The primary purpose of this podcast is to tell about the Vietnam War and the brave men and women who participated in that overseas combat operation regardless of their country or origin. In this particular episode we are going to take a look at the story of a brave young Irish lad who went off to fight for his new country in Vietnam as a US Marine and paid the ultimate price. He story was highlighted in research recently conducted by Irish documentary maker, Kathy Rafferty. He work was highlighted in a story from thejournal.ie Titled: ‘Mayo Boy, Vietnam Hero’: The fascinating story of Patrick Gallagher that was submitted by Kathy Rafferty.
Patrick ‘Bob’ Gallagher was born in County Mayo, Ireland in 1944. He grew up in the small town of Ballyhaunis about thirty miles east of Mayo. Around 1960 he came to America where he had relatives in Long Island, New York. He decided to join the US Marines and fight for his adopted country over in Vietnam. He was so considerate of his parents feelings back in “the old sod” he swore his relatives to secrecy about him going to Vietnam. He did not want his mother to be overly worried about her dear son’s well being in war.
Gallagher’s cover was blown when he was awarded the Navy Cross by General Westmoreland for extraordinary heroism and gallantry in combat. Gallagher’s unit was attacked with grenades by NVA soldiers. When a live grenade landed in their midst, Gallagher with total disregard for his personal safety immediately through his body on the grenade. This brave Marine was willing to give his life for his fellow Marines. Fortunately his discovered the grenade had a delayed fuse so he had time to throw it away before it exploded.
As a result of the publicity he knew his parents would learn where he was so he wrote a letter to his parents to explain. In the letter he told them not to worry about him because his tour was almost home and he would be seeing them soon. A few weeks later just prior to his DEROS (date of effective rotation from overseas), he was killed while on patrol.
Patrick ‘Bob’ Gallagher was a brave Vietnam Veteran we should all hold in the highest regard. You can help honor his memory by signing the online petition to have a US Navy vessel named in his honor.
CLICK HERE for the online petition to has a US Navy vessel named in honor of Patrick Gallagher.