Michael James Monahan

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
01 November 1947 - 26 October 1966
Dracut, Massachusetts
Panel 11E Line 113

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign Michael James Monahan
Photo courtesy of Harold Lupton

The database page for Michael James Monahan


"When we were preteens Michael came to a Holloween party at my home dressed like a woman, with a string mop for his hair . . . This may not seem funny but that was a time when all the boys were starting to be young men and there was Michael in a dress. He had a routine that started the 'Housewives of America Unite'!!!"

Vietnamese Medals Awarded Dracut Hero Who Died in Action

DRACUT - The Republic of Vietnam Military Merit Medal and Cross of Gallantry Medal with Palm were presented posthumously to a young Dracut Marine killed by enemy gunfire Oct. 26, 1966 in Vietnam. Mr. and Mrs. James P. Monahan, 92 Malwood Avenue, Dracut, parents of the late Pfc. Michael J. Monahan accepted the medals at a ceremony held Jan. 7 at the Marine Corps Reserve Training Center.
   The medals, awarded by the Republic of Vietnam in recognition of Pfc. Monahan's service and gallantry, were presented by Captain E. F. Dowd, Jr.
   Also attending the ceremonies were Pfc. Monahan's brothers, Rich and James.
From the Lowell SUN

To Dedicate Dracut Playground in Honor Of Marine Hero

DRACUT - A special ceremony of dedication will take place at the Pleasant Street playground on Memorial Day at 10:30 a.m. at which time the park will be named the Michael J. Monahan Park. The Rev. John Giles will give the invocation and a suitable monument donated by the family of the Marine,will mark the Memorial.
   PFC Michael J. Monahan was born in Lowell Nov. 1, 1947 and was the son of James and Patricia (Molloy) Monahan. He attended Dracut elementary and junior high school and graduated from Keith Academy in 1964. He was a second year student at Boston College at the time of his enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps in March of 1966.
   He left for Vietnam September 1, 1966 and was killed in action at Quang Tri Oct. 26, 1966. While in Vietnam he was a radio operator.
From the Lowell SUN


Michael James Monahan
"To Live In Hearts We Leave Behind Is Not To Die."

   There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.
   A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
   Three years ago tonight as the interlocutor of our show Mike Monahan laughed and danced along with the freshman chorus who this evening as seniors once again share the spotlight.
   A time of war, and a time of peace; a time to be born, and a time to die.
   In nineteen years, eleven months and twenty-six days Michael Monahan fulfilled a lifetime. On October 3rd, 1966 Corporal Michael James Monahan gave his life as a United States Marine in South Vietnam.
   With justifiable pride we, the faculty and students of Keith Academy, dedicate this 1967 Minstrel Show Program to the memory of Corporal MICHAEL JAMES MONAHAN, U.S.M.C.

Courtesy Pamela Porter


23 Sep 1999

So many years have passed since I last saw Michael. I remember many days of happiness in his presence. We were the best of buddies from the days we could leave our yards to play. The day we started first grade Michael cried when we were separated at recess, in those days the boys played in the back of the school and the girls in the front. The teacher actually had to bring him around front because he was so upset.

Michael was a very kind and sensitive individual. He was very funny. I can remember him telling his funny story of playing football with the girls, the girls will wear armor, the boys will bring can openers.

He graduated from Keith Academy and won a scholarship to Boston College. In his second year at BC he enrolled in the Marine Corps. He was very proud of his country and felt he needed to help in Vietnam.

I can remember the day I learned he died. My next door neighbor Johnny found out first. He was in the drug store when two Marines came in and asked for directions to Malwood Avenue. Johnny knew right away.

The year after Michael was killed the Dracut Center playground (former Dracut High School football field) was renamed the Michael James Monahan Park.

My dear childhood friend, you will never be forgotten.

Cynthia Cote
23 Sep 1999


Dear Michael,

I think of you on this Memorial Day weekend. It is rainy and cool just like the day you lit your garage on fire trying to start the BBQ grill. You sure had a sense of humor.

May you rest in peace.

Your best friend,

19 Oct 2001

Michael was a childhood friend. I learned of his death the same day I found out Kenny and I were to have our second child. Michael James Monahan Porter was born June 13, 1967. Our family has been blessed with the memory of Mike's spirit.

Kenneth and Pamela Cote Porter
7 Brayton Street, E. Greenwich, RI 02818

22 Oct 2001

Mike, it has now been 35 years since that sad day. In your honor, I'll be visiting you in person in a few weeks. It may have been a "Fox Hole" promise, but with Rick's help, one I'll finally keep.

With all that has gone on this last 8 weeks, I'm saddened when I hear young men talking of rushing off to war. We know it is a terrible place, but only made bearable by the friends you make.

Semper Fi.
Myles Herring, CPL USMC 2/9

31 Oct 2001


Just wanted to let you know that you will never be forgotten, especially on your birthday. Cynthia, Pam, Myles & I are saying a special prayer for you today. While our paths have not crossed again since before high school you are still with me. When our 1st grade classmates meet again in 2004 for our 40th re-union I will remind them of you and the sacrifice you made in order for us to still be here today. I only pray that our Lord will convey our prayers and feelings to you in His glorious kingdom.

From a childhood friend,
Harold Lupton
P. O. Box 14746, Lenexa, Kansas, 66285

11 Nov 2001

I have just found The Virtual Wall on my computer and found the name of my nephew PFC Michael J. Monahan. I can't begin to say what I am feeling now. All the wonderful things that were said about Mike made me cry. He was the first baby born in our family. I was 11 years old at the time and spent a lot of time at my sister's house just to be near him.

