1970

TO LISTEN TO GEORGE JONE'S 50,000 NAMES ON THE WALL

64 65 66 67 68 69   71 72 73

1970

01

9

E-5 SGT

Richard A.

Thomas

11B4S

KIA

Cam; CCS, w/ RT??,  w/ SFC Bartlett (this was a 5-man team)

1970

01

9

E-7 SFC

Larry P.

Bartlett

11B4S

KIA

Cam; CCS, w/ RT??,  w/ SGT Thomas (this was a 5-man team)

9  9 Jan 70- Larry Paul Bartlett, SFC E-7 and Richard Alan. Thomas, SGT E-5 of CCS, KIA’ed-RR My friend and long time SFTG roommate Richard Thomas who was KIA along with SFC Larry Bartlett.. They were on recon in NE Cambodia for CCS. Richard was a very kind guy, well liked but shy; he will always remain in my memory as a true friend.  SFC Bartlett was 32 years old and was not married. Larry died from  multiple fragmentation wounds SGT Thomas was 22 years old and was married.   Richard Thomas died from small arms fire and was born on in Fresno, California.-John  Hanscom, SFA

Fayetteville,NC1969.jpg (115182 bytes)The pic in the bar is of from left to right; UI, Rich Thomas, Mike Buchanan, Rich(?) Joecken, Carl Franquet (me). We were all in the O&I course together and went to town for a few brews. Taken either in late ’68 or early ’69. Photo by Carl mffi115@aol.com

For additional photo's click-->Photo's (He's at the bottom of page 8 of the photo gallery)

 

1970

01

10

E-7 SFC

James Henry

Zumbrun

91B4S

KIA, fixed wing shotdown

Laos; CCC, Covey, in O2-A #68-6863 20 miles west of Dak To while supporting a team on the ground

10 Jan 70- Henry J Zumbrurn, SFC B-7, USASF CCC, Kontum, Ops 35, Killed-RR while engaged as a Covey Rider supporting a SOG recon team

James H Zumbrun

 

 

Army SFC James H. Zumbrun of Manchester, Maryland, was killed on January 10, 1970, when his observation plane was shot down in Vietnam.

"He was over there by choice," said his father Champ Zumbrun of his son, a former Carroll County soccer star. "He didn't have to be there. he said we have to do it. This is the place we have to be".

James was a Silver Star recipient and member of the elite Green Berets and was on his third voluntary tour of duty in Vietnam at the time of his death at the age of 26.

He had joined the Special Forces shortly after graduation from North Carroll High School in 1961. He was decorated more than a dozen times, receiving in addition to the Silver Star and Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters with "V" device, the Purple Heart with two oak clusters, the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation medal with oak leaf cluster, the Navy Unit Commendation Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm, the Master Parachutist medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Ranger School badge and the Good Conduct Medal. His Silver Star citation read that the sergeant had

"distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions March 13, 1968, as Special Forces adviser to a Vietnamese reconnaissance team. When moving through dense jungle, his patrol came in contact with an enemy platoon. He quickly placed fire on the enemy force. Outnumbered and drawing fire from three sides, he directed the withdrawal of the patrol, remaining behind to cover his comrades. Joining the other patrol members, he directed them to an extraction landing zone. With the enemy within 20 meters, he braved fire to protect the recovery helicopter and to direct gunships and airstrikes on enemy positions. As the last three patrol members were being hoisted into the recovery aircraft, the landing zone began receiving intense enemy fire.

Zumbrun, realizing the aircraft and remaining patrol members were in grave danger, dropped 30 feet to the ground, enabling the aircraft to withdraw undamaged. A second recovery helicopter arrived and he was successfully extracted."

 

1970

01

13

E-6 SSG

Glenn E.

Tubbs

11B4S

MIA-PFD, drowned

SVN; CCS, 1st Exploit. Co, Pleiku Prov., YA675330, Se San River crossing 17 km WNW of A-253 Duc Co

13 Jan 70- Glenn Ernest Tubbs; SGT E-5 of Amarillo, TX, USASF, CCS, Ban Me Thout, Ops - MIA-Presumptive finding of death. SGT Tubbs, a member of a river crossing team, was lost in the swift current in a river crossing of a deep channel of the San River close to the Cambodian border 12 miles northwest of Duc Co. One team member took the rope across and the other team members used the rope to assist in the crossing; however, Tubbs, the last member to cross, begin to have trouble when he was near the center of the river, losing grip of a rope, he was swept away, observed going under a six times after being carried over some deep rapids about 50 feet downstream from the rope. The team member chased after him, two by swimming back across the stream, he had disappeared and was not seen again.

Glenn E Tubbs Fr SF Honor Roll

 

1970

02

7

E-5 SP5

Steven M.

Kuster

11B4S

KIA

SVN; CCC, Hatchet Force Sqd Ldr; jeep ran over a mined 122mm at A-244 Ben Het, Kontum Prov.

07 Feb 70- Steven M Kuster, SP/5, USASF, CCC-KIA. Kuster was one of my squad leaders.  (I was a platoon sergeant in Co A.) Kuster had taken his squad up to Ben Het (I think, might've been Dak Pek), I forget exactly why; maybe just for additional security or to secure the landing strip during a lull in the frequent sieges up there.  This was a special assignment; usually we never detached a squad to do anything, much less support someone else's camp.  But those were the orders. I couldn't remember when this happened, real late in my tour.  I came back in February '70, and his date of death is Feb 70 also .. so it must've been within a week or so of my return.  We used to joke about Kuster's name (although not in front of him; he was just a young NCO, buck sergeant I believe, and pretty new to SF and all this).  You know, "Kuster" and Custer, Little Big Horn, etc.  But you know SF humor, usually pretty dark.  We never dreamed ...Kuster had his entire squad piled onto an M-151 jeep, going to take them down to the river below the camp for a quick bath. The jeep ran over a buried (either 122mm rocket or 155mm howitzer round, I forget which now), I'm told command-detonated.  It blew the jeep to crap, and everyone on it.  SF team heard the explosion, sent people to investigate, found the platoon interpreter hobbling up the dirt road for help, hurt leg but otherwise basically unharmed.  They went down the road, found the jeep upside down, blown to hell, bodies scattered all around in the middle of a grass fire. They put out the fire, recovered the bodies. I don't want to receive any email, calls or letters from begrieved family members.  I have nothing to tell them that would make them feel better, or make his loss worth while. David Kirschbaum, SGM, USA SF (Ret), Plt Sgt, Co A Hatchet Force CCC

 

1970

02

12

E-7 SFC

Walter K.

Dennis

96D40

DNH, heart attack

SVN; SOG20, Gia Dinh Prov.

12 Feb 70- Walter K. Dennis, SFC E-7, USASF, SOG20, NCOIC-Non-hostile, died of illness

 

1970

02

25

E-7 SFC

Bobbie R.

Baxter

12B4S

DNH, vehicle crash

SVN; B-53, Bien Hoa Prov., S-4 NCOIC

25 Feb 70- Bobbie R. Baxter, SFC E-7, USASF, B-53-Non-hostile, died of Vehicle loss or crash Bien Hoa Province, South Vietnam

 

1970

02

28

E-7 SFC

William

Boyle

91Z4S

KIA, BNR, helicopter shotdown

Laos; CCC, FOB2, YB586188, Chase Medic, CH-34 shootdown, 16k south of Leghorn

28 Feb 70- William (Bob) Boyles, SFC of Waltrous, PA, and approximately Special Commando Soldiers (Exact Number unknown) USASF CCC; Konturn, Ops 35; a Vietnamese Choctaw helicopter pilot, and a Co-Pilot, and Door Gunner form the 219th Vietnamese Air Force, Da Nang, Ops 32-All listed as MIA, Presumptive finding of death. This Vietnamese crew had volunteered to perform a resupply and pick up wounded men of Hatchet Force Company B, Kontum, in the mist of a fire fight in Operation Halfback in Laos, on top of the same hill Hatchet Force Company A had occupied back on 4 March 69. Having just loaded the wounded Commandos the helicopter was hit by a B-40 rocket. SFC Boyles was last seen standing inside the aircraft. The area was searched thoroughly, but remains were found after the fire. William (Bob) Boyles is pictured on the right, Fred Zabitozky, CMH Recipient is far left, and Warren (Bud) William center. Photo by Bud William 

William Boyer

      05 March or 5 May 1970 (official records say 5 March)- Charles Garvin Dougan, CW2 &  Robert Ira Rabb,1LT,  James Laurence Howell, SGT, Crew Chief , James Delvin Smith,  SP4,  Gunner of the 195th AHC-KIA-RR due to helicopter crash in support of CCS Operation UH-1H tail number 68-15525 was shot down in the vicinity of the Quan Loi Air field-Some members of the  believe that all 4 men mentioned above were KIA in the same aircraft crash, Phuoc Long, SVN out of Quan Loi into Cambodia.  It was a gun ship that was hit with a rocket and went down killing all crew (Note: on the same date and that the records are mistaken - which date is correct is a matter of contention. [Filed by Tyler Furbish-195th historian]

1970

03

6

E-7 SFC

James W.

