Marines and Corpsman who have served with 1st Battalion 9th Marines ….
Colonel Donald Festa
Festa, Ret. Col. Donald age 78 of Oakland on October 14, 2010. Colonel Festa was born in Paterson on Sept. 5, 1932 to Charles C. Sr. & Margaret (nee Pacella) Festa. He enlisted in the US Air Force and was stationed as a radar operator in the Korean War Conflict for 4 years. Upon return, he received an honorable discharge and enrolled in Columbia College, Columbia University, NYC where he graduated with honors in 1958. Col. Festa graduated first in his class with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant from the US Marine Corps training center. While working as a volunteer teacher in a local Japanese school, he met his wife, Yoko. Col. Festa received a Bronze Star for outstanding leadership during a conflict in the Dominican Republic. In 1966, Col. Festa and his Ninth Marines landed in Vietnam, where they were quickly based behind enemy lines as a force dedicated to demoralizing the North Vietnamese military. During his tour of duty, he commanded the Alpha Company, subsequently labeled "The Walking Dead" by Ho Chi Minh, leader of the enemy Vietcong, who vowed to kill every Ninth Marine who set foot in North Vietnam. The Ninth Marines proceeded to kill ten enemy combatants for every US Marine who sacrificed his life. Col. Festa received several commendations for his two years of service and leadership during this important campaign including the Gallantry Cross, the Purple Heart, and the Silver Star. In 1971, he applied for and was accepted to the Naval Warfare School in Northern California where he again finished near the top of his class. In 1973, Col. Festa was assigned to the Pentagon, where he served as a strategic planning officer for the Marine Corps. He was then stationed in Denmark as an operations officer for the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), where he stayed until 1979. In 1980, he received a Master's degree in Accounting from the US Army War College. He then returned to work at the Pentagon, where he served as a Senior War Planning Officer for the Marine Corps until 1986 when he was reassigned for one year to Okinawa, Japan as a senior planning officer for the US Pacific Command Center. In 1988, he returned to the US and was stationed at Quantico Marine Base, Va for one year before retiring. He moved to Oakland, NJ 3 years ago. Preceding him in death in 2007 was his wife, Yoko and in 2005 by a brother, Nicholas. Survivors include 4 brothers: James L. Festa of Weehawkin, Charles C. Festa Jr., of Paterson, Robert P. Festa of Totowa, and Peter Festa of Oakland; 2 sisters, Rose DeLisi of Pompton Plains, and June Leonardi of Little Falls. Also survived by several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral from the Festa Memorial Funeral Home, 111 Union Blvd, Totowa, on Monday at 9:15 AM. Funeral Mass to follow at St. John's Cathedral, Paterson at 10:00 AM. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va will take place at a later date. Visitation will be Sunday 2:00 - 4:00 and 7:00 - 9:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations to the ASPCA 424 E. 92 St., NYC, NY 10128-6804 would be appreciated. For more information, go to www.festamemorial.com.
Laqueur, Peter (A-Company/1st platoon-1965-66) passed away June 14th.
Sermeus, William T.(A-Company – 1966) passed away on April 4th.
Bletz, Fred(B-Company/2nd Platoon – 1967)passed away May 9th in Ionia County, MI. *
Bozikis, Dan(A-Company/3rd Platoon – 1942)passed away July 23rd. *
Cahill, Col. John H.(Battalion Commander from 4/01/68-5/15/68)passed away July 14th.*
Ludwig, LtCol Verle E.(Battalion Commander from 4/02/65 – 1/05/66)passed away during July.*
Moynihan, Timothy W.(C-Company – 1944-46) passed away October 25th.+
Olsen, Bertil “Doc” (B-Company/Headquarters -1965-66) passed away July 5th in Bristol, RI
Pasker, Dr. Roy N.(Battalion Surgeon 1968-69) passed away October 6th in Montgomery, AL. *
Perez, Eliseo “Al”(C-Company/2nd Platoon – 1967-68) passed away May 4th.*
Ainsworth, Roy J. (A-Company/1st Platoon in 1967) passed away November 18th.*
Chauvin, SgtMajor Armand J. (1/9 during 1966-67) passed away December 20th in Diamondhead, MS.
DeLong, Franklin C. (H&S Company/81mm – 1967-68) passed away April 4th in Boise, ID.
