James Lee Riter
Petty Officer Third Class
United States Navy
Phoenix, Arizona
May 30, 1949 to December 20, 1970
JAMES L RITER is on the Wall at Panel W6, Line 134

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James L Riter
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23 December 1970, The Arizona Republic Newspaper: James L. Riter of Phoenix killed in action in Vietnam

Electrician's Mate 3rd Class James L. Riter, 21, of 6037 W. Mulberry, has been killed in action in Vietnam, the Navy announced in Phoenix yestetsday. Riter is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice R. Riter of Phoenix. The elder Riter is an identification officer for the Phoenix Police Department. The official announcement said young Riter was killed Sunday during a patrol operation near Ben Tre, Vietnam, while attached to the Navy's Seal Team No. 1.

Riter volunteered for Navy duty in 1967 following graduation from Mary Vale High School. He served three tours of duty in, Vietnam, the last one on a volunteer basis, the Navy said. Riter, a native of Mansfield, Ohio, won the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Arrangements are being made by Sunset Chapel, 301 W. Camelback.

30 December 1970, The Arizona Republic Newspaper: Services scheduled for James L Riter.

Services for EM3 James Lee Riter, 21, a member of the Navy's Seal Team One, who was awarded the Bronze Star and was recommended for the Medal of Honor, will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Sunset Chapel, 301 W. Camelback. He was killed in action in Vietnam Dec. 20. Burial with full military honors will be in Resthaven Cemetery, Glendale. Mr. Riter was also awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for heroic achievement while serving in Vietnam.

From October 1969 to April 1970 he had participated in 40 combat operations in the Vietcong-dominated areas of the lower Ca Mau Peninsula. He was killed while on patrol duty near Kien Hoa Province while on patrol with a 5 member team. His two and a half years of Naval service included training with the Underwater Demolition Team, Seal Training Course at Coronado, California. After graduating in 1968 he was qualified for membership in the National Association of Underwater Instructors. He also was graduated from the Army Infantry School Airborne Course in January 1969. Photo below taken on Sea float in Old Nam Can on 10 Dec 1969.


Born in Mansfield, Ohio, he was reared in Gallon, Ohio, and brought to Phoenix in 1957. He was graduated from Mary Vale High School in 1967, was a member of the Thespians at the school, received a Youth Leadership Award from Toastmasters International and was a member of the Boy Scouts' Order of the Arrow.


Survivors include his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Maurice R. Riter, 6037 W. Mulberry Drive; four brothers, Maurice Jr., Paul, Kenneth and Samuel; and a sister, Kathleen all of Phoenix; grandparents, Chief Warrant Officer (Ret.) and Mrs. Paul J. Miller of San Antonio, Tex., and Mrs. Sylvia Campbell of Norwalk, Ohio.

James is buried in Resthaven Park West Cemetery, Glendale, Arizona with his parents. Maurice R Riter (Coxswain, US Navy) passed away on March 4, 1975 and his mother, Pauline Ann Scherer Riter, passed on January 23, 2010.


Killed in the same firefight as James, was Team Leader, ENC Frank Willis Bomar, Miami Florida. He was survived by his wife, Nora F Bomar as well as a daughter, Nora F Bomar. He was awarded the Silver Star for his efforts during the ambush. Two other of the team members of the 5 man patrol, FN Harold E Birky, South English, Iowa (1-30-1971) was KIA in firefight and LT Michael R Collins, Martinez, California (3-4-1971) was killed when boat he was on was hit by rockets.

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