Casper Reunion 2013 Wreath Laying Ceremony & Memorial Service




The "OLD GUARD" prepares for the Casper Aviation Platoon Wreath Laying Ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

Arlington National Cemetery

Washington, D.C. | June 23, 2013

Casper Platoon Wreath Laying Ceremony

On Sunday morning, more than 100 Caspers, family members, and friends met at Arlington National Cemetery to attend the Casper Platoon Wreath Laying Ceremony.  This was an opportunity for us to honor our 12 Casper Platoon crew members who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Vietnam.  They were: Douglas Lee Jones, Carl Fredrick Louvring, Terry Dean Finch, Donny Ramon Kidd, Richard Wade Joles, Richard Driggs Le May, Larry Dean Smith, William John Bassignani, Rigoberto Gomez-Diaz, Richard Bruce Canning, Eric Peter Busch and John Nelson Crawford.

Those participating in the laying of the wreath were: Ned Costa, Donny Kidd, Jr., Martha Beasley and Nan Williamson.

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Ned Costa & Don Bachali waiting to board our bus

Terry Lee & Bethanne Parker

Richard Hathcock & Chuck Merkel

Randy & Susan Plese

Patricia King, Phyliss Kahlia, Kitty Costa & Marylin Jones

Sal Sosa

Buddy King

Loretta & Reverend Henry Tucker and Pastor Jim Hutchens

Our bus arrives at Arlington National Cemetery

As we got of the bus it started to rain

Caspers, family & friends arrive at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

An hour before the ceremony

Instructions are given to ceremony participates

More Caspers

More Caspers

More Caspers

Ceremony begins

The Casper Aviation Platoon Wreath

Ceremony participates are escourted outside

The OLD GUARD prepares for our Wreath Laying Ceremony

Detail brings the wreath to the front of the tomb

Participates ready to receive wreath

Donny Kidd,Jr. & Ned Costa receives the wreath from our host

Donny Kidd, Jr. & Ned Costa set the wreath on the easel in front of the Tomb

Bugler plays "Taps" at The Tomb of the Unknowns

Ned Costa, Donny Kidd, Jr., Martha Beasley & Nan Williamson rendering salute or hand over heart

Other Caspers, family & friends also show their respect

More caspers

Ceremony participates finish the wreath laying ceremony

Caspers leaving The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers


Casper Platoon Memorial Service

Following the Wreath Laying Ceremony, many of the Caspers, family members, and friends visited the grave sites in Arlington National Cemetery of former Casper crew members Rod Beasley and Richard "Dirke" Le May.  

Reverend Henry "Sonny" Tucker led the memorial service that was followed by a moment of reflection and the reading of our fallen Caspers names.  An Old Guard bugler played "taps" and Pastor Jim Hutchens gave the benediction that ended the memorial service.

This solemn time together gave our group an opportunity to pay formal respects to the 12 Casper Platoon service members who were killed in action and the nearly 90 other Caspers who died after their tour. 


Richard Le May was killed in action during his second tour in the Republic of Vietnam.

Rod Beasley died after his tour in the Republic of Vietnam.

Henry Tucker was the Company Commander of C Co, 1/503 during Operation Hump from November 5-9, 1965.  His Company was attacked by a force in superior numbers on November 8, 1965 on Hill 65 in the Iron Triangle.

Pastor Jim Hutchens was the Battalion Chaplain during that same time and was actually wounded by a 30 caliber bullet in the leg when he rescued a wounded soldier whose life he was credited for saving.

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Memorial service begins led ny Reverend Henry Tucker

Caspers, families & friends

More Caspers

Caspers Buddy King & Chuck Merkel reads KIA names

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More Caspers

Bugler from the Old Guard


Ice Breaker Party | U.S. Capitol | Riverboat Cruise | Wreath Laying & Memorial | Men's Luncheon | Ladies Luncheon | Banquet Dinner


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This site was last updated 07/08/13