FACES FROM THE WALL

VIETNAM WAR

FEBRUARY 1967

This page dedicated to Spec 4th Class Press Tyler Jr., 18 of St. Louis. Who was killed on duty about one mile south of the demilitarized zone in Korea. The pre-dawn attack on his patrol left him dead and the rest of the patrol unhurt.
He was the 14th American killed in border incidents in Korea begining in 1953.

    Richard P. MC STRAVICK Jr
Birth 13JUL47 Rank CPL Date of Death 01FEB67
P. of birth TacomaService Marines Place Quang Ngai S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
Portland Unit MCO 3DBN 5THMAR 1STMAR DIV Death Code Hostile, Died; Guns, Small Arms Fire; Ground Casualty
Hometown   service # 2153651 Panel 14EAST - 104
Married Single In Service 1 yr Medals Purple Heart 
Tour Date   Comment   Cemetery  

Cpl R. P. McStravick Jr.
    The Defense Department announced Monday the combat death in Vietnam of Marine Cpl. Richard P. McStravick Jr., 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard P. McStravick Sr., 9338 SE Taylor St.,
    Cpl. McStravick, who was with the 3d Battalion of the 5th Marines, was killed Wednesday near Quang Ngai by the enemy gunshot wound in the chest. He had been in Vietnam since February of 1966.
    He was born 13 Jul 1947, in Tacoma, moving to Portland about eight years ago with his family. He attended Sunnyside Grade School and was in his junior year at Washington High School when he enlisted in the Marines in August of 1965. He was a member of St. Stephens Catholic Church.
    Besides his parents, Cpl. McStravick is survived by a younger brother and two younger sisters, Georgia, Patrick and Kimberley; two sets of grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Stephens, Portland, and Mr. and Mrs. Walter McStravick, Tacoma and a great-grandmother, Mrs. Clara Stephens, Tacoma.
    Cpl. McStravick's death was the 85 of Oregon servicemen in the war since 1 Jan 1961, and the fourth this year. (The Oregonian, Portland OR, Tuesday, 7 Feb 1967)

James Bartie STEWART
Birth 08MAY47 Rank PFC Date of Death 02FEB67
P. of birth PascoService Army (Draft)Place S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
Kennewick Unit 1st Inf Div, HHC, 1st Bn, 16th InfDeath Code Hostile, Died; Ground Casualty;Gun, Small Arms Fire
Hometown   service # 19836705Panel 14EAST - 110
married SingleMIA -   Medals  
Tour Date29AUG66 Comment   Cemetery  
 Kennewick High School, Kennewick WA, 1964

Seventh Tri-Citian Killed in Vietnam. A 19 year old Kennewick man was killed in battle in Vietnam, Thursday. PFC. James B. Stewart, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bartie H. Stewart, 420 S. Anderson St., Kennewick, was serving with the First Battalion, 16th Infantry, First Division which has been located in the Triangle region. Pfc. Stewart was born 8 May 1947 in Pasco, and attended Kennewick schools. He was a member of St. Pauls Episcopal Church here. In addition to his parents, he is survived by a brother, Jerry Johnson, Kennewick, two sisters, Judy Hivera, Fontana CA., and Jennifer Lynn Stewart, Kennewick, and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. J.M. Fredrickson, Estherville IA. Services will be announced by Mueller's Funeral Home. Pfc. Stewart is the seventh Tri-Citian to die in action in Vietnam. (Tri-City Herald, Pasco, Kennewick, Richand WA, 5 Feb 1967)

Roger Blake TJERNBERG
Birth 17DEC45 Rank CPL Date of Death 03FEB67
P. of birth Aberdeen WA Service Marines (Draft)Place Quang Nam, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
AberdeenUnit Co M, 3rd Bn, 1st Mar, 1st Mar DivDeath Code Hostile, Died Wounds; Ground Casualty; Gun, Small Arms Fire
Homtown Aberdeen WAservice # 2197520Panel 14EAST - 114
married Single MIA -   Medals  
Comment   Tour Date   Cemetery  
Weatherwax High School, Aberdeen WA, 1965

Harbor Marine Dies in Vietnam
A young Aberdeen man, Cpl. Roger B. Tjernberg, 21, of the U.S. Marine Corps, was killed in action Friday near Da Nang in Vietnam. Corporal Tjernberg was born in Aberdeen 17 Dec 1941, and lived his entire life here. He was a graduate of Weatherwax High School class of 1965, and entered the service in November 1965. He was sent over seas in May 1966. Before joining the Marines, he was employed in Swanson's South Aberdeen Market. His home was at 1007 W. Perry St. Surviving are his mother. Mrs. Jessie B. Tjernberg, and his father, Melvin Tjernberg Sr. both of Aberdeen; three brothers. Charles, Theodore and Melvin Tjernberg Jr., all of Aberdeen; two sisters, Miss Betty Tjernberg, Aberdeen, and Mrs. Neel (Donna Jean) Wright, in Germany; aunts, Mrs. Bud M. Tomczuk and Mrs. Clyde Fortney, Aberdeen; Mrs. Gordon Balderston, Coquille OR and Mrs. Robert Hitchcock and Miss Mildred Tjernberg, Portland; an uncle, Hugo Tjernberg, Portland; grandmothers, Mrs. Martha Tjernberg, Portland, and Mrs. Augusta Whitney, Aberdeen; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Corporal Tjernberg was engaged to be married to Miss Judy McKinney of Aberdeen. The body will be received by Whiteside's, and the funeral arrangements will be announced later. The family's favorite benevolence is the Aberdeen Sunshine Kids. (The Aberdeen Daily World, Aberdeen 7 Feb 1967)

Robert Laymon ARMITAGE
Birth 23AUG47 Rank PFC Date of Death 04FEB67
P. of birth Everett Service Marines Place Quang Ngai, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
EverettUnit 2nd Squad 2nd Plt 1st Recon Bn 1st Marine Division Death Code Hostile, Died Wounds; Ground Casualty; Other Explosive Device
Hometown   service # 2314872 Panel 14EAST - 115
married Single MIA -   Medals  
Tour Date CommentKIA 1st or 2nd reconCemetery  

