RTB Colonel Herbert E. “Herb” Mendenhall, CO, HMM-265, 1965-1966
Obitury from Albuquerque Journal
Colonel Herbert E. "Herb" Mendenhall, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), passed away on May 16, 2013. Herb is survived by his wife of 70 years, Zola M. Mendenhall of Albuquerque, NM; son Mark Charles Mendenhall and wife Louise of CA; two grandchildren, David Mendenhall and wife, Jessica and Brian Mendenhall and his wife, Jennifer; one great-granddaughter, Blake; and many friends. Herb was preceded in death by his parents Herbert Earl and Sarah Mendenhall and one son, Richard Hathaway Mendenhall. Herb was born in 1923 in Pennsylvania.
After graduating high school, he attended one year at Westchester State teachers College before entering the United States Marines. He proudly served for 30 years as a pilot in World War II, Korea and Vietnam before retiring as a Colonel in 1970. He received his doctoral degree from the University of New Mexico and then taught history for several years at Del Norte High School.
He was a good parent and wonderful grandparent. Herb loved to play golf, swim, and enjoyed traveling with Zola. Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be on Wednesday, May 22, at 2:00 p.m. at FRENCH Wyoming. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Herbert's name to the charity of your choice. Please visit our online guest book for Herbert at www.FrenchFunerals.com. FRENCH - Wyoming 7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE (505) 823-9400
From a Marine who served with Herb in HMM-265
It is with deep regret and sadness that I must report that the man who took us to Vietnam has returned to base. I was informed today by Brian (Moose) Rolfe that Herb Mendenhall passed away on May 16, 2013.
Colonel Mendenhall was the Commanding Officer of HMM-265 from 1965 through 31 August 1966. He led us to Vietnam and through our first combat experiences. He earned the respect of all those he served with and was held in the highest esteem.
Herb served in the Pacific during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. I once had the opportunity of asking Herb what his most memorable assignment or command was. He replied that for a Marine aviator, it had to be as a squadron C.O., the commanding officer of HMM-265. However, he went on to say that his fondest memories were of flying transports off of Saipan during WWII. “Of course”, he said, “I met my wife on Saipan”. Herb’s spouse of seventy years, Zola, was a Navy nurse on Saipan. After the island was secured, the officers and nurses would have an occasional dance. Herb and his best friend, another Marine pilot, were invited to one of the dances. None of the nurses knew Herb, but they all wanted to meet Herb’s best friend. So, they went to the dance, Herb met Zola, and the rest is history.
Who was the Marine aviator who was Herb’s best friend? None other than Tyrone Power. Our old C.O. beat out Tyrone Power!
Semper Fi !