This section is to honor and recognize Our Brothers who fought in country in 1971 and especially those who participated in Operation Dewey Canyon ll .Lam Son 719 at the Rockpile and carried the colors of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade4/3 into battle.
After a short stand down at Bronco, at 0912 on the morning of February 8, 1971,C-130's were loaded and a combat assault was in progress with a destination to Hell, also known as Khe Sanh. After reviewing the Daily Journals for February 22, 1971,page 5 , this is what I discovered....
Awards For Company A
Army Commendation Metal w/V #s
#75 Burgess T.M.;#88 Gregory J. ;#94 Holmes J.L.;#68 Bart R.E. ;#72 Brancato J.D.;#73 Bullard R, ;#143 White H.R. ;#144 White L.;#156 Robertson D. ;# 103 Lawson S. K. ;# Nelson J.N. ;#125 Shaw K. ;#138 Veiga A.E.;#63 Wessels R.J.#43 Dowling B. ;# 32 Uyehara L.#26 Pensabene J.B. ;# 10 Canady J. ;## 4 Walker L. ;#3 Sheridan J.C.
Bronze Star w/V
# 7 Rojas A.C.-Volunteered to go after bodies. # 20 Hitchcock M. L. -3 different times rushed to front and led charge to secure battle area. # 22 Lukashewski J. –Volunteered to recover bodies. #28 Smentek C.C. Volunteered to recover bodies. # 31Turner G.D. Wounded but continued to fight, and was always up front. # 36 Bemis R.F.- Volunteered to recover bodies after 1st&2nd wounded # 67 Barnhart T.J.-Wounded in his 1st contact...up front. # 108 Moran D.A. KIA # 114 Park A.C.-Always up Front. # 117 Plonka J.N.- Volunteered to recover bodies. # 128 Snapp J.W. – Volunteered to recover bodies, up front. # 130 Stimson W.D.-OJT medic up front and wounded. # 135 Thompson T.L. up front to secure wounded. # 134 Thurber S. J. –always up front. # 140 Walz D.J.- Volunteered to recover bodies. # 146 Williams J.L – Volunteered to recover bodies, # 153 Cote D. L. Exposed to mortar while protecting wounded. # 155 Morgan D.-attended to wounded. # 157 Cunningham R.J. –recovered bodies. # 76 Burgos-Torres B.-KIA. # 82 Cook J.D-charged across battle area. # 90 Haag G.L.-among 1st to protect wounded. #95 Holt J.E. moved to secure wounded. # 96 Horn D.L.-KIA # 74 Burch H.L. –during 2 actions rushed the front.
#154 Gann L.D. aid man on each occasion up front and recovered bodies...used own body to shield wounded for mortar attack. # 5 Dewing J.R. –walking slack and continued to fight after being wounded. # 11 Kegerregis R.C._ walked point after going for bodies, wounded by a claymore.
This was one of the most costly operations of the Vietnam War in both lives and equipment.
My brothers you have raised all the standards and excelled, when the whole world thought it was over... you guys were fighting for your lives and for each other's lives. This kind of bravery and courage is generally found only in history books and should never be forgotten. The Khe Sanh area of operation was the worst of the worst and most would have a difficult time of walking in your boots. So Brothers you did good... and have earned the right to walk just a little taller than most.
We were all put together under the worst conditions, but a love and trust soon developed that will endure forever. Most have no idea why we've connected forty years later. ...It was to be able to close your eyes at night and have the faith and trust in your brothers to keep you safe while you slept....to share his last cigarette....or while you lay wounded...to give you the encouragement to live, as you waited for a dust-off helicopter.
I salute you Band of Brothers of 1971 for you are Special and your story needs to be told ....that back 1n 1971.....real Honor and Courage existed. We thank you all for your commitment ...to save and protect our Fallen Brothers. I am proud to wear the same patch and colors and...... call you My Brother.
A 4/3 2nd Platoon68/69
Operation Dewey Canyon ll Lam Son 719
4/3Infantry - Quang Tri Casualty Reports Jan 30-Apr 8 1971