Name added to Vietnam Memorial at Joplin Memorial Hall
Lawrence McCrea’s fellow classmates of Joplin High 1965 came together to add his name to the Memorial
JOPLIN, Mo. — Wednesday morning, November 9, 2022 a name was added to the Korean and Vietnam Memorial on the west side of Joplin’s Memorial Hall. Quality Memorials of Carthage, Mo. engraved the additional name.
The Memorial Honors, “Combat Dead of the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts.” It was dedicated in May of 1973.
McCrea’s name is added for his sacrifice in Vietnam. As a member of the Army, PFC McCrea served our country until April 5, 1966, in South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was not married. Reports say he was killed by a fragmenting rock during construction of an airfield, listed as a non-combat death. His body was recovered. He was born in National City, California, on June 10, 1945.
For reasons unknown his name was not included when the 1973 Memorial was placed at Joplin’s Memorial Hall. Most likely because his family had moved from Joplin to Louisiana. He is buried at Carver Memorial Cemetery, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Recently Joplin High School Class of 1965 noticed the oversight. After getting approval with the city, Quality Memorials of Carthage, Mo. placed McCrea’s name on the permanent Memorial.
Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, 2022 the Class of 1965 will rededicate the Vietnam Memorial with the addition of a 25th name, PFC Lawrence McCrea.
Joplin City Councilman Keenan Cortez is a cousin. He spoke at the rededication extending thanks from his family. He only heard stories of Lawrence growing up as Keenan was just a few years old when Lawrence was killed in combat.
Class of 1965 state, “The public and all area veterans are invited to this brief rededication which will include a presentation of the colors by the JHS JROTC and a 21-gun salute from the American Legion Post 13. The Vietnam Memorial is located on the west (Wall Ave.) side of Joplin Memorial Hall.”
VETERANS DAY PARADE IS SATURDAY MORNING
This Saturday morning at 10 a.m. is the Joplin Area Community Veterans Day Parade.
🇺🇸 The parade will begins at 15th Street and Main and process North along Main to 3rd Street, turning West, where it will cross over onto Joplin Avenue and process South to the City Hall parking lots between 5th and 7th.
The Joplin Community Veterans Day Parade request, “Help spread the word and plan to join as we line Main Street in honor of our great American heroes, our Veterans!”
MORE ON PFC LAWRENCE McCREA
PFC McCrea served as a Combat Engineer with Alpha Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, 937th Engineer Group, 18th Engineer Brigade, USARV. He served our country for less than 1 year.
The 84th Engineer Battalion arrived in Vietnam in May 1965 at Cam Ranh Bay in Khanh Hoa Province, RVN. After building a campsite and getting the equipment in working order, the engineers commenced the transformation of the sandy peninsula into a depot and port. The first task required removing a large sand dune in order to build a LST ramp on the south beach. Bulldozers and earthmoving scrapers leveled other areas and gradually a road network began to take shape. A quarry was established to provide road and airfield construction materials. On April 5, 1966, during blasting operations at the quarry, debris fell from the sky, striking one of the engineers in the head. PFC Lawrence McCrea of A Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, died after sustaining a fractured skull. – Wall of Faces
He is the Son of Mrs. Bertha M Poole of Shreveport, Louisiana. Grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Poole or 1418 East Sixth Street, Joplin.
Lawrence, a 1965 graduate of Joplin Senior High School, had worked at the Fox Theater prior to joining the Army and being sent to Vietnam.
Surviving in addition to his mother and grandparents are two brothers: Richard and Randy Evans of Shreveport, and three sisters Marilyn and Susie Evans both of Shreveport, and Mrs. Rose Mary Cortez of Carthage.
PFC McCrea is on panel 06E, line 086 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
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