Finzel

11B4S

DNH, drowned

SVN; CCN, RT Moccasin, drowned while at the beach at CCN

06 Mar 70- James W. Finzel, MSG E-8, 35yo, USASF, CCN, Da Nang, Ops 35 Non-Hostile (Drowned at CCN)-RR The following is submitted by Col. Larry Greene: "I remember Sgt McKee was swimming with SSG Finzel the day Finzel drowned. (Finzel) was a big, muscular guy who owned a monkey that had a taste for rum and coke (the monkey). There was another NCO swimming with them but I don't remember his name. He could have been Finzel's 1-1. I had just gotten to know Finzel before he died. Both of ur teams had been at Phu Bai in isolation trying to get into the AO, but either the weather or activity on the LZs had prevented it. Finzel's team finally got in and stayed for about 5 days or so. My team got in and got shot out after a few hours. We had come back to Da Nang about the same time.

14 Mar 70- Thomas P O'Neill, SSGT, E-6, USMC, Force Recon, Intel Sec, US Naval Advisory Det, Camp Fay, Da Nang, Opsa 31/37, KIA-RR. As a volunteer member of an ambush team to capture or kill Viet Cong tax collectors, he was positioned as well as the other ambush team members by a Naval Ship Officer who had no prior knowledge of ground combat operations. O'Neill with a Force Recon Gunnery Sergeant were placed in a patch of bushes in the center of a "&" trail. The main ambush force was placed along a ridge line overlooking the "Y" intersection. The Naval Commander anticipated the VC would enter the trail nearest the main ambush force; however, the VC tax collectors enter the trail on the far side of the "Y"; away from the ambush location. The ambush commander, fearing the VC would escape, gave the signal to open fire causing friendly fire to pass through the position where O'Neill and the Marine were located, killing O'Neill and wounding the marine.  ADDED: By Ernest E Clancy RM1 USN Ret, I was at NAD from 26 Aug 1968 To May 2 1971and was in house 10 Saigon 23 Aug 1968 intel report indicated that two tax collectors were coming across the bridge at a certain time, Gunny Brosch and SSGT O'neill were placed in a brush on a ridge Lcdr Jose Taylor, Lt Strong seal, Lt Belding seal, an intel officer (new) unnamed and RM1 Bill Gow who carried O'neill back to the helo. when the tax collectors came across the bridge the VN seals were firing in the direction of the two marines. tax collectors escaped. O'neill was to deros 28 Apr 1970.

1970

03

24

O-2 1LT

Jerry L.

Pool

31542

MIA-PFD (remains ID'ed 06/2001)

Cam; CCC, RT Pennslyvania, YB484003 38k SSW of Leghorn, Ratanakiri Prov., on UH-1H #68-15262

1970

03

24

E-7 SFC

John A.

Boronski

12B4S

KIA, BNR (remains ID'ed 06/2001)

Cam; CCC, RT Pennsylvania, YB484003 38k SSW of Leghorn, Ratanakiri Prov., on UH-1H #68-15262

1970

03

24

E-6 SSG

Gary A.

Harned

05B4S

MIA-PFD (remains ID'ed 06/2001)

Cam; CCC, RT Pennsylvania, YB484003 38k SSW of Leghorn, Ratanakiri Prov., on UH-1H #68-15262

24 Mar 70- Jerry Lynn Pool, 1LT 0-2, RT one-two of Freeport, IL,  John Arthur Boronski , SSG E-6, Tm One-Zero, of Ware, Mass, Gary Alan Harned, SGT, Tm One-one, of Springboro, Pa USASF and Special Command Scouts (Number and names unknown) CCC, Kontum, RT Pennsylvania, Ops 35 and Michael Davis O'Donnel, Cpt, Pilot of Springfield, Ill, John Charles Hosken, Co-Pilot, WOI, 0-2 of Chagrin Falls, OH; Rudy Morales Becerra, SP/4 of Richmond, TX and Berman Ganoe, Jr. SP/4 of Belleview, FL US Army UH-IH Helicopter Crew from the 170th AHC, Tail # 262, Ops 32/75-MIA, Presumptive finding of death. A recon team which had been engaged with an enemy force in Cambodia for three days, requested extraction. The UH-1H, 170th AHC responded in support of the team. The landing zone in the tri-border area 14 miles inside Cambodia, had enemy forces closing in, the pilot, ignoring his own safety attempted the extraction. The helicopter set-down on the LZ , the entire team boarded the aircraft and having just loaded the recon team, and in an effort to depart, the helicopter started its assent reaching an altitude of about 100 feet when an explosion was observed in the aircraft. The aircraft continued to fly for about three hundred meters when another explosion occurred. No bodies were seen being thrown clear of the exploding aircraft. The aircraft crashed and burned uncontrollably. No rescue was attempted due to heavy enemy fire. See "No Name Creek" Tales from SOG, Also see the "Into the Killing Zone, Mar 24, 70," Tales from SOG  Subj:    RT Pennsylvania/Bikini Red Three Funeral and Interment Services From: (Clyde Sincere). :

Michael D O'Donnel Berman GanoeBerman Ganoe, Jr From Vietnam Virtual Wall Rudy M. Becerra From Vietnam Virtual Wall
Gray A Harden (Fr SF Honor Roll) Jerry L Pool (Fr SF Honor Roll) (<--click on name fore additional information)  

On 24 March 1970, RT Pennsylvania, MACVSOG OP-35 from CCC consisting of three U.S. and five Indigenous long-range reconnaissance patrol members were being extracted while under heavy enemy contact by a UH-1H helicopter flown by members of the 170th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group, lst Aviation Brigade.  Immediately following the extraction, Major Michael D. O'Donnell transmitted that he had the entire eight man team on board and was departing the area.  As the aircraft began its ascent, there was an explosion in the aircraft.  The helicopter continued for about 300 meters when another explosion caused the aircraft to crash.  Aerial search and rescue efforts were initiated, however, there was no sign of life at the crash site.  In January of 1994, a joint search team interviewed Le Thanh Minh of Kontum.  Minh reported that in April 1993 while searching for aluminum, he located a crash site in Cambodia.  He stated he found human remains, three dog tags, a first aid kit and a rucksack.  He also heard that people from Laos had discovered a watch, a gold ring and an AR15.  He further indicated that the crash site was spread over a 100 meter area.  He stated that the tail section of the aircraft was visible and engraved with the number "262". He gave the dog tags to the team, two were Berman Ganoe, Jr. and one belonged to John C. Hosken, (both crew members of the Huey).  In January of 1998, a joint search team entered the area of the crash site and this time they were successful in locating the aircraft.  The remains of all of the crew and team members were recovered, along with dog tags, weapons and other personal effects.  After many years, the brave men of Bikini Red Three and RT Pennsylvania were on their way home.     At 1300 hours, 16 August 2001, A group funeral service was conducted at the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, Virginia the for:   Michael D. O'Donnell - Major, Aircraft Commander, 170th AviationCompany. John C. Hosken, CWO-3, Pilot, 170th Aviation Company. Jerry L. Pool, Captain, RT Pennsylvania - "One-Zero"; John A. Boronski, SFC, RT Pennsylvania - "One-One"; Gary A. Harned, SFC, RT Pennsylvania - "One-Two";     Berman Ganoe, Jr., SSG, Door Gunner, 170th Aviation Company; Rudy M. Becerra, SSG, Crew Chief, 170th Aviation Company. 

