Richard Frank Barnes

Private First Class
Army of the United States
01 April 1944 - 18 February 1966
Elmira, New York
Panel 05E Line 044


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Richard Frank Barnes

21 Mar 2001

Rich Barnes was a great person who would go the extra mile. He was in my graduating class with Honors. He gave his all for his fellow man and for this the world is a better place. I thank God for having known Rich for I am richer for having known him. I miss him every day and think of him often.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Bob Howland Jr.
25 Big Elk Drive, West Grove, Pa 19390

17 Jan 2005

It's been nearly 40 years, Rich, and I still think of you very often, and the tears still form in my eyes when I think of you and what might have been. You would have been a great success, no matter what career you decided to pursue. You would have married that wonderful girl and had children. You'd be a grandfather by now. Your family is as close as we always were. You are still a frequent subject of our conversations. Children from three generations after us know of you and speak of you with pride. You are a hero to those who knew you and to those who did not. Mom is 92 and will be joining you and Dad soon. Rest in peace, dear brother. I love you. Jer

From his brother,
Gerald P. Barnes
Sergeant Major, US Army (Ret)

13 Feb 2006

Well, Rich, another year has gone by. Mother's death on her 93d birthday was a blow to us all, even though it was a surprise to none of us. It's a little easier knowing she is with you and Dad. You remain in my mind and heart. I love you. Jer

From his brother,
Gerald Barnes
10 Feb 2006


I haven't put anything on this site before but it is not because I do not think about you. Your image is still fresh in my mind. The family buried Mother this week. I am sure that you are now with Mother and Dad. Mother was born and died on the same day 93 years apart. Take good care of them until the rest of us get there. I am so very proud of all three of you.

Loving memories,
Brother Ron

Ronald L Barnes
18675 US 19 N #141, Clearwater, Fl 33764

12 May 2006

Richard Barnes whom I never knew is someone I think of and have spoken of with respect for forty years now. For it was I who escorted Richard home to Elmira early in 1966. I was twenty-one years old and had just returned from Korea and was stationed at Fort Wadsworth (Staten Island), NY. The Army sent me to Oakland Army Terminal with orders to take Richard home to his family. It was an assignment I took quite seriously. We first flew in a cargo jet from San Francisco to Chicago and from Chicago the remainder of the journey was by train. It was a short walk from my railroad car to the one bearing Richard's casket and I remember spending most of my time back there. In Elmira I spent time at Richard's parents' house visiting with them and other family members. I recall the hours at the funeral home and the moment I presented the US Flag to Richard's mother at graveside.

After all these years this experience continues to be one of the most memorable and meaningful of my life. I have an Elmira newspaper clipping from the time which I haven't read in years but now that I've happened upon this website will dig it out. I've visited The Wall in DC and traced Richard's name. I've also sought out his name when the Moving Wall has come to New Hampshire.

I want to thank you for giving me a place to share my memories and express my respect. I also want to say to the Barnes family that it truly saddened me to learn on this site news of the passing of Mrs. Barnes. I can still remember that dear lady.

Thank you again.
(Thomas J. Knott - Amherst, NH)

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Operation Masher/White Wing was the 1st Cavalry Division's name for their part of an Allied operation conducted against main force VC and NVA units operating in southeastern Quang Ngai Province and northeastern Binh Dinh Province. The combined VC/NVA force was the Sao Vang (Gold Star) Division, and a force totalling nearly three divisions of US Army, US Marines, Korean Army, and SVN Army and Marines were staged against them.

The Allied sweep of the operation area began on 24 Jan 1966 and continued for 6 weeks, officially ending on 6 March. The 1st Cav Division mounted out its 1st and 3rd Brigades. By mid-February, the Cav had operated from the coastal areas into the interior mountains. Based on intelligence data that the 2nd VC Regiment was concentrated in the hills south and east of the Kim Son Valley, the focus of the 1st Cav Div offensive changed. On 17 Feb the 5th Cav caught the heavy weapons battalion of the 2nd VC Regiment, leading to a series of engagements over the next four days.

On 18 Feb 1966, nine men of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, died in battle. Their bodies could not be immediately recovered and all are coded as "Died while missing":

  • A Company:
  • B Company:
    • SP4 Bob G. Brumley, Chowchilla, CA
    • SP4 James W. Mize, Palm Beach, FL
    • PFC Richard F. Barnes, Elmira, NY
    • PFC Willie E. Davis, Houston, TX
    • PFC Andrew A. Graziano, New York, NY
    • PFC William C. Rigg, Los Angeles, CA
Sergeant Elzie Collins, an artillery forward observer with A Co, 1/5 Cav, also died in the fighting.

Three men of C Company, 1/5 Cav, died on the 19th and 20th:

  • SGT Freddie Wallace Green, 02/19/1966
  • PFC Ronald Michael Kenny, 02/19/1966
  • SSG James Otis Allen, 02/20/1966

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
Gerald P. Barnes
Sergeant Major, US Army (Ret)

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 21 Mar 2001
Last updated 05/14/2006