A Tribute to a Fallen Soldier

Good morning, bloggers!!

I have another treat for you today! Please welcome this dear lady from my #RRBC family.  🙂  *Shirley Slaughter*




He’s my brother and I miss him terribly, especially around the holidays; in particular Memorial Day. This past holiday had me in a depression again because there was never any closure. So I found myself writing my congressman a FB letter. Here is the gist of it…

Dear Congressman Peters:

Today is Memorial Day and it pains me once again, that I never hear anything about what happened to my brother killed in the line of duty on August 24, 1965. There were 75 men aboard a plane that exploded over the Hong Kong River and Ronald’s remains were never found. There was a military funeral without a body which was the most horrific experience of my life. Only a dog tag was in the empty coffin.

I tried over the years to alert someone about his story. I joined the Michigan Vietnam Monument Commission out of Lansing – nothing there. I told them his story but nothing ever came of it.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) featured him in a memorial on Facebook and that’s about it. They ask for donations every year and I sent a letter once on August 28, 2012, to attention Jan C. Scruggs, but she never responded back. Here is my brother’s photo and information.

Lance Corporal Ronald L. Powell (2)


Lance Corporal Ronald Louis Powell

Killed in Action August 24, 1965

Cause: Plane Crash over Hong Kong River

Assigned: 3rd Service Battalion, 3rd Marine Division

Name is listed on Wall in Washington DC (Panel 5E/Line 60)

Detroit News ran the story August 27, 1965



I keep wondering (except for the Detroit News article) why there were never any stories or news or memorials about this catastrophic event. The other men’s families must be wondering as well.  Michigan (Oakland & Wayne counties) had the only soldier, my brother, to die like that in that year. There are no memorials mentioning these brave men. My brother’s name is carved on the “Wall” in Washington DC and I got the chance to visit it once in my life in 1992. I burst into tears. It was very emotional.

I’m emotional right now because I feel all alone in my grief but I am not going to plead anymore for somebody to take notice of this event.

P.S. Somehow it never occurred to me to contact my state representative until now. Maybe you can help me find out why no one is talking about it – not even the military. 

Needless to say I got a phone call the very next day and the congressman’s office started an investigation. It’s going to take some time but I expect to hear back from them with a full report.

In the meantime in the age of the internet, my niece went online and discovered that it was pilot error that killed 56 out of 75 men on board. Funny, my family never heard anything about an error. Nor were we aware of any survivors. As a matter of fact we got no explanation as to what happened period, and therein lies my problem with this whole matter.

Ronald was an amazing person and a natural leader. Everybody respected him because he could stand up against the best of them. Details of my brother’s amazing story can be found in the book. There is a photo display of the Wall with Ronald’s name and details on the military funeral. Click here for your choice of a Hardcover Limited Edition(s) or paperback.



Book Trailer:
Five Star Review of Our Lady of Victory by Nonnie Jules “Seal of Approval”


SHSlaughterShirley Harris-Slaughter


Tour Lineup:
Author Page:


Purchase Links…
Amazon Kindle:
Limited Editions:





I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Shirley has provided such a touching story. I am honored to be a part of her blog tour and I sincerely hope that you will show your support to Shirley today, and all of this week. This author is a very talented, sweet lady and her book needs to be read and spread!! Her story deserves to be heard. Will you do your part?


Until next time…………………………………………love & blessings to you all!

19 thoughts on “A Tribute to a Fallen Soldier”

    1. Nonnie thank you for your kind words and compassion. It is a sad story and I shouldn’t have kept it to myself for so long. But there is a time and a place for everything and this is the time.


  1. Hello Marlena. I am so happy you are hosting me and this story can get more traction. You are the best. And thank you 4WillsPublishing.


    1. Shirley, I am both touched and honored to share this story. I was moved to tears reading it. Your story really does deserve to be heard.


      1. Marlena I’m getting misty-eyed just thinking about all of this. I was especially despondent during this past Memorial Day and that’s what prompted me into action to find some answers and to write a blog about it.


  2. Shirley, I hope you get your closure. My uncle died in WWII way before I was born. His submarine disappeared. Around 2002 his sub was found near Japan. His immediate family was now dead but the Navy notified the extended family. I was surprised at my emotional reaction. I believe our hearts need closure. I will pray that you receive it. Your brother sounds like a wonderful young man,


    1. Thank you so much OldThingsRNew for your kind thoughts. I pray that I will get the answers and the closure to put this behind me. I’m glad I immortalized him in my book.


    1. Yes Kathryn he was amazing. I talk about him in my book and the military funeral with the 20-gun salute. I cried like a baby. Hopefully the government will have some answers soon.


    1. Yes Rea, its amazing how we hold things in and never realize that others would appreciate knowing your story. A screenwriter read the book and told me my story was the most interesting. So you never know until you share it.


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