PFC Charles David Raver

PFC Charles David Raver

Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Death 17 May 1968 (aged 18)
Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Burial Lysander, Onondaga County, New York, USA
Plot Division 8, Lot 30
Memorial ID 69911985 · View Source
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Charles, the son of Margaret B. Thompson of Syracuse NY and Charles W. Raver of Columbus OH, the brother of Sandra Raver of Syracuse NY, enlisted in the US Marine Corps on August 24, 1967 in Syracuse NY. He arrived in Vietnam on February 8, 1968, and was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st MARDIV (Rein) FMF.

On day thirteen of Operation Allen Brook, after the long and difficult battle with the NVA in the Phu Dong village complex and contact throughout the night, a heavy battle developed in the vicinity of Nam Yen when a Marine unit was pinned down and took heavy casualties. Company A and G were ordered to flank the enemy and rescue their embattled comrades, moving into the fray the Marines took several casualties, one of whom was PFC Raver who was killed in action as a result of an enemy gunshot wound.


Christopher S. Bryant
Charles David Raver

The following courtesy Ann Foley Member #47059011

(Published in the POST-STANDARD, Syracuse, N. Y., Thursday, May 30,1968)

Military services will be conducted for Marine Pfc. Charles D. Raver, 18, at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Falardeau Funeral Home, 17 Grove St., Baldwinsville, and at 8:30 a.m. in Our Lady of Peace Church, Lakeland, where a high Mass of requiem will be celebrated. Burial will be in Jacksonville Cemetery.

Pfc. Raver was killed on active duty May 17 in the vicinity of Quang Nam, Vietnam. He had enlisted In the Marine Corps in August, 1967 and arrived in Vietnam last February.

He was born in Columbus, Ohio, but spent most, of his life in Phoenix. He was a graduate of Phoenix Central School.
Surviving are his mother, Mrs. Margaret Thompson of 324 Ontario Ave., Lakeland; his father, Charles W. Raver of Columbus, Ohio, and a sister Miss Sandra Raver of Lakeland.

Calling hours will be 7 to 9 p.m. today and from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the funeral home.


During my search for PFC Ravers' grave site, the loss and subsequent replacement of his Marker came to my attention.

Ann Foley located the following article:

(Published in the POST-STANDARD Sunday, November 9, 2003)

Restored marker symbol of shining devotion

This is a story about veterans looking after veterans at the eve of Veterans Day. That's why I'm standing in Jacksonville Cemetery the other day, at the northwest corner of Onondaga County, with Burt Sterlings, a very persistent citizen of Smokey Hollow Road. Burt's a Marine Corps veteran. We'd guess that from his buzz cut and the red and gold Marine Corps League jacket. The lines of his face suggest a wise man with a big heart, which Burt is. He did four years with the Marines during the Korean War and after, 1952-56. He was a sergeant with an air wing.

We stand there in the old rural burying ground, under gray clouds and tall evergreens that brush the ground, and look down at a burnished bronze tablet that shines pretty good at the moment. We're at the place where they buried Marine Pfc. Charles David Raver 35 years ago last summer. Charles was but 18 when he was killed during a Vietnam combat mission in May 1968. Charles graduated from Phoenix High School the year before.

"Imagine,"' Burt Stortings is saying. "They found this marker in a garage sale." Imagine.... Burt got the marker set in the ground where it ought to be in a little more than two weeks. He's got quite a story to tell. "I ran myself ragged," he says. "And I'm not done yet"

Here's what happened, according to him: Fred Stevens, an Army vet who lives in Red Creek, went by a garage sale in Fair Haven last month. That's where he saw Charles Raver's tablet for sale. "I guess he left and then had second thoughts and went back and bought it," Burt explains. Fred gave the marker to Joe Wilber, past commandant of the Merton Kemp Post 650 of the Marine Corps League in Fulton. Burt's a member there. "Joe checked the Vietnam Memorial Web site. He found Charles Raver's name on the monument. It said he was from Phoenix."' Phoenix's just over the Oswego County line, about five miles from the hamlet of Jacksonville, which is between Little Utica and Lysander. Joe gave the marker to Burt, who works part time at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery in Clay. He's familiar with veterans' tablets; a kin may order them free from the government. His first call was to Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington. "All they could tell me was to ship it back," Bun reports with a shrug. "My goal was to put it where it belonged.'"

Burt's next call was to the Onondaga County Veterans Service Agency. Sure enough, they had a file on Pfc. Raver. It consists of an information sheet filed by his mother in 1975 and a newspaper story about his death in 1968. The story said Charles had been born in Columbus, Ohio, and was a 1967 graduate at Phoenix. He was survived by his mother, Margaret, and a sister, Saundra. Services would be at Our Lady of Peace Church in Lakeland, where his mother lived. Burt checked with-the church- Records showed Charles was buried at Jacksonville. When he spoke to Don Williamson, the Jacksonville sexton, he learned there didn't seem to be anyone named Raver in the cemetery. More research found him, in the Thompson family lot buried next to Robert Thompson who died in 1967 at the age of 29. The 1975 record at the county service agency listed Charles' mother's name as Margaret B. Thompson, of Ontario Avenue. At the cemetery, Burt showed me how the name "Margaret" had been sanded off the Thompson monument and her son's carved over it.

There was another interesting connection in the 1968 article when the Army announced the deaths of "two Syracusans" in Vietnam. One was Charles Raver. The other was Army Pfc. William Thompson, of West Castle Street. William's name is also on the Vietnam Memorial, as well as Onondaga County's Honor Roll of soldiers killed in action. Burt wanted to contact Charles Raver's family but he's come up empty. "I want them to know what I did and make sure it's OK," he says. He can't explain how the marker got to the garage sale and not the cemetery. Charles "Pappy" Patchin at the service agency says the Marine Corps routinely sends a tablet to the family when someone is killed in action. They're usually delivered to a funeral home or to the cemetery. Burt tried John C. Birdiebough High School, the former Phoenix High School. Did anyone recall Charles Raver? He found his pictures in yearbooks, along with his sister's. Saundra Raver graduated in 1966. "I talked to some of his classmates but they didn't know much," Burt explains. "One said he thought the Ravers lived in Pennellville." Once Burt had the grave in sight, he went ahead with his plan. He polished the marker and gave it a coat of preservative before pouring a concrete base and securing it in the ground next to the Thompson stone. "Then I got a flag and a war veteran's flag holder for the kid," he says. Charles is buried a few yards from the grave of another Central New York man killed in Vietnam: Cpl. Jesse G. Eastman, who died in 1966. Ask Burt why he's doing this, and he looks the way he would at a private asking to be put on KP. "He's a Marine." he says.

One more thing: When Burt cleaned the tablet, he found stains and discoloration. Spots on the underside looked like grease left from a hamburger. "I think it was once used as a grill," he says.

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  • Created by: Victor Vilionis
  • Added: 16 May 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 69911985
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Charles David Raver (10 Jul 1949–17 May 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 69911985, citing Jacksonville Rural Cemetery, Lysander, Onondaga County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Victor Vilionis (contributor 47207612) .