    Interment at Arlington National Cemetery followed the funeral service. There was one casket containing the remains of some of the above honored men.  There were some family members who elected to have their loved ones remains interred near their homes of record.  For instance, SSG Rudy Beccera's family is having him interred at Greenlawn Cemetery in Rosenberg, Texas with full military honors on Sunday, 19 August 2001 at 1400 hours. Family members of both the aircraft crew and RT Pennsylvania participated in the services with full military honors.  Seven National colors were presented to family members in a very somber interment service. 

    A number of SOA and SFA members were also present to honor these fallen comrades: Michael Ash, SOA # 1432-GL; Robert Bechtoldt, SOA # 146-GL and his son John; Neil Coady, SOA # 565-GL and his wife Kathy; William Deacy, SOA # 1303-GL; R.J. Graham, SOA # 184-GL and his wife Joan.  Also two friends of R.J. came:  John and Ryan Long; Wally Johnson, President, Chapter XI, SFA; Robert Jack, SOA # 414-GL; Al Keller, SOA # 1488-GL; William Lueders, SOA # 664-GL; Gene McCarthy, SOA # 256-GL; Lloyd O'Daniel, SOA # 1469-GA; Clyde Sincere, SOA # 010-GL; Michael Wilson, SOA # 1338-GA;         James L. Young, Pending SOA Membership, his wife Candy and daughter Elizabeth. Additionally approximately 60-75 family members and guests were in attendance. Regards, Clyde

 

1970

04

2

E-7 SFC

Donald G.

Armstrong

11F4S

KIA

Laos; CCC, FORD DRUM during a low-level photo mission; aircraft managed to return to base

2 Apr 70-Donald G. Armstrong, SFC, CCC, KIA during low level photo mission over Cambodia, aircraft returned.

 

1970

04

3

E-6 SSG

Everette E.

Cofer

11B4S

KIA, DOW

Cam; CCS, RT Pick, mult frag wounds

03 Apr 70- Everett B Cofer, SSG E-6, USASF, RT PICK, CCS, Da Nang, Ops 35 Remains Recovered. Everett was on a Recon Mission with RJ Graham [filed by William "Bill" Deacy]

 

1970

04

3

E-4 SP4

Carl J.

Helring

96C20

DNH, drowned/suffocated

SVN; MACSOG 80, Gia Dinh Prov.

3 Apr 70-Helring, Carl J., SP/4, attached to MACSOG 80'S from 11/01/69 until his death from the 525th MI BN, drowned in recreational center swimming pool Gia Dinh Province, South-Non Hostile. The virtual wall has him assigned to 519TH MI BN, 525TH MI GROUP.

 

 

1970

04

6

E-6 SSG

Andrew T.

Brassfield

11B4S

KIA, BNR

Laos; CCN, RT Intruder, XD983057, 39k WNW of A Luoi

06 Apr 70- Andrew Thomas Brassfield, SSG E-6, USASF Recon Tm Missouri, CCN, Da Nang, Ops 35, -KIA, body not recovered. On an intelligence gathering Recon mission in Laos. The team stopped for a rest and came under came under intense enemy fire and all team members were wounded and SSG Brassfield was fatally wounded. Brassfield?s remains had to be left behind in an effort to break contact with the enemy.

 

1970

04

15

E-6 SSG

Michael V.

Kuropas

11B4F

KIA

Cam; CCC, RT Hawaii

15 Apr 70- Michael V Kuropas, SSG E-6 USASF,  VIRGINIA?, CCC-KIA (Kuropas was with RT Ohio before joining VIRGINIA)

 

1970

04

15

E-6 SSG

Dennis W.

Neal

11B4F

KIA

SVN; CCC, RT Montana, during Bright Light insert at LZ Orange near A-245, Dak Seang

15 Apr 70- Dennis W. Neal, SSG E-6, USASF, CCC, Recon Team Montana-KIA. RT Montana was on Bright Light duty, when the call came. WO James Lake and WO William McDonald of the 170th AHC flew into Kontum with a special plea. Several of their men, dead and wounded, were trapped on LZ Orange located outside the perimeter of the Special Forces (SF) Camp at Dak Seang. Their helicopter had been shot down during an insertion attempt of ARVN soldiers with the mission to secure the LZ and assist the SF camp at Dak Seang should the enemy attempt to besiege it. The enemy surrounded LZ Orange and using the trapped crew as bait to sucker in helicopters and inflict casualties. With the heavy enemy fire, rescue attempts throughout the day had not been successful. A number of aircraft had been lost and Headquarters, by this time, had decided that rescue of the downed crew was not possible without an unacceptable further loss of men and aircraft. Two pilots from the 170th AHC arrived at Kontum requesting assistance. The team leader, SFC Joe Samples, and team members SSG?s Joe Samples and Dennis Neal volunteered to insert on the LZ and effect a rescue of the downed crew. During their briefing, they were informed that the LZ was a real bad one and that it was now known to be occupied by a Division Headquarters for the NVA, surrounded by fortified positions. Both Samples and Sheppard were determined to go in, but Neal had reservations. Neal said it was a trap, and going in was probably suicide. Both Samples and Sheppard agreed, but pointed out that was the only chance the men at LZ Orange had, and that was what Bright Light was all about. Neal agreed with reservation, and the Team Boarded the two helicopters. RT Montana divided their team into two segments. SFC Samples and SSG Neal boarded the helicopters with two of the SCU, Nat and Song. SSG Sheppard loaded the remaining three SCU, Dil, Prinh, and Nhong, and himself on the chase ship. Upon arriving and trying to figure out the best possible manner to breach the enemy?s defenses, WO McDonald, pilot, notified Sample and Neal they were going in. McDonald dropped the Huey into a steep dive and headed to the valley floor. The chase ship right behind him, McDonald leveled off above the valley floor, staying low and fast up the side of the mountain to the LZ. Immediately, he reported extensive fire from 360 degrees, but pressed on. As he reached the LZ, the helicopter was taking extremely heavy concentrated small arms and RPG fire from all sides. Behind the pilot, Neal had been struck several times and lay unconscious against the back of the right bulkhead behind the pilot seat. Samples had been struck twice, but was conscious. Both SCU severely wounded. The bird slammed into the LZ, but was able to rescue several of the down crew and take off. When the helicopter was on the ground, several of the crew were hit as well as Sample being hit twice more. The helicopter was able to make it down to the besieged SF Camp where SFC Mike Sheppard picked up Neal, who started to speak, and then after a few words, died in Sheppard?s arms. NOTE: See full story of this action in "Tales from SOG," Dak Seang by Col Summers.

Dennis W. Neil Fr SF Honor Roll

 

1970

04

17

E-7 SFC

Jerry L.

Prentner

91B4S

DNH, accidental self destruction

SVN; CCS, Dispensary Medic, Darlac Prov., accidental GSW

17 Apr 70- Jerry L Prentner, SFC B-7, USASF, CCS, Ops 35, Accidental Gun Shot- KIA-RR

 

1970

05

8

E-5 SGT

Charles J.

Hein, Jr.

