Carl “Bud” Myllymaki III is a native of Westerly, Rhode Island. He was a 1961 graduate of Westerly High School where he was a member of the student council, track team and football team. He attended Dean Junior College for one year and was a member of the wrestling team. Carl transferred to the University of Rhode Island in September 1962 where he was a member of the football team, wrestling team, swim team and gymnastics team. He participated in the Army ROTC program for two years. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps in June 1965.
Carl attended Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1965-1966 where he received a Master of Science Degree in Physical Education. Lieutenant Myllymaki entered the Marine Corps in August 1966; and after his initial infantry training at Quantico, Virginia, he attended the Panama Rain Forest training and special Seal training.
Lieutenant Myllymaki deployed to South Vietnam in October 1967. He was assigned as an Infantry Platoon Leader, Echo Company RECON, 3d Marine Division. First Lieutenant Myllymaki was involved in combat operations throughout his assignment and was a veteran of the “Battle of Khe Sanh,” the longest and deadliest battle of the Vietnam War. Khe Sanh was a village located near the Laotian border and just south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separated North and South Vietnam.
Sadly, Lieutenant Myllymaki was killed in action with just ten days left on his one-year tour of duty while on a patrol in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. In 1986, The First Lieutenant Carl W. Myllymaki III, United States Marine Corps, Scholarship Award was established at the URI Foundation by the late Richard Smith to honor the memory of his Westerly High School classmate.
Lieutenant Myllymaki was buried with full military honors at River Bend Cemetery, Westerly, Rhode Island. Lieutenant Myllymaki is a true Rhode Island hero in every sense of the word. He answered the call to service during the Vietnam War and gave his life in service to Rhode Island and America.