "Point" many times during the war.
On June 6th, 1944 he went ashore on Dog White, Omaha Beach with the 5th Ranger Battalion commanded by Lt. Colonel Max Schneider.
After becoming separated from the rest of the 5th Dan, along with 2 Officers and 20 EM of 1st Platoon, Able Company under the command of Lt. Charles "Ace" Parker, fought their way overland to Pointe Du Hoc to reinforce the 2nd Ranger Battalion, under Lt. Colonel James Rudder.
Arriving at approx. 2100 (Double Daylight Saving Time) those 23 Officers and EM were the only element of 5th Rangers to fulfill their D-Day mission on D-Day.
He and his fellow 5th Rangers went on to fight from Grandcamp Maisy and Brest, France, being behind German lines for 9 days at Zerf, Germany, to helping with the Liberation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
Five years later, when the Korean War began, Dan would again find himself fighting in a Ranger company there.
Daniel Farley, Jr. died peacefully on the morning of December 30, 2017.
Robert (Bob) Becker, Ranger School Class 01-58, beloved husband of Fran Becker of Calgary passed away on October 29, 2017 at the age of 82 years.
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Bob Becker. He was a creative engineer, a reflective philosopher, a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and a thoughtful man of the spirit. His warmth and optimism and zest for living will be deeply missed by friends and family.
He leaves behind his wife of 44 years Fran; his sons Julian and Bill (Michele); his daughter Buffy Elizabeth (Don) and stepson Ian (Erin); grandchildren, Elina, Finn, Evan and Annika.
Journey well Bob, we'll miss you.
US Army Ranger Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 52126
Fort Benning, GA 31995-2126