Cpl Charles McMahon USMC
One of the last KIA in the Vietnam War

Corporal Charles McMahon USMC

Cpl Charles McMahon along with LCpl Darwin Judge was the last Killed In Action serviceman in the Vietnam War.   Cpl McMahon grew up in Woburn, Massachutes   He completed Marine Corps Boot Camp and Marine Security Guard School before shipping to Saigon, R. Vietnam as a Marine Security Guard to the American Embassy.   He and LCpl Judge were killed together within the first two weeks of joining the detachment.   Cpl McMahon and LCpl Judge was killed by a rocket attack from Five NVA Divisions defending the Defense Attaché  Building on Than Shan Knut airbase.  Today April 29, 2001 Cpl McMahon is being honored by his fellow Saigon Marines at the Boys Club in Woburn, Massachutes.

Cpl McMahon's Medals 

This weekend April 29-30 2001 we are honoring Cpl McMahon at the Boys Club in Woburn, Massachutes.  The Governor of Massachutes, CO and SgtMajor of the Marine Security Guard Battalion and Saigon Marines will be in attendance.

A note about Corporal Charles McMahon

By Sue Holland

Dear John Ghilain I finally got to write the story for your website.  Growing up with Charlie McMahon was a blast. We did all the typical  kid stuff, we had a tree fort, got paper routes, mowed lawns and rode bikes. However our main activity was going to the Woburn Boys' Club, we just about lived there. We would go right from school to the "Club".  Even though we did about the same thing every day it was always an adventure with Charlie. We would shoot pool, play ping-pong, and maybe  play a few practical jokes on the staff, like hide the director's cigars or move our swim coaches car to a new location. It was a standard transmission and was never locked. But from 6-9 p.m. we were in the swimming pool. We had swim work-out from 6-7 p.m. Then we dove from 7-9 p.m. Charlie was a very good, competitive swimmer and diver. He really loved it. When he was old enough, the club
hired him as a swim instructor. He had a great way with the kids. The director of the club, Charlie Gardener was a former marine and  always had interesting stories about the USMC. Charlie McMahon could  not get enough of the stories he told and had a great interest in  the Corps. When Charlie McMahon was 19 he joined the marines. He truly loved it. When he would come home on leave he would always wear his uniform. He was incredibly proud to be a marine. His first
job as a marine was Military Police, and after about a year and a  half of that he decided to become an Embassy Guard. The Marine Embassy  Guard School is extremely strict with intense trainings. Charlie did great. When he graduated in the March of 1975 his orders were to go to the Embassy in Saigon. At that time the fall of Saigon to the North seemed imminent , so nobody at home thought he would have to go there. As things turned out he did end up having to go there for the education of Saigon and on April 29th 1975 he and L/CPL Darwin Judge were killed by a rocket at the Tan Son Nut Airport. He was a proud marine and made the ultimate sacrifice for the corps and for his country. We are all
very proud of him.

Vietnam Wall with Fall of Saigon cover near Cpl McMahon and LCpl Judge's names

2005 Corporal Charles McMahon Scholarship Awards

From left to right:  Lauren Foley,
George Holland, John Ghilain (Vice President Fall of Saigon Marines Association) and  Timothy Padulsky.   Lauren and Timothy won the 2005 Cpl Charles McMahon Scholarship awards.  Below is some information on this years winners.

Ms. Lauren Foley Timothy Padulsky
Boys and Girls Club since 1996
Woburn Memorial High School Grade 12
Honor Roll (3 years) Field Hockey Captain, Leo Club, Thomas Dolan Memorial Interact Club (Vice President, SADD, Year book, Junior Staff Member, Life guard, Keystone Club President, Regional & National Keystone Conference Steering Committees. YMCA Youth in Government.  School/Career:  Fordham University/HS English Teacher.
Member of the Boys & Girls Club since 1998,Woburn Memorial High School, Grade 12,Class Valedictorian, National Honor Society, Junior Rotarian, Thomas Dolan Memorial Interact Club, Junior Staff member, lifeguard, Swim Team, Keystone Club (Vice President), School: Boston College

Information received from Mr. Rick Metters

Executive Director
Boys & Girls Club of Woburn
Charles Gardner Lane
Woburn, MA   01801
(781) 935-3777

  30 April 2001

Thirteen Saigon Marines gathered in Woburn, Massachusetts and paid tribute to the memory of Corporal Charles McMahon Jr.

