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Request from Son for information about Father, re: Ralph Bell

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  • Request from Son for information about Father, re: Ralph Bell

    From Ralph Bell:

    I was wondering if you could please post the message below to your forum for the HMM-363. I'm trying to see if anyone has any memories of my father, Ralph Bell.


    I'm trying to see if anyone has any memories of my Father, Staff Sgt Ralph Bell.
    Ralph Bell was in the HMM-363 on two separate occasions:

    1) The first time was from Dec 1962 to June 1964, Santa Ana, Calif., MOS Code 6481 (Hcptr Mech)

    2) The second time was in Vietnam, from Dec 1967 to July 1968.
    He had two MOS Codes while in the HMM-363 in Vietnam: MOS Code 6332 (A/C RecipEngMech) and then in Feb 1968 he had MOS Code 8421 (Career Adviser).

    I never got to know the man he was the first half of his life, and would love to hear even the smallest recollections anyone may have of him, good or bad. If you have any memories of him at all, (Contact me, Brook Stevenson, for Ralph Jr.'s email)

    One question you could answer is, what does that MOS Code change from 6332 to 8421 mean? Did he not serve as a Crew Chief anymore? Was he just behind a desk? Or did he do both jobs at the same time?

    Thank you for you help!

    -Ralph Bell Jr

    Brook Stevenson
    9/'67 - 10/'68

  • #2
    Re: Request from Son for information about Father, re: Ralph Bell

    Additional Information:

    Full name: William Ralph Bell
    Rank when he left the Marines: Staff Sgt E-6
    Date he passed away: Feb 1st, 2006

    He was in the Marines for 14 years (1954-1968). Here's a list of the squadrons he was in:
    MAD, NATTC, Jacksonville, Fl (1954-1955), MOS Code 6400 "A/C Engine Mech"
    VMA-332, MAG-31, 3dMAW (1955-1958), MOS Code 6413 "Plane Capt"
    HMR(M)-462, Mag-36, 3dMAW (1958-1959), MOS Code 6481 "Helicopter Mechanic"
    HMR(L)-163, MAG-36, 3dMAW (1959-1961), MOS Code 6481 "Helicopter Mechanic",
    HMR(L)-162, MAG-16, 1st MAW (1961) MOS Code 6481 "Helicopter Mechanic", Crew Chief
    HMM-361 MAG-36 3D MAW AIRFMFPAC (1961-1962), MOS Code 6481 "Helicopter Mechanic", Crew Chief
    HMM-363 MAG-36 3dMAW (1962-1964), MOS Code 6481 with Proficiency Pay, "Helicopter Mechanic", Crew Chief
    Marine Recruiter (1964-1967), MOS Code 8411 - Recruiter
    HMM-363, MAG-36,1stMAW, FMFPac (1967-1968), Vietnam, MOS Code 6332 "A/CRecipEngMech", MOS Code 8421 "Career Advisor"

    He arrived in Danang, RVN on 12/11/1967. He left Vietnam on 07/19/1968. He was in HMM-363 the whole time he was there.

    My Dad never talked to me about Vietnam, but he told a few things to my Mom. She said he mentioned Marble Mountain and the USS Iwo Jima. I actually have a copy of one of his course manuals "HELICOPTER COMPONENTS AND HANDLING 64.2B1", which according to his records he took a few months before coming to Vietnam. She said he mentioned two incidents in Vietnam that really disturbed him. One was something about the Viet Cong sending a little kid holding a live hand grenade into either an Officer's Mess, or a restroom. The other incident was the death of his Commanding Officer, which after reading about HMM-363's history I am pretty sure he was referring to Lt Col Allgood. She said the incident with his Commanding Officer especially seemed to have really shaken him up a lot.

    I've included two pictures of him. One is from the deck of the USS BENNINGTON CVS-20 in 1961. The other is probably from 64-67.

    Thanks for everything!
    Attached Files

    Brook Stevenson
    9/'67 - 10/'68


    • #3
      Re: Request from Son for information about Father, re: Ralph Bell

      Additional information that might help some folks' memory: from Ralph Bell Jr.

      I had a quick question for you.

      Today I got some Unit Diaries from the Marine Corp for when my Dad was in Vietnam. Not much info in there, only 5 pages... him arriving, the HMM-363 being redesignated three times, and then him leaving. But I did notice that on the day he left, 07/19/1968, that one of the other members on your website list was headed out with him.

      It says:
      Bell, William R SSgt 6332/8411/0000 "680719 Drop tr to CO nearest MarCorAct CONUS (MCC W99) for dis Auth CO MAG-36 1STMAW Order 7:RKS:rmh 1300/1 dtd 680704 EDA 860724"

      Then right underneath his entry it says:
      Lancaster, Robert M 1stLT 7561/0000/0000 "680719 Drop tr to CO nearest MarCorAct CONUS (MCC W99) FFT to CG 3dMAW MCAS El Toro (MCC 143) for DIFOT Auth MCSO 42-68 & WSO 356-68 Auth 20 days del EDA 680813"

      So according to these records 1stLT Lancaster was headed all the way back to El Toro, Calif and that's also where my Dad was headed that day. I noticed that Robert Lancaster was on your site member list with the email address (deleted for privacy)

      So my question is, do you think it would be appropriate for me to email Mr Lancaster directly and see if he may recollect my father at all from his time in Vietnam?

      Some other people that traveled that day were also Jerry Calame, Allen Davis, Joseph Roth, and Joseph Sacharko... but only Bell, Lancaster, and Sacharko were leaving Vietnam.

      Thanks for your help!
      -Ralph Bell Jr
      If anyone can assist Ralph Bell Jr, it would be a very nice thing to do. I have forwarded emails that I have for those listed that I have info on and told him that Joseph Sacharko passed September 23 1989.

      Brook Stevenson
      9/'67 - 10/'68


      • #4
        Re: Request from Son for information about Father, re: Ralph Bell

        From Ralph Bell's son:

        He has built a page on Together We Served and if you have any memories of his father he would like you to let him know. You can find the tribute page here:



        Brook Stevenson
        9/'67 - 10/'68