PFC Lynn Blessing

PFC Lynn Blessing

Death 15 May 1975 (aged 18)
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 60, Site 10360
Memorial ID 110628574 · View Source
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"Back on American Soil"

Thirty-eight years after they lost their lives in what is regarded as the last battle of the Vietnam War, 13 U.S. servicemembers came home in May. Fragments of their remains were laid to rest together, in one casket, at Arlington National Cemetery

"They may be gone, but they're back on American soil," said Marian Boyd of Norfolk, Va., whose son, Marine Pfc. Walter Boyd, was among those remembered at the service. Families of the 10 Marines, two Navy corpsmen and one Air Force chopper pilot gathered with surviving veterans of the operation and others to pay homage.

The May 15, 1975, military mission to rescue the crew of the merchant ship SS Mayaguez off the coast of Cambodia turned into a deadly 14-hour battle with the Khmer Rouge less than three weeks after the fall of Saigon. Forty-one Americans -- the last 41 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall – died in the battle that ultimately led to the safe return of the merchant ship and crew.

The 13 buried at Arlington in May were on board a CH-53 Sea Stallion chopper that was shot down off the shore of Koh Tang Island. Thirteen others escaped the shootdown by swimming out to sea, where they were rescued by the Navy.

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command conducted no fewer than 10 recovery efforts between 1991 and 2008 to find and retrieve the remains of the 13 who went down. DNA testing confirmed the last of the fallen men, Marine Pfc. Daniel A. Benedett of Seattle, in January.

The final 13:
PFC Daniel Andrew Benedett, USMC
PFC Lynn Blessing, USMC
PFC Walter Boyd, USMC
Lance Cpl. Gregory S Copenhaver, USMC
Lance Cpl. Andres Garcia, USMC
PFC James J Jacques, USMC
PFC James Rickey Maxwell, USMC
PFC Richard Rivenburgh, USMC
PFC Antonio Ramos Sandoval, USMC
PFC Kelton Rena Turner, USMC
Hospital Corpsman Bernard Gause Jr., USN
Hospitalman Ronald James Manning, USN
2nd Lt. Richard Van de Geer, USAF
--Information from the July 2013 issue of The American Legion Magazine provided by F/G contributor Greg Raike.


Private 1st Class, U.S. Marine Corps

Gravesite Details Interred May 15, 2013

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  • Created by: Paul Hays
  • Added: 16 May 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 110628574
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Lynn Blessing (16 Jan 1957–15 May 1975), Find A Grave Memorial no. 110628574, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Paul Hays (contributor 47393402) .