11B4S

DNH, accidental self destruction

SVN; CCC, w/ RT Vermont, Kontum Prov.; WP grenade accident

08 May 70- Charles J. Hein, Jr, SGT E-5, USASF, CCC-KIA


C. Hein (left rear) From SF Honor Roll

 

Sidney man gave his life to save fellow soldiers By TESS GRUBER NELSON, Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:50 AM CD On his 22nd birthday, May 8, 1970, Charles John Hein, Jr., known as Johnny to his friends and family, passed away in a Pleiku Hospital after sustaining injuries trying to save his fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War. When injured two days earlier, John, a 1966 graduate of Sidney High School, was a member of the Fifth Special Forces unit, stationed in Kontum Province, located in the central highlands region of Vietnam. “He was adventurous, full of life, happy and he loved challenges,” said his older sister, Anna Lee Linglitz of Aurelia, Iowa. “He dove head-long into everything.”
An athlete at Sidney High School, who once held school records in the 220 and 440-yard dash, as well as the 4x440 and 4x880 relays, John was also a guard on the football team. “The coach called him one of the roughest linemen he ever coached,” said Langlitz. After graduation, John attended one semester of college at Peru State before enlisting in the Army. “School was just not his thing.” Basic training was completed at Fort Benning, Ga., with advanced individual training at Fort Gordon, Ga. John then completed jump training at Fort Benning and Green Beret training, also known as Special Forces training, at Fort Bragg, N.C. He liked excitement and adventure, so it didn’t surprise me he went into Special Forces,” said Langlitz. Assigned to the 7th Special Forces stationed at Fort Bragg, John received orders for Vietnam. He returned to Sidney for a few weeks, before catching a plane out of Omaha for San Diego, where he met up with other soldiers in his unit. “On August 16, 1969 he left for his tour in Vietnam. He belonged to Team Vermont of the 5th Special Forces group - in the MACV-SOG (military assistance command, Vietnam - Studies and Observation Group).” Langlitz said as a member of Special Forces, her brother was always under secret orders and that the MACV-SOG performed covert, unconventional warfare operations. “He was commander of long-range reconnaissance,” she added. “He was in the central highlands during his death. They were helping train the Montagnards (indigenous people of southeast Asia) and they were running reconnaissance from there.” Although John often wrote to his family, especially his mother, while in basic training, he didn’t write to his family while in Vietnam. Lanlitz said he probably couldn’t write because of his secret missions. “He didn’t write, but he did send pictures. A lot of the pictures his friends took.” While in Vietnam, John was promoted to Sergeant, an honor he was very proud of. “He liked being in the Army. He believed he was doing his patriotic duty. Before he went, he told us not to grieve for him if something happened to him because he was proud of his job and his outfit.” On May 6, John and other members of his unit were getting ready to go out on maneuvers and they were getting the grenades packed. The grenade Hein was handling fell on the concrete floor and cracked.
“He saw that the fuse had been detonated and so he picked it up and ran to the door to get it out of the building, but before he could get rid of it, it blew up in his hands.” John was airlifted to the hospital in Pleiku and died two days later on May 8, his birthday. “It doesn’t surprise me he was trying to save his team members,” Langlitz said. “That’s exactly what he would have done.” Charles and Lillian Hein received word of their son’s death when an Army officer came to their home in Anderson on May 12 - Lillian’s birthday. “My mother kept a diary from 1937 until she died in 1999. In her diary on that day she wrote, ‘Sergeant Fletcher came 4:15. John died May 8.’ The rest of it is kind of personal.’” The loss of their son had a profound affect on Charles and Lillian, explained Langlitz. “She always grieved, but the one it changed was my dad. It basically destroyed my dad. He was never able to deal with it.” The death of her only sibling changed Langlitz as well. “For a long time I was angry, but time gets rid of the anger. You never forget, it’s always there, it’s always with you, but the edge gets taken off after a while,” she described. “You can’t live with that much anger and grief forever.” An Army officer escorted John’s body back to Sidney, and a closed casket service was held May 19, 1970, at the Sidney Presbyterian Church. Langlitz said casket bearers were members of the Special Forces and 12 high school friends of John served as honorary casket bearers. “I was so numb that day,” Langlitz recalled. “It took quite a while for me to accept it was really him.” Doubting it could really be John, Langlitz said the funeral director informed her and Lillian he had seen the body and verified it was definitely him. “He had horrific injuries, but he could tell it was him.” John was laid to rest in the Chambers family cemetery located in rural Fremont County.
“I tend to think of him (John) the way he was when we put him on the plane (for Vietnam). It’s hard for me to imagine him as a 62-year-old man, which is what he would be if he’d lived.” Langlitz’s son, Grant, was born two months after John’s death. She said Grant’s birth helped her deal with the anger and grief. “I had an infant I needed to take care of and I focused my attention on him,” she said. “He (John) knew I was pregnant and that he was going to have a niece or nephew. He was excited about it. It’s sad they (Grant and Lisa) never got to know him.” While Langlitz described herself as reserved and studious, she said John was more outgoing. “He was a singer, always got the lead in the play - he went out and made things happen, and was fun to be around. He also had a good sense of humor,” she described. “He was also very handsome. He was a ladies man who liked girls, fast horses and fast cars.” In addition to Lisa conducting research on the uncle she never got to meet, Langlitz said Congressional Medal of Honor winner Franklin Douglas Miller, who has since passed away, contacted her quite a few years ago to tell her about the John he knew. “He was his (John’s) best buddy over there,” she said. “NBC News was doing a piece of three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients living in Florida. They were each asked who their hero was, and Doug named my brother as his hero. NBC then contacted me and wanted pictures (of John). I started writing to Doug after that and he told me the names of two other people, Lee Burkins and John Plaster, who were also friends of John.” John was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant and also received the Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star and Armed Forces Honor Medal given by the Republic of Vietnam. “He had applied for extended duty while there (Vietnam) and I think he would have made a career out of the Army.” Older then John by three years, Langlitz, a retired English teacher, said she and her husband Randall visited the Vietnam Wall Memorial in 2000. “I thought it wouldn’t bother me, but I cried from the time I got there until we left - I fell apart 30 years later.” She left a letter and a red rose near her brother’s name, located on panel 11, line 131. “I’m very proud of him- always very proud of him,” Langlitz said

 

1970

05

12

E-6 SSG

Robert F.

Preiss, Jr.

11B4S

KIA, DWM (recovered 06/20/95)

Laos; CCN, RT Cobra, YC298740, 21k SW of A-102, A Shau

12 May 70- Robert Francis Preiss, SSG E-6 of Cornwall, NY, USASF, Recon Team Cobra, CCN, Da Nang, Ops 35 KIA - Body not recovered. While on a recon mission in Laos, the team was engaged by a North Vietnamese Army squad size unit while the team was on a rest break and SSG Preiss was mortally wounded. Due to the enemy situation, the team was enforced to withdraw leaving Preiss?s remains behind. A search team was inserted on the 18th and it appears the battle area had been sterilized and a large rock slide had occurred. The only indication of Preiss? presence is the smell of decomposing flesh from beneath the rock slide.

Robert F Priess Fr SF Honor Roll

Preiss center Fr SF Honor Roll

 

1970

05

25

E-6 SSG

Robert L.

Coleman

11B4S

KIA, DOW

Laos; CCN, RT New Jersey

25 May 70- Robert L. Coleman, SSG E-6, USASF, RT NEW JERSEY, CCN, Da Nang, Ops 35, KIA-RR Coleman, a member of a team on a recon mission in Laos. The team was attacked by a North Vietnamese Unit and Coleman was shot in the spleen and bled to death before medical assistance could be provided.

30 May 70- Brian J DeVaney CWO of the 17Oth AHC, a native Canadian, who's last day of flying was the day before. One of his last missions was to insert a SOG recon team from CCC in the BRA area of the Ho Chi Minh Trail on 28 March. On the 30th, he learned the team was now in trouble and need to be extracted from the area, he felt it was his responsibility to extract the team since he had inserted them and therefore took the mission. Upon the approach to extract the team, the helicopter came under intense fire from a RPD Machine Gun, raking the chopper from front to rear while it hovered in an effort to pick up the team under fire. Several rounds entered from the rear of the aircraft. Two rounds hit SP/4 John P. Martin, Of the 17Oth AHC, crew chief, sitting directly behind the pilot DeVaney, one round hit Martin in the left thigh and one hitting the left tibia and going through the right Femur. One of these rounds that hit Martin passed through about a 1/4" inch crack in the Armor Plating protecting the pilot hitting CWO DeVaney’s armor chest plate bouncing back into his heart killing him instantly. The aircraft rolled, crashed and burned. SP/4 Martin came to from being unconscious, he was under the fuel cell of the aircraft, as he began to crawl away, Lt John W Naurot, of CCC's Recon Team, left the safety of the bomb crater and retrieved Martin by pulling him to safety in the crater. How the other crew members consisting of the Co Pilot Taylor and B.J got to the crater is not clear, Either the Co-Pilot and other members got to the crater themselves or the other members of the Recon Team exposed themselves to the hail of bullets by crawling out and pulling the crew back to safety. One SCU scout was also KIA in this incident. All members were rescued by another 170th Helicopter who lost 4" of tail rotor in the extraction. (Information provided by John P. Martin and edited by Robert Noe)

1970

06

4

O-2 1LT

Mark H.