Robert L Armitage, 19, of 6725 Willow Road, was killed in action in the Quang Ngai area of Vietnam 4 Feb (1967). He was in the U.S. Marines and had been in Vietnam just a week. He was born in Everett 23 Aug 1947, and had attended the Everett schools and was a graduate of the Everett High School Class of 1965. He enlisted in the Marines 27 Jul 1966, and was in Camp Pendleton, San Diego, until going to Vietnam. He was in Company A, 1st Reconnaissiance Battalion. He leaves his parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Armitage of 6725 Willow Road; one brother, Joe Armitage of 6725 Willow Road; his grandparents, Oscar Solem of 2126 Maple St., and Mrs. Ellen Armitage of 2414 Maple St. and a number of aunts and uncles. (rest article missing) (Everett Herald 1967)

(Remembrance for Bobby) If you haven't figured it out... Bobby Armitage is one of the reasons for this website. I attended kindergarten with him (Garfield Elementary, Everett WA). Later we graduated together from Everett High School but I can truthfully say I never spoke to him in high school and he never spoke to me. I was in Band and he was in Boy's Club...
    Neither of us spoke to Ron Hart... who died 13 days after Bobby. Ron Hart was one of the "big guys" on Campus. Ron was super well-liked, talented, athletic, handsome, and very popular. Each of us had our own circle. Three people from very different high school social groups came together on this page. The two boys dead (but not forgotten) and the girl who knew the grandfather.
    Bobby's death affects me, even today, because I knew his grandparents as neighbors to my grandparents. One day Bob's Grandfather saw me and walked across the alley for a little talk... This sad man kinda rambled a bit about this and that and then said something like... "Bobby came home from kindergarten one day to tell us of this really cute little girl who joined his class... and how her hair was in ringlets. He was excited to learn you lived so close but was to shy to join you kids."
    Years later, I learned Bobby had died in Vietnam and, adding two and two, I expect his Grandfather and I had this conversation just after Bob's death...
    That's why these pages are dedicated to Bobby. Because Bobby is our family's symbol of the war in Vietnam. He represents all the cute, shy boys who didn't come back and all those who did and who were changed forever. God bless you Bobby and I pray you're hanging out with your Grandfather.
    (tearfully written 1st anniversary of Faces from the Wall, Nov 2003, and just as tearfully updated Spring 2005)

(More Remembrances for Bob) Larry Ward and Roger Owens both graduated in 1965 and remember their good friend Bob. (emails received March 2005)

(More Remembrances for Bob) Gordon "Gordy" Cole dropped into the bookstore. He said he was in Germany when he learned of Bob's death and his death was one of his reasons for volunteering to go to Vietnam (July 1967-1968) personal comment

Kenneth Hans RUD



Birth 25NOV38 Rank CAPT Date of Death 06FEB67
P. of birth   Service Army (Reserve)PlaceThua Thien, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
CentraliaUnit MACV Adv Team 3Death Code Hostile, Died; Ground Casualty; Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Hometown   service # O2303959Panel 14EAST - 131
married MarriedMIA -   Medals Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart  
Comment   Tour Date7 Jun 66Cemetery  

Silver Star Awarded Posthumously To Tacoma Hero. A Tacoma Army Captain who singlehandedly took on a Viet-Cong machine gun nest has been awarded the Silver Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medals posthumously. The medals were to be presented to his wife, Mrs. Kenneth H. Rud, in a ceremony today at Fort Lewis. Brig. Gen. Steve A. Chapplus, assistant post commander, presented the medals. Rud was killed in action 6 Feb (1967). The Silver Star citation said Rud the previous day left his armored personnel carrier to warn another carrier that its machine gun was being fired in a dangerous manner. Rud, then dicovered and attacked the enemy machine gun. The Bronze Star was awarded for meritorious conduct, in Vietnam from 16 Jun (1966) to 6 Feb (1967). Rud, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hans L. Rud, Puyallup, was called to active duty in 1961. His wife and four children live in Tacoma. (Seattle Times, Seattle WA, 11 May 1967)

(researcher note:) There was a picture of Kenneth Scott Rud, 5, in the 13 May 1967 edition of the Seattle Times. He had just received his fathers medals. This little guy was standing man tall next to his mother wearing those medals.

Newspaper Clipping

Clarence Joseph SWEENEY
Birth 11JAN33 Rank CAPT Date of Death 07FEB67
P. of birth   Service Army (Reserve)PlaceS. Vietnam
Town of
Record
SeattleUnit 101st Abn Div, 229th Mil History DetDeath Code Non-Hostile Died Illness/Injury Ground Casualty Vehicle Loss Crash
Hometown   service # O5307544Panel 15EAST - 07
married MarriedMIA -   Medals  
Comment   Tour Date9 Jul 66 Cemetery Ft. Riley Post Cem., Ft Riley KS

Frederic William MILLER
Birth 09JUL44 Rank 1LT Date of Death 08FEB67
P. of birth Powell WYService Army (Reserve)PlaceS. Vietnam
Town of
Record
SpokaneUnit 101st Abn Div, 18th MI DetDeath Code Non-Hostile Died Missing; Helicopter NonCrew; Air Loss, Crash-Land
Hometown   service # O5419647Panel 15EAST - 10
married Single MIA -   Medals  
Comment   Tour Date 11 Feb 1966 CemeterySummit Valley Cem., Addy WA

Remembrance for our Son
We have just discovered your website "Faces from the Wall" and are very impressed with all of the work that you have done. Our son, Frederic William Miller is one of the young me that was killed in Viet Nam. He is in the Spokane County listing. We have one correction and one addition to his information that we would like you to be aware of. The correction: he was not killed in a helicopter crash, but was killed in the crash of a small reconnaissance plane. The addition: he is buried in Summit Valley cemetery outside of Addy WA. Letter and picture from Vashti Miller received 20 Jul 2006

