Barry “Gunner” Stinson
I’m a Vietnam combat veteran who served as a gunner aboard a Navy Patrol Gunboat.
Following a move to Gainesville in 2017, I was asked to find photos of local men who died in Vietnam for the Wall of Faces, a project of the Vietnam Wall.
Here’s what I discovered about five of your classmates at Fair Street and E.E. Butler High School.
Links are provided to their pages on the Wall of Faces. “Remembrances” gives you the opportunity to share stories about them. We know how they died. Your stories will show how they lived.
1942 – 1968
He graduated from Fair Street HS, worked for a year and joined the Army in October 1963. In 1964, while he was stationed in Germany, he married his high school sweetheart, Kathryn Render, and she went to live with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Goudelock, at 438 Copeland Street.
He arrived in Vietnam on October 26, 1967, and served with Company E, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.
On April 19, 1968, during enemy action in Dinh Tuong province, Sgt. Goudelock was killed by small arms fire.
He is the recipient of two Bronze Star Medals and the Purple Heart, is buried in Timber Ridge Cemetery, and his name is located on Panel 50E, Line 47 of the Vietnam Wall.
1944 – 1968
Army Private First-Class Wilbur Mattox was married to Constance Mattox, who lived at 530 Race Street. The couple had one son. PFC Mattox was a member of the Army’s Americal Division. On April 24, 1968, during a patrol in Thua Thien province, he was struck by fragments from a mine explosion. He was evacuated to an Army field hospital, but his wounds were so extensive, he died the next day, April 25. He reported for duty in Vietnam on February 25, a short two months earlier. PFC Mattox is the recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He and his wife, who passed away in 2015, are buried next to each other in Alta Vista Cemetery, Block AC, Lots 30 and 31. His name is engraved on Panel 52E, Line 8 at the Vietnam Wall.
Johnny Bill Robertson, Jr.
1946 – 1969
Johnny Bill lived with his mother, Willene, and his sister, Joyce, at 240 Atlanta Street, Apartment A-1. His father was deceased. He joined the Army and arrived in Vietnam on May 15, 1969, assigned to the 9th Infantry Division.
He went swimming in a river 5 kilometers east of Ham Long village in Kien Hoa province. The official reports lack detail, other than he drowned before help could arrive. One possibility is that his outfit had been out on patrol, some soldiers went into the river to cool off, and he followed them in. Johnny Bill’s swimming abilities may have been weak or non-existent. Had he meant to stay near the riverbank and slipped into a deep hole? We’ll never know. What we do know is he died on June 8, 1969, three weeks after he arrived in Vietnam.
He’s the recipient of the Bronze Star and is buried in Alta Vista Cemetery, Block AC, Lot 53. His name is on Panel 23W, Line 114 of the Vietnam Wall.
Carl Lee Thornton
1937 – 1971
Following his studies at Fair Street High School, Carl Lee joined the Army with plans to make it his career. He was married and in his second decade of military service. His successful career as a Food Service Specialist was advancing him into senior enlisted status, as evidenced by his promotion to Staff Sergeant (E-6). He was the recipient of two Bronze Stars and the Good Conduct Medal. He reported for duty in Vietnam on July 15, 1971. On November 28, he was aboard an Army helicopter CH-47C, commonly known as a Chinook, for a troop lift from Da Nang to Phu Bai. Bad weather and poor visibility resulted in the Chinook crashing into a mountain. 36 died in the crash, including Army Staff Sergeant Carl Lee Thornton. He’s buried in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church cemetery. His name is located on Panel 2W/Line 80 of the Vietnam Wall.
George Lamar Young 1947 – 1968 http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/57843/GEORGE-L-YOUNG
Lamar was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, an element of the legendary 1st Cavalry Division. The objective of Operation Sheridan Sabre was to prevent elements of the North Vietnamese Army massed in Cambodia from entering South Vietnam. In a significant and fierce firefight northwest of Tay Ninh City, Lamar’s unit fought courageously against a battle-hardened NVA force. Lamar and eight of his brothers-in-arms died in the fight, but they didn’t go quietly. Army documents show that Lamar’s outfit killed 138 of the enemy. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart. His name is located on Panel 38W, Line 62 of the Vietnam Wall.