Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 recently added Richard Dean Mattson’s name to Macomb County’s Vietnam Memorial after researcher Ruth Babcock found it missing from the Michigan Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial.
Mattson died in 1966 in an accident aboard the USS Hamner and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Babcock was researching the archives of Michigan newspapers when she found a 1989 item announcing that Mattson’s name would be added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Knowing the 2,645 names engraved on the Michigan memorial, she alerted its keepers to the omission.
Mattson’s name has since been added to the books that accompany the Michigan memorial, but space needs to be added to include it on the wall itself. Chapter 154 added Mattson’s name to the Macomb County Vietnam Memorial in Sterling Heights on Veterans Day.
“We know that there are Vietnam vets who go up to that memorial and sit on the benches and have silent conversations with the guys on that wall,” Chapter 154 President Gary Purcell told the Macomb Daily.