Bremerton Lieutenant Killed in Viet Crash
    Army first Lt. Frederic W. Miller, 22-year-old son of James T. Miller, 1230 Broadway Ave., was killed in a plane crash in Vietnam last Wednesday. The Army today said his death was not due to hostile causes.
    “He didn’t plan to make the Army a career but felt he was doing something which had to be done. . . He volunteered to go to Vietnam,” he father said today. “He expected to get out of the Army in August and go back to college,: he added. The young man had been in Vietnam for about 11 months and was in the 181st Military Intelligence Detachment with the 101st Airborne Division.
    He was born 9 Jul 1944, in Powell WY, and was reared in Eastern Washington, attending high school in Colville and Spokane. He graduated from Shadle Park High School in Spokane in 1962. Lt. Miller attended Eastern Washington State College at Cheney for a year before enlisting in the Army.
    After a year as an enlisted man, he went to Officer Candidate School and late in 1965 was commissioned a second lieutenant.
    Surviving are his father, a pipefitter at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard; his step-mother, an employee at National Bank of Commerce; two brothers, Joel, a student at Central Washington State College, and Steven, a junior at West High School; his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Lucy Williams, Chewelah, and his step-grandmother, Ms. Albert Barth, Ellensburg.
    Funeral arrangements are pending. Burial will be at Colville. (Bremerton Sun, Bremerton WA, 14 Feb 1967)

Otis LEWIS
Birth 21AUG28 Rank PSGT Date of Death 10FEB67
P. of birth   Service Army Place Tay Ninh S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
Natchitoches LA Unit 4th Inf. Div Death Code Hostile, Died while missing; Ground Casualty; Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Hometown   service # 18280670LocalTacoma
married married Panel 15EAST - 14Medals  
Tour Date 22SEP66 Comment   Cemetery  

Sgt. Lewis, Father of 4, Killed in VN
    A Tacoma father of four children, Platoon Sgt. Otis Lewis, was killed in action last Friday with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam, it has been learned by his wife, Katherine J. Lewis.
    The family came to Fort Lewis two years ago and had moved to a South Side home shortly before Sgt. Lewis left for Vietnam in September, his wife said. "It is my present intention to stay here and have my children grow up in Tacoma instead of going back to our hometown, Natchitoches LA." Mrs. Lewis told the News Tribune Friday morning.
    Larry B., 14, is a student at Stewart Junior High School; Veronica, 7, attends Seward Elementary School; and Vanessa, 4, and Lionel, 3, are at home. A sister-in-law has come to stay with the family at this time.
    Sgt. Lewis and his wife grew up in the same town and had known one another most of their lives, she said. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Lewis, live in Natchitoches. The sergeant is also survived by two brothers, John L., of Seattle, and William, of Little Rock AR and a sister, Mrs. William McDaniel, with her husband on Air Force duty in Germany.
    Mrs. Lewis has received letters which were written by her husband just before he went into his final action. "He always talked about coming home next September," she said, "but, meanwhile, he seemed to like his work there and thought he was doing the right thing. 'you know what I came over here to do, ' he would reply when I wrote that I was fearful for his safety. He never complained about conditions, but he had said lately that the weather was very hot." (News Tribune, Tacoma Wa, 17 Feb 1967)

Gary Cliffton PADDOCK
Birth 15APR47 Rank DC3 Date of Death 15FEB67
P. of birth SeattleService Navy (Reserve) PlaceGia Dinh, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
MarysvilleUnit MINE SQ, 11 DET A, NAVSUPPACTDeath Code Hostile Died Missing; Ground Casualty; Other Explosive Device
Hometown Marysvilleservice # 6964074 Panel 15EAST - 35
married Single MIA -   Medals  
Comment   Link Mine SqnCemetery Floral Hill Cemetery,
Lynnwood WA
  Marysville High School, Marysville WA, 1965

MARYSVILLE SAILOR DIES IN VIETNAM ACTION Snohomish County recorded another fatality in the Vietnam war Feb. 15 with the death of Gary C. Paddock, a Navy sailor, who was 19. Born in Seattle young Paddock was a damage controlman third class at the time of his death. He was killed in action at Nha Be, Vietnam. A graduate of Marysville High School in 1965, Paddock attended Everett Junior College prior to entering active naval service in January, 1966. He joined the U. S. Naval Reserve unit in Everett in July 1964. He leaves his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford N. Paddock, 1824 Grove St., Marysville; a sister, Cheryl; his fiancee, Donna Westergreen, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Funeral arrangements - Schaefer Funeral Home, Marysville.
(unknown newspaper article with picture)

Obituary- Gary Clifton Paddock, DC3, age 19, who was born April 15, 1947 in Seattle, was killed in action Feb. 15, 1967, while on active duty with the U. S. Navy at Nha Be, Vietnam. (snip) Services: Church of the Nazarene, Marysville (snip) burial, family plot, Floral Hills Cemetery...(Everett Herald, unknown date)

Elmelindo Rodrigues SMITH

Birth 27JUL35 Rank PSGT Date of Death 16FEB67
P. of birth Hawaii Service Army Place Kontum, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
Wahiawa HI Unit 4th Inf Div, C Co, 2nd Bn, 8th Inf Death Code Hostile, Ground Casualty; Gun, Small Arms Fire
Hometown   service #   LocalTacoma
married Married Panel 15EAST - 51 Medals Medal of Honor
Tour Date 23JUL66 Comment   Cemetery National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu HI

