Ed Rickards (T. '63 and Law '66) in a Chronicle Memorial Day column co-authored with Kristin Butler (T. ’08) remembers an “eternal friend:
...The Vietnam War took a classmate, next door neighbor in the dorms and eternal friend.An epitaph honoring WW II allies who made the supreme sacrifice also poignantly expresses the debt Americans owe U.S.M.C 1st. Lt. Charles G. Mason (T.'64) and his fallen comrades:
Charles G. Mason '64, known as Buddy, was in Naval ROTC at Duke; he wore his uniform with pride at a time when many were growing wary of the military.
At graduation he received a commission in the Marine Corps and was sent to the city of Hue in Vietnam. It's hard to fathom Buddy amid the insane violence of war, transported from the grace of our campus to slogging in a jungle.
February 24, 1967. Fellow Marines in nearby Phu Bai village were pinned down by withering fire, taking heavy casualties. The weather hampered the flow of reinforcements and ammo, but First Lieutenant Mason tried to break through in a Medivac helicopter.
To rescue the wounded. To retrieve the dead.
His copter took bullets in the fuselage, burst into flames and fell to earth in pieces. His remains are now at Arlington National Cemetery.
Buddy Mason's survivors included his wife Lynelle and their 22-month-old daughter Lois. Six months after Buddy's death, his wife gave birth to his son Charles. ...
"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"