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FSB Ripcord Association

For Survivors, Family and Friends of The Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord.
101st Airborne, Vietnam. 
March 12 – July 23, 1970

FSB Ripcord
Ripcord after evacuation

Lee Widjeskog
July 22, 1946 – Jan 10,2022

Relatives and friends are invited to attend funeral services at the Freitag Funeral Home, 137 W. Commerce St., Bridgeton on Saturday afternoon January 15th at 2 o’clock where friends may call from 1 until 2.

The burial with military honors will take place at the Cumberland County Veteran’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Ripcord Association, c/o Pete Meloro, 107 Maple Dr., Spring Lake Heights, NJ 07762 (peter.meloro48@gmail.com)

Lee Elis Widjeskog, 75 years of age of Deerfield Township died unexpectedly on Monday, January 10, 2022 shortly upon arrival at Inspira Medical Center in Vineland.

He was born in Bridgeton on July 22, 1946 and was the son of the late Elis and Hildegard Widjeskog. He was a graduate of Bridgeton High School in the Class of 1964.

In 1968, Lee married Kathryn Haruko Niji while finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Biology at the Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. He began his military service in May of 1969 and served in the 101st Airborne unit of the US Army as a First Lieutenant and was eventually deployed to Vietnam. Trained in Airborne School and Jungle School, he fought in one of the last major battles of the war from firebase support Ripcord and considered himself lucky to survive. He received the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged to the US Army Reserves in March of 1971.

Lee was employed for 40 years by the State of New Jersey, Division of Fish and Wildlife as a Wildlife Biologist. He loved being part of nature and enjoyed every day of his work.

A true sportsman, Lee was an active member of Ducks Unlimited, The National Wild Turkey Federation, Sportsman’s Federation and the Ripcord Association. He and Kathy organized numerous banquets, jamborees, reunions, take-a-kid hunting days and anything to promote the love of nature and being outside.

He was generous to a fault, kind, honest, hardworking and a great husband, son, father and brother. He was also the family and neighborhood historian.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Denise (Ryan) Powers and Brett Widjeskog, grandson, Tyler Powers, siblings, Linda (Chris) Laning, Roy (Susan) Widjeskog, Judy (John Nedohon) McCormick and Sue Widjeskog and numerous nieces, nephews, and family in Finland.

The Ripcord Report
Ripcord Association Newsletter

Ripcord Report #128
November 2021

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This website is intended to provide information about The Battle of Ripcord in Vietnam, March 12 – July 23, 1970. The soldiers who were involved in this battle, and about The Ripcord Association which was started in 1985. All information, comments and suggestions are appreciated. Please send them to:   frankmarshall@ripcordassociation.com