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Born on Sept. 17, 1945
Casualty was on July 22, 1966

Panel 9E - - Line 58

Dennis La Nore

LCpl. Dennis La Nore served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation HASTINGS in Quang Tri Province at the DMZ. Denny's name stands proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor alongside the Marines he fought and died with. Semper fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.

Operation HASTINGS

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Mike 3/5 2nd Platoon, taken in Okinawa. Denny is in the second row, second from the right.
(picture courtesy of Rick Golbeck, M/3/5)

M/3/5 Marines, Phillipines, late June or early July 1966
Left to right: Denny LaNore, William Mattson, T.P. Johnson, St. Clair ( also KIA) and Dennis Rudnicki

(picture courtesy of T. P. Johnson, M/3/5)

Never Forgotten, Denny

When I was in Washington DC, a few years back, I visited the 'Vietnam Veterans Wall' and found both Denny La Nore's name and Leonard St. Clair's name, as well as some others I knew. It had a profound effect on me, and I sat on a bench looking at the entire Wall for quite a while afterwards pondering the neverending mystery of why so many young men's lives have been lost through the ages because their country needed them, and they wished to serve their country honorably.

I also have given thanks many times over the years, and did on that day especially, for the many years of life I have been given since leaving Vietnam. Life and each day we have- it is truly a gift.

Dennis Rudnicki and Denny La Nore were two of my best buddies during my tour of duty. The three of us along with Leonard Saint Clair (who was killed by a sniper a few months later) were close and went through training and spent time on liberty together before leaving the States, and also while in Okinawa and the Phillipines. In fact, I still have a picture taken in a 'club' in the Phillipines of the four of us along with another buddy-Bill Mattson (pictured above).

I have never forgotten Denny La Nore. He was one of the finest young men I had ever met while serving. He was physically strong, as clean cut and fun loving as they come, and liked by everyone who knew him. His death during HASTINGS was a great loss to this world and all who had the good fortune to know him.

Tom (TP) Johnson

Dennis La Nore
(picture courtesy of Bev Bouchard)

In memory of Dennis La Nore…

I first met Dennis at Camp Pendleton, California when we joined Mike 3/5 1st Marines Division, Dec. 1965. I was a young fire team leader when Dennis was assigned to my fire team. At the start, we were Marines learning our jobs and our duty. We left Pendleton for Okinawa when I was still a fire team leader, but not a friend. As time went on, we stayed in Hawaii for two days before arriving at Okinawa. While in Okinawa we trained in jungle warfare and the harder it got, the more fun we had. After that we went to the Philippines for more training in monsoon weather. As a company, Dennis and I trained hard and serious for one year before going into combat in Vietnam.

We were in 2nd Plt. 3rd Battalion Mike 5th Marines Company and our first test in combat was June 18, 1966, Operation DECKHOUSE I, Song Cau district RVN. Our first task was listening post. Our fire team spent the night out from our company. For two young men doing our duty, we started to become friends. We were dirty Marines by the time the operation was over on June 27, 1966. The next operation that Dennis and I participated in a joint operation NATHAN HALE, Song Cau district RVN, took place on June 28, 1966. We were clean for this operation that lasted until July 2, 1966. We were becoming very good at what we did, outpost and ambushes, and sweep and destroys. After this operation we had a few days of relaxation and remembered the good times back home.

On July 16, 1966 Mike 3/5 flew in by helicopter on Operation DECKHOUSE II in Quang Tri Province RVN. This operation was sweep and destroys, and it only lasted until July 18, 1966. We were waiting for our transport out of there, expecting to go to the ship. When the copters arrived we loaded up and Dennis and I sat beside each other. While I was taking pictures of all the copters in the air, a call came in and we were told that we had to land in the hot LZ named Crow. We jumped out the copter with bullets flying all around our heads trying to find cover. That was the longest day of our lives fighting our way through North Vietnamese along a creek.

We teamed up later that evening, 2nd Plt. 3rd Battalion 5th Marines Mike company on a small hill. Dennis, Gordon Toal, and I were ordered out with an out post with Lance Cpl. Schroeder to watch and be sure that no other North Vietnamese would come and take the supplies of the deceased Vietnamese. There was a small peninsula in front of our position overlooking enemy bodies. Dennis and I could only dig a 2 ft. hole because the ground was so hard. It was a clear night and sometime around 10:30 Lance Cpl. Schroeder went out on the ridge kneeled down and prayed to Jesus. After he returned, I went and prayed for the survival of my fire team and me on that day. Dennis also prayed that night for everything that day.

The next three days our platoon and company swept the mountains, hills, and rivers. As time went on I wasn’t just a fire team leader, I was a trusted friend. The night of July 21, 1966, we were set on a hill where we had taken many bunkers. Dennis and I were sitting in our foxhole talking until midnight about a lot of things. Dennis had first watch. After 45 min. he woke me up and said he was freezing to death and couldn’t get warm, so I wrapped him up in my poncho and leaned him against my back and resumed his watch.

The next morning, July 22, Dennis was his old self, full of spirit and at ease with himself. To my surprise on this date I would lose a friend in a hard firefight. I went over by him as his body lies there, picked up his glasses, patted him on the chest and never saw him again. He meant more to me on that day than I can put into words. I will always remember the strength, discipline, and kindness of my friend Dennis La Nore. He will be etched in my memory.

