Kirk Irwin Riley

HMM-364, MAG-36, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
18 October 1939 - 03 December 1965
Peoria, IL
Panel 03E Line 122



Kirk I Riley

Naval Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Kirk Irwin Riley

19 Oct 1998

Did you know Kirk Riley?

I am Marlenea Ober and I am the cousin of Captain Kirk Irwin Riley. He was a very special person to me as I was growing up and I was with his wife when they came to her door with the news of his death. I was also with her when she delivered her daughter that Kirk never saw. I wish all kinds of information. I need to know more about him as I was only in 8th grade and the family has not been able to talk about him after his death. Please help me, and thanks for being there all of you, and GOD BLESS you all.

Marlenea Ober

21 Jul 2003

Capt Kirk Irwin Riley
1st Lt Stanley G Johnson
Cpl Warren Leigh Dempsey
Cpl Robert Henry White

These four men, and the other Purple Foxes who served in Vietnam, are remembered by the women who waited at home, whether mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, or friends. Those women, the

Purple Foxy Ladies
Purple Foxy Ladies

continue to support today's Purple Foxes of HMM-364 as they serve our country.

the Purple Foxes

on-line or go to our unit page
on The Virtual Wall

A memorial from the
Purple Foxy Ladies

21 Nov 2003

We grew up together way back when, I miss you today, I miss the talking, I miss the things we did. Your picture is on my dresser since the day you mailed it to me from Vietnam. My cousin, my brother, my friend who gave all for me and everyone.

Prudy Paulius

Mission Notes

On 03 Dec 1965, a flight of 6 UH-34s from HMM-364 were tasked with carrying ARVN troops to an outpost at Hiep Duc, just west of Tan Ky. The lead aircraft, UH-34D BuNo 148762 carried a crew of four and nine ARVN soldiers. Another pilot in the flight recalls what happened:
"We tried to go in as high as possible, though we were limited by somewhat low ceilings, which may have placed us approximately 2000 feet above ground level. The flight was in normal cruise when we reached the vicinity of UTM grid coordinates BY031273 where the Viet Cong fired on us with time delay fused mortars. Unfortunately Capt. Riley's aircraft received a direct hit in the belly, where the fuel tanks were located, and they never stood a chance. Capt. Riley tried desperately to get the aircraft on the ground, but it was burning so fiercely he appeared to lose control and the aircraft rolled inverted and crashed. No one survived"
Kenneth L. Gross, Major USMC (Ret)
All thirteen men aboard died in the crash: The remains of Captain Kirk, Corporal Dempsey, and Corporal White were recovered and identified, but the remains of 1st Lt Johnson could not be individually identified and he still is carried as "Body not Recovered".

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a cousin,
Marlenea Ober 
19 Oct 1998

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 11/23/2003