The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SGT Ralph George Mahoney, who died in the service of his country on September 13th, 1966 in Pleiku Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Mis-directed 155mm Artillery. At the time of his death Ralph was 37 years of age. He was from Cleveland, Ohio. Ralph is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 10E, Line 92.
The decorations earned by SGT Ralph George Mahoney include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
(From His Obituary)
Sgt Ralph Mahoney spent half his life, 19 years, in the Army. He served tours of duty in the United States, Germany, and the buffer zone of Korea. He was a paratrooper and an expert on land mines. Sgt Mahoney volunteered for Vietnam and on his 38th birthday, August 4, was sent there to be a platoon sergeant with the 25th Infantry Division.
On September 3 he wrote his bother Ronald,
"So far everything is going fine. They have me in the jungle along the Ia Drang. We are waiting for Charlie to try to get back to Cambodia. So far, we have torn him up a little, but not much. My squad and I have been all over and haven't found him yet. But we are still looking."
"We are proud that he died fighting communism," Ronald said. "We don't feel he was fighting any certain people, but a force we may all have to face."
Ten days after he wrote the letter, Sgt, Mahoney was dead. He was killed by an American artillery round that apparently fell short of its target. He was buried yesterday with full military honors after funeral services in Eastlake.
His father is George W. Mahoney, 33807 Lake Shore Blvd., Lakeline. He sat alone today and thought of his son and the artillery round and expressions of pride and sorrow crossed his face. "My son would have been eligible for retirement next year, he served 19 years." Some of the harshness left his father's voice when he said, "He volunteered several times for Vietnam duty. He finally arrived there on his birthday, August 4. My son loved the Army."
Mahoney was the 38th Greater Clevelander to die in Vietnam. A native of Wheeling WV, he came to Cleveland with his family in 1942. He attended St Jerome School and Collinwood High School. He enlisted in the Army in 1947.
He is also survived by a second brother, two sisters, and two children, Gregory, 6, and Kathleen, 3.
Sgt. Ralph G. Mahoney, beloved son of George and Kathleen, brother of Earl, Ronald, Delores, and Maureen. Suddenly Sept. 13 in Viet Nam, late residence, 33807 Lake Shore Blvd., Lakeline. Family will receive friends at the Monreal Funeral Home, E 320th and Vine Sts., Willowick, From 2-4 and 7-9 P.M. Sunday only. Requiem Mass at St. Justin Martyr Church, Monday Sept. 19, at 9 a.m.