In the memory of Dennis La Nore, I named my youngest son Dennis Tomas Ford. He shares so many of Denny’s traits. He is strong, muscled, and a great athlete with a kind heart and a giant smile. Later in life I found out that July 18, 1966 to July 30, 1966 this operation was named Operation HASTINGS against hostile forces in Quang Tri Province RVN along the DMZ.

In memory of my friend…
Sgt. Vernon Ford
(pictures of Denny La Nore's family courtesy of Bev Bouchard)

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I love you, my son

Honey, you were my first-born and a role model for your seven brothers and sisters. Even though the younger ones don't remember you that well, they do know you because we talk about you often, because we know you are still with us, in our minds, and in our spirits.

The Traveling Wall is in Muskegon today (06/24/00), and it is astonishing and sad. There are so many other names with yours. It is down at Mona Lake Park where you used to go swimming and skiing.You had such high values and you kept them until you went to live with the Lord. No matter how much you were teased, you still maintained those high values. I am so proud of you as I am all of my children.You were the best at everything you did. You won several medals for wrestling, a gold, a silver, and a bronze. You even taught me a few holds that I had to use on the other seven at times.

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You were the first one lost from Muskegon Catholic Central, and they designated a memorial for you in the Grand Hall. Your picture has been hanging there since. This was also to attribute the great sacrifice you gave for your country. It was also to remind all future students that freedom has a very high price.

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In the years after your passing, there were five other soldiers from Catholic Central added to that memorial. I feel you watching me at times and I think you're my Guardian Angel. You are probably the Guardian Angel for our entire family, and you must be very busy, as there are a lot of us to watch over. I know you are with Jesus and He has you in the palm of His hand. There is no better place to be Honey

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We used to laugh a lot and do silly things. We would have water fights and flood the house. What a mess it would be, but the fun was unforgettable.There is nothing better than a large family. Everyone is so close and we are still fun loving. I know you are there in spirit joining in on the fun. Our closeness is filled with love and laughter. I am so proud of every one of my children. The Lord has gotten our family through many tragedies and has been with us through everything and we have prevailed with his strength.

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I will always miss that beautiful smile, I will never ever forget you, and the closeness we had will always be there. So I will close for now, loving you as always, and waiting to join Jesus and you in a world so beautiful that we cannot even imagine. I can imagine that beautiful smile greeting me.

Yours forever, lots of love,
P.S. I am looking for Denny Rudnicki, a soldier in your troop that sent me a wonderful letter when you passed. I would like to thank him for his kind words and support.

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Top Row: Wayne, Judy, Bonnie, Gene, Debby
Bottom Row: Tom, Helen, Tammy (Tom and Tammy are twins)

Big Brother

Dearest Dennie,

Hi big brother, first how can I thank you for the greatest sacrifice of love - your life - so we can live free with our families and grand kids. There is no greater gift, you are our hero, we love you so! It's been so many years now, but it is like yesterday thinking back on our growing up years.

You, being the first born of eight, you were a great role model for the rest of us. There are so many GOOD memories, we could easily write a book. Some of the great stories we could tell, would be about:

The family circus' with acrobats and Tarzan swings.
The Baker Street/Sacred Heart games and friends.
The vacations to Grandma Tooties and Grandpa Virgil's
or to the Colletta's.
The family reunions in Ludington at the Jenson's farm,
and the Titabbawassy River trips.
The LaNore cottage on Twin Lakes, swimming, boating,
skiing, and the water fights at home.
A 3-Bedroom home with 10 people and tons of friends
sharing everything.


I married my high school sweetheart Chuck Schalk, and I sure wish our children: Rebecca (Becky) and Jason (Jake) could have known their Uncle Denny. They would love your humble and lovable spirit, and I know you would love them too.

Jason reminds me so much of you! We have grandchildren now, Jacob and Mackenzie; they are five and two and a half. They are beautiful and a joy in every way. Becky married Chris Lund; you'd love him too.

I know you and Dad are together with our Grand Parents and our Heavenly Father. Someday we will have the biggest family reunion of all. I know God has appointed you as one of our Guardian Angels, we feel your presence with us always. We sure miss you and your beautiful smile. But by eternities timing, we shall see you soon.

All my love and always in my heart and thoughts.

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Your Sis,

My Hero...my Brother

Denny, my memories of you are so few. I wish that I had more time with you. I was only 6 when you left us. How could I have known you would become a hero for so many, you were always my hero. I will never forget how you came to my rescue when I sliced my foot open and couldn't walk. The pain....the blood.......I wish my blood shed would have been the end of it. I cannot immage how horrific things must have been.....maybe it's best. I hope that you are as proud of me as I am of you.

I have tried to follow in your footsteps and be the best that I can. There was so much more you could have taught me. I am grateful to have known you for the time we did have. Until I see you again big brother, take care of the rest of our loved ones with you....Dad and our Grand Parents....and Ashley. I know this has been your new task along with being our guardian angel.

You would be so proud of Mom, how she has been the foundation for our family. How she has been both Mother and Father. The Lord has helped us through the many tragedies our family has seen by giving her tremendous strength and courage. I know where you got it from.

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I love you and miss you terribly

God Love You, Denny

Denny, your spirit has always remained withen my heart and soul. We miss you terrible and look forward to seeing you again with Our Heavenly Father above. Denny, bless you for watching over Dave and bringing him home to me. You came to me, in a dream, to tell me that Dave would be okay and I shall never forget your spiritual visit. Your smiling face and heavenly embrace comforted me. God Love You Denny, we shall never, never forget you. A part of you lives in all of us who loved you and were blessed to be a part of you life.


Love Forever,
Beverly Bouchard

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Bev and Judy La Nore


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