In Memory

James Carpenter

While in the Army, killed in CA

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03/30/17 11:08 AM #1    

Richard York

Facing the military draft, Jimmy (as I knew him) enlisted in the Army, went to boot camp and received his assignment.  While 75-85% of soldiers were going to Viet Nam, Jimmy had scored high on a typing proficiency test and was going to a desk job in Hawaii.  We had many laughs about this because I always scored higher at typing than he did.  Before leaving for San Diego, we partied and celebrated his great fortune.  We were just 'poor kids from Wichita.'  He had never been to California and left a few days early and planned to party while there. He took an extra $50 or so with him at that time. He turned up missing and was declared AWOL.  I received at least two phone calls from MP's who wanted to find him and arrest him.  I told them that he had to be dead and they laughed.  Until I said,"If you were going to Hawaii for a desk job versus going to Viet Nam, which would you fail to show up?"   They didn't laugh at that.  HIs body was found buried along a San Diego beach near a bar about two months later.  His watch and billfold was missing, but dog tags were still on his neck.  He was believed to be poisoned or OD'd on some drug.  He would never have willingly missed the opportunity to go to Hawaii.  He is buried at Resthaven (Wichita).  The Army refused military rites because he had been declared AWOL.  I knew him well (best friends) and he loved his country and would not have failed to serve to his best capacity.        (By Richard York)

09/03/17 01:44 PM #2    

Michael Hall

James was a school mate I believe at Pleasant Valley and Richard said he was one of the guys you could trust. RIP

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