In Memory

Russell Lee Wells Jr.

Wonderful athlete, friend and human being. He is truly missed.         - Mary Cushing



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01/09/13 01:13 PM #1    

Klaus Hille

Russell lost his young life while honorably and courageously serving his country as a soldier in Vietnam. He died on Christmas Day in 1968 as a result of wounds sustained in combat.

As a senior at Irvin High School he was much admired by his classmates for his charm, kindness and talent as an athlete. He participated in track and football, he was a member of the "I" Association and the Novas. With the Novas he helped with the Salvation Army Food Drive, helped plan the homecoming ceremony, helped with the Thanksgiving Dance, and other service projects. 

After graduating from high school, Russell attended Murray State College, Tishamingo, Oklahoma, for two years on a football scholarship. He enlisted in the Army in July 1967, received basic training at Fort Bliss, and was sent to intelligence school at Fort Holabird, Maryland. He left for Vietnam in May, 1968.

To me he was a great friend who accepted this "foreign" classmate and kept me motivated in school and sports. My worst mission, and my greatest honor, was to escort Russell from Oakland to El Paso and his final resting place.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."                  John 15:13 

02/12/13 09:33 AM #2    

Robert Andrew Fernandez

In 1967 I was assigned as a Drill Sergeant at Fort Bliss. I was walking through the mess hall at the Reception Station with a couple of other Drill Sergeants when I heard someone yell, "Andy".  A young private with a very short haircut came running at me and lifted me up in a bear hug. I was as happy to see Russell as he was to see me. I got him away from the crowd of trainees and had a very nice visit with him. Later while serving in Viet Nam I learned of his death. I will always treasure my last meeting with him.

05/25/13 01:44 AM #3    

Klaus Hille

Copied from Find A Grave Memorial:


Birth: Aug. 18, 1944
Death: Dec. 25, 1968, Vietnam

Military Decorations:

Army Aircrew Wings
Bronze Star
Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal

Specialist Five Russell Lee Wells, Jr. was killed by ground fire while flying a Reconnaissance Mission as Aerial Observer (AO) in an OV-1A Mohawk over Binh Long Province, South Vietnam. His decorations include the Bronze Star, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and a Purple Heart. He was member of the US Army's 73d Aviation Company, 210th Aviation Battalion, 12th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade.

Husband of Barbara Lee Lavoie
Married 22 Jan 1968 in El Paso, Tx 







12/14/19 03:22 PM #4    

Klaus Hille


Classmate remembered. Bill Coberly at Russell's grave during "Wreaths Across America" at Fort Bliss National Cemetery, December14, 2019.  Thanks, Bill and Patty.

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