Sydney Claude Howard

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
28 February 1948 - 14 March 1969
Lakewood, California
Panel 29W Line 038


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Sydney Claude Howard

15 November 2000

LCPL S C Howard in Vietnam
Gary Michael Montgomery

His sleep is sometimes restless
Walking at night in a cold sweat
He rarely talks about it
Nor of the horrors he's met

Some days when it's quiet
His eyes reach back in time
And relive old high school days
Before it was Viet Nam

He seldom plays his albums now
For reasons that are clear
They bring him back to a childhood
Of life and death and Bomy-Ba beer

He will never speak of Gallantry
Or of his Silver Star
Unless, of course, you pry him
Then he only goes so far

And when the mood is right
And the Beatles fill the air
He'll tell his tale ... half jokingly
Of men in combat and children in dispair

He speaks of whores and orphans
Their survival in a hellish lie
Humans clinging to a life
Where the only certainty is to die

And yes ... he had a buddy
And I have seen his face
Smiling he stands by sandbags forever
Frozen at some forgotten base

To me he is the ... true to life hero
Cause he's seen the worst that men can do
And despite the terror of it all
He chooses to live on and see his story through.

Dedicated to
Tim O. Moore and
Sidney Claude Howard
whose name is on the Wall

"Sid" as Tim called him, was in the Marines and my husband Tim was in the Army. Sid sent the picture to Tim when he was at Bien Hoa.

They were in Artesia High School together, in Artesia, California. They had been friends since the 5th Grade, at Willow School.

Tim's thoughts on Sid:

"He was my Brother, my Friend, he was funny, he was serious, and he loved to surf at Redondo Beach."
When Tim returned to California after Viet Nam, he went to see his friend Jim Lee. He asked Jim, "Where is Sid?" Jim said, "Haven't you heard? He's dead."

Jim Lee took my husband to Sid's gravesite. Tim sat there and cried for hours non stop. He never said "Goodbye". Sidney will always live in Tim's heart.

Sidney has been honored in our family in many ways. His Viet Nam Photo is in the 1984 Annual at Virginia Military Institute; our son Gary Michael Montgomery made his dedication to Sidney Claude Howard. Mike also wrote the poem below the photo.

From his friends,
Tim and Eslye Moore

Also remembered on the Virtual Wall
Richard Hershel Miller
Panel 14W Line 095
Thomas F Sandoval
Panel 31E Line 001
David Allen Wilson
Panel 34W Line 003

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Fire Support Bases NEVILLE and RUSSELL were west of Cam Lo, with NEVILLE the westernmost of the two. In late February 1969, NEVILLE was occupied by Golf Btry 3/12 with Hotel Company, 2/4 as a security force. Five miles to the east, FSB RUSSELL had Hotel and Mortar Batteries, 3/12, and elements of 2/4 as a security force - primarily Echo 2/4, but also elements of H&S Company.

In the early morning hours of 25 Feb 1969 both bases were hit hard by NVA sappers - about 200 from the 246th NVA Regiment at NEVILLE and an equal number from the 27th NVA Regiment at RUSSELL. In each case the attacks began with heavy mortar fire and supporting artillery fire from within the DMZ, followed by a ground attack clearly intended to destroy the artillery pieces in their gun pits. In each case the enemy partially overran the base, and in each case the Marines drove them out again. When the sun rose, the Marines had over three dozen dead and 100+ wounded, while there were 61 enemy bodies inside the two perimeters - but the guns had sustained no serious damage and were firing.

Twenty-nine Marines and sailors were killed in the defense of FSB RUSSELL ... but on the afternoon of the 25th another Marine was wounded by NVA mortar fire - LCpl Sydney C. Howard of Lakewood, California. On 14 March 1969 he died from his wounds.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his friends,
Tim and Eslye Moore

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index H
CA State Index . Panel 29W

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Nov 2000
Last updated 09/29/2007