Phil Warren from the UK spent 62 years to build this incredible fleet of 432 ships. All vessels are built entirely of matchsticks and boxes of wooden matches. The collection includes nearly 370 American and 60 British ships.

Although now 79 years of age, he began creating his first boat in 1948, when he was only 17. He uses a razor blade, tweezers and sandpaper to carve the pieces and boxes, then sticks his completed product together with balsa wood glue. In total. more than 650,000 matchsticks were used to create an amazing collection of 1,300 scale models. Even 1,200 aircraft made even more realistic appearance to dress the decks of aircraft carriers

Hicksville Vietnam War Era Memorial

We’re back after a brief hiatus for the Holidays and with a full head of steam for the New Year!  Even with the Holiday break good work continued in both December and January with the addition of 49 new names for a new total of 1,765.  Also, thanks to the ongoing effort at The Hicksville Public Library by one of our alumni volunteers, substantial headway continued to be made on filling in missing data for many of the people on our List of Names. 

As in the past, you can continue to help this effort by scanning the List of Names, using your class year or years you may be familiar with as a reference, to see if you have a new name or some missing data to email to us.  Class years, where known, are specifically shown to make this effort easier for all our readers.

In addition to our efforts to build and refine the List of Names, Bill Walden, serving as our local Project Leader on the scene in Hicksville had a good January meeting with the Hicksville Historical Society and garnered their support of our project with a brief summary of our efforts to date.  He will continue to keep them in the loop with updates.  Bill also met with Nassau County Legislator Rose Walker who committed to do what she can to support and help us.  Ken Strafer is also moving ahead to provide Bill with a bas relief and rendering of our planned Memorial’s center stone for Bill’s use in gaining the official approvals we will need in finalizing the site and construction of the Memorial.

Memorial Qualifications:  A person must have been on active duty in one of our Armed Forces during the Vietnam Era.  The person did not necessarily have to serve in Vietnam , because by being in service at that time he or she faced the possibility of being sent to Vietnam and was an integral part of strengthening our Armed Forces during a time of war. 

Overall qualifications include:

  • must have been a resident of Hicksville at some time before entering our Armed Forces
  • must have attended a public, private or parochial high school while living in Hicksville (attendance at HHS not required)
  • must have served on active duty anywhere in the world during America ’s Vietnam Era (February,1961 through April,1975)
  • Both men and women qualify (We’re stating this since, while continuing to add a number of women, we still have relatively few on the current list overall)

While we have now accumulated 1,765 names, there are still more people out there who served and meet the above qualifications, but have yet to be identified.  Rough estimates made at the beginning of this project indicated we should be able to collect between 2 and 3 thousand names, so we are getting close to that goal.  We have access to official records in Washington , D.C. , but have found that many people left Hicksville before entering the service and show a different town or city as their home at the time of entry.  So, we need to continue this grass roots effort and will also continue to use official records as a means of confirmation of all personnel on the list. 

Our Project Team consists of the following members:

·        Ken Strafer, Founder (HHS ’62)

·        Joe Carfora, Master List (HHS ’62)

·        Carl Probst, Input Data, Class of ’59 & Others (HHS ’59)

·        Tony Plonski, Input Data, Class of ’64 & Others (HHS ’64)

·        Tommy Sullivan, Press Release Editing (HHS ’63)

·        Walter Schmidt, Hicksville Local Coordinator & Town of Oyster Bay Veterans Services Officer (HHS ’65)

·        Joe Ingino, Veterans Advocate, Hicksville & Long Island (HHS ’67)

·        Jay Tranchina, Input Data, Class of ’64 & Others, plus local press contact (HHS 1964)

·        Bill Walden, Cmdr of Hicksville VFW Post, Site Selection/Approval & Fundraising Leader (HHS ’65)                                                   

Here’s what we continue to need from each person reading this to do:

Please click on the following link to review the current list of names:  Click here.

If you know of someone who is not listed, or if you have information we are still missing, please send what you have to Joe Carfora at  Please use the information contained on the current list as a guide for the data we need.

Thank you!

The Vietnam War Era Memorial Project Team

Footnote extracted from  During 15 years of military involvement, over 2 million Americans served in Vietnam with 500,000 seeing actual combat. 47,244 were killed in action, including 8000 airmen. There were 10,446 non-combat deaths. 153,329 were seriously wounded, including 10,000 amputees. Over 2400 American POWs/MIAs were unaccounted for as of 1973.

To access a huge list of veteran related websites that offer assistance, visit