Rivest

31542

KIA

Laos; CCC, Reaction Company, Plt Ldr; small arms fire

04 Jun 70- Mark H. Rivest, 1LT 0-2, USASF, PLT LDR CCC-KIA in Laos

 

1970

06

10

O-2 1LT

Vyrl E.

Leichliter, Jr.

31542

KIA

Cam; CCS, w/ Exploitation Force, Platoon Ldr; small arms fire

10 Jun 70- Vyrl E. Leichlieter, 1LT 0-2, USASF, CCS, Plt Ldr-KIA small arms fire

30 Jun 70- William Stephen Sanders CPT 0-3, Pilot, FAC, of Winthrop, Maine USAF, 23rd Tac Air Spt, and Five crew members of an HH53, Captain Leroy C. Schaneberg, pilot; Major John W. Goeglein, co-pilot; SSgt Marvin E. Bell, flight engineer; SSgt Michael F. Dean, pararescueman; and MSgt. Paul L. Jenkins, pararescueman 40TH ARRS, 3RD AIR RESCUE GROUP, 7TH AF , Ops 32,MIA. His aircraft was shot down while providing support for a SOG recon team in Laos. The back seat rider escaped and was rescued. (Filed by William "Bill" Sheldon: CPT William Sanders, USAF, was flying a mission out of MLT 3, NKP. Back seater was SFC Albert Mosiello, USASF, CCN, MLT 3. Mosiello stated they were hit in the side by apparently a 37mm AAA round. He debriefed that the explosion probably killed CPT Sanders. Mosiello ejected, and was under canopy for 4 - 10 seconds. An HH 53 Jolly Green from 37th ARRS was launched from Danang to recover Mosiello. Sandys (A1s were covering). As the HH53 made an approach to hover, an NVA fired an RPG into the rotor of the HH53. The aircraft rolled out of the sky and exploded in a huge fireball. All 6 crew members were presumed KIA. 56th SOW commander, COL Sam Crosby informed me the 37th was launching another HH53, and asked if I desired to arm the A1s with tear gas for fire suppression. I affirmed, and as soon as the tear gas was down, the 2nd HH53 picked Mosiello out on a penetrator. I flew an electronic search of the crash site the following morning, with CPT Fred Parrot, FAC pilot 23rd TASS. No radio signals detected, no movement in or near the site. An NVA company was observed moving to the area. We pickled 2 pods of HE rockets into the NVA, and then departed the area. I sat on a KIA/MIA board. CPT Sanders was presumed to be KIA, but as I recall the status remained MIA for a long time.

BellMV01c.jpgMarvin E. Bell From Vietnam Virtual Wall

A note from The Virtual Wall

On 30 June 1970, Captain William S. Sanders, pilot, and SFC Albert E. Mosiello, observer, were conducting a visual reconnaissance mission in an OV-10A (tail number 68-3807, call sign "Nail 44"). Due to mission requirements for handheld photography NAIL 44 was flying below the usual minimum of 1500 feet. The aircraft was taken under fire and hit by a 37mm AAA shell in its left side adjacent to the pilot's position. With his pilot unresponsive and the OV-10 no longer airworthy, Mosiello ejected. The OV-10 had gone down in heavily forested, rugged mountains about 3 miles west of the Lao/South Vietnamese border and 12 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ). A second FAC in the vicinity heard SFC Mosiello's emergency beeper and made radio contact with the downed observer. He then initiated Search and Rescue operations. A HH-53C JOLLY GREEN helicopter from the 40th Air Rescue/Recovery Squadron (ARRS) at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand, was immediately dispatched to the area of loss. The HH-53 crew consisted of

As the aircraft hovered over SFC Mosiello's position, it was hit by a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) in the rotor head. The rotor assembly separated from the fuselage, which rolled over and crashed in a fireball on the ground. No emergency beepers were heard from the helicopter's crash site and the FAC could see no signs of survivors. Although nightfall was approaching, a second effort was staged using a helicopter from Da Nang and A-1E SANDYs for fire suppression. SFC Mosiello was picked up. In his debriefing statement, SFC Mosiello stated a belief that Captain Sanders had been killed by the AAA hit and that he did not see Sanders eject or another parachute deploy. Search efforts for the Captain Sanders and the HH-53 crew continued through the next day, but no beepers were heard, no contact with the downed aircrew was made, and there were no visual sightings of survivors. SAR efforts were terminated and the six men were listed as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered. In December 1992, a US/Lao team surveyed and excavated the HH-53 crash site. Human remains were recovered and on 7 March 1995 the US government identified the remains as those of the five HH-53 aircrewmen. Efforts to locate the OV-10 crash site were unsuccessful due to the terrain and dense jungle.

17 Nov 2002

I rode in his airplane. We slipped those surly bonds and faced the dangers of combat together. He was a very good pilot, and a Forward Air Controller who did a superb job supporting the men of SOG on the ground. He died way too young, and his body has yet to be recovered. But I shall always remember him as such a good man, a good pilot, a great FAC, and a friend. God bless you Bill Sanders, NAIL 44. From a friend and comrade-in-arms, Bill Shelton wlshelton@msn.com

(?) Jul 70, A Special Commando Scout, Bru, PIt Ldr, Co A, Hatchet Force This SCU was killed while he and some of the PIt Scouts along with SFC Robert Noe were resting and swimming on the South China Beach of CCN compound after being returned from an extended tour of security duty of Hickory Radio Relay site. While in the water with some of his Plt members, a hand grenade was thrown into their midst and exploded resulting in his death.  Correction:  Interestingly enough, I was about 20 feet from this guy when the grenade went off, retrieved him from the surf and ended up taking him to the 95th Evac where he was pronounced dead, then on to the Morgue at the Da Nang...My take on the event (according to the other SCU wounded), was that the subject was fishing with a grenade in waist deep water, had just pulled the pin to throw it when he dropped it (his hands were wet), he bent down hoping to retrieve and throw it in time, but didn't quite make it... which accounted for the massive wound to his forehead.  Hadn't thought about that in years.... RT Hanna --Don't know which version is true, but you are correct, there was massive damage done to his head.  Went to the morgue and transported his body back home.  Maybe the version I got was because I was the American PLT Sgt and the Yards didn't want me to know they were fishing with explosives or the other yards didn’t know what he was doing and though someone threw the grenade at them????   RL Noe

1970

07

4

E-7 SFC

Charles F.

Bookout

11C4F

KIA, BNR

Laos; CCN, RT Colorado,YC362495, 16k west of Ta Ko

04 Jul 70- Charles Franidin Bookout. SFC E-7 of Oklahoma City, OK, USASF, RT COLORADO, CCN, Da Nang, Ops 35 KIA, Body not recovered. The team was on Recon in Laos which was ambushed where he was wounded, examined by a team member who found a single bullet hole in Bookout?s back. A few moments later stopped breathing. Because of the tactical situation, his body could not be extracted at the time. (Added by Fred Wunderlich, "Lightning": The team?s 11, Oliveras, confirmed a head shot)

Charles F. Bookout (from SF Honor Roll)

 

1970

07

5

E-8 MSG

Richard L.

Smith

unk

KIA

SVN; CCC, HQ Co Club Manager, Kontum Prov., w/ SFC Lishchynsky ambushed returning from Pleiku

1970

07

5

E-7 SFC

George

Lishchynsky

11B4S

KIA

SVN; CCC, HQ Co, Kontum Prov., w/ MSG RL Smith ambushed returning from Pleiku

05 Jul 70- Richard L Smith, MSG E-8 and George Lishchynski (also spelled Lishcnynsky), USASF, CCC-KIA

From SF Roll of Honor

born 23.6.1934 Komarno,Ukraine (original forename Yurij)
husband of Mrs Lishchynsky,Fairmount Avenue,Fairmount,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania
(3 children)
emigrated with parents to Fairmount,Philadelphia 1949
graduated Fairmount Roman Catholic High School
attended Temple University

entered service May 1955
 

 

 

1970

07

13

E-7 SFC

David B.

