Ronald James Becksted

Army of the United States
16 February 1951 - 28 March 1971
Cleveland, Ohio
Panel 04W Line 084

Ronald J Becksted


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ronald James Becksted

26 Sep 2004

"Ronnie," as he was known to his family, graduated from Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights, Ohio, in 1969. He enlisted in the Army the following year, and was posted at Fire Support Base Mary Ann in Quang Tin Province. He had barely turned 20 and was only weeks away from returning home when the base was savagely attacked. Ron died along with 32 other men; many others were grievously injured in the attack.

How he died is no reflection of the loving, warm individual Ron was. To me, he was a special friend ... someone I loved dearly and have never forgotten. I keep him in my prayers every day, and created this memorial page as a way to let others know he is remembered, along with his brothers-in-arms.

From a friend,
Janet Taillie Kowalski

Full of Grace

This is what Iíve come to believe:
There is no way to commune
With one who has passed
From living to no longer.

At first, what I tried
Couldnít bring me closer to
Wherever you had gone.
Sťances were too exotic
To consider,
Talking to the air
An empty gesture.
I found no way to reach
No longer a part
But rather - apart,
Gone from the heart
Of what was union,
Leaving me behind,

So I learned this is what helps:
To avoid imagining
What it was like when,
In darkness and stealth,
Death overcame you,
I pray it was swift and painless.
In case you had no time
To do it for yourself,
I murmur
Countless "Hail, Marys".
They rise from my lips
In the hope they are heard
I imagine each releasing
The soul of one lost son, like you,
Who died too soon, too young.
May they find you, full of grace.

Copyright September 22, 2004
Janet Taillie Kowalski

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On the night of 27/28 March 1971 Fire Support Base (FSB) Mary Ann was occupied by 209 Americans from several units of the Americal Division:
  • HHC 1/46th Infantry;
  • C Co 1/46th Infantry;
  • a Recon Platoon;
  • elements of a Mortar Platoon;
  • two 155mm howitzer sections, 3/16th Arty; and
  • twenty ARVN artillerymen.
At approximately 0230 hours, 28 March 1971, the VC mounted a coordinated mortar and sapper attack. Almost simultaneously with the mortar attack, sappers employed satchel charges and rocket propelled grenades (RPG) to penetrate the FSB's perimeter. Americans in the perimeter bunkers hunkered down until the explosions from the mortar rounds, satchel charges, and RPGs had subsided, but by then the sappers had breached the trench line and were inside the base. Once inside FSB Mary Ann, the sappers struck over half the bunkers. By the time the VC withdrew, 30 American soldiers were dead and 76 wounded.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Janet Taillie Kowalski

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 26 Sep 2004
Last updated 02/04/2011