Francis L. Rossell

Hospital Corpsman Third Class, U.S. Navy


Headquarters & Supply Company
2nd Battalion
26th Marines
3rd Marine Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: October 28, 1968
Buried at: Locustwood Memorial Park
                  Route 70 & Cooper Landing Road
                  Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Awards: Purple Heart

HOSPITAL CORPSMAN THIRD CLASS FRANCIS LANCASTER ROSSELL JR. was born on December 26, 1943 in Haddonfield, New Jersey to Dr. and Mrs. Francis L. Rossell. Known to friends and classmates as Lanny, he was a 1963 graduate of Haddonfield High School and attended the University of South Carolina. After college he married Georgia Cox.

Dr. Rossell Sr. was a Captain in the United States Naval Reserve. Francis L. Rossell Jr. joined the reserve while in school. After he was called to active duty, Hospital Corpsman Rossell began his tour of duty in Vietnam on July 9, 1968. In Vietnam he was assigned to the Headquarter & Supply Company, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. Attached to F Compnay, he was killed in a mortar barrage 5 kilometers north of Dien Ban, Quang Nam Province, near the DMZ. Four others were killed and fifteen were wounded in the attack.

Lanny Rossell's name is inscribed on a memorial next to the entrance to Haddonfield Memorial High School on East Kings Highway in Haddonfield. He was the survived by his parents, Dr. & Mrs. Francis Rossell Sr., sister Sally Rossell of Haddonfield, and his wife Mrs. Georgia Cox Rossell. Francis L. Rossell Jr. was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart Medal. He also earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon. 

Camden Courier-Post
November 8, 1968

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 8, 1968

Navy Corpsman Killed in Vietnam

Navy Medical Corpsman 3/C Francis L. Rossell Jr., 24, formerly of Haddonfield, N.J. was killed October 28 during a helicopter rescue mission in Vietnam, the Defense Department reported Thursday.

Corpsman Rossell, who was sent to South Vietnam in July, was a graduate of Haddonfield High School and had attended South Carolina University.


went to school with Lonnie Rossell from Kindergarten on through high school.   His father was a Captain in the Navy Reserve and my family doctor.  I used to watch Howdy Doody and Westerns on TV with Lonnie when we were little kids.  He was in medical school when I returned home from Vietnam after being wounded.  He was also a Medic in the Navy reserve while in school.   He was activated and sent to Vietnam as a medic with the Marines.  I went to his wedding before he shipped out to Vietnam.  A few months later I went to his funeral and saw his young wife fall apart emotionally.   

My father was in the National Guard in WWII, He was also an engineer working with RCA on defense projects, not to mention that he also had 4 children.  He didn't join the Reserve to avoid being drafted.  He didn't have to join the reserves, he did it because he wanted to.  He couldn't have joined the regular Army if he wanted to, because he had had Rheumatic Fever as a child which damaged his heart. Not to mention that he had 4 children and was working for the Department of Defense. He died when I was a kid from the from the damage to his heart caused by Rheumatic fever.

My friend Lonnie got a Purple heart for his trouble.  You Big Rich Hero Kerry got 3 Purple hearts ( with no Hospital visits), a Silver Star Bronze stars etc. etc.  It probably didn't hurt that he grew up with the Kennedy's. 

I have over 60 inches of scars on my body from wounds  received when my squad got caught in an ambush near the end of my year tour in country. I  am in the process of making arrangements to go back to the hospital for the 6th operation on my stomach because of the damage from just one of the bullet wounds. Most of us received nicks and cuts in fire fights that were much worse than any thing Kerry ever had, but we were to busy trying to stay alive than worrying about purple hearts. 

All of Kerry Fast Boat crew made it back unscathed and they celebrated reunions all the time.  There were only a few guys from my squad that returned home alive.  No reunions for us.

Kerry has cheapened the meaning of the Purple Heart, Silver Star and Bronze Stars.

Bill C
 Co 2/28

is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
on Panel 40W, Line 60.