Hayes

05B4S

KIA

SVN; CCC, RT California, Kontum Prov., hit at first light when leaving RON site

13 Jul 70- David B. Hayes, SFC E-7, USASF, RT CALIFORNIA, CCC-KIA SMALL ARMS FIRE

      20 Jul 70 Cpt David W. Ayers, Co Pilot, US Army Helicopter 68-16550, Co A, 101st Abn Bn, 101st Abn Div.  KIA body not recovered when attempting to insert a Hatchet Force Platoon from Co A, CCN on top of Co Roc Mountain.  Air loss Shot down in Laos on insertion, his aircraft was the first aircraft to land and came under immediate fire, was hit by a RPG and fell off the top of Co Roc and crashed, died on impact, helicopter burned before body could be removed.  Cpt Ayers, 25 years old from Simi, Ca., arrived in country Jun 70 and this was his initial checkout flight with Co A. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Click on --> CoRoc  (Cpt Ayers remains have been recovered and returned back to the US)

1970

07

25

E-5 SGT

Peter M.

Vanderweg

11B4S

KIA

Laos; CCC, Exploitation Force Sqd Ldr, ??where??

25 Jul 70- Peter M. Vanderweg, SFC E-7, USASF, Co A, Exploitation Force CCC-KIA died outright small arms fire
 

10 Aug 70-John E. Crowley, Sp4, D Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, Americal Div., assigned to Shining Brass mission. Remains found under overturned wreckage of a Huey. Ground loss was Aug 10, 1970, Laos. From: Neal Riley <nealtriley@yahoo.com>
JTFFA-Full Accounting, Oct 6, 2008.

John E CrowleyJohn E. Crowley, From Vietnam Virtual Wall

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 10 August 1970 D Troop, 1/1 Cavalry, was tasked with inserting a Special Forces reconnaissance team into Laos about 26 kilometers west of Ngok Tavok. The aircraft, UH-1H tail number 68-16520, When the helicopter lost power and crashed when it was about 25 feet above the ground in the landing zone. SP4 Crowley and one passenger were trapped inside the aircraft. A medic from another helicopter entered the wreckage and managed to free the passenger, but Crowley was firmly wedged between the aircraft and the ground. After two or three minutes of effort, the medic gave up trying to free him. The medic determined that Crowley was dead, as there was no pulse and he could get no response from him. All personnel were extracted and another rescue team was inserted just before dark, but was unable to get back to the wrecked aircraft because of enemy activity. The second team was extracted the next day, and no further efforts were made to go back to the crash site. SP4 Crowley was classed as Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered. His remains were recovered on 26 June 1998 and officially identified on 22 April 2000.

13 Aug 70 Alan Browne Cheesman, Cpt; George D. Henry, Cpt; Terry D. Reams, SSG; and William L. Ripley, Sgt, USAF, 21 St Special Ops Sqd, Ops 32, Nakhon Phanom RAFB, Thailand, performing a CH-3E helicopter (Tail # 63-9681) Thailand-KIA-RR "extraction mission in Laos was damaged due to heavy enemy fire and on returning back to base the aircraft suddenly turned upside down and burst into flames, and crashed" -Info by Jim Williams, 361st AHC & 2nd source, Mike Taylor; also [Harve Saal's Legends who has the incident as "day/month unknown, 1969"]). (Special Note: Filed by Maj William "Bill" Sheldon, Cmdr of MLT-3: The crash of an HH3 killing Cheeseman, Reams, Henry and Ripley, was not Prairie Fire related. The HH3 was on a training flight inside Thailand. The crew and AC were daily SOG assets. On this mission, Cheeseman, an experienced PF pilot, was acting as IP for a couple of new pilots. Apparently, they were shot down north of Ubon RTAFB by a 12.7, 14.5 or 50 cal, in Thailand. The AC did land upside down, and as I recall there was one USAF pilot, (the student I believe) escaped through the canopy hatch.)

1970

08

14

E-5 SGT

John A.

Premenko

05B4S

KIA

Laos; CCS, w/ RT??

14 Aug 70- John A. Premenko, SGT E-6, USASF, CCS, Recon Tm Radio Op-KIA in Laos

 

1970

08

21

E-6 SSG

James E.

Holder

11B4S

KIA

SVN; CCN, RT Asp, in the DMZ. He was the 1-2 and was on his first mission.

21 Aug 70- James E. Holder, SSG E-6, USASF, Recon, CCN-KIA

 

1970

08

31

E-7 SFC

Charles H.

Gray

11B4S

KIA, fixed wing shotdown

Laos; CCN, Covey, in OV-10 #68-3798, approx 60 miles SW of Da Nang

31 Aug 70 - Michael John Mc Gerty, CPT 0-3, 20TH TAC AIR SPT SQDN, 504TH TAC AIR SPT GROUP, 7TH AF
 Ops 32/75 and Charles H Gray, SFC E-7, FAC Covey Rider, Ops 35, KIA-RR. OV-1O aircraft was shot down in Laos. However according to reliable sources, the aircraft was flying low in clouds attempting to locate a recon team and hit a mountain top. (Having met SFC Gray a number of times while I was on Bright Light standby duty at the Mobile Launch Site in Quang Tri. Charles would come into the briefing room and later we'd drink a beers together, I found him to be a very dedicated and likeable person who enjoyed what he was doing. I felt I could rely on him coming to my rescue, regardless of the circumstances -RL Noe)

McgertyMJ01c.jpgMichael J Mc Gerty (Virtual Wall)

4-7 Sep 70-Three unnamed SCU Hatchet Force Company B, Operation Tailwind, Kontum Operating deep in Laos, within 45 miles of Chavane, Company B performed one of the most successful Hatchet Force operations. In this operation, 3 SCU Montagnard killed, 33 wounded and all 16 Americans wounded. For their efforts, they secured the most important intelligence find on the NVA 559th Group since the war. Details by Ben Lyons Sep 5, 2006.

1970

09

15

O-2 1LT

William R.

Goolsby, Jr.

31542

DNH, accidental self destruction

SVN; CCS, Khanh Hoa Prov., grenade accident at CCS compound at BMT

15 Sep 70- William R. Goolsby, 1LT 0-2, CCS, New Assignment (arriving on Sep 10, 70) and assigned as a Platoon Leader.-Death Non Hostile. Killed in the Recon Company billets when a fragmentation grenade that was either sabotaged in shipping, no pin installed, or he accidentally pulled the pin while rigging up his web gear exploded. Details by Ben Lyons, Sep 5, 2006.

 

1970

09

20

E-6 SSG

Anthony B.

Appleton

91B4S

DNH

Okinawa; CCN, during stand-down on Oki

20 Sep 70- Anthony B. Appleton, CCN, Da Nang, Ops 35 died as a result of a non hostile action as a result of a self inflicted wound - not on the wall. As I remember, the word was he had gotten a "Dear John" letter and he was distressed.

 

1970

10

5

E-5 SGT

Fred A.

Gassman

11C4S

KIA, BNR

Laos; CCN, RT Fer de Lance, YC227912, 28k WNW of A-102, A Shau, w/ Davidson

1970

10

5

E-6 SSG

David A.

