Dennis J. Reardon
and His Mother, Mary
Honored by Cohasset, Ma.

The Patriot Ledger
Monday, November 12, 2001
By L. E. Campenella

Monument Honors Mothers of War Dead

Yesterday  was a day for  the veterans,  but also  for  the  mothers.  More than  550 people  honored the  mothers of  22 Cohasset men  who died in America's wars of the 20th century.

"This is a  symbol of  collective  loss of Cohasset,"  said  Jane McCarthy- White, a Vietnam War veteran and  Cohasset resident,  at  the dedication of  the Cohasset's Gold Star  Mothers Memorial  at Woodside  Cemetery.

"They know best  the high price of freedom  in this country."  McCarthy- White said.   "It was beautiful,"  Helen McCormick,  57, said of the cere- mony  at  the  newly  refurbished  and  enlarged  cemetery.   "It  is  really difficult as a parent when you lose a child."   Glenn Oratt,  a veteran and chairman of  the cemetery committee,  said the  memorial is  in honor  to both  the men  who gave their lives to their country and to their mothers. We can't do enough to remember their sacrifice," Oratt said.

The memorial  has an eight foot high center stone  that reads:  "May  the inspiration  found  here allow us to reflect on  the  lost dreams of  mother and son."  To each side of  the center stone are 11 smaller monuments  in a crescent shape,  with the name of each mother and  the son who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

As each name was read, a friend or family member put a rose on the indi- viduals stone.

Cover of the Dedication Book

Wayne Harrington's Dedication Remarks of the
Dennis Joseph Reardon Memorial Stone

First Lieutenant  Dennis Joseph Reardon  grew  up  here  in Cohasset.   He lived three houses down from  this spot at 84 Elm Street.  He attended  the Old Ripley Road School,  The Deer Hill School,  and graduated from Coh- asset High School.

While at Cohasset High School he was selected Co-Captain of  the football team,  as well as  Co-Captain of  the  Mayshore League team.  His coaches and  the football  writers of  the  Quincy Patriot Ledger chose him  to be a member of the Patriot Ledger All Scholastic Team.

In 1963 he  graduated  from  Cohasset High School,  and  went  to  Boston College.  Majoring  in finance,  he was a member of  Delta Sigma Pi frater- nity  and  graduated  in  June of 1967  with a  Bachelor of  Science  degree. Upon  graduating,  Dennis  volunteered  for  service  in  the  United  States Marine  Corps.  He was commissioned  a Second Lieutenant on November 1st, 1967.

He  attended  flight  school at  the  Naval Air Station,  Pensacola,  Florida, earning his wings as a naval aviator on  April 25th, 1969.  In  September of '69,  Dennis  received  orders  assigning  him  to  HMM-364,   a  helicopter squadron located at Marble Mountain, in Vietnam.

On  November  29th, 1969,  Dennis' mission  was to evacuate  combat  cas- ualties  from a location  in the  Que San Mountains,  twenty miles south of DaNang.   While Co-Pilot  during this  medevac  mission,  his  CH-46 heli- copter exploded  in flight, killing Dennis (age 24) and his entire flight crew. For his heroism  in Vietnam,  Dennis was  awarded the  Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V",  the Air Medal  with Numeral 7,  the Purple Heart,  and the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal.

On  December  8th,  1969,  Lieutenant  Colonel  C. R.  Dunbaugh, Dennis' Commanding Officer, wrote to his parents, Mary and Norbert, and his five brothers  and  sisters,  informing  them  of  his  death.    He wrote,   "Even though  Dennis  had  been  with  this squadron  for a short period of time,  he quickly made friends and  leaves us with  lasting memories.  He was  ex- tremely  conscientious  and  devoted to his duties  and immediately gained respect of his fellow Marines.  We will  miss him a great deal and hope that you will find some comfort in knowing this."

Today,  Cohasset  remembers  and  honors  Dennis  Reardon.   Most of  us here  knew  him,  his quick smile,  his  irrepressible  sense  of  humor.   We might  have known him as  "The Duck".   We might  have seen  him at the Cove  or  riding  his  motorcycle up  Jerusalem Road.   For  this  memorial stands to remind all of us that the little boy who lived on  this street,  play- ed football at the high school field, swam at Sandy Beach, was an alter boy at St. Anthony's Church . . . this boy,  gave his life for his town and for his country.  This memorial seeks to keep his spirit here . . . and  forever  with us.

One of the eleven stones representing Cohasset's loss.

Dennis Reardon's photo in the dedication book.

Dennis Reardon's History Index

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