Bernardo K. Ramos (1971/03/24)
Grenades pinned down a Watsonville track star leaving him nowhere to run.
Bernardo Kealoha Ramos was born on November 6, 1950, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Bernardo and Maria Ramos. Bernardo Sr. had migrated from the Philippine Islands to Hawaii. In Hawaii he married Maria and the couple had five sons: Bernardo, Mario, Benedict, Florentino and Jamie. The family later moved to Watsonville and established their residence on Doering Avenue. Bernardo Jr. entered Watsonville High School and was remembered as being an all-around good student and tireless worker who excelled in football, track and karate. After his graduation, he enrolled in Cabrillo College where he majored in math and science.
In 1970 Ramos enlisted in the U.S Army and was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington for basic training. Following his advanced individual training, he was deployed to Vietnam on October 20, 1970. Upon arrival he was assigned as a rifleman in Company D, 4th Battalion, 3rd Brigade of the 23rd Infantry (Americal) serving in Quang Tri Province.
On March 24, 1971, Ramos' platoon was conducting a search and destroy mission in a mountainous area and was split into two squads. The previous day they had seen foxholes, fortifications and other evidence of considerable NVA activity and were alert to the possibility of an ambush when they were hit. His squad was attacked and pinned down while grenades were thrown at them over the crest of the hill and AK-47 fire intensified. During the ensuing firefight, Bernardo and three of his fellow platoon members were killed and most of the remainder of the squad was wounded.
Ramos' body was recovered and returned to Watsonville for a requiem mass at Valley Catholic Church and burial in the Pajaro Valley Memorial Park.
(VVMW; WHSM; WRP March 22, 1968 2:1, March 31, 1971, April 2, 1971 2:4; VVVW, Douglas Ayers Site posting by James D. Ronan, (Ramos platoon leader) May 31,1999, http://www.vvmf.org//index. cfm?SectionID=110&anClip=7770, [16 September 2008])