Searching for Vietnam CAP 3-3-6 Marine Richard L. Henry, Jr.
By Todd DePastino
Do you know this Marine? We think he’s Richard L. henry, Jr., who served in the USMC Combined Action Program CAP 3-3-6. John Suzadail wants to thank him for saving his life in 1970.
Seventy-three-year-old Vietnam War veteran John Suzadail is on a quest to find his long-lost comrade, Richard L. Henry, Jr., who saved his life 53 years ago. Philadelphia Inquirer features reporter Zoe Greenberg wrote an article about John’s quest. Both appeared on our VBC Happy Hour on July 31, 2023, and they talked about the incident when John was wounded and their efforts to find Richard L. Henry, Jr.
You can watch them tell us about the case here:
Despite the passage of time, John has vivid memories of that fateful day, May 15, 1970, when he was wounded in Vietnam, and Richard came to his rescue.
Both men were serving in the Combined Action Program CAP 3-3-6, stationed near Phu Bai in central Vietnam. During a mission to explore a Viet Cong tunnel, Suzadail tripped on a deadly trap – a rope attached to a grenade. In the midst of enemy ambushes, Richard and a soldier from the Republic of Vietnam quickly bandaged Suzadail’s wound and bravely rushed him to a medical helicopter, saving his life.
After returning home, Suzadail never forgot the debt he owed to Henry. Despite suffering from post-war PTSD and leading a full life, including working in the Postal Service for 24 years before retiring, he never gave up searching for his savior. He scoured lists of deceased combatants, visited military graveyards, and reached out to fellow veterans, hoping to reunite with the only black Marine in his predominantly white unit.
In his pursuit, Suzadail shared two pictures of Richard on Facebook every May since 2015, hoping someone would recognize and help locate him. However, finding him has proved challenging
As the years passed and the pain from his war wound intensified, John’s desire to thanks Richard for his bravery and compassion has only strengthened.
In his final wish, Suzadail hoped that the Department of Defense would award Mr. Henry the recognition he deserved, possibly a medal for his heroism. All he wanted was a chance to thank Henry properly for saving his life, a sentiment he had never been able to express.
John lives in Tamaqua, PA, 90 miles northeast of Philadelphia. He thinks Richard may have been from the Philadelphia area also. If anyone has information, please let us know!