Charles McMahon Jr., 22, named "Boy of the Year" in Woburn, Mass., in 1971, was at home earlier this month, relaxing with his friends. Darwin Judge, 19, of Marshalltown, Iowa, was graduated from high school last June, joined the Marines, and was put in an honor detachment.
Then they went to Vietnam.
Charles and Edna McMahon said goodby to their son April 5. They weren't worried-the war was just about over.
But two Marines walked up to the McMahon's pink-and-white home Tuesday with the worst possible news. Their son was dead.
Cpl. McMahon and Lance Cpl. Judge were the last U.S. fighting men killed on Vietnam soil.
McMahon, who had been in Vietnam just two weeks, and Judge, a one-month veteran of Saigon, were killed Monday by rocket and artillery fire on Tan Son Nhut Airport outside Saigon-less than 12 hours before the start of the final evacuation of Americans from Saigon.
"He was a hell of a nice kid. All you had to do was look at his shoes and you knew he was a Marine. He stood just as if he had a ramrod in him," said a McMahon neighbor.
The parents of the dead Marines went into seclusion. The McMahons shut their door and bolted it. They wanted to be alone with their grief.
McMahon came home the last time to attend the annual Boys Club dinner. He was "Boy of the Year" in 1971-the year before he was graduated from Woburn High School.
McMahon and Judge were part of the 120-Marine U.S. Embassy security detachment assigned to the defense attach