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Steven Paul Mollohan
Webster Echo, February 16, 1966.
Used with permission

West Virginia Veterans Memorial


Steven Paul Mollohan

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

� Winston S. Churchill

The caption beneath the Webster Echo photo reads: "S Sgt. S. P. Mollohan, age 32 and son of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Mollohan of Webster Springs, was killed on February 5, 1966, in action in Viet Nam, becoming the first Webster County service man to be killed there. Mollohan was born in Webster County and attended county schools. He enlisted in the army in 1956 and has served since that time. He was married to Goldie [Whittington?] Mollohan and had two sons, Steve and Jeff, and one daughter, Susan. Sgt. Mollohan has one sister, Bertha Casto, and one brother, Perry, who is in the service station business in Webster Springs. He was buried this week at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. This paper joins with county citizens in expressing sincere sympathy to the Mollohan family."

Writing in By the Banks of the Holly (New York: iUniverse, Inc., 2005), Marie Mollohan states: "This edition [of the Webster Echo] was saved by my mother." Steven Paul Mollohan served in the 101st Airborne. Because of the many time zones around the world, Paul was killed on February 5, 1966, but in Webster County that date would have been February 6, 1966. February 6 was his sister June's birthday. Paul was the grandson of William and Estaline Jordan Mollohan; the great grandson of Bernard and Mary Strong Mollohan; the great great grandson of George Dodrill and Diana Bickel Mollohan; and the great great great grandson of James and Martha Dodrill Mollohan.

Steven Paul Mollohan (known as Paul) was born on December 31, 1933, in Diana, Webster County, West Virginia. His parents were Stephen J. Mollohan and Hazel G. Mollohan. He also had two brothers, Carl A. Mollohan, who died before he was one year old; and his younger brother, Perry Mollohan, who was born when Paul was seven years old; and one sister, Bertha [June?] Casto. Paul married a woman named Goldie Whittington. They had three children, two boys and one girl: Steve Mollohan, Jeff Mollohan, and Susan Mollohan.

Paul Mollohan grew up in Pickens, West Virginia, and attended local schools. His life was just like a normal kid's life. His community, like many communities in West Virginia, has struggled to keep going after the Second World War.

The United States began its involvement in Vietnam as early as 1950 to aid the French in the First Indochina War. Also, the United States government saw that if they didn't step in, South Vietnam was going to be controlled by North Vietnam. On July 27, 1964, the United States government sent 5,000 additional advisers to South Vietnam that increased the total American advisers there to 21,000. Staff Sergeant Mollohan served with B Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

Insignia of the 101st Airborne Division

Men of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, fire from old Viet Cong trenches. Photo from U.S. Army Center of Military History

According to the Wikipedia entry for this division, "The 101st Airborne is able to plan, coordinate, and execute brigade-size air assault operations capable of seizing key terrain in support of operational objectives, and is capable of working in austere environments with limited or degraded infrastructure. These particular operations are conducted by highly mobile teams covering extensive distances and engaging enemy forces behind enemy lines. According to the author of Screaming Eagles: 101st Airborne Division, its unique battlefield mobility and high level of training have kept it in the vanguard of US land combat forces in recent conflicts." (

Staff Sergeant Mollohan served in the United States Army for eight years, six months, and twenty-nine days. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 8, 1957. His service occupation in the Army was Light Weapons Infantry. Light Weapons Infantry were soldiers who used rifles rather than smoothbore muskets, marched faster than their other comrades, and were more likely to fight from cover than to hurl themselves against the enemy in close quarters. During Operation Sherman Peak, Staff Sergeant Mollohan died from small wounds on February 6, 1966, in Phu Yen Province, South Vietnam. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 37, Site 2598. He died as a young father to three children. Staff Sergeant Mollohan was the first Webster County service man to be killed in the Vietnam War. Staff Sergeant Mollohan one of the real superheroes in the world.

Article prepared by Caleb Wiley and Dawson Henderson, George Washington High School JROTC
January 2019


Steven Paul Mollohan

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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