Last Rites Held For S. Sgt. F. W. Underwood

Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 29, at 11 a.m., for Staff Sergeant Franklin W. Underwood, Jr., 22, who lost his life June 23 while serving with the U.S. 101st Airborne Division in the war with Vietnam.

The final rites were conducted by the Rev. William T. Kirwan, Randallstwon, at the Waltz funeral home, Winfield. Mr. Kirwan was to have officiated at the marriage of Sergeant Underwood and Miss Barbara Kitchen, Marriotsville, which had been planned for August 2, the day the local soldier was to been mustered out of the Army.

Pallbearers were: Marrione Shwarek , who served with Sergeant Underwood in Vietnam; Daniel Curry, Baltimore; Joseph Bragg, Robert Mullinix, Ronald Paull, Gregg Olsen, William Cookerly, all of the Sykesville area.

Burial was in Oak Grove Cemetery, near Cooksville, Howard County.

Sergeant Underwood, due to be discharged after a two-year tour of Army duty including one year in Vietnam, was reported missing following the crash of a helicopter in the war zone on June 23.

In a telegram received nearly a month later, on July 21, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin W. Underwood, R. D. 2, Sykesville, were notified of the death of their son.

In the same helicopter crash, it was reported, two other soldiers were killed and seven more were injured.

A 1965 graduate of Sykesville High School, Underwood entered the service in August 1967. After six months in Vietnam, he was promoted to staff sergeant in January, 1969. At that time his parents and fiancee, Miss Barbara Kitchen, visited him while he was on a week’s rest and recuperation leave in Hawaii.

In the two years between his graduation from high school and his being drafted into the Army, Underwood attended Westinghouse and Norge service schools and worked with his father in an Eldersburg electrical appliance business.

He was a member of Wesley-Freedom Methodist Church, and had been active in Boy Scout Troop 719 and the Sykesville Volunteer Fire Company.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by two brothers, Thomas, 19, and David, 12, both at home. His mother is the former Charlotte Kemp.

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