Calvin Bernard Matthews

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
24 March 1948 - 29 November 1969
Washington, District of Columbia
Panel 15W Line 006


Combat Infantry

National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Calvin Bernard Matthews

04 Jul 2007

I remember when my brother Calvin got his draft notice from the Army. The family was giving me a birthday party. My oldest brother Calvin was blind as a bat, we were shocked that he was drafted. I was often called "Stinkmo" by him. I remember when he came home on furlough, he would come to my elementary school "Kimball" to get me and when I saw him I would break out in a run. He bought me my first five dresses for elementary school. He never got to see any of us graduate from school or to see all of his many nieces or nephews. His life was snatched away so quickly.

I am married now with 7 children. Our family has really expanded. Although the younger brother (one of the twins) died in 1991 of a drowning while on vacation in the Bahamas. Yes, I know another tragedy. Mom died in August 2004. We are all still at a loss. All we have are a lot of memories.

The day that you died, I remember that we had to come home from school, not knowing what had happened. We were told that we were not going back to school that day. I remember that a lot of people came over to the house and momma was crying and so was everyone else. Finally someone told us what happened. I was later told that the Army came to notify my mother that Calvin was missing. They could not find his body. It took them some seven days or so to notify my mother again. This particular day in December my mother, aunt Cookie, and cousin Lou had gone to the store. When they got back from the store, they saw the Army car. The broke out in a run because they did not want to hear what had happened. My grandmother Mama Lillian begged them to let them tell my mother, but they said that they had to tell my mother. They buried my brother Calvin on his wife's birthday, December 13.

My mom stayed sad, I believe for the rest of her life, about Calvin being killed in the service. He would have come home that year for good which is the real hard thing about this situation.

From his baby sister,

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 29 November 1969 elements of the Mortar Platoon, E Co, 1/11th Infantry were being deployed to a new position by boat. As they progressed the boat literally sank beneath them - and five men drowned:
  • SP4 Calvin B. Matthews, Washington, DC, Mortars, E/1/11
  • PFC Richard H. Boise, Marion, NY, Mortars, E/1/11
  • PFC Michael A. O Keefe, New York, NY, Mortars, E/1/11
  • PFC John M. Piasecki, Chicago, IL, 43rd Inf Plt (Scout Dog)
  • PFC Larry E. Watson, Pageland, SC, Mortars, E/1/11
The recovery of the men was publicly announced in a DoD press release dated 08 December 1969.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 30 Jun 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009