He was a very special person, and anyone who knew him knows what a great person he was. We are all very proud of Mike and his memory will live on in our family forever.

From his aunt,
Janice Paige

October 26, 2005

On this date thirty nine years ago we lost our Michael to the war in Viet Nam. I want to submit this message as a remembrance to Michael. We have not forgotten nor will we ever forget. He remains in our thoughts always.

From his aunt,
Janice Paige
33 Mill Road, Londonderry NH 03053

14 December 2001

This memorial stirs so many childhood memories
for me of my brother Michael and also of my
brother Jim who had enlisted and served in the Navy
during the Vietnam war. I've met someone who
was with Mike when he was killed and there
was healing for both myself and Myles. It seems
so long ago yet it appears as only yesterday.

From his brother,
Rick Monahan

31 Jul 2003

I just found this The Virtual Wall while surfing the web and discovered this memorial to Michael Monahan. Michael and I were friends all through middle school and junior high. He used to sit behind me in class and get us both into trouble with the teachers. He was a wonderful young man, and I have many fond memories of him. I still miss him.

Michael, wherever you are, you are still in our hearts.

Carole Mason Leonard
645 Ft Sumter Dr. Charleston, SC 29412

18 Mar 2004

I share with Michael the privilege of being a Keith Academy graduate, and although our paths never crossed I treasure the memory of his sacrifice for our country. I was an Air Force veteran (1951-1959), had two brothers and a son in the United States Marine Corps, and this brings Keith graduates closer still. Rest with God, Michael, you earned the right.

Keith Academy, Class of 1949,
Francis X. Archibald

29 Mar 2005

Mike, we were just neighbors but I saw you every day at school or outside. You always said Hi. Our brothers hung around together. I felt so bad when I heard you'd died and couldn't begin to imagine what your family was going thru - now I know. My Son, My Baby is up there with you. Take care of him for me please. He's kinda big at 6 ft but he's a jokester and loves to fool around. Malwood Ave has now known its share of grief. You were the first from Dracut as was Mat. His Name is Spc Mathew G Boule' and he too died for Freedom and his Family. Take care of him til I get there, okay? Thanks.

Suellen (Farnham) Boule

From a neighbor,
Sue Boule
Dracut, Massachussetts

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 03 Apr 2003 six men from the 2nd Bn, 3rd Avn Rgt, died in the crash of their UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in Iraq:

  • CPT James F. Adamouski
  • CWO Erik A. Halvorsen
  • CWO Scott Jamar
  • CWO Eric A. Smith
  • Sgt Michael F. Pedersen
  • Spc Mathew G. Boule'
09 Feb 2040

My daughter is a softball player and played many games at Monahan Field in Dracut (now across from the fire station). One day between games I wandered over to the monument and flag pole to read the inscription. I became very moved as I discovered Corporal Monahan was in the same unit that I belong to -the 2/9 Marines. I was wounded on 18 May 1967 on Operation Hickory with Hotel Company. I was medically retired. I spent many times between games saying a few prayers for a Marine hero. God Bless.

John Murphy

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Hotel 2/9 took several WIA casualties from mines during the early part of 18 May 1967, but most of the company's losses came at about 4 PM when they received heavy mortar and machinegun fires from a fortified enemy position - Hotel had one killed (Pfc James C. Offley) and 30 wounded, Fox 5 wounded. The Fox and Hotel 2/9 Marines encountered stiff resistance when they renewed their sweep on the 19th, losing 12 men (5 Fox, 7 Hotel). When Echo 2/9 took up the load on 20 May they encountered no resistance - the enemy had withdrawn during the night of 19/20 May.

12 May 2007

I had to do a report on Vietnam Veterans, and the woman I babysit for told me of a man named Myles Herring. I did the interview with him and he mentioned something that touched me very deeply. One of my questions was, "What is the most vivid memory that sticks out in your mind, while you were in Vietnam, and he answered, "It was the death of Private Mike Monahan, he was a friend of mine, for a long time I was his leader." Then I asked him if he was older than Mike. He replied, "Yes, I was 21, and he was 19, and so I felt responsible for him, and it just took me a long time to get over that".

This interview has really opened my eyes, and I am so glad Mr. Herring shared the story of Mike with me.

Amber Hoven
E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2/9 Marines' Operations Journal for 26 October 1966 shows that while Fox and Golf Companies were conducting a sweep in Quang Tri Province Golf Company encountered a North Vietnamese Army platoon of some 40 men. Golf 2/9 engaged the NVA troops while Fox Company moved to flank their position. When the NVA scattered under pressure from Golf 2/9, they ran into Fox 2/9. Thirteen NVA bodies were found after the firefight, while the Marines lost four men:
  • SSgt John E. Hardin, North Tazewell, VA, Fox 2/9;
  • LCpl Howard J. Younger, Baltimore, MD, H&S Co, 3rd Eng Bn;
  • Pfc Thomas M. Joyce, Springfield, IL, Golf 2/9; and
  • Pfc Michael J. Monahan, Dracut, MA, H&S Co, 2/9.
LCpl Younger was a combat engineer attached to the 2/9 Marines, while Pfc Monahan, a radioman, was in the field with one of the two rifle companies.

Another 2/9 Marine, LCpl Howard D. Strauss of Monaca, Pennsylvania, was killed in action in a separate incident involving Echo Company.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 23 Sep 1999
Last updated 08/10/2009