Sgt. Smith Victim of Vietnam Guns A romance between two Hawaii-born members of the Army, a WAC and a soldier, who met and were married on duty in Okinawa was ended Thursday by enemy small arms fire in Vietnam
    Word of the death of S. Sgt. Elmelindo R. Smith, 31, has been received by his wife, Jane, and two young daughters living at 5937 Lake Grove Ave. SW.
    Mrs. Smith was making preparations Tuesday to return home to Honolulu to attend the funeral of her husband. She will come back to Tacoma, she said, and close her home, then return to Honolulu to live where both her husband's family and hers reside. Kathleen, 10, attends Parkway School at Fort Lewis and Pamela, 6, is a pupil at Park Lodge School.
    Mrs. Smith and the children last saw the sergeant last Monday, when they joined him in Hawaii for a few days of rest from combat duty.
    Sgt. Smith had almost 14 years of Army duty and would have retired before he was 38, his wife told The News Tribune. The family had lived in Tacoma three times, the first time in 1956 and 1958. After a tour of duty in Italy, they returned here in June 1964, living on the post until after Sgt. Smith left for Vietnam in July.
    "His life was the U.S. Army," Mrs. Smith said. "And he was fond of fishing and swimming, like most Hawaiians." His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elmelindo Smith Sr., and two brothers and two sisters live in the Islands. (News Tribune, Tacoma WA ( 21 Feb 1967)

Posthumous Honor For Ex-Tacoman The 52nd Medal of Honor of the Vietnam war will be presented posthumously to an Army platoon sergeant formerly of Tacoma, who died helping his unit repel an enemy attack on 16 Feb 1967. The Pentagon said the widow of Platoon Sgt. Elmelindo Rodrigues Smith will receive the medal from Secretary of the Army Stanley R. Resor in a Pentagon ceremony Thursday according to the Associated Press. Mrs. Smith and the two children moved to her native Hawaii after her husband's death. Sgt. Smith also was born in Hawaii, but lived in Tacoma in 1956, 1958 and from June 1964 until July 1966. He was a 14-year Army veteran. Smith, was credited with heriocly directing his platoon during an attack my enemy troops. The Army said he moved through "deadly fire positioning soldiers, distributing ammunition and encouraging his men to repel the enemy attack." During action, Smith was severely wounded in the shoulder but continued to move around the perimeter of the platoon's position. "Noting the enemy massing at a weakened point, he crawled into the open and fired into the enemy ranks," the Army said. "As he crawled on he was struck by a rocket. As he regained consciousness he continued to crawl from man to man until he died." (Tacoma News Tribune, Tacoma WA, 11 Nov 67)

Medal of Honor Citation
Rank and organization: Platoon Sergeant (then S/Sgt.), U.S. Army, 1st Platoon, Company C, 2d Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. Place and Date: Republic of Vietnam, 16 February 1967. Entered service at: Honolulu, Hawaii. Born: 27 July 1935, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. During a reconnaissance patrol. his platoon was suddenly engaged by intense machinegun fire hemming in the platoon on 3 sides. A defensive perimeter was hastily established, but the enemy added mortar and rocket fire to the deadly fusillade and assaulted the position from several directions. With complete disregard for his safety, P/Sgt. Smith moved through the deadly fire along the defensive line, positioning soldiers, distributing ammunition and encouraging his men to repeal the enemy attack. Struck to the ground by enemy fire which caused a severe shoulder wound, he regained his feet, killed the enemy soldier and continued to move about the perimeter. He was again wounded in the shoulder and stomach but continued moving on his knees to assist in the defense. Noting the enemy massing at a weakened point on the perimeter, he crawled into the open and poured deadly fire into the enemy ranks. As he crawled on, he was struck by a rocket. Moments later, he regained consciousness, and drawing on his fast dwindling strength, continued to crawl from man to man. When he could move no farther, he chose to remain in the open where he could alert the perimeter to the approaching enemy. P/Sgt. Smith perished, never relenting in his determined effort against the enemy. The valorous acts and heroic leadership of this outstanding soldier inspired those remaining members of his platoon to beat back the enemy assaults. P/Sgt. Smith's gallant actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and they reflect great credit upon him and the Armed Forces of his country.
Photo and Citation courtesy of www.homeofheroes.com

Ronald David 'Ron' HART
Birth 11JAN47 Rank SP4 Date of Death 17FEB67
P. of birth Everett WA Service Army PlaceKontum, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
EverettUnit 4th Inf Div, Trp D, 1st Sqd, 10th CavDeath Code Hostile, Died Missing; Air Loss, Crash on Land; Helicopter-Crew
Hometown Everett service # 19843910Panel 15EAST - 54
married Single MIA -   Medals  
Tour Date 30AUG66 Comment   CemeteryEvergreen Cem., Everett WA
 Everett High School, Everett WA, 1965

Ronald D. Hart Dies in Vietnam Infantryman Ronald D. Hart, 20, 3004 Norton Ave., was killed in action 17 Feb (1967) during the fighting near the Cambodian border. He was a member of Troop D, 10th Cavalry of the 4th Infantry Division. A 1965 graduate of Everett High School, he took part in a number of school activities and was on the football, wrestling and track teams. He also attended Immaculate Conception School. Specialist Fourth Class Hart went into the Army after graduation. He was born 11 Jan 1947 in Everett, and had lived all his life here. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. Hart, he also leaves five brothers, Lawrence E., Daniel T., Timothy P. and Steven G., all at home, and John F. of Everett, and a sister, Mrs. Karen Garrioch of 2310 8th St. Other relatives are three uncles, George Hart of Everett, William S. Hart of Spokane and Mearl Thompson in Montana; four aunts, Mrs. Dorothy Sinclair of Vista CA, Mrs. Alice Sollars of Shelton, Mrs. Katherine Henslee and Mrs. George Trump, both of Seattle and numerous cousins. (snip) (Everett Herald only date 1967)

Daniel Paul DONNELLAN

Birth 24OCT46 Rank PFC Date of Death 18FEB67
P. of birth  Service Army (Draft)PlaceTay Ninh, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
FerndaleUnit 4th Inf Div, C Co, 2nd Bn, 22nd InfDeath Code Hostile Died Missing; Ground Casualty; Other Explosive Device
Hometown   service # 56411371Panel 15EAST - 57
married SingleMIA -   Medals Bronze Star (posthumously)
Comment   Tour Date22 Sep 66CemeteryWoodlawn Cemetery,
Ferndale WA
  Ferndale High School, Ferndale WA, 1962

