Skip to comments.Ronald R. Van Stockum turns 104 today (some positive news)
Posted on 07/08/2020 9:07:27 AM PDT by Borges
A veteran of Bougainville and Guam campaigns, Brigadier General Van Stockum is most noted for his service as director, Marine Corps Reserve and later as commanding general, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (Forward) on Okinawa during the Vietnam War.
Happy birthday, sir, and Semper Fi!
He was 28-29 as a BG!
I hope this man hasnt turned on the news recently to see whats happened to the country for which he put his life on the line.
His mother lived to the age of 110. Good genes there!
A salute to a life being well lived! General Van Stockum has a far more interesting life than this brief squib relates. Born in England, his birth father, Royal Army Sergeant Reginald George Bareham, died 6 days before his birth at the Battle of the Somme. His widowed mother, Florence, became an ambulance driver for the RAF where she met a Dutch-born American Army Sergeant, Antonius Wilhemus Van Stockum, just before the war’s end. By 1920, she married him and Ronald was adopted, settling in Washington State.
Ronald graduated from University of Washington and their ROTC program in 1937, joining the Marines as a 2nd Lieutenant. He earned his first battle ribbon commanding a Marine Fleet Detachment aboard the USS Wasp when it twice went deep into the Mediterranean to ferry Spitfires to Malta in 1942.
Transferred to land duty, he participated in the post-Guadalcanal Marine actions of Bougainville and Guam, earning a combat Bronze Star, exiting the war as a Lieutenant Colonel. Post war, he was active duty but working with the various components of the Marine Reserves and later in various other areas. He retired in 1969 with the active rank of Brigadier General, choosing Kentucky for his retirement.
He has authored several books including one about the birth father he never got to meet; My Father: British Sergeant Reginald G. Bareham (18941916) and The Battle of the Somme.
Think this is an error, he was frocked BG in 1962 which made him about 36 at the time.
Semper Fi and a big Marine Corps Happy Birthday sir!
Happy Birthday wishes from an Army vet.
Even so, I wonder how many high ranking WWII officers are still alive?
Id guess not more than a handful.
From one old Marine to another: Happy Birthday!... Semper Fi!...
IMHO, it should be pointed out that this statement is nonsense...
He was in the amphibious assaults and battles taking both Bougainville and Guam... That is far more note worthy...
VA Statistics show that TOTAL US Veterans is around 300k, a drop of 600k+ since 2015. Given that Officers, except for aviation, tended to be older and fewer than the rest, I'd say that there are very few remaining that ended the War at O-5 or above (Lt.Col. / CDR). My late father was an Army Major at the end and was only a year younger than Van Stockum and he passed at age 95 seven years ago.
One thing of note although probably not applicable to Officers, WW2 was the last conflict with a significant number underage GIs. My Dad had troops as young as 16 in Europe and sent home a couple who were younger. Still, after a single day of combat, they earned a CIB (Combat Infantry Badge) and would have Veteran Status (unless stripped).
The youngest documented, that I know of, was a Texas Seaman named Calvin Graham on the USS South Dakota at age 12 in 1942. When the Navy learned of his age, he was in the brig for 3 months, dishonorably discharged and stripped of his Purple Heart and Bronze Star. The Bronze Star was restored to him under President Carter, his disability benefits were restored by Reagan and his family got his Purple Heart 2 years after his death in 1992. If he were still living, he would be just breaking 90.
Cannot agree more!
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