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  1. #1
    .303 MMG Vickers's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    Campaigners want US Navy ship named after Irish Vietnam War hero

    A CAMPAIGN is under way to name a US Navy ship after an Irishman who died in Vietnam just months after receiving a medal of honour for bravery.

    Patrick Gallagher from Co Mayo emigrated to the US when he was 18 years old. Four years later he joined the US Marines and was shipped to Vietnam in 1966.

    That July, the young Mayo man saved members of his unit after grenades were thrown at their position at night.

    As a grenade landed between two of his comrades, and "without hesitation, in a valiant act of self-sacrifice, Corporal Gallagher threw himself upon the deadly grenade in order to absorb the explosion and save the lives of his comrades," his citation reads.

    Miraculously, the grenade did not explode and the young corporal was able to throw it into a nearby river before it detonated.

    As a result of his bravery Gallagher was awarded the Navy Cross, only writing to his mother to tell her he was serving in Vietnam when the news was to be made public.

    "I hope you won't be too mad at me for the news I got for you. When I was at home last year I had my orders for Vietnam when I went back to the US. I have been in Vietnam since last April (1966) and I will be leaving here in 60 days.

    "Now don't get worried. Everything is going just fine here and I am enjoying it very much."

    "I was afraid you might worry too much so I made my aunt and sister in New York promise they would not tell you I was there. I had planned on not telling you myself until I got back to the US," he wrote.

    Sadly, the young corporal was killed in action on March 30, 1967, aged just 23.

    Now a campaign has begun to have him remembered. The US Navy is set to buy a new ship in 2017, a vessel the campaign would like to see named after Gallagher.

    The group is now close to 3,000 signatures. It hopes to gain a further 2,000 before bringing the petition to the US Secretary of the Navy, who has responsibility for naming new ships.

    Campaigner Martin Durkan said: "There would be no better recognition of this service and commitment than a powerful modern vessel out in the world at sea, under the US Navy flag, carrying the name of one of her immigrant heroes."
    Irish Independent
    "Fellow-soldiers of the Irish Republican Army, I have just received a communication from Commandant Pearse calling on us to surrender and you will agree with me that this is the hardest task we have been called upon to perform during this eventful week, but we came into this fight for Irish Independence in obedience to the commands of our higher officers and now in obedience to their wishes we must surrender. I know you would, like myself, prefer to be with our comrades who have already fallen in the fight - we, too, should rather die in this glorious struggle than submit to the enemy." Volunteer Captain Patrick Holahan to 58 of his men at North Brunswick Street, the last group of the Four Courts Garrison to surrender, Sunday 30 April 1916.

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2010
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    Irish-descended soldiers, fighting for the US are getting a lot of press lately. Great to see so much recognition.

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