Heroism Noted in Posthumous Awards to Local Men
   The families of two Whatcom County men who died in Vietnam accepted posthumous awards from the Army in a ceremony Friday at city hall. Mr. and Mrs. Myer A. Bornstein, 700 Forest St., received the Silver Star and Purple Hear awards for their son, Spec 4. Anton Thomas (Andy) Bornstein who died last 19 May (1967) in Vietnam.
    Mr. and Mrs. Frank P. Donnellan of Ferndale were given the Bronze Star for their son, PFC Daniel P. Donnellan, who was killed last 18 Feb (1967) in Vietnam. The Donnellans previously had been awarded the purple Heart posthumously for their son.
    Capt. Richard H. Beal of Everett read the citations and presented the awards to the families after Mayor John Westford opened the ceremony in his office.
    Specialist Bornstein received the Silver Star, the nation's third highest award, for gallantry in action while serving in Company A of the 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry.
    The citation said that:
"Specialist Four Bornstein distinguished himself by exception valorous action on 19 May 1967... during a search and destroy mission in Quang Nhai Province.... Specialist Bornstein's company was in pursuit of a Viet Cong sniper when two platoons became pinned down by heavy automatic weapons fire. The top remaining platoons were also taken under heavy enemy fire while attempting to secure a hilltop landing zone.
    "Seeing a fellow soldier fall to the ground with wounds in both legs. Specialist Bornstein voluntarily left his position of cover and exposed himself to the enemy in order to pull the man to safety.
    "After removing his comrade to a reasonably secure position, he called for medical aid, placing a suppressive fire on the enemy positions to enable the aid man to reach his location. After killing two of the Viet Cong, Specialist Bornstein began seeking a better position, but he was mortally wounded before he could reach his objective."
    PFC Donnellan was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for "meritorious service in connection with military operations against a hostile force" from 22 Sep 1966 to 18 Feb 1967.
    He served with Company C of the 2nd Mechanized Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 3rd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division. (The Bellingham Herald, Bellingham WA, Friday, 25 Aug 1967)

Dennis Michael 'Mike' THOMPSON
Birth 01OCT46 Rank CPL Date of Death 21FEB67
P. of birth Wendle IDService Army (Draft)PlaceS. Vietnam
Town of
Record
AberdeenUnit 4th Inf Div, C Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd InfDeath Code Hostile Died Missing; Ground Casualty; Gun, Small Arms Fire
Hometown Aberdeenservice # 56411319Panel 15EAST - 70
married Single MIA -   Medals  
Comment   Tour Date 22 Sep 66 CemeteryFern Hill Cemetery
Weatherwax High School, Aberdeen WA, 1965

Pfc. Thompson Killed in Action
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry L. Thompson, 1002 S. Evans St., were notified yesterday that their son, Pfc. Dennis M. (Mike) Thompson, was killed in action in Vietnam. The young man was previously listed as missing in action. Pfc. Thompson, 20, was born in Wendle ID and had lived in Aberdeen since he was 15 months old. He was a graduate in 1965 of Weatherwax where he was a three-year letterman in baseball. He also played on the American Legion baseball team. In Vietnam 5 Months Following graduation he worked for a short time for the Northern Pacific Railroad on bridge building. He entered the service in December 1965. He had been serving in Vietnam for five months with the 4th Infantry Division. He was a member of the South Aberdeen Baptist church. Surviving besides his parents, are a sister, Mrs. Charles (Roselie) Ackerson, Aberdeen, and other relatives. The body will be received at the Elerding Mortuary. A military service will be conducted at a time to be announced.

Pfc. Dennis M. Thompson Services for Pfc. Dennis M. Thompson will be held Wednesday at 11 am at the Elderding Chapel with the Rev. Lanny Barringer officiating. Concluding services at Fern Hill Cemetery will include military rites with personnel from Ft. Lewis. Pallbearers will be Andy Antich, Harold Delia, Herb Godfrey, Gordy Godfrey. Mike Kaulich and Charles Sipila. Honorary pallbearers will be Dick Balderston, Dale Dewey, Joe Shapansky and John Pearson. (The Aberdeen Daily World, Aberdeen 3 Mar 1967)

Ray NIXON
Birth 20DEC30 Rank SGT Date of Death 26FEB67
P. of birth   Service Army PlaceBinh Duong, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
TacomaUnit A Co, 4th Bn, 9th InfDeath Code Hostile, Died; Ground Casualty; Gun, Small Arms Fire
Hometown   service # 53060815Panel 15EAST - 98
married Single MIA -   Medals  
Tour Date 16Apr66CommentServed 2 tours = 2 Purple Hearts and a Silver StarCemetery  

Researcher notes Records show 19 men from A Company died on 26 Feb 1967 during the attack on their base. Sgts Nixon and Yabes who are mentioned in this article were 'lifers' with over 15 years in the service each. They both died trying to protect others. Yabes won the Medal of Honor.