DesJarlais, Jim(C-Company - WWII) passed away September 5th in Mishicot, WI.*
Donnelly, LtCol Joseph A. (Bn. Executive Officer 1967-68) passed away December 1st in Beaufort, SC.* Dupont, H. J. “Gunny”(C-Company 1943) passed away July 4th in Port Author, TX.*
Edson, John B. (H&S Company/Weapons Plt – 1967-68) passed away October 18th in Indianapolis, IN.*
Fix, Howard J. (A-Company/2nd Plt1942-45) passed away December 28th in Harrisonville, PA.*
Knoedller, Alan (B-Company/1st Platoon 1969-70)passed away January 13th in Eighty Four, PA.*
Kwiatkowski, Frank C. (A-Company during 1944) passed February 27th.+
Heim, Don(Artillery Officer with Headquarters 1966-67) passed away during June in Burgaw, NC.*
Hovorka, Joseph E.(B-Company – 1944-45) passed away February 28th.+
LaChance, James (A-Company/1st Plt – 1966-67) passed away December 3rd in Augusta, ME.*
McWain, Danny (C-Company/3rd Plt 1967) passed away August 21th in Collin County, TX.*
Mazzeo, Richard A.(1st Battalion 9th Marines – 2005-06) passed away September 30th.
Penzera, Donald(B-Company – 1967-69) passed away May 28th.
Sayers, Michael(B-Company C.O.10/66-5/67) passed away November 21st in Fort Smith, AR.*
Stucker, SgtMajor Carl O.(D-Company1967-68) passed away November 28th.*
Toms, Edward H. (H&S Company during 1960-61) passed away December 6th.+
Benedict, Freeman “Frank” (H&S Company/Snipers1966-67) passed away January 18th in Canada.
Fentress, Thomas R. (A-Company/1943-45) passed away November 12.+
Foley, Col Kenneth S. (C-Company/HQ 1958-59) passed away June 27th*
Fowler, Col Conrad “Bully” (A-Company C.O.1943) passed away January 1st in Tuscaloosa, AL. +
Fugatt, Royce (C-Company/2nd Plt – 1964-67) passed away October 27th.*
Glen, Otis H.(B-Company/1st 1967-68) passed away in December *
Nichols, William “Stretch” (A-Company/Wpns 1965-66) passed away Dec 27th in Jacksonville, NC
Phillips, Francis “Indian” (H&S Company/Flames – 1961-62) passed away June 1st.*
Randall, Joseph J., Jr. (1/9 during 1966-67) passed away February 23rd in Greensboro, NC.
Dauven, Charles “Chuck” (D-Company/Weapons1969) passed away in October.*
King, Delbert (A-Company/2nd Plt - 1967-68) passed away on July 3rd.*
Petrella, Vincent D. (C-Company/WWII) passed away January 22nd in Ashland, OH.*
Sadler, William D. (served with battalion 1968-69) passed away February 9th*
Boone, Leon (A Company/3rd Plt 1966-67) passed away September 27 in Flagstaff, AZ.*
Cain, Robert B. (C-Company/3rd Plt – 1965-66) passed away December 29th.*
Fagan, Albert (A-Company/2nd Plt 1966-67) passed away December in Boston, MA.
Greene, Larry R. (D-Company/3rd Plt – 1968) passed away August 30th in Burton, SC.*
Hutchinson, Gary (A-Company/Weapons – 1966) passed away May 29th in High Ridge, MO.*
Peacock, Melvin (D-Company/2nd Plt 1965) passed away June 14th in Litchfield, AZ*
Trump, Dennis D. (A-Company/3rd Plt – 1965-66) passed away January 8th in Tigard, OR.*Weidenbacher, William “Weid” (H&S Company/HQ 1966-67) passed away February 15th inAZ.
White, Richard(H&S Company/Communications 1969-70) passed away December 6th in PA.*
Heatley, Robert “Shortround”(C-Company/1st Plt – 1967-68) passed away February 12th.*
Rhodes, Eugene(D-Company/2nd Plt 1967-68 passed away January 16th in Oklahoma.
Collier, Jerry Arnold(H&S Company1971-72) passed away May 30th in Lake City, FL.
Huff, Richard E., Sr. (Bravo Company/Wpns 1966-67) passed away June 9 in Missouri.
Chapman, Harold T.(Machinegunner 1968) passed away July 7 in Hartwell, GA
Myers, Donald F. (Charlie Company/3rd 1968-69) passed away on August 9th in IN.
Zeller, David (H&S Company/Comm Platoon1968-69) passed away September 5th in MD.
Hendry, David John(Bravo Company/2nd Platoon, 1967) passed away July 13th in Oregon.*
Gillespie, Bobby Lee(Bravo Company/1st Platoon, 1967-69) passed away January 14th in California*
Jones, Jerry(Delta Company/2nd Platoon1967-68) passed away October 4th in Indiana.
Festa, Col. Donald(C.O. Alpha Company/ 1966-67) passed away October 14th in New Jersey.