Erik Niles Rudziak:
An engineer fireman in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, Rudziak was the son of a career military officer.
Born in Germany on 28 April 1949, he spent much of his formative years at various military posts both in the United States and abroad.
Nicholas Rudziak, the boy's father, graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 1966 and while he served in Vietnam his family resided in Carlisle.
Erik graduated from Carlisle High School in 1966 and joined the navy less than two months later.
Shipping to Vietnam in August 1968, he reported for duty as a crewmember on board the Yard Freight Utility (YFU)-62, a naval vessel which transported cargo to various military installations located on the coast of Vietnam. On 16 January 1969, his boat struck a mine on the Cua Viet River; the explosion killed Rudziak and seven other sailors. The 19 year old is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Full Name: ERIK NILES RUDZIAK
Date of Birth: 4/28/1949
Date of Casualty: 1/16/1969
Home of Record: CARLISLE, PENNSYLVANIA
Branch of Service: NAVY
Casualty Country: SOUTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: QUANG TRI
RUDZIAK, ERIK NILES
ENFN U. S. N
DATE OF BIRTH: 04/28/1949
DATE OF DEATH: 01/16/1969
BURIED AT: SECTION 11 SITE 644 R.N.
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard