In Memory

Raleigh Hewitt

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05/17/14 10:05 PM #1    

Dennis W. Krippner

Raleigh Hewitt died fighting for his country in Vietnam.  He was 11 days short of his 22nd birthday when the combat helicopter mission he was flying over Kontum Province in South Vietnam was hit by enemy ground fire and crashed.  He died of severe burn wounds four days later, on 14 Nov, 1967.  His final resting place is in All Saints Cemetery in Kenosha.

I hope the pictures I posted of Raleigh bring back fond memories to everyone who knew him.  I know my brief summary about his last mission doesn’t do justice to the bravery he brought to the battlefield, on each and every combat mission, in honor of his country.  Those of us who flew combat missions over ‘nam and returned home safely know how fortunate we were.  When I stood at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall several years ago and etched Raleigh’s name on a piece of paper, I prayed he knew how proud I was of him and how sad I was his life was taken at such a young age.  I’ll never forget all the fun times we shared.  I’m thankful that friendship memories never seem to fade away.

Very Respectfully,

Dennis Krippner

Colonel (Retired), USAF






05/18/14 02:37 PM #2    

Wanda R. Burch (Hillmer)

I didn't know Raleigh personally, but I do remember him. How sad he, and others from our class, died so young. The words, "Thank you," are not sufficient to express my gratitude for his service and sacrifice. RIP Raleigh.

05/18/14 09:28 PM #3    

Thomas L. Carrel

I didn't know Raleigh personally, but he died when I was in Vietnam too. I remember reading about it in the Kenosha News that my parents sent me every week. For some reason it hit me hard. Another young Kenoshan taken from us way too early in life. God bless you Raleigh, RIP and thank you for serving our country.

05/19/14 12:23 PM #4    

Peter R. Falcone

Raleigh and I were very close friends in high school playing sophomore football together before we both got hurt. We decided we wanted to fly helicopters in Vietnam as Warrant Officers because it sounded not only patriotic but sexy as well. My parents talked me out of it at the last minute and Raleigh went ahead and fulfilled our wish while I eventually joined the Air Force. It was devastating when he and David Leet (the two I knew best) were no longer with us and I weep at the wall for our loss everytime I'm in D.C. Thanks to the colonel for those great comments. 

Pete Falcone

08/13/14 04:05 AM #5    

Robert D. Brugger

Raliegh Hewitt was a good friend of mine at Mary D. Bradford.  After graduation, I started college(Carthage College) and Raliegh elected to go to work.  I believe he was working for Peter Piersch prior to his enlistment.  For nearly 2 years of college I Just got by with a C average.  When I heard of Raliegh getting shot down and dying 4 days later it totally changed my focus on my education.  His death alone motivated me to become a better student.  I was eventually drafted after graduation from Carthage in 1968 and served 2 years active duty in the Army.  I was levied to Thailand and thus was spared from the conflict in Vietnam.  Several years ago I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. and lifted Raliegh's name off of the wall.  It was an emotional experience for me.  I still miss him.

08/13/14 10:12 PM #6    

Robert D. Brugger

I was good friends with Raliegh at Mary D. Bradford.  After graduation I entered Carthage College and Raliegh went to work for Peter Piersch.  We would get together on weekends but with the war heating up, Raliegh decided to join the military.  I lost contact with Raliegh after his deployment to Vietnam.  Because of the heavy media coverage of the war, I and other draft age men were acutely aware of the conditions that our men were fighting in.  I was in my sophomore year at Carthage when I learned of Ralieghs death.  I was barely a "C" student at the time.  His death totally changed my perspective on college and my entire career was dedicated to the care of veterans having been a provider for mostly vietnam veterans for the last 13 years of my VA career.  I too served in the military having been drafted in 1968 and serving for 2 years in the Army.  I truly miss Raliegh and still see Army/guard and reservists and Navy and marine reservists to help them reintegrate into civilian life.

09/04/14 11:31 PM #7    

James J. Farrell

I went to elementary school, St. Thomas, with Raleigh. He was a good guy, with a good sense of humor. I believe his father owned a drive in.

I know he was able to talk to his parents from Vietnam before he passed. I lost a number of friends in Vietnam.


09/08/14 07:01 PM #8    

Michael Herbach

I have fond memories of Raleigh as we were growing up.  His family later moved West of 39th Ave. We both had jobs one Summer working for a home builder un loading lumber trucks and scraping plaster off of floors on new houses. We used to ride our bikes all over and when Raleigh was working for his dads drivein (Raleigh's at 30th Ave and Roosevelt Rd.)  his dad Raleigh Sr. would remind me "Raleigh is working don't bother him".

We would often hitch hike with our shotguns out to Camp Lake where we had a blind and my dads boat for some Duck Hunting. When Raleigh got his drivers licence it was new found freedom, out to Wilmont to Ski, but the most fun was taking his Mother's Rambler on the frozen lakes, tie a rope on the bumper and be towed across the lakes with our skis on.  We went on many phesant hunting trips out to Bong after it was abandoned with the Rambler. 

We were building a duck boat in his parents basement when he enlisted and I later retreived it and took it out to Paddocks Lake, maybe submarine is a better description.

Raleigh's Mother called me after he was shot down to tell he was severly burned and in a hospital in the Philippines or Australia.

He was a great friend  and fun to be with, I think abour him often.  Rest in Peace Raleigh...

07/28/16 11:26 PM #9    

Lucille C. Bagnall

You are missed.




07/29/16 01:06 PM #10    

John P. Labelle

Thank you Col. for your write up on Raleigh. Any one who was a "Combat Air Crew" either pilot or crew chief or gunner was a hero to the men who were rescued by that crew. I remember Ralewigh as a leader who fit well in his millitary occupation. Unfortunitly our country lost too many good men during that time--Raleigh amoung them. RIP

John LaBelle Retired Helo Pilot USMC


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