MICHAEL J LAWRENCE

MICHAEL J LAWRENCE - PFC

  • HOMETOWN:
  • maplewood
  • COUNTY:
  • Essex
  • DATE OF BIRTH:
  • January 08, 1950
  • DATE OF CASUALTY:
  • August 25, 1969
  • BRANCH OF SERVICE:
  • Marines
  • RANK:
  • PFC
  • STATUS:
  • KIA
  • COUNTRY:
  • South Vietnam

Biography


Michael James Lawrence was born January 8, 1950. His home of record is Maplewood, NJ. He had one brother, Francis. Michael attended Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School in South Orange, NJ, followed by St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, NJ. He graduated from Columbia High School in 1968. Michael wasn't sure if he wanted to become a doctor or a Maryknoll priest, but decided to get his military service behind him before planning his life

He enlisted in the US Marine Corps where he attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC).

On August 25, 1969, Lawrence was killed in action in South Vietnam when he was struck by small arms fire while on patrol near Da Nang. He was 19 years old. Michael's brother, Francis, a Specialist 4 in the US Army, was awaiting orders to ship out to Vietnam at the time of Michael's death. Francis had requested the assignment to replace his brother on the front line.

The day after being informed of Michael's death, the Lawrence Family received a letter from him, written just three days before he was killed.

In the letter, Mike says, "We're busy running sweeps through the hills. We move with all our gear for about four hours and then we sit on a hill for a couple of days." The letter also says, "We're on a truck going south. The name of this place is Mount Baldy. They got hit last night....I'm not sure if I'll leave here when Frank (brother) gets over or not. "
His mother told the newspaper that, "He was happy doing what he was doing. He wasn't bitter. He felt, I guess, the Marines were just about everything. And he felt the way we do about Communism. He wanted it stopped over there, away from home. And, that's where he died, over there. Away from home."

Michael is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery located in East Hanover, Morris County, NJ.

Source: Newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.

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