All Gave Some; Some Gave All

After high school, most students plan to go to college or get a job. Some know what they are doing earlier than others; some just figure it out as they go along with life. Everyone has their own unique strategy to reach their dreams and goals.

In the 1960s, some young men from Morris County had plans that were interrupted because they were drafted to war. Other young men chose to change their plans to go to fight. Whether it was part of their plans or not, these young men fought in the Vietnam War.

Before these brave souls went to war, they were just ordinary high school boys interested in basketball, wrestling, track, football, band, chorus, yearbook and other activities. Many of these boys were also into cars and mechanics. Most of them liked nature and enjoyed being outside. These young men’s lives were changed either after high school graduation or after they had started a job and a family. Some of them sacrificed more than just their time; some gave their lives. Nine Morris Hills graduates died in action in the Vietnam War and have been memorialized in a showcase in the new wing of Morris Hills High School.

Harold W. Ladd graduated high school in 1957. He was an electronics technician on the submarine USS Trigger of the US Navy. He passed away in 1960 from an accident that happened on the Trigger.

Joseph JL Simon graduated high school in 1958. Years later, he married and had a daughter. Then he was drafted into the Navy in May of 1967. He was killed in action in South Vietnam that November.

Robert Dennis Kearney graduated high school in 1960. Kearney was a short order cook before he joined the Navy in 1961. He then graduated from Submarine School. Kearney was assigned to serve on the USS Thresher and in April of 1963 the USS Thresher sunk and Kearney was killed.

Swante August Swenson graduated high school in 1961. He joined the Army in 1967 and was killed in action in January of 1968.

William Francis Brice, Jr. graduated high school in 1963. He worked as a mechanic until he joined the Army in 1967. He was killed in action in May of 1968.

Jeffrey Joseph Brown graduated high school in 1964 and then joined the Navy. He died in November of 1967 in the Gulf of Tonkin Vietnam.

Charles Albert Philhower joined the Navy in 1963. While serving in the engine room of the USS Kitty Hawk, he died in December of 1965.

Frank Apperson Price graduated high school in 1965. He joined the military in 1966. He was killed in action in October of 1967.

Allan W. Vanderhoof graduated high school in 1967 and then joined the military. He was killed in action in May of 1968 in Vietnam.

These nine men all enjoyed their high school experiences and were proud to be a part of Morris Hills High School. They were honored to do their part in the Vietnam War.

Currently, Social Studies teacher Mr. Devine takes care of the Vietnam War display case in the downstairs science wing. Mr. Pat Bobo, a Social Studies teacher who retired two years ago, went to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and found the nine men’s names on the memorial. His rubbings of their names are included in the display case.