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CPL. LEONARD RAY SAINT CLAIR
Born on July 8, 1946
From BEAUMONT, TEXAS
Casualty was on Feb. 26, 1967
in QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
GUN, SMALL ARMS FIRE
Panel 15E - - Line 101
Leonard Saint Clair (far right) with Carl Matlock (M/3/5)
(picture courtesy of Vernon Ford, M/3/5)
Cpl. Leonard Ray Saint Clair served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company. His 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.
Cpl. Leonard Ray St. Clair
(picture courtesy of JD Murray, M/3/5)
The above photo was taken Aug. '66 on Hill 49 outside Chu Lai. Cpl. St. Clair is standing near his bunker holding a mess tray with a hole delivered by a sniper. He was one fine individual, and is missed by all who knew him. I think of him often. JD
Mike 3/5 2nd Platoon, taken in Okinawa
Leonard Saint Clair is in the 2nd row from the bottom, sixth from the left
(Picture courtesy of Rick Golbeck)
News clipping of Mr. and Mrs. St. Clair receiving Leonard's medals, posthumously
(courtesy of Dennis Rudnicki)
Best FriendSaint was my best friend. We used to sit up at night and sing songs. Saint loving Country and me, Rock 'n Roll. I couldn't sing well at all, but no one would care. We would just go back and forth. After a while Saint had me singing Country! Semper Fi, Dennis Rudnicki
M/3/5 Marines, Phillipines, late June or early July 1966
From Left: Denny LaNore, William Mattson, T.P. Johnson, Leonard Saint Clair, Dennis Rudnicki
(picture courtesy of Rick Golbeck, M/3/5)
Leonard St. Clair (2nd from right) and M/3/5 Marines
(picture courtesy of Vernon Ford)
A True Warrior
While with Mike 3/5 2nd Plt. Lt. Murray Co...Cpl. St Clair was a ruff and True Warrior in many operations...DECKHOUSE I, Song Cau District; NATHAN HALE, Song Cau District; DECKHOUSE II, Quang Tri Province; HASTINGS, Quang Tri Province; COLORADO, Quang Tri Province; JACKSON, Quang Ngai Province; MUSTANG, Quang Ly Tri Province; EL CORTEZ, Tien Phouoc Province; SPOIL l, Quang Ngai Province.
The last battle Saint Clair was in before he left his buddies and friends and family was Operation DESOTO in Quang Ngai Province, started 1 Feb. ended 9 Feb. 1967. On that hot day, Cpl. Leonard Ray Saint Clair took a leave from his plt. and squad. What he left in all of Mike Company and 2nd Plt. was that if we stop and think for a short time, we would all think of our friend and buddy with that great smile he had always when you seen him. Cpl. Saint Clair ............................
Vernon Ford, USMC
M Co. 3/5 1966-67
Remembering Leonard St. Clair
Leonard was one of my best buds in those days. We went through boot camp together as well as ITR and ended up in M, 3/5. He was from Beaumont, Texas, and very proud to be a Texan. As much as I listened to the likes of the Beatles and The Beach Boys, Leonard had a passion for country and western music. I can remember him talking with reverence about Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Marty Robbins and above all - Ernest Tubb. He also had a very high regard for the opposite sex. While the rest of us were out on liberty drinking beer, Leonard was charming some young lady. Leonard knew how to enjoy his life, but was serious and no nonsense about the business of being a good Marine.
Some time after Hastings, I am guessing in August or September - many of us were transferred out to other units. (I wondered years later how it was determined who would go and who would stay). Many of us including myself and St. Clair were transferred to Mike 3/1.
Both of us volunteered to join a new 'CAC' unit (later known as CAP). Leonard had 'squad leader qualities,' and since our unit of 11 Marines and a corpsman already had two NCO's, he later transferred back to 3/1 to take over a squad. I am again guessing that this was sometime in late Nov. or possibly Dec. of 66 as I have a picture of our CAC unit taken with a cake on the Marine Corps birthday.
