Thursday, June 12, 2008

John Noel McCarthy, KIA 12-June-71


3112702 L/CPL 3 CAV REGT.

It is 37 years since my only brother, John, was killed in action, age 26, just 3 weeks short of finishing his second tour of duty in Vietnam.

I am particularly grateful to have found the following excerpt in Armour, Issue 446 (May 2006) (Journal of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Assn. - NSW Branch):

I still grieve the loss of my brother in my life and that of our family. But the stories and memories of his wicked sense of humour live on, and it is a great joy that his name is carried on via our grandson, John McCarthy Ross.

I hope he never goes to war...


Alice said...

How precious is every little memento. Although you keep him alive in your memories, just seeing his name written by someone else, seems to 'validate' him in another sense.

I'm so glad you found that article. I notice that you both have a similar name. Is there a story behind that?

Noella said...

So true, Alice! There is no longer any family who knew John with whom I can exchange memories or share his anniversaries.

Mum always loved the name Noel. I was going to be named 'Janette' but a copy-cat neighbour pipped the post by having her baby 3 weeks prematurely and pinched Mum's chosen name. Mum then made up 'Noella' - and I am very happy with my name.

Kerri said...

How sad to lose a life, so young. I can't even imagine the pain your family suffered.
That was the year my husband (Ross) came home from Vietnam. I remember how afraid I was until he was safely out of danger.
I'm glad you found the article to add to your mememtos.
How wonderful that your grandson carries his name.
Thanks for visiting and saying hello, Noella. It's always such a pleasure to hear from an Aussie! :)

Noella said...

Thank you Kerri, and Alice, for your kind comments - they are precious to me too.

I am glad your husband returned safely from Vietnam, Kerri. It is our grandson's 1st Birthday on 21st June.

Amanda & Will said...

As one of his "two" children I was upset to read that you say "there is no longer any family who knew John" with whom you can share stories/memories. Noella, my mother/his wife (whom we all know he absolutely adored)an dhis good friend Andrew who loved him, would have been more than willing to exchange stories and share their memories but no one ever made contact with them when they could. John lives on in our hearts from reading the letters & stories Mum has shared with both of us, his son & daughter and from the stories his best friend Andrew/his friend and our adored step father, shared with us before his passing.
May they all Rest in Peace, Mum, Andrew & John. I know that they are all together remembering the good times they shared in this life and each are proud of the wonderful legacy of family they together left.

Noella said...

Dear Amanda, I am so glad you left this beautiful message in the Comments, as this was something I have longed for, to make contact with you again. I am shocked and saddened to hear your dear Mum has died. She and I were best friends throughout our school days. She was a wonderful friend. We loved her, and your dear step-Dad, Andrew (Andy as we called him), a faithful and wonderful man. Did you know your Mum, John, Andy, Graham and I used to 'hang out' together through our teen years and were close mates?

In April 1992 we met with your Mum & Andrew who welcomed us to their home. We also reunited with your brothers (and wife) and shared memories. I understand you were in Sydney at the time. We exchanged Christmas cards and letters till a few years later, when in Melbourne, my Mum & Dad met your Mum briefly after Andrew had died. Since then all cards and letters have been returned "return to sender, address unknown", and searching for possible phone nos. and new addresses (short of seeking records from the electoral poll) had failed.

I have nothing but loving memories and goodwill to you all, my family, and, yes, what a wonderful legacy of family they have left behind.

There is so much more to share - I would dearly love to be reunited with all of you. I do hope you would want this too, will return to this site to read this and please e-mail me: "".

Noella said...

P.S. Amanda, I don't know how to contact you or I would, so I am hoping you will when you are ready.

Love, Noella

3rar1971 said...

Noella, the Government is looking for a photo of John for a memorial in Washington. Details at the link below

I would love to see a photo of John, that I could share on our Vietnam Vets page
I served in 3 RAR during that time and was up in the border region during Operation Overlord