Davidson

11B4S

KIA, BNR

Laos; CCN, RT Fer de Lance, YC227912, 28k WNW of A-102, A Shau, w/ Gassman

05 Oct 70 - David "Babysan"Arthur Davidson, SP/5, Tm Ldr of East Riverdale, Maryland, and Fred Allen Gassman, SGT, Asst Tm Ldr of Ft Walton Beach, FL and Two Special Commando Scouts of RT Fer-de-Lance, CCN Da Nang, Ops 35 on Recon 12 miles inside Laos west of Ta Bat--KIA, Bodies not recovered. After the team was inserted in Laos, it made contact with an enemy force. Gassman contacted an aircraft and reported that Davison had been hit by a long burst of enemy fire and had fallen off a cliff and that the team was receiving ground fire from three sides. Gassman was requesting an airstrike when the FAC heard him say "I?ve been hit - and in the worst way." Gassman fell to the ground groaning with a large hole in his back. Two SCU escaped and provided a graphic detail account of the other?s deaths. A search was attempted, but prevented by the heavy enemy presence in the area. (Added by Fred Wunderlitch "Lighning": Gassman ran with Lighning on several missions but could not resist running with his old buddy "Babysan" who came up from CCC to CCN). [Photo featured page 104-105, Project Omega, Eye of The Beast, by James E. Acre]

David A DavidsonDavid Davidson(Fr SF Honor Roll) Fred A GassmanFred A Grassman

A Note from The Virtual Wall

By report, Recon Team "Fer-de-Lance" was inserted into Laos west of the A Shau Valley on 05 Oct 1970. The team was led by SSgt Davidson with Sgt Fred Gassman as number two and an unknown number of indigenous troops. The team was attacked on the night of 05/06 Oct while in a night defensive position just south of Route 922 near the village of Ta Bat. SSgt Davidson was hit and apparently killed early in the fight. Sgt Gassman and the surviving troops attempted to break contact, but were tracked and engaged by NVA troops. The last contact with the patrol was at about 1300 on 06 Oct, when Gassman reported that he had been hard hit. Two of the indigenous troops were sucessfully extracted and during their debriefs reported that both Davidson and Gassman had been fatally wounded. Although an immediate effort was made to recover the missing team members, the recovery team was unable to locate any of them before being forced from the area by NVA troops.

Both Davidson and Gassman were classed as Killed in Action/Body not Recovered. Their remains have not been repatriated.

By report, Staff Sergeant Davidson was serving his fourth tour in South Vietnam at the time of his loss. While there can be no doubt that he was heavily decorated, The Virtual Wall has not been able to obtain information on his awards and can display only the "basic four" awards received by everyone wounded or killed in Vietnam.

12 Mar 2004

Davidson was respected by SFC Jerry "Mad Dog" Shriver and rivaled Shriver in having made an incredible number of trips across the "red line" into Cambodia and Laos. Davidson had a previous tour with SOG. His nickname was "Babysan" because he had a youthful boyish face but in the field he was incredibly proficient and cool. Like Shriver he just kept going out until the odds caught up with him. One report was that on his last mission the final radio transmission was "I am hit and in the worst way..." His remains were never recovered from Laos. I only met him once, he was with Shriver, in the Moose's Lounge, a bar in the B-23 compound in Ban Me Thuot in the spring of 1968. He may have been operating out of the SOG compound at East Field about 7 clicks outside of Ban Me Thuot at the time. By the time Davidson bought it late in 1971 the NVA "hunter-killer" teams really had SOG's number. The NVA placed so many trailwatchers on potential LZ's getting "on ground" undetected was practically impossible. The odds were definitely against them and he just kept going out. Davidson had courage but went into denied areas once too often. It had to end as it did. He had incredible courage. One of the very best to wear the green beret, Davidson was a legend to those who knew of him. Between the two of then, Shriver and Davidson may have done more over the line insertions than any other 30 men combined. Rest in Peace "Babysan", Rest in Peace...

Je me souviens.......

From a member 5th Special Forces, 1968.

 

1970

10

19

E-7 SFC

Peter J.

Wilson

11B4S

MIA-PFD

Laos; CCC, RT South Carolina, YB618135, 28k SW of A-244, Ben Het

19 Oct 70 - Peter Joe Wilson, SSG E-6, USASF, Recon Tm Ldr, CCC, Kontum, Ops 35 MIA-Presumptive finding of death. Team Leader of a Recon team in Laos, which made contact with a numerically-superior enemy force two miles inside Laos in the tri-border area southwest of Ben Het. The team made four contacts, which forced the team to abandon the battlefield with the hostile force in close pursuit and then Wilson directed the team to head in an easterly direction. This is the last time Wilson was seen by Sgt John M. Baker when Wilson directed him to the front of the patrol. Wilson was covering the rear and tending to the wounded soldier, Djuit; later Baker heard Wilson transmit "May Day, May Day" on his emergency radio and the sounds of a firefight from the direction of the separated patrol element.. An intensive search of the area was made without success. Received Mar 3, 2005 "Hi, My name is Pamela Jo Wilson(Brownfield)I as named after my Dad. SSG Peter Joe Wilson. MIA on 19 Oct 1970 two days after my 5th Birthday. I was just looking on the internet and fund my Dads name. I never know there was anything out there about him. I don't know much about him. My mother passed away about 8 tens ago. She never told me much. I read today that his nick name was "Fat Albert" I never know that. I sure would like to learn more if I could. Anyways it was kinda nice knowing something about a man I never remembered. My email address is pamela.brownfield@us.army.mil"   Brightlight: RT Texas was brightlight during this period. Covey reported hearing the emergency signal from SSG Wilson's radio. It was decided to deploy our team to try and find SSG Wilson. We had two slicks with accompanying gunships. I (Sgt Don Green) was he one-two and radio operator on the team. I was in the second slick in the left door. VC had set a trap and were waiting for us. They fired Rockets flying just under the skids of the lead chopper. The mission was aborted.

Peter J Wilson, Fr SF Honor Roll

 

1970

11

14

E-5 SGT

Leonard P.

Allen

11B4S

KIA

Laos; CCN, RT Anaconda

14 Nov 70- Leonard P, Allen SGT E-5, USASF, CCN, Da Nang, Ops 35, KIA-RR.  On a mission in Loas as a member of RT ANACONDA. former Det B-55 (5 Mike Force)

 

1970

11

24

E-6 SSG

Martin I.

Arbeit

11B4S

KIA

Laos; CCN, Co. A, (Nung Company), near Co Roc, west of A-101, Lang Vei

24 Nov 70- Martin I. Arbeit, SSG E-6, USASF, CCN Da Nang was on operations with Co A, Hatchet Company and was KIA,-RR. SSG Arbeit was every bit a professional soldier! He use to have a monkey that he cared for that accompanied him until May of 1970 when he was in Long Than, B-53 drawing ammunition for a mission. SFC R.L. Noe was also drawing C-4 and the monkey jumped off Arbeit's shoulder and grabbed one block of C-4 explosive and carried it to the rafters of the warehouse where the monkey took a bite and then shortly thereafter fell dead. The last I saw of Arbeit was at the CCN TOC in Aug 70 where I suggested he seek a desk job because the way he was going, he would not survive Nam. During the 2005 Special Forces Association, Samuel Snyder stated that Martin had ran past him and got hit in the leg opening up the femoral arty and he bled to death before he could be evacuated.-RL Noe.. I read what you had about Marty Arbeit-he was a great guy.  I had been the medic inserted on his previous mission when the medic was sick.  Also I had wanted to go on the mission when he was killed but they had someone else assigned and I could not bump in. I was the chase medic that was sent, they had trouble hooking Marty to the ladder for extract.  I climbed down to help but he had sustained several hits.  I latter wrote a paper at Loyola University about that mission- wishing only that I got there sooner or had been the medic on the mission.  I ended up with Marty's car-15 for awhile and gave him and his spirit some credit for helping me stay alive [by Bob Woodham] .

ArbeitMI01c.jpgMarty Arbeit from the Vietnam Virtual Wall

Dear Mr. Noe,
  I am writing on behalf of my husband, Peter Arbeit.  He is currently serving in Iraq and came across the macvsog website that had his father listed.  Being so young when his father was killed, he/we thirst to know more about Marty.  Although we have all of his pics from Vietnam, we have no stories to go with them.  If at all possible, do you or anyone else have any personal stories to share with us?  Our children, as well as ourselves got a kick out of the monkey story!   Sincerely, Pete, Tonya, and kids tarbeit037@yahoo.com
 
 
I remember Marty Arbeit very well from when I was at CCN.  My recollection was that he was One-Zero of RT Virginia but I really am fuzzy on those details.  I was at Ft Bragg when they had a memorial service for him at Ft. Bragg and did not get to attend.  At that time I was chief of SF Lt Wpns Committee and I think the service was during our field week and we were all on the range.  As the only officer out there I could not get  off to go to the memorial service.  I did run into some of the guys who came in for the service.  I think I saw SSG Fitzgerald and he was wearing some sort of plastic cast or brace on his arm (left, I think).  However, I was thinking that Arbeit was killed as a Covey Rider when they were shot down around or in the DMZ.  But I really am fuzzy on some of the details so I can't be sure I am not mixing up some of his details with someone else.  I do remember that Nick Manning told me that Arbeit took him out on his (Manning's) first recon mission.  He did have a very funny tale to tell about what happened on that op.  If you have Fitzgerald's e-mail, I think he was a good friend of Arbeit and would have a much clearer recollection.
 