Battered GIs Wonder" Did South Viets Turn On Them?
    By Hugh A. Mulligan, Cu Chi, Vietnam
    Maybe Alpha Company will never really know that happened the night a week ago when a Viet Cong battalion overran its position. But the horror of it and the mystery of it will be with the men all of their days.
    Some of them say they saw friendly South Vietnamese troops open fire on them when Viet Cong mortars began to fall. Others say it wasn't that way at all -- that it may have appeared that way to some in the confusion, smoke and moonlight.
    The men of the 4th Battalion, 9th Regiment of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division sit around their base camp here waiting for trucks to haul off the personal effects of buddies who died last Sunday night -- and the same haunting question keep coming up:
    -- Did the friendly Vietnamese troops open fire on American positions?
    -- Did the Vietnamese interpreter assigned to the company kill a U.S. platoon sergeant who was risking his life to bring ammunition to a besieged bunker or was the interpreter himself needlessly gunned down by an overly suspicious American private who may have been mistaken in what he saw on that battle-confused, smoky moonlight night?
    --Did the friendly government troops assigned to hold the west side of the American line fight bravely, as some men in Alpha Company swear, or did they cower in their bunkers, anxious to show the Viet Cong that they had not fired their weapons in case all was lost?
    -- And why did American advisers have to be called in to stop the Vietnamese troops from looting the bodies of the American dead, taking cigarette lighters, cameras and transistor radios from them as their buddies concentrated on trying to evacuate the wounded?
    Nearly half of the friendly forces -- both Americans and Vietnamese -- who met the enemy in that harrowing encounter were killed or wounded. Casualties were officially listed as heavy, but the enemy paid a heavy price: A confirmed body count of 92 -- of which 47 were found inside the barbed wire perimeters -- and at least 30 to 40 more unconfirmed kills.
    Medals Attest to Heroism
    There were instances of personal heroism that night, judging from the six silver stars, even bronze stars, and the many purple hearts bestowed by Maj. Gen. Fred Weyand, the division commander.
    But when it was over there were also lingering doubts, bitter accusations and starkly stated suspicions about our Vietnamese allies that have split Alpha Company into two rival and highly vocal camps
    "We all have out opinions, but we are going to have to forget them and get back to the job at hand," said the company commander, Capt. Ted Yamashita of Caldwell, Idaho, from his hospital bed were he is recovering from grenade wounds.
    On the Sunday before the attack, Alpha Company moved into the outskirts of Phu Hoa Dong, a village of 9,000 people almost completely surround by an abandoned rubber plantation about 20 miles northwest of Saigon. The area south of the Saigon River was along the main Viet Cong infiltration and supply route from Cambodia and had been the scene of numerous ambushes and sniper activity.
    Alpha Company's job was to protect a squad of Army engineers assigned to bulldoze a swath between the village and the plantation and thereby deny the ambushers and snipers the protective cover of the lush jungles. Helping them were elements from a company of the 5th Division of Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).
    Hardly a day went by without some minor contact with the Viet Cong 165th Regiment, one of the best of the enemy main force units, but on Sunday night, 26 Feb (1967), the men of Alpha Company detected an unusual amount of activity in the woods.
    The defense was more or less drawn up in an arc facing north, with Alpha Company's 1st Platoon at the top or the north side, the 2nd Platoon on the right or the east, and the ARVN unit on the left, western side of the line. Within the protective semicircle were the engineers with their bulldozers and gasoline supplies and the company command post.

    Night of Horror, Mystery Lives in Memory of GIs Overrun By Viet Cong Ch Chi, Vietnam
    The horror and mystery of a night a week ago when a Viet Cong battalion overran Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 9th Regiment, 25th Division of the U. S. Army, will remain with the American GIs to the end of their days.
    It was warm and a full moon bathed the long files of scarred rubber trees with a eerie glow. At 12:55 a.m., just as Lt. Jess Pearce of Channelview TX, the leader of the 1st Platoon, was getting ready to climb into the hammock he had slung between a tree and a bunker, mortar rounds began pouring into the area. Pearce immediately ran about, hurrying his men into the bunker.
    "As I did," he said. "I saw an ARVN soldier run by and fire his carbine into the hammock where I should have been sleeping. The minute the mortars began falling, an ARVN position on the left opened fire on our 50-caliber machine gun crew. I also saw an ARVN soldier run by tossing grenades into the company command post."
    Waves of Viet Cong, blowing whistles and laying down deadly automatic weapons fire, were inside the barbed wire perimeter within 15 minutes.
    Action Heavy
    Mortars, rifle grenades, re-coilless rifles, hand grenades rained down on the besieged company. "A hell of a lot of it." according to Col. Frank Conaty, commander of the 1st Brigade, who helicoptered into the area at first light. "In my experience I've never seen as many rifle and hand grenades, just judging from the number of duds."
    Conaty waited an agonizing hour before sending a reserve unit to the rescue, fearing the attack on Alpha Company might only be a decoy for a major attack on division headquarters at Cu Chi, only a few miles away, and then only lightly protected since many of the units were engaged further north in the huge Junction City Operation.
    The fight went on, sometimes at a range of 10 feet, until nearly 5 a.m. First Sgt. Maximo Yabes ventured out and silenced a Communist machine gun that had been tearing up the command post, and was killed trying to get back.
    Capt. Yamashita, who had taken over the company less than a month ago, was hit by grenade fragments in the right arm and knee. He was bleeding badly but managed to keep control of the company, even when it mean crawling in and out of the bunker.
    Helping him call in the helicopter gun ships, air strikes and artillery support that saved the day was W-O John Lowe of Homestead FL, a helicopter pilot who had been in Vietnam only two weeks. He had decided to spend a few days with a rifle company to "find out just what kind of support I was supposed to give them." Lowe won a Silver Star for his bravery and accurate shooting with a borrowed M14 rifle.
    Sergeant Accused.
    Pfc. Johnny Hodges of Trenton NJ, a rifleman with the 2nd Platoon who was watching from a distance of 60 feet, says he saw a man "strongly resembling" Sgt. Le Minh Tri, the Vietnamese interpreter assigned to Alpha Company, "raise his M16 rifle and shoot down Sgt. Nixon at a range of about 10 feet as he tried to lug that ammo toward the bunker."
    Hodges raised his rifle and fired.
    "I don't know whether I killed Sgt. Tri or not, but he tumbled into a ditch and I shot a whole magazine into that hole."
    Hodges, who wound up with two shrapnel wounds and a bullet in the leg, said he had no previous suspicion of Sgt. Tri. "All I know is I saw what I saw -- It was bright moonlight and there were flares lighting up the area all the time.:
    S. Sgt. Clifton Mathis of Pensacola FL was in the bunker next to the one that Sgt. Nixon was running for with the ammunition box.
    Yell Heard
    "I heard him yell, 'Don't shoot, it's me,' Nixon (sic) related. "Then a grenade went off and he fell forward But the grenade didn't kill Sgt. Nixon. He was killed by a rifle. I couldn't say for sure that Sgt. Tri killed him. There were lots of people running around shooting inARVN uniforms. Later when we policed up the area, we opened up the Viet Cong packs and found they all had ARVN uniforms in them."
    Sgt. Mathis said he was in the bunker when a Viet Cong shoved a Chinese made rifle through the opening.
    "I grabbed it before he had a chance to fire and began using it. It had a full clip," he said. "There was a Vietnamese soldier in the bunker with me and he wouldn't shoot. He was cowered there. Later I took off from that bunkers, as the V. C. began overrunning us, but the Vietnamese wouldn't leave. Afterward we found him dead. It's too bad. He wasn't a traitor. He kept pointing out V. C. to me to shoot at but he just wouldn't fire himself. Lots of them think that if they are captured with a weapon that hasn't been fired that the V. C. wouldn't hurt them."
    Opinions Differ
    Spec. 5 Kim McCoy of Chicago, a senior medic with the company up for his second Silver Star, is convinced that Sgt. Tri had nothing to do with the killing of Sgt. Nixon.
    McCoy, who had known Tri for more than a month and had been on many operations with him, said he is "an eyewitness to seeing Sgt. Tri do his duty on the battlefield that night. I saw him several times firing his M16 rifile at Viet Cong, fully engaged. I never saw Sgt. Nixon. I wasn't an eyewitness to that, but I did see Tri often conducting himself like a soldier."
    Hit by a grenade, McCoy treated his own wound and continued to move around the battlefield until 9 a.m. when he himself was finally evacuated to a hospital. Like others, he said he saw ARVN troops looting the pockets and packs of dead Americans.
    Heroism Noted
    "This is the way with Orientals. They do it to their own dead." said Lt. Col. Robert A. Hyatt of Fairfax VA, the battalion commander who herded the Vietnamese officers together and got them to halt the looting by their soldiers.
    There were Americans who witnessed many examples of heroism by ARVN troops, whose casualties were as high as the Americans in the engagement.
    Lt. Pearce, who said he saw ARVN troops firing on Americans recalled, "The lieutenant who commanded the ARVN platton, killed at least eight V.C. before he himself was killed. "Many remembered another interpreter, a Sgt. Phuoc, who won the Bronze Star, for saving Americans when a prisoner attempted to lead them into a mine field.
    A medical report showed that Sgt. Nixon died from rifle wounds, as Mathis insisted. The formal investigation of the episode, which Hyatt conducted, concluded there was no irrefutable evidence to show that Tri had killed Nixon or how Tri himself died.
    "To my mind there's just no proof and there, never will be," said Col. Conaty. "Anytime a unit is overrun it's a debacle."
    "In the noise," Conaty continued, "and the dust and the shock, people just don't know what they saw or heard. I don't doubt for a minute that the Vietnamese and we too, were shooting at everything that moved. There's bound to be some panic when you're being fired on from all sides.
    "There's no indication of how Tri was killed, and I can't find any eyewitness to the allegation that he may have directed the mortar fire. Incoming mortars are pretty unselective about their targets. If I'm going to give away any positions I'd damned sure spend my time digging instead of moving around in the 2nd Platoon area. There have been a lot of unprovable allegations that it's best for us all to forget."
    Trust Endures
    Alpha Company, proud of having beaten off a Viet Cong battalion, mourning its dead, looks back on the episode from two separate viewpoints.
    There are those who would agree with Sgt. McCoy, who served a previous tour working mainly with Vietnamese troops.
    "I still trust them, I have sufficient faith in their competency and loyalty. This will all blow over," McCoy says.
    There are those, like Lt. Pearce and Pfc. Hodges, who for a long time will look over at the nearby government bunkers with a remembered suspicion.
    "I know we got to go back working with them," said Pearce. "That's what the war is all about. But you can't help thinking of all those who didn't come back that night."
    Capt. Yamashita is confident that Alpha Company can forget and forge ahead.
    "They got to," he said. "They got to." (The Oregonian, Portland OR, 6 Mar 1967)

Donald L. PENDER
Birth 13FEB42 Rank SGT Date of Death 26FEB67
P. of birth   Service Army PlaceTay Ninh, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
TacomaUnit 4th Inf Div, B Co, 2nd Bn, 12th InfDeath Code Hostile Died Missing; Ground Casualty; Gun Small Arms Fire
Hometown   service # 53340738Panel 15EAST - 99
married Married MIA -   Medals  
Comment   Tour Date22Sep66 Cemetery  

Sgt. Pender Listed Killed An Army sergeant from Tacoma has been listed as killed in action in Vietnam, the Associated Press reported Monday. Donald L. Pender previously had been listed missing in action. Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Barbara Pender, of 8509 Thorne Lane SW. (New Tribune, Tacoma WA, 7 Mar 67)

Edward Norman LETCHWORTH
Birth 21DEC41 Rank LTJG/02 Date of Death 27FEB67
P. of birth   Service Navy (Reserve) Place Over Water, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
Libby MTUnit Helicopter Support Squadron 1, Detachment Lima, USS BON HOMME RICHARD Death Code Non-Hostile, Helicopter - Crew; Air Loss, Crash at Sea
Hometown Walla Wallaservice # 692598LocalWalla Walla
married Married Panel 15EAST - 106Medals  
MIABNRComment   Cemetery  
Walla Walla High School, Walla Walla WA, 1960

MIA information extracted from the PowNetWork.org
Edward Norman Letchworth
was born 21 Dec 1941. He was assigned to Helicopter Support Squadron 1, Detachment LIMA on board the USS Bon Homme Richard. On 27 Feb 67, Letchworth was a crewmember aboard a UH2B helicopter that was launched from the air craft carrier. The craft lifted tail high, flipped, partially recovered and then struck the water breaking apart on impact. A search helicopter was immediately over the scene and two Navy destroyers joined in the search for the 4 man crew. No one was found.
For more information Please visit Pownetwork.org

