Stephen Leslie Lane
Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
Gloucester, Massachusetts
May 09, 1944 to March 07, 1970
STEPHEN L LANE is on the Wall at Panel W13, Line 93

Stephen L Lane
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Attached is a picture of Stephen Leslie Lane. I first met Stephen in Basic Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was made Trainee platoon sergeant and I was one of the squad leaders in A–1–1. We went through flight training together at Fort Wolters Texas, where he met his future wife Judy Rushing. We took two weeks off between flight schools and I served as Best Man at their wedding. I was greatly saddened by his death and was in contact with his wife and parents for a short time. They sent me a photo of the dedication of the rifle range named after him.

Stephen was a great person and a good friend. He is missed.

Also attached are 2 pictures for his memorial page. The first picture is of Stephen. The picture of the Army Colonel on the rifle range during it's dedication to Stephen, has written on the back: "Colonel (Ret) Reg. Army – head of high school ROTC shooting one of Stephen's rifles from the new range building. This officially opened the range for shooting."

I don't know the Colonels name or the date of dedication. The picture was processed in 1973. I assume the range is near Gloucester, Mass.

Rifle Range Dedication in early 1970s

Photos and tribute request by Darrell L. Burkhalter, CW2
118th AHC, RVN, 69 - 70

Photo of Rifle Range today at Cape Ann Sportsman Club, in Gloucester.

Cape Ann Sports Club Rifle Range

Gloucester Honors Their War Dead

In an article published by Gloucester Times on May 31, 2010, the city in Massachusetts remembered the lives of 11 of their own who gave the ultimate sacrifice in a war that remains vivid to those who lived through it.

Mark Nestor, a veteran helicopter pilot in the war was master of ceremonies at the Vietnam War Memorial to the right of the front doors of the high school, provided a map with notes on where and when Gloucester's 11 lives were given, taken, and lost.

By name, they were Matthew Perry Amaral III, David W. Bowman, Paul D. Knowlton, Stephen L. Lane, Salvatore J. Piscitello, Arthur E. Wright III, Frank A. D'Amico, Thomas J.Burke, Frank T. Kreseskie, Robert E. Moore, and Jeffrey G. Tyne.

And their sacrifices were spotlighted at the city's Vietnam Memorial outside Gloucester High School as part of the community's Memorial Day ceremonies.

Of the group, David W. Bowman, a helicopter pilot, was the oldest and first to die. When his helicopter was shot down in Da Nang, on April 6, 1965, he was already 27. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for "extraordinary heroism under fire."

The last to die in Vietnam was Stephen L. Lane, another helicopter pilot. He was 25 when shot down in Qua Ngai, a province south of Da Nang.

An Air Force veteran and Disable American Veterans chapter commander, Thomas Dagle Sr., who also served in Vietnam began the solemn ceremony, noting that "those still among us and need our support" should also be counted as heroes/casualties of the war.

"They were strong, they were vibrant, they loved and were loved," said Dagle. "And they are missed."

The special attention to Vietnam came amid the 35th anniversary of the end of the war.

Between the time Bowman's helicopter was shot down in 1965 and Lane was killed in a helicopter in 1970, Vietnam exploded from back page status to daily reporting and a divided nation.

With the nearly 59,000 U.S. war dead in Vietnam and 303,000 wounded, those times also brought the assassinations of President Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King. and countless men, women and children who were caught up in the struggles of war.

"Ladies and gentlemen of our audience," said Nestor, "I present you the 11 fallen veterans of Vietnam."

Their black and white high school yearbook pictures – sweetly innocent with the particular naivete of the '60s, flattops and greased extravagance – were pinned to pads on easels, evoking the rush of events that the heroes–to–be had missed by their fates, whether called to fight by the draft, or having made conscious choices to enlist in the service of the country.

"We remember with compassion and honor," Nestor said.

Nestor and Army Lt. Col. Kathryn Van Auken, the guest speaker, both alluded to the different relationship between the nation and its war or wars in their remarks.

"Even today," Van Auken said, "people forget that our nation continues to place our finest men and women in harm's way. Even more amazing is that today's young men and women who enlist in the military are all volunteers, knowing they are guaranteed to see combat in Iraq or Afghanistan."

A veteran of the Gulf War, Van Auken was the first woman combat soldier to be honored with the opportunity to give the guest address on Memorial Day in Gloucester. Evoking the timelessness of the battle between the granite shore and the seas and the fascination she experienced as a child sitting on Bass Rocks "letting the waves and tide wash away my worries. ... Life by the sea makes you appreciate ... the ever–present ebb and flow of life."

Speaking at the main ceremony at the World War II Memorial at Kent Circle, Van Auken noted how fitting it was to have the memorial adjacent to the Fishermen's Memorial and the Fishermen's Wives Memorial.

Van Auken said the deaths of the veterans honored by Memorial Day "are not just their own, they are ours, their loss is what we make of them, and we must give them meaning ... and tell all generations that 'yes' it is worth it."

"For them," she continued, "we're obligated to live every day to deserve it, to take action to preserve it, and never forget the price they paid for our freedoms. "You see, dying for freedom isn't the worst that could happen," she said. "Being forgotten is...."

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