Richard David Kaler

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
13 October 1943 - 23 July 1966
Patchogue, New York
Panel 09E Line 062

Navy Cross

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Richard David Kaler

25 Jun 2006

I knew Richie Kaler, as my family rented an apartment upstairs at his mother's house. I was about 5 years younger than him, and oh did I have a crush on him. He was the greatest guy you could ever meet. He wanted to be a Marine, and His Mom was upset about that. But he wanted to defend his country. His heart was as big as the world, there wasn't anything that he wouldn't do for anyone. I remember when they told his Mom Ruth that he was killed, we were all so devastated,and I still to this day constantly think about him. I really miss his great smile. His Mom has since passed away and I know that she is finally with him again.

God Bless You, Richie.
I miss you.

From a friend,
Gloria Jones

02 Jul 2006

The photo and following article is taken from New York Newsday, (Long Island edition).

Suffolk GI On List of 36 Killed in Viet

Patchogue- A 22-year-old Patchogue man, Marine Lance Cpl. Richard D. Kaler of 561 S. Ocean Ave., has been killed in combat in South Vietnam, his family was informed yesterday.

Kaler, an infantryman with the Second Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment, was killed Saturday in the vicinity of Quang Tri Province, according to a telegram from the Marine Corps. Kaler died as a result of a gunshot wound, it was reported. He had been stationed in Vietnam since last August, and was due to leave next month. His sister, Mrs. Ruth Coccia of 10 Jennings Ave., Patchogue, said that he had recently written he had only 41 days of duty remaining in Vietnam.

A 1962 graduate of Patchogue High School, where he played football, Kaler enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1963 after working as a maintenamce man in Patchogue. In addition to his sister, he is survived by his mother, Mrs. Ruth Kaler of Patchogue, his father Everard, of Yaphank, and a brother, Robert, 20, of Patchogue.


From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the



Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism as a machine gunner with Company H, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines near Cam Lo, Republic of Vietnam, on 21 July 1966. The company was engaged in a search and destroy mission during Operation HASTINGS when the point man of Corporal Kaler's platoon was fired upon and killed by an enemy machine gun. Disregarding his own personal safety, he immediately moved forward through the heavy fire and carried the body back. The following day, the platoon attacked the same position. When several machine guns opened fire cutting down several of his comrades and pinning the rest of the platoon, Corporal Kaler, knowing the hazards involved, without hesitation and in complete disregard for his own safety, exposed himself to the intense fire and charged the enemy positions. Receiving a bullet in the thigh, he nevertheless closed with the North Vietnamese, silencing one position before he was struck and mortally wounded by enemy fire. By his daring initiative, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of insurmountable odds, Corporal Kaler was responsible in a great measure for saving many of his comrades and thereby upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

The point man whose body LCpl Kaler recovered on 21 July was Pfc David L. Gamble of Rome, Ohio.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Gloria Jones

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Jun 2006
Last updated 07/02/2006