(USMC) Robert G. Lathrop, originally from Walla Walla, Washington, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1965 until 1970 and the USMC Reserve from 1970 until 1972. He first went to South Vietnam in early 1968 as a pilot in the Navy Ferry Squadron 12 when he flew an A-4 from San Diego to Da Nang. He then went back to the RVN for a thirteen month tour, beginning in March 1968, and was stationed at Chu Lai with Marine Attack Squadron 311(VMA-311). Gene flew over 250 combat missions, 50 combat support missions, and served as the VMA-311 Intelligence Officer. He also served as an infantry Company Commander (H and HS 11) for two months before his tour ended in April 1969. He was awarded 2 Flying Crosses for Heroism and 15 Air Medals..
Of Sutherlin, OR, died June 13 of natural causes. He was born June 8, 1942, in Walla Walla, Washington to Robert and Alice Lathrop. He graduated from Dayton High School in 1960; earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree from the University of Idaho in 1965, while participating in the United States Naval ROTC program. He served as a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps from June of 1965 until he was honorably discharged as a Captain in August of 1970. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on two separate occasions for "heroism and extraordinary achievement" while serving in Vietnam. He and Joy Cornell-Chadek married on March 16, 1975. He worked as a forester for the BLM in California and in Roseburg, Oregon until he retired as the Assistant Area Manager in 1987.
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 30 at Faith Lutheran Church, 820 W Kenwood in Roseburg. A graveside burial service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 21 at the Touchet cemetery in Touchet, WA. Remembrances may be made to the Disabled American Veterans in lieu of flowers at http://www.dav.org/donate/Default.aspx or by mail to Disabled American Veterans, Attention: GIFT PROCESSING, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.
USMC Fighter Jet Pilot VMA 311 Vietnam
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