Gary Lyle Kestler

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
30 November 1947 - 28 May 1968
Oregon City, Oregon
Panel 64W Line 011



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gary Lyle Kestler

10 Oct 2001

"And they who for their country die
Shall fill an honored grave,
For glory lights the soldier's tomb,
And beauty weeps the brave."
- Joseph Drake -

We would love to hear from those who remember Gary.

A memorial from his mother and sister,
Lorraine and Lorre

20 Jan 2005

Rites Slated For Marine (Oregon City) - Funeral arrangements have been announced for Marine Lance Cpl Gary L. Kestler, killed in action 28 May (1968) at Quang Tri, Vietnam, while holding a defensive position against the enemy. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Chester, 213 Barclay Ave. The military funeral will be at 1:30 p.m., Thursday in the First Presbyterian Church. Interment will be at Mountain View Cemetery. Born 30 Nov 1947, in Oregon City, Cpl. Kestler was graduated from Oregon City High School in 1966, and joined the service in August of that year. He had been in Vietnam a month. In high school, he had been on the baseball team, and was active in the summer baseball program. In addtion to the parents,survivors include a sister, Lori Chester of Oregon City; and grandparents, Mrs. L. C. Hubbard of McMinnville, and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kestler of Oregon City.

The Oregonian, Portland OR, 19 Jun 1968

Courtesy of
Darilee Bednar

Faces from the Wall

06 Oct 2006

Gary and I graduated from Oregon City High School in 1966. Butch, Thomas Gary, and I joined the Marine Corps on the buddy system. Butch went to Nam before I arrived in Jan 68 and he left in July 69. Gary was killed while I was in the hospital recovering from wounds. Came back to my unit to find out that Gary had been killed. I was badly shaken given the fact that Gary was the one I figured would survive Vietnam. All Gary could talk about our senior year was how excited he was about heading to boot camp. All our attitudes changed shortly after we arrived. Gary was a hell of a Marine.

We just had our 40th class reunion this year. It was pretty sad seeing the list of the class members that have passed away. When classmates mentioned Gary's naame there were more than a few tears.

The battle in which Gary was killed was developed into a book called "Foxtrot Ridge - a Battle Remembered".

I will always be proud to have known Gary as a great Marine but most of all I am proud to have had him for a good friend for such a short time.

Semper Fi, my brother

From his best friend,
Bill Tuor

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Marines traditionally hold awards for valor in combat in high esteem and are very conservative in granting such awards. Some insight into the ferocity of the fighting on 28 May 1968 when Fox Company, 2/3 Marines, lost 13 men killed in action can be gained by the awards granted - four of the men received posthumous awards of the Silver Star, America's third highest award for valor. The dead were
  • Cpl Steven D. Baker, Santa Ana, CA
  • LCpl Moses J. Bacote, St Petersburg, FL
  • LCpl Richard E. Cutbirth, Marionville, MO (Silver Star)
  • LCpl Michael J. Cutri, Syracuse, NY
  • LCpl William A. Grist, Bessemer, PA (Silver Star)
  • LCpl Randy S. Huber, Reading, PA
  • LCpl Gary L. Kestler, Oregon City, OR
  • LCpl Ralph J. Luebbers, Webster Groves, MO
  • LCpl Stanley F. Poniktera, Bethlehem, PA (Silver Star)
  • LCpl Michael S. Smith, Bedford, IN
  • Pfc Lawrence K. Arthur, Lowville, NY (Silver Star)
  • Pfc Woodrow Makin, Donalds, SC
  • Pvt Donald P. Schuck, Brookville, IN

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his mother and sister,
Lorraine and Lorre

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 10 Oct 2001
Last updated 10/14/2006