Steve Ralph LukeBoatswains Mate 2nd Class
PCF-36, COSDIV-11, TF-115, USNAVFORV
United States Navy
30 November 1945 - 06 December 1968
Panel 37W Line 052
The database page for Steve Ralph Luke
REMEMBEREDby another swift boat sailor,
I never knew you - I was born one day after you died. First of all let me say I won't pretend to know how much pain losing you has caused your family, friends, and fellow soldiers. I'm not related to you in any way, and I doubt our paths would have ever crossed in life. With that being said let me begin.
I'm a 37 year old stay-at-home mom of 2 beatiful children, whom I also home-school (one of the many rights I have today because of men and women such as yourself). Anyway, we will soon begin studying the Vietnam war and while I was researching I came across this site. I cannot find words to express how this site has made me feel. Each day I try to look at some of the faces and read each story. I told my husband that I could never read them all, but out of respect and honor to each name and face on the Wall I am bound and determined to do so.
Someone once told me that every time a new life is born into this world another would leave. I don't know if this is true or not, but if it is it would be an honor, Mr. Luke, for me to believe that through space and time on December 6, 1968, you left this world so that I might enter it.
May you Rest in Peace.
Steve was my husband. I will always be very proud of him. Never a day goes by that I don't think of him with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. He was so proud to be a member of the Navy and planned to make a career of it.
From his wife,
A Note from The Virtual WallThe US Naval Forces Vietnam History for December 1968 contains the following entry:
"On the morning of 6 December, PCF 36 and PCF 88 were patrolling up the Rach Giang Thanh when they were ambushed seven miles northeast of Ha Tien. The enemy fired on the two patrol craft from both banks of the river with small arms, 57mm recoilless rifles, and B-40 rockets. Machine gun, small arms, and grenades from the 'Swift' boats partially suppressed the hostile fire as they cleared the ambush area. The craft beached at Tra Pho, a short distance up-river, to care for the nine crewmen wounded (three seriously). In addition, one crewman was killed in the action and one [Vietnamese Navy sailor was] killed and another wounded. No B-40 or recoilless rifle rounds scored direct hits, however, both craft were damaged by numerous small arms hits. During the return down-river through the ambush area, cover was provided by a Task Force 116 light helicopter fire team that saturated the enemy positions with rockets and machine gun fire. Due to the dense cover along both banks the enemy was unseen throughout the engagement and enemy losses were unknown."Petty Officer Luke was the US sailor killed in this engagement.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 22 Oct 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009