The database page for Leonard J Lewandowski, Jr
Let him pass unharmed through the gates of death to dwell with the blessed in light.
From someone who cares.
They are not forgotten unless we forget them. I write this on the birthday of the Corps. I have worn your bracelet since 1989 when I first got it. I first meet you, Leonard, the first time I visted the Wall in D.C. back in 1985. You are now with me in Iraq seeing me through this mess. Are you my kin? I don't know. We have the same name and grow up close to each other, about 50 miles apart. My father is a 1/2 brother so we are the only ones with the name in the family. You will never be forgotten, my Brother.
From a brother in arms,
I've been wearing this bracelet for over 4 years now and every time I look at it I remember the sacrifice you made for our freedom. I went to add your profile to an all-Marine website called www.TogetherWeServed.com, it's a place for Marines to reconnect and tell their story, but another Marine brother has already added your profile. Marine, you are not forgotten.
From a Marine brother,
Notes from The Virtual WallOn 19 Oct 1966, Delta 1/4 Marines were on a brief R&R break before heading out for a patrol. They were located in a Regimental area near the mouth of the Cua Viet River in Quang Tri Province, about 7 miles south of the DMZ. In mid-morning, PFC Richard E. Mishuk and LCPL Michael J. Burke asked for and received permission to go swimming in the river. Shortly thereafter they were joined by a third Marine, PFC Leonard J. Lewandowski. When the three Marines did not return for lunch, a LCPL Ronald A. Rihaly took a look for them and spotted three men - dressed as Burke, Mishuk, and Lewandowski had been dressed - playing with a dog near a landing craft.
About three hours after the men had gone for swim call, it was noted that they could no longer be seen and that they were not in the company area. By 1400 informal search efforts had extended along the north bank of the river, and at 1530 LCPL Rihaly reported to his Company Commander that the three were missing. A search party was sent to the south bank and an O-1 Bird Dog aircraft launched for an aerial search. The three men were not located by nightfall.
Formal search and rescue operations were begun at daybreak on 20 October, with several O-1s and ground search parties involved. The searchers were unable to locate the men or any local villagers who had seen them. Formal search efforts were terminated on 22 October and Burke, Mishuk, and Lewandowski declared Missing in Action.
There were two obvious possibilities - that the three drowned in the Cua Viet River and were carried out to sea, or that they had been captured or killed by local Viet Cong forces (the area was not totally secure). No evidence was found to support either possibility; the three men had simply disappeared.
On 23 April 1975 the Secretary of the Navy approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for Richard Mishuk. The remains of the three men have not been recovered.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Sep 2005
Last updated 08/10/2009