View Full Version : Passing of our 27th Commandant

10-30-08, 10:13 PM
From: Conway Gen James T <br />
Sent: Thu 10/30/2008 3:46 PM <br />
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Generals, Admirals, and Senior Executives, <br />
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It is with deep regret that I announce the death this afternoon, 30 October <br />
2008, of...

Phantom Winger
11-03-08, 05:47 PM
God Bless Gen Barrow and God Bless the Marine Corps.

RIP sir

11-05-08, 10:18 AM
After-Action Report
By Colonel Wayne Bienvenu, USMCR (Ret.)

The Marine Corps went all out for the funeral service. The Commandant and several of his general officers were there, as well as a Color Guard Company, the Marine Corps Color Guard, and a detachment from the Marine Corps Band. (There must have been three planeloads of Marines from HQMC.) There was also a musical group from the Marine Reserve Band in NOLA. The following additional dignitaries were also present: General Al Gray, General Carl Mundy, Senator Jim Webb, Jim Brady, General John Miller, two MCMOH recipients, Barney Barnum and Wes Fox, and a contingent of six of Barrow Tulane Marines (Tommy Bienvenu, Dick Joiner, Ron Dusse, Sloan McCloskey, Bill Capps and yours truly). Retired Lieutenant General Jack Bergman and Major General Ron Richard were also in attendance, probably along with others I did not observe.

The weather was absolutely perfect, and the setting of Grace Episcopal Church under the oaks could not have been better. The church is in the center of the grounds, and the graveyard is adjacent to the church on both sides. There is a hall on the church grounds which was used for the viewing. The General’s casket was closed and covered by the Flag and surrounded by flowers. (Ours were elegant, and symbolically trimmed with olive green and blue ribbons.) An adjacent room was used for food and refreshments. The family had a small but well selected memorial picture display in the viewing room. In addition to the uniformed Marines, the Marine Corps League, and a number of retired and veteran Marines were also present. There was an impressive number of local and area friends of the general at the viewing.

The funeral procession started at the General’s home, which is only a block away from the church and graveyard. The hearse under escort of honorary and family pallbearers was preceded by the Color Guard, and followed by the family. (I served at the Barrow Family’s request as an Honorary Pallbearer in recognition of our membership.) The far off sounds of firing cannon in a dirge-like cadence could be heard during the procession, which moved along a street lined with school children holding miniature U.S. flags, and with local citizens in front of their homes with flags flying, and hands over their hearts. The whole town had turned out either to attend or to view the funeral from a distance.

The color guard marched into a box formation in front of the church in front of the church, and presented arms. The body was removed from the hearse by six “strong” Marines, and set for the pallbearers to escort into the church. Protocol was strictly followed for handling the General’s body; and six general officers followed by eight honorary pallbearers, and eight family pallbearers escorted the body to bier at the front of the altar.

The church ceremony lasted about two hours with eulogies by four of the children and General Mundy, who had become close to the General and his family during the last several years as neighbors in North Carolina. I heard some new stories about the General and his family during the eulogies, and will perhaps try to collect them from our attendees and send them out later. Several comments are worth noting: (1) Charles said “We are so happy that Dad will be alongside our mother tonight”; (2) Rob said that his dad’s favorite admonition was “In the moment, always be a gentleman”; and (3) I believe it was Barbara who said words to the effect, “Everyone thinks he was a legendary Marine, but that pales compared to the husband and father that he was.” The service concluded with an Episcopal mass with an eloquent homily that compared the General to a Fourteenth Century Knight

After the service the procession moved from the church to the adjacent graveyard for the burial. During movement of the body to the grave site, the jazz funeral music by the NOLA Marines was a special touch. There was a fly-by of four aircraft, and a nineteen gun salute. The Band bugle player performed magnificently. The Commandant presented flags to each of the five children. Then finally, the family members cast dirt on the General’s casket; and their restrained emotions yielded to a flood of tears over the realization that he was in fact now gone.

The whole ceremony was quite impressive, and an appropriate tribute to the memory of a great American, a Louisiana Legend, a Mentor and an old friend.

Semper Fidelis,


Note: We were able to get a moment of silence observed in the General’s memory at the LSU-Tulane game on Saturday. I called and asked MG Ron Richard, USMC (Ret), head of Tiger Athletic Foundation, to arrange to have this done since the General was also a Louisiana Legend, and possessed honorary doctorate degrees from both LSU and Tulane. Some of his grandchildren were at the game, and reported to Charles with amazement that it had been done.

11-05-08, 03:36 PM
Hey fontman, did you serve with General Barrow at the Chosin Reservoir? General Barrow was Commandant of the Marine Corps when I joined the Corps in 1979.

11-06-08, 12:02 PM
It's horrible losing both General Barrow and Colonel Ripley within days of each other.
Rest in peace gentlemen.
Enjoy your time in Valhalla as you both richly deserve to,