Griswold

About UsHistoryIn The Line Of FireVietnam War › Griswold

Leon Griswold

Vietnam, 1967-1968

Leon GriswoldLeon C. Griswold was born December 19, 1900, in Bane, Vermont. He attended public school in Newton, Mass., and White Plains, N.Y. After attending Nyack Missionary College for one year (1919) he studied accounting at Pace Institute in Brooklyn. A charter member of the Alliance Church in White Plains, Mr. Griswold held a number of offices in the church and served as superintendent of the Sunday school. For many years he worked for the Prudential Insurance Company. During World War II he served with the US. Armed Forces in the Aleutians, New Guinea and the Philippines. Upon retirement from his insurance work in 1952 he moved to Florida and became Clerk of Circuit Court in Lake Worth. At the Neighborhood Church (C&MA) there he sang in the choir and taught the adult Sunday school class. He was chaplain of the Palm Beach County Gideons.

Retired from business and widowed, he was particularly drawn to the work that his daughter Carolyn was doing in Banmethuot and he requested permission to join the Mission on a two-year basis. Mr. Griswold had met so many of the missionaries from Viet Nam and had been so thoroughly briefed by Carolyn’s letters that when he went there in May last year [1967] it was, like going home. The work at Banmethuot was the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition and he worked long hours.

The Griswold HomeIn the early hours of January 30, 1968, Banmethuot, the normally quiet provincial center in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, became suddenly alive with noise and light. As Viet Cong insurgents swept into the provincial center that Tuesday morning, the house in which Mr. Leon Griswold and his daughter lived disintegrated in a terrifying explosion. Leon died in the blast. His daughter Carolyn was injured and evacuated. She died two days later of her injuries.

Missionaries N. Robert Ziemer, C. Edward Thompson, Mrs. C. Edward Thompson, and Miss Ruth M. Wilting, R.N. were also killed in the attack. Other missionaries, Miss Betty A. Olsen, R.N., and Mr. Henry Blood, were taken captive and later died in the jungle of starvation and disease.

Surviving are his son, Robert, of Birmingham, Mich.; a brother, George, of Peekskill, N.Y.; and a sister, Mrs. Edward Kelley, of Elmsford, N.Y.

Carolyn Griswold

Vietnam, 1952-1968

Carolyn GriswoldCarolyn Ruth Griswold was born July 3, 1926, in White Plains, N.Y. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Griswold, were dedicated Christians and maintained a strong testimony in their home. Carolyn was saved at an early age, probably around five, and later through the influence of visiting missionaries at the church and in the home felt a growing desire to serve the Lord and commit her life to Him. However, during her high school years she rebelled, until in her senior year the Lord began to deal with her. Being convinced shortly after graduation that the mission field was God’s will for her, she enrolled in Nyack Missionary College in 1946 and was graduated in 1949.

After serving as a secretary in the Home Department at the Alliance Headquarters in New York City, in 1952 Carolyn left for the field, spending nine mouths in language study in Paris en route. Though she served efficiently in the field office on several occasions, most of her service for the Lord has been at Banmethuot working with the children and young people, teaching in the Bible school, visiting the district—a wide and diversified ministry.

Miss Griswold once wrote to friends: “We missionaries are not concerned about our physical safety, for we have peace and confidence in the Lord’s promises. That which weighs heavily upon us is the overwhelming spiritual need in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we long to see the tens of thousands of lost souls around us brought to a knowledge of the Saviour.”

In the early hours of January 30, 1968, Banmethuot, the normally quiet provincial center in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, became suddenly alive with noise and light. As Viet Cong insurgents swept into the provincial center that Tuesday morning, the house in which Miss Carolyn Griswold and her father lived disintegrated in a terrifying explosion. Her dad, Mr. Leon Griswold, in Vietnam on a two-year voluntary assignment, died in the blast. Carolyn was injured and evacuated. She died at Nhatrang about 6:00 P.M. on Friday, February 2, 1968, of hemorrhagic shock and internal injuries.

Missionaries N. Robert Ziemer, C. Edward Thompson, Mrs. C. Edward Thompson, and Miss Ruth M. Wilting, R.N. were also killed in the attack. Other missionaries, Miss Betty A. Olsen, R.N., and Mr. Henry Blood, were taken captive and later died in the jungle of starvation and disease.

Taken in part from The Alliance Witness — March 13, 1968.

Share

Get Involved...

Pray.

We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »

Serve.

Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »

Give.

Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »