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Subject: Home Town Boys

Bill Bellinger
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Date Posted: 09:25:46 10/17/06 Tue

When I went into the Army in August 1965, I lived in the small beach community of Sullivan’s Island, SC. The year round population of Sullivan’s Island was about 900. This would swell to around 9,000 during the summer months. So, nine months out of the year we had the run of the place. There were four of us that I knew who served in Vietnam. The first to go was David Viera. David joined the Marines and was trained as a Recon Marine. David went over in 1965 when the Marines first landed in Danang. He was shot and seriously injured while on a night patrol. I visited David while he was recuperating in the Navy hospital in North Charleston, SC. David told me that he was the radioman on the patrol and that he was shot with an M-14. He didn’t say it was friendly fire, but I gathered as much. After David got out of the hospital, he resumed his life on the island. He had little use of his injured arm, but he got around quite well and was quite the ladies man.

The second boy I knew who served in Vietnam, was Larry Jensen. We went to Bishop England High School together and attended Clemson University together far a while before Larry joined the Army. Larry qualified for flight school and became a Warrant Officer. He flew Hughie helicopters in Vietnam. Larry got shot up flying one of the Hughies. He lost much of the use of one of his hands. When I saw him when he came home he was sitting at a bar in the “Oldsides” on the Isle of Palms, SC. He was holding a beer with his injured hand. He told me that that was about all it was good for. But he was very upbeat about it.

The third boy from Sullivan’s Island that I knew that went to Vietnam, was Seth Ferrara. Seth went to Clemson University also and became a commissioned officer. He also went to flight school and flew helicopters in Vietnam. I believe he came through the war ok. The last I heard he was a real estate appraiser down south somewhere.

I have checked “The Wall” and I don’t believe we had any KIAs from Sullivan’s Island.


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