I don't remember Arbeit's monkey but I remember that SSG McKee had a monkey that liked rum and coke and used to drink out of guys glasses in the NCO club at CCN and the next day he would be lying in his cage with a hangover.  Some guys did not appreciate that.  Or maybe that was Arbeit's monkey.  I think its name was Dumb Shit.
 
Larry Green

 

1970

11

28

E-7 SFC

Ronald E.

Smith

11B4S

KIA, BNR

Laos; CCC, RT Kentucky, YB650174, 24k WSW of A-244, Ben Het

28 Nov 70- Ronald E. Smith, SFC E-7 USASF CCS, Ban Me Thuot, Ops 35 MIA in Cambodia while on Recon patrol. NEED IDENTIFICATION OF OTHERS IN THE PHOTO AND ANY INFO ON SFC SMITH. "I am the niece of SFC Ronald E. Smith USASF. He is still very loved and missed by my entire family. I would love it if you could put me in touch with anyone who knew him. Pics and stories are all we have of him for now and I would love to have more info on him.  Thank You - Crystal  erickscustomlawn@sbcglobal.net

I have extended contact to the family.  I went to his funeral. -B. Kuhlman GL 2881 (Posted Via email Jun 8, 2011)

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 28 November 1970 Recon Team Kentucky was conducting a long-range reconnaissance mission in Attopeu Province, Laos, near the tri-border area of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In mid-afternoon, the team, which consisted of two US Special Forces soldiers and a number of ARVN Special Forces personnel, was attacked by a company-sized enemy force. The initial attack split the recon team and wounded SFC Smith. The team leader made his way to SFC Smith and found that Smith had been hit in the head and torso by automatic weapons fire. As he and an ARVN team member attempted to recover Smith's body, a rocket-propelled grenade exploded nearby, killing the ARVN soldier and knocking the team leader unconscious. The remaining team members broke contact, carrying the wounded team leader with them but leaving their two dead behind. After extraction, the team leader reported his belief that SFC Smith was dead. The enemy presence precluded insertion of a ground team to search for and recover the two bodies. While available information indicates that SFC Smith was carried as Missing in Action for a time, it also indicates that an annual review board eventually recommended, and the Secretary of the Army accepted, a finding that SFC Smith had been killed in the 28 Nov 1970 action. His present status is Killed in Action, Body not Recovered

1970

11

29

E-7 SFC

John R.

Bean

11B4S

KIA

Laos; CCC, A Company, 3d Platoon (Hatchet Force)

29 Nov 70 - John R. Bean, SFC E-7, USASF, CCC, Kontum, Ops 35, KIA-RR~ Body escorted to the United States by 2Lt Robert Noe on 7 Dec 70. The operation lasted from Nov 25-29, 1970. SFC Bean was killed in the morning of the 29th before the extraction. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for his actions during the operation. The operation is officially listed as a search and clear operation. The platoon was sent into the area to determine what was there. In early November an RT was sent into the same area. On the first day they ran into a company sized NVA unit which tried to capture them. The NVA used bull horns and fired rpg’s over their heads in an effort to capture them rather then kill them. My platoon was sent in to find out what was really there. We made contact on our first day. The conversation that the NVA unit had just prior to the initiation of combat was they were expecting an RT. The platoon was in and out of combat everyday during the operation. Besides large cashes of rice and other food the platoon discovered a bomb making factory late in the day of the 28th that was 20 meters wide by 50 meters long. Slightly after the discovery of the factory an NVA company made contact and chased the platoon until dark. During the night the platoon hid by staying in a river with the search being conducted on both sides of the river. Intelligence determined that we probably ran into the 66th NVA Regiment. All members of the platoon were wounded and there were 5 Montinards killed as well as SFC Bean. Another Sergeant on the operation was awarded the DSC. After the extraction an arc light was done the same day. By Steve Feldman

 

My Name is Neil R. Thorne. I am researching a particular Hatchet Force mission, I am hoping you can provide me with some more information and contacts. I noticed on your website a write up was done by a Mr. Steve Feldman about this mission. I would very much like to contact him regarding this mission.  The mission I am researching occurred between 25-29 Nov 1970 in Attapeu Province of Laos (48PYB6449). The American members of this platoon sized force were as follows:
1Lt. ? Goldstein – Medivaced, early 2nd day into mission
SFC John R. Bean – KIA Last day of mission
SGT Edward C. Ziobron – WIA (in contact with)
SGT Chester “Chet” Zaborowski – WIA (in contact with)
SGT Clyde C. Conkin – WIA (in contact with)
I am trying to ascertain which RT team was sent in to do the BDA after the extraction and Arc-Light of the area on 29 Nov 70. 
I am also looking for any documents, AARs, or other information pertaining to this Hatchet Force and the subsequent intel gathered by the RT Team follow-up. I would very much like to contact Mr. Steve Feldman, and speak with him as well. I assume from the level of information he has on this operation that he was with S-2? 
Neil R. Thorne, P.O. Box 41, Fishers Hill, VA 22626, (540) 539-7303 email:  nthorne73@yahoo.com

 

 

1970

12

4

E-6 SSG

George C.

Green, Jr.

05B4S

KIA, BNR

Laos; CCC, RT Washington, YB671492,  in Charlie 3, 16km NE of Leghorn

04 Dec 70- George Curtis Green, Jr. SGT E-5, USASF, CCC, RT Washington, Kontum, Ops 35 MIA, Presumptive finding of death. The recon team operating in Laos, after insertion and spending the night. The next morning the team killed a sentry, shortly thereafter they were engaged by an company size enemy force. The team began evasive maneuvers, having shaken the enemy for a short time. At the extraction LZ, in a burst of enemy fire, Green was killed with three wounds in his back with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. Green was hit three times in the back with small arms fire and killed instantly. The intensity of the enemy attack forced the team to leave Green's remains behind during the extraction.

GreenGC01c.jpgGeorge C. Green

24 Dec 70- Albro Lynn Lundy, Jr., MAJ 0-4, of Sherman Oaks, CA,  A-1E Pilot, 1ST SPECIAL OPS SQDN, 56TH SPECIAL OPS WING, 7TH AFOps 32, KIA -Body not recovered. Lundy was supporting covert operations and flying air cover for three "Air America" medevac helicopters which had picked up personnel from the Ban Ban Valley. He reported his aircraft engine was running rough, backfiring and he was ejecting. His seat rocket was seen to fire, then a normal parachute opened. One helicopter pilot reported what he thought was someone in the harness. At about 1000 feet from the ground, another helicopter flew near the chute and reported the harness was empty with the leg straps dangling. The chute was followed to the ground and confirmed the chute harness was empty. The A-1E aircraft exploded on impact. A rescue force was driven off by enemy forces.

1970

12

28

E-6 SSG

Roger L.

Teeter

11B4S

KIA, DOW, fixed wing shotdown

Laos; CCN, Covey, aboard OV-10 #67-14661, near Ban Bamran, 48Q XD509615, just west of the DMZ

28 Dec 70- James Smith, Pilot, CPT, USAF 20TH TAC AIR SPT SQDN, 504TH TAC AIR SPT GROUP, 7TH AF, Ops 32 and Roger L. Teeter, SSG E-6, USASF, CCN Da Nang, MLT 3, Ops 35 KIA while performing operations to extract a recon team which had been surrounded by enemy forces. (By Fred Wunderlitch, "Lighning": Teeder was a personal, close friend and he stayed pass his DEROS date to fly the Covey mission).

30 Dec 70- Park George Bunker, CPT 0-3 of Homewood, ILL USAF, 0-1 FAC, Ops 32 DET 1, 56TH SPECIAL OPS WING, 7TH AF- KIA, Body not recovered. His aircraft was hit while flying a visual recon and crashed. He survived the crash but reported to another FAC that he had been hit five times and for all practical purposes he considered himself dead. A search was inserted and the body was located with a head wound and multiple wounds from the waist up. Heavy enemy activity forced the search team to withdraw without recovering the body.

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