35th Infantry (Cacti) Regiment Association

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  MSG Francis Gerald Corcoran    In memory of our fallen brother

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother"

1st Battalion
35th Infantry Regiment

Vietnam War

"Not For Fame or Reward
Not For Place or For Rank
But In Simple Obedience To
Duty as They Understood It"

National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, MSG Francis Gerald Corcoran, who died in the service of his country on December 9th, 1967. The cause of death was listed as Hepatitis. At the time of his death Francis was 39 years of age. He was from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Francis is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 35E, Line 41.

The decorations earned by MSG Francis Gerald Corcoran include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star with V, 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.

Francis was initially hospitalized in Vietnam and died at Walter Reed. He is buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery. Francis also saw service in Korea.

Francis Gerald Corcoran served as a Master Sergeant in the United States Army.

He served in the Korean War and also in the Vietnam War.

He was originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He died of hepatitis he contracted while on a tour of duty in South Vietnam.


Through the generosity of a number of town businesses and the National Park Service, a Philadelphia widow and seven of her eight children have been afforded an opportunity to visit the grave of her husband, a veteran of the Vietnam War, buried in the National Cemetery.

Mrs. Elizabeth Corcoran was widowed December 9 of last year (1967) when her husband, Master Sergeant Francis Corcoran, died at the Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, as a result of hepatitis incurred during a tour of duty in South Vietnam. He had served 21 years in the armed forces.

Three of Mrs. Corcorans younger children were unable to attend their fathers interment services in the National Cemetery here, so Mrs. Corcoran decided to attempt a summer trip here so that they might see their fathers grave.


The National Park Service first became aware of Mrs. Corcorans plan when Mrs. Corcoran wrote asking the most economical way to visit the battlefield. Mrs. Russell Saum, a park employee, with the consent of Park Superintendent George Emery, and the assistance of Emerys secretary, Mrs. Betty Deitz, set out to assist Mrs. Corcoran in her venture.

With the cooperation of the local Chamber of Commerce and the Travel Council, the Park Service women were able to arrange courtesy tours at all the historical museums, as well as free lunches and dinners at local restaurants.

The family was scheduled to stay at Mrs. Ruth Wislers Lodging House for a nominal fee. However, the bus arrived late Tuesday evening, so the widow and her children were guests of Mrs. Saum at her Harrisburg Road home. Wednesday night the family stayed at the Wisler house.

Mrs. Corcoran and her seven visiting children: Lisa, 14; Michael, 11; Patricia, 10; Tim, 8; Larry, 7; Mary, 6, and Anne, 5, set out at 9 Wednesday morning, with transportation provided by Mrs. Saum and the Park Service, for the Visitor Center. Francis G., 17, the oldest of the Corcoran children, was unable to attend.


At 10 the family visited the grave of the father, where the youngest children, who never saw their fathers grave before, threw kisses and made the Catholic sign of the cross.

Later in the morning, they were greeted by Mayor William G. Weaver in his office, followed by greetings at the Chamber of Commerce office by President Robert McCoy and Secretary Mrs. Ruth Detwiler.

The remainder of their two-day visit consisted of tours to various museums and historical sites, all courtesy of the owners of those establishments.

Lunches and suppers were provided for the family during their visit by the Cannon Cafeteria, the Holiday Inn, Glenns Diner, the Howard Johnson Restaurant, and the Lamp Post Tea Room. They are scheduled to leave for Philadelphia by bus this evening at 6:30 oclock.

(From THE GETTYSBURG TIMES, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Thursday Evening, August 7, 1969)

NOTE: His name is now inscribed upon the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. You can find his name on Panel 35E, Line 41.