Walla Wallan Killed in War
    A Walla Walla man who arrived in Vietnam Sunday night was killed Monday when the helicopter he was piloting was shot down along with three others.
    He was identified as Lt. j.g. Edward Letchworth, 26, who arrived in Vietnam with the USS Bon Homme Richard from San Diego.
    Lt. Letchworth attended College Place grade school, was graduated from Wa-Hi and from Washington State University. He had been in the Navy since Nov., 1964., and received his early training at Pensacola FL.
    He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Hettie Gardner, 19 SW 8th, College Place; a sister, Mrs. Valerie Miller, 816 E. Alder. His wife, the former Charlene Waggoner, and their two children live in San Diego. His father resides in Arizona.
    Mrs. Letchworth is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Waggoner of Walla Walla, route 1.
    The funeral will be in San Diego Friday, according to word received from Mrs. Letchworth. (Walla Walla Union - Bulletin, Wednesday 1 Mar 67)

Charles Steven NORRIS
Birth 31MAY48 Rank PFC Date of Death27FEB67
P. of birth   Service Marines PlaceQuang Tri, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
VeradaleUnit Co L, 3 Bn, 4 Mar, 3 Mar DivDeath Code Hostile, Died; Ground Casualty; Gun, Small Arms Fire
Hometown   service # 2220033Panel 15EAST - 107
married SingleMIA -   Medals  
Comment   Tour Date   Cemetery Hampton National Cem., Hampton VA

Lee Edward REUKAUF
Birth 08MAR46Rank PFCDate of Death28FEB67
P. of birth   Service ArmyPlaceTay Ninh, S. Vietnam
Town of
Record
Kansas City KS Unit 1st Inf Div, B Co, 1st Bn, 16th InfDeath Code Hostile, Died; Ground Casualty; Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Hometown Seattle service # 55881661Panel 15EAST - 121
married MarriedMIA -   Medals  
Tour Date30JAN67Comment   Cemetery  
  Lincoln High School, Seattle WA,

Remembrance for Lee Reukauf
    I spent this last weekend 25-27 Oct 2003 in Bridgeport Washington as a volunteer for "The Moving Wall" Event. I wasn't paying much attention to the long hair biker guy who had come back to the info tent for help finding his classmate who he knew was on the Wall. He was looking for LeRoy Reukauf... and the spelling was a little rough.
    One of the volunteers came up with Lee Reukauf of Kansas City KS... and the guy wasn't goin' for it... "Lee Reukauf can't be from Kansas City because he graduated from Lincoln High School in Seattle", he said loud enough to penetrate my computer induced coma...
    I'm not a little girl but I was squealing like one.... Lee Reukauf from Seattle ... No Way... I've got him in my database....
   ***********
    A little background... I've involved with a project to "place faces to the names of the 1144 Washington State men whose names are on the Vietnam Wall". Been working on it for nearly a year and Bridgeport was my first physical show of the website.
    To find my pictures (I'm using yearbook pics) I look for obituaries... Now the problem, Seattle has 231 men who called it their "town of record"... 231 boys/men and 10 or so possible schools... So I've been trying to contact high school alumni for help... Sometime I get great help and sometimes I'm totally ignored...
    Last winter I got out my copy of the 1964 Lincoln High Yearbook and started looking through it for an unusual name... one that I could "Google". I was hoping for a genealogy minded computer geek... and I picked Lee Reukauf... I found his name ... on the Vietnam Memorial Wall... yep the guy from Kansas City Ks.
    Well, you all know that you can't use stuff that isn't documented and well... what was a nice Seattle boy doin' joining the Army out of Kansas City KS? But I knew that Lee Reukauf (Seattle) was the right guy... Knew it enough in my heart to scan the picture, copy the info, get the official data, and create a place for him in my Washington State database. I did not put him online as a Washington soldier. I just wrote a note to myself, "Is this the right guy???... find out!!!"
    ***********
    Back the the tent... the one at Bridgeport... 175 miles from my home, 250 miles from Seattle, and thousands of miles from Kansas City KS. Back to Glenn Maxwell looking for his Lincoln High School classmate of 1964. Yep, my heart was right...
    Glenn went out to do a rubbing of Lee's name and I began work to place Lee online with the Seattle gang... Still don't know what Lee was doin' in St. Louis... Maybe at some later date Glenn and I will work together to get Lee Reukauf's name on the Olympia Memorial Wall...
Story written for genealogy list by Darilee Bednar... 29 Oct 2003

From Virtual Wall
    A military member's Home of Record is the place from which he enters military service, which may - or may not - be his physical residence. PFC Reukauf attended Lincoln High School as a member of the Class of 1964; he turned 18 and registered for Selective Service in March 1964. When he reported for active duty, though, he did so in Kansas City, Kansas - hence his Home of Record.
    Following Basic and Advance Training, PFC Reukauf was ordered to Vietnam. On arrival (30 Jan 1967) he was assigned to B Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry.
    On 28 February 1967, while operating near Suoi Da, South Vietnam, B/2/16 Infantry was attacked by a much larger enemy force. Twentyfive U. S. troops died in heavy fighting before a combination of air and artillery support relieved the beleaguered command. Platoon Sergeant Matthew Leonard received a posthumous Medal of Honor for his actions in rallying his outnumbered men and preventing even greater loss of life.
    Private First Class Lee Reukauf was one of the 25 dead - less than a month after his arrival in-country and just a few days before his 21st birthday. Information from Ken Davis and Virtual Wall

Pfc. Lee E. Reukauf Killed in Vietnam Pfc. Lee E. Reukauf of Seattle, who did not get to see his 2-month-old daughter, has been killed in action in Vietnam, the Defense Department reported yesterday. Reukauf, a 1964 Lincoln high School graduate, arrived in Vietnam 1 Feb (1967). He had entered the Army last May. He was with Company F of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade. His wife, Sandra, and the daughter, Tina Lee, reside with his mother, Mrs. Nina Parkin, 427 N. 64th St. Other survivors include his father, M. C. Reukauf, Long Beach CA and Gloria Reukauf, Seattle, and a step-brother, Timothy D. Parkin, Seattle. The Associated Press also reported yesterday that Sergt. Donald L. Pender, Tacoma, was killed in action in Vietnam. His survivors include his wife, Barbara, Tacoma. (Seattle Times, Seattle WA, 7 Mar 1967)

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Jan Smith and Evergreen-Washelli, Seattle WA;
Bruce Swander and Maryland Wall Memorial


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