The attached photo shows our CAC unit with Leonard center front and me on his left (Right in the
Marine Corps Birthday November 10, 1966
Left to right (top): Meek, Brumfield, Cpl. Koury (Squad leader), Steve Fautsch
(Steve had been with India Company, 3/5), White, Doc Stockton
Left to right (front): Stone, Leonard St. Clair, TP Johnson
I got the news the same day or the day after of his being killed in action while on patrol, he was hit by a sniper. A few days later, I hitched a ride into DaNang to look up another close bud of Leonard's - Dennis Rudnicki, who was serving then as part of a guard unit, to commiserate with him the news of our fallen friend. I also later composed a letter to his folks to share with them my thoughts and feelings about their son.~ Semper Fi, TP
Leonard was a classmate of mine at South Park High School. He was a fine young man and would have had a fine future if his life hadn't been cut short. God bless and keep you.~ Lois Burrows Acker
Sent in by David Alluisi, 3 Mar. 2005
Cpl. Leonard R. St. Clair
I am a 26 year-old comic book fan from Virginia who stumbled upon your site this evening and was struck with the urge to connect. A group called Topics Entertainment has put out a CD-ROM collection of 500 Amazing Spider-man comics. There were a lot of letters from men in the service in those old comics. I've seen them a million times before and am sad to say I never thought too much about them... until today.
I was reading the letters page of Spider-Man #50, and came across a letter sent in from one Cpl. Leonard R. St. Clair. St. Clair is my fiance's last name, so curiosity got the better of me this time... I did a google search, and came across the memorial page for Cpl. St. Clair. Seeing so many pictures and thoughts about Cpl. St. Clair truly touched me, especially after noticing that his letter was printed in the July '67 issue of Spider-man; although the cover date is usually two or three months ahead of its actual date of publication, it's likely that the comic book hit the stands no earlier than March 1967, a scant few weeks, tragically, after Cpl. St. Clair was killed in combat.
I had to wonder whether Cpl. St. Clair's friends and loved ones ever knew about this little piece of their departed friend, and so I thought I'd pass it along to you for your site in the wild hopes that it might provide some little extra shred of comfort to someone. Having lost loved ones myself before, I know that any reminder or remembrance can mean worlds, and I hope that I'm not overstepping any boundaries or causing offense by presenting you with this letter today. Peace to you and yours, and I'll let Cpl. St. Clair finish out this note for himself.
With sincerest regards,
David Alluisi, Waynesboro, VA
Dear Stan and John,
I thought I had left comic books somewhere in my past, but once again, I find myself reading them. It would surpise (shock!) many people back in the states to learn that so many service men read them. Especially the Marvel Comics Group which is sold in every P.X. I've been in over here. And it always makes us mad to miss an issue! We don't have much time for reading here in Viet Nam although we usually are able to squeeze in enough time to read your Marvels. Spider-Man is, by far, my favorite, although all of your super-heroes are really something. We sure could use them over here, but I guess we'll just have to rely on our own "talents". It may be a coincidence, but we think of ourselves as "junior super-heroes". If you get a chance, send one over here to give us a hand! But, to be serious for a second, thanks a lot for providing a lot of us with some good action-packed reading material. We really enjoy your series. They, like letters from home, help take our minds out of Viet Nam for a while.
Cpl. Leonard R. St. Clair, 2164081 USMC, "I" Co.
3rd Bn., 1st Mar. Div.
FPO, San Francisco, Cal. 96602
STAN LEE'S RESPONSE:
In that case, Len, even if they serve no other purpose, we'll still keep turning 'em out to the best of our agonizin' ability! Unfortunately, we can't actually send any of our costumed characters to the field of battle, but we can always do the next best thing -- so watch for the first ish of the complimentary subscription which we're winging your way, with our sincerest best wishes to you and your battle-honed buddies. May you all successfully and safely complete your tour of duty, and soon be able to latch onto your favorite mags merely by walking to the corner newsstand.
Follow-up to Cpl. St. Clair's letter:
This letter appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #53. It's the last letter in the two-page spread, and begins with a note from the editor (Stan Lee): "NOTE: We recently received a letter which affected all of us very deeply. We are printing it, in its entirety, with no comment--save one--"
Since all of us in the headquarters section of India Company are Spider-Man fans, we regret to inform you that Corporal St. Clair, whose letter will be printed in SPIDER-MAN #50, was killed in action on 28 February, 1967. He was a squad leader in our 3rd Platoon when his patrol was ambushed southwest of Da Nang. Your comic SPIDER-MAN is the most sought after piece of literature and art work in this company. Keep up the good work; you're a real morale booster.
India Company 3/1 3rd Bn., 1st Mar.
1st Marine Div. (REIN) FMF, FPO,
San Francisco, Cal. 96602
Comments from Stan Lee:
"God rest you, soldier. And God bless you all. As a mark of respect to Corporal St. Clair, and all others who have given the last measure of devotion for their country, we are omitting our usual "coming attractions" paragraph this issue. We prefer, instead, to express the fervent hope that the day will soon come when men in every land will walk together in peace -- and brotherhood."