GySgt. Mike Bertini
John Ghilian
Paul Gozgit
Lt.Col. James H. Kean
John Kirchner
Dave Leet
Kevin Maloney
Bill Newell
Dr. Don Nicohlas
CWO-2 Doug Potratz
Randy Smith
Steve Stratton
MGySgt.  John. J. Valdez

The Commanding Officer and Sergeant Major from MSG Battalion at Quantico did a superb job representing our Battalion.  The Sergeant Major ensured that the color guard hit each mark.

Sgt Major and Colonel Hurley, CO of the MSG Battalion at Cpl McMahon's Memorial Services

  The 25th Marines provided a sharp Color Guard.  The event was hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of Woburn.  The guest of Honor was Susan McMahon, Charlie's sister.  Sadly, Charles McMahon Sr., away last Tuesday.  

A brief ceremony was conducted at Charlie's grave site by the Saigon Marines.

In the gymnasium of the Boys and Girls Club:

Colonel Kean made the opening remarks and introduced each speaker.  He did a great deal of work making this event a success.

 John Ghilain deserves all of our thanks for organizing the event.  John's dedicated effort made the execution of the event flawless.  In April 1975 he carried a big load, again he has stepped in and taken on a big assignment.  John was the person who did all the grunt work that made this occasion.  He arranged the hotel, dinners, scheduled events, and hosted all of us. Woburn worked and it worked beautifully because of John.

Top Valdez was the keynote speaker.  John is organizing a large reunion, which will be held in San Diego this October.    Don Nicholas is a medical Doctor.  He flew his own airplane to Massachusetts from Ohio.       Dave Leet is a Captain for UPS.  He flies a Boeing 757.  
Steve Stratton has gotten bigger.  Steve drives a truck and lives in the California  Mountains. He is a follower of the running guru Ken Crouse.

John Kirchner manages an airport near Naples Florida.  Time improves some things, I am not sure that John is one of them.    Bill Newell must be up to something; he walks around with a big smile.  I am suspicious.   

His own film crew accompanied Doug Potratz.  Doug brought his son, Doug Jr. about 10 years old.  It was great to see father and son.  Doug, Bill, and Jim conducted a business meeting Saturday night.

Mike Bertini has worked tirelessly seeking out missing members.  This month he has put us in contact with Otis Holmes and John Moya.

Randy Smith flew in from Venice Florida.  Randy has a new career as a building contractor.

About two hundred people attended the ceremony on Sunday including nine members of the McMahon family.  Colonel Hurley, the CO of MSG Bn. presented The Purple Heart Medal, the American Flag and other items to Susan McMahon.  Susan in turn presented those items to the Boys and Girls Club of Woburn.  The Club's director, Rick Metters accepted the flag and medals.  They will be on permanent display at the Boy's Club.

    Drews Trophy was awarded to Cpl Charles McMahon at the Boys Club.   The Fall of Saigon Marines have refinished this trophy while attending the 26 Reunion in Woburn, Massachutes.


  I call Mr. and Mrs. Judge yesterday 30 April 2001 and they said the Flag ceremony in Marshalltown, Iowa went well.    Our only honorary Marine, Ken Locke, was one of the guest speakers.   The new flag pole now has an American Flag and a Marine Corps Flag.   The city of Marshalltown is paying for the electricity to light up the flags at night.  

   Mrs Judge told me that the two trees were planted in Judge park are doing well.  I told them to read our website on Cpl McMahon's Ceremonies.   Pictures to follow...

LCpl Darwin Judges parents put formation dirt around a spruce tree representing their son next to Cpl Charles McMahon's tree in Marshalltown, Iowa during the 25th Reunion of the Fall of Saigon..  LCpl Darwin Judge and Cpl Charles McMahon were killed together during the Fall of Saigon.


Cpl Charles McMahon's tree is planted near LCpl Darwin Judge's tree in Judge park.  The Fall of Saigon Marines plant both of these trees in Judge Park in Marshalltown Iowa during the 25th Reunion in Marshalltown, Iowa.

  Cpl Charles McMahon's Funeral


  Picture of Cpl McMahon's Sister Susan and Charlie's friend George

Fall of Saigon Marines Association Scholarships

Woburn, Boys Club

Cpl Charles McMahon USMC

  The Fall of Saigon Marines Association in order to recognize Cpl Charles McMahon, on of our fallen Marine hero and one of the last Marine to die in Vietnam gives Woburn, Boys Club a $1,000 scholarship.  Several of our own Fall of Saigon Marines will provide the Scholarship to the club.

  Picture of Cpl McMahon's Grave 


  Hometown Heroes

  Medals/Flags and MSG Plaque given to the Judge/McMahon Families

  Cpl McMahon's Virtual Wall Page

  LCpl Judge's Page

  Link to Vietnam Wall Entry


~ Guarding the Streets of Heaven ~