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Mr. Kenneth John Ivory
Private E-3
Branch of Service:
City: Chest Springs
State: Pennsylvania
County: Cambria
Honored By:
Helen Barlick, wife, and Robert Eyer, who also served in the 1st Air Cav.
Military Service:

Kenneth Ivory
Insight into his short but meaningful time on earth.

Early Years
Growing up on a farm in Cambria County meant long days of hard physical work which gave Ken a sense of accomplishment and pride of being the 3rd generation on the same farm. Ken was the son of Faber and Gertrude Ivory. The Ivory Farm was known for growing quality potatoes.
When not working, Ken enjoyed hunting and fishing and also had a great interest in cars. Ken, during his high school days, saved his money from working on the farm and other jobs. He saved enough money to purchase new a 1964 Mercury Comet, which cost $2,200. (note: today it would be worth $36,000)

Meeting Helen Gongloff
The love of his life.

Helen also grew up on a farm near Chest Springs and first met Ken at the dances at the Ashville fire hall on Friday nights. Not sure if it was love at first sight but they both knew they were meant for each other from the very beginning. On Friday nights during the Lenten season, it was stations of the cross at 7:30 and the dances started at 8:00 pm . (Note: the church and fire hall were close by )

High School Graduation
To the Army- Major decisions in life.

Ken graduated from Bishop Carrol High School in 1965 as the buildup in Vietnam was occurring. Rather than waiting to be drafted, Ken enlisted in the Army electing to serve 3 years as opposed to just two years if he was drafted. Ken had basic training in Fort Benning and advanced individual training at Fort Polk as a mortarman. Mortars provide indirect fire support at the company level, and normally there is one mortar platoon of 40 soldiers for each infantry company of approximately 170 soldiers.

Marriage Before Going to War
Ken entered the Army on March 3, 1966, and completed all of his training by mid-July of 1966 and received orders for Vietnam. Knowing he was in love with Helen, they made the decision to get married before he went to Vietnam. The marriage occurred on a Friday morning and a short honeymoon was enjoyed at a scenic lodge with a lake near Ebensburg. Helen and Ken exchanged letters every day while he was in Vietnam.

Assigned to the 1st Cav.
The First Cavalry was the first to arrive and the last to leave Vietnam using the newly developed airmobile tactics to wage the war. The helicopter allowed the 1st Cav to swiftly move, be resupplied,  and provide continuous fire support and medical evacuation at all times. This allowed the 1st Cav to be in the field pursuing the enemy on a continuous basis. The stand-downs at base camps only occurred every 2 to 3 months. The Vietnam wall in Washington DC has over 5,400 names of members of the 1st Cav, the most of any division that served in Vietnam, it is recognized that the 1st Cav was the most effective fighting force in the war.
Ken was assigned to Company A 1st Battalion 5 Cavalry regiment. In October of 1966, Company A was part of Operation Thayer, in the Binh Dinh province which was the largest air assault up to that time in the Vietnam War. While Ken and other members of his company were clearing out an LZ, (landing zone ), Ken was killed when a helicopter malfunctioned and crashed.

How to Remember One’s Call to Arms
Ken did not have to enlist in the Army so early after high school. He could have remained in civilian status for a couple more years before he would have been drafted, but he made that fateful decision. His family will not forget his memory, so that others may learn of his sacrifice and patriotism, a bridge within 2 miles from the Ivory farm on the Eckconrode Mill Road has been named for Ken. At this bridge Ken and his brother Wayne fished, swam and he taught Helen how to ice skate under this bridge


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