WE HAVE LOVING MEMORIES OF OUR DEPARTED SHIPMATES, MAY GOD BLESS THEM ALL!
Farewell, farewell, my own true love,
We'll meet on earth no more,
But we will meet in heaven above
On that celestial shore,
Up in that land, that glorious land,
That land of peace and joy.
Where you'll no more be parted from
Your faithful sailor boy.
Captain, Edmund Powel Anthony Wilson (1969-1970)
BILLY WAYNE MASSEY
GERALD NICHOLSON ENC
HOWARD BANNISTER BMC
BOYD TRAPP BM2
JOHNNEY KINKADE CSC
JAMES L BOBIER
RAYMOND JOHNSON, C.O. 1967-69
GARY TRASK, RMC 1964-66
LTCD, NOLAN R BURKE, XO 1961-1963
DON KEPHART, BM3 1963
DENNIS CLARK, RD3
Billy Wayne Massey
Boyd Trapp directing mine sweeping crew
Johnney Kinkade CSC 1963 to 1965
Harold Foster SOG2 1962-1963
Captain, Wilson and Mrs Wilson (dry dock, Sasebo)
Howard Bannister BMCS, made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam
I am the grandson of BMC Howard Bannister. Just wanted to say thanks for your dedication to this site and to the memory of sailors like him that gave all. Howard W. Bannister 3rd
Dear Howard Jr,
I was your grandfather's Commanding Officer, that day, on July 11, 1967 when he was killed. We were both riding M-112-1 (not the CCB). That was my command position, on the Monitor, directly behind the conning station. That morning our boat was actively engaging the enemy at close quarters to relieve the pressure on a unit of US Army 9th Infantry troops in an open field that were taking casualties. Your grandfather was at the helm in the armor-plated conning station with the radioman, Phillip Dowsett. We were in a small stream pushing ahead when we took a B-40 antitank rocket hit directly in the conning station. Chief Bannister was instantly killed and five others wounded.
I remember your grandfather as a professional, caring and dedicated sailor. If I remember correctly, he joined the unit when we initially were training in Vallejo, California before deploying to Vietnam. Navy chiefs run the Navy and Chief Bannister was no exception. He was the Division Chief and the men respected and obeyed him. In our unit (River Assault Division 112), we had a roster of 125 enlisted men and 2 officers. He was a credit to the Navy, to his family and to his country. I remember him frequently in my prayers and on my visits to the Vietnam memorial in Washington, DC.
You and your family can be proud of Howard W. Bannister, BMC, USN.
Norman L. Wells
Edison, New Jersey
(Commander, River Assault Division 112 - Oct. 1966 - Jan. 1968)
crewmate on riverboat
101 Haggerty Road
Cooperstown, NY 13326 USA
I was on the same riverboat with Chief Bannister. He and I switched positions during a lull in the action and in just a few seconds, he was killed where I had just been. God Bless Him and rest in peace. You will not be forgotten.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
In RivDiv112 with Chief in 1967
9395 Nelson Park Circle Apt 303
Orlando, FL32817 USA
BMC Bannister was a "Man's Man", he was a strong individual, a leader of men, I was totally shocked when he was our first casualty. I originally was assigned to the CCB, but the Boat Captain of T-112-2 and his radioman couldn't get along, as I was the radioman of the CCB they had us swap boats. God bless Chief Bannister, you are not forgotten.
Tuesday, November 13, 2001
While supporting Operation Coronado Concordia (Phase II) in Can Giouc District of Long An province of 11 July, elements of the squadron came into heavy contact with Viet Cong insurgents. As ATC-112-4 was landing elements of "A" company 4th-47th a claymore mine On the bank was triggered into the boat, wounding seven Navy men and Four Army personnel. Later in the morning, Monitor 112-1 and M-111-2 were hit by recoilless rifle fire With no personnel casualties and only light boat damage. At 111620H ATC-112-7 received a B-40 anti-tank rocket grenade round on the starboard side of the bow ramp. Shortly after, At 1758, Monitor 112-1 received a rocket hit directly into the coxswain flat, killing the boat Captain (BMC Howard Bannister), and wounding six other crewmen. The boat returned to The MRB for repairs, and proceeded back to the operational area the following day. ATCs 112-4, 112-12, and 112-13 were also subjected to small arms fire during this period, with no casualties. LT Norman E. Wells, ComRivDiv 112, received the Silver Star for this action and BMC Howard Bannister received a similar award posthumously.
If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own.
And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind."
Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam
Listed as KIA February 7, 1978
I made a choice some years ago
To sail the sea no more.
I dont regret the life and love
Ive made here on the shore.
But Im haunted by a temptress
My first true love, the sea.
My dark and stormy mistress
I hear her call to me.
Im torn between my life ashore
And the call to sail away.
My love, my life is needed here
Im duty bound to stay.
Yet, often I will walk the beach
Throughout the darkest hours.
To hear my lovers mournful call
To feel her awesome power.
Oh, cradle of all Earthly life,
Great mother of the sea.
Cast off the lines that hold my heart
And let my soul sail free.
In the end I will return to you
My final love, the deep.
Ill pull your waters over me
Eternally to sleep.
~ Sailor ~
If you know of someone that should be added to this page, please email...................... Jim Brittan@comcast.net