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Introduction All '54 Deaths
'54 Combat Deaths  

’54 Combat Deaths

Short Bios for the fourteen classmates who died in combat are shown below:

Herbert W. Booth, Jr. October 15, 1962
James H. Brodt May 29, 1963
Andre G. Broumas September 2, 1969
Blackshear M. Bryan, Jr. September 22, 1967
Sheldon J. Burnett March 7, 1971
Robert H. Gross December 10, 1967
Sayward N. Hall, Jr. April 21, 1965
Bruce J. Hughes July 3, 1953
Andre C. Lucas July 23, 1970
Elwin R. Shain July 28, 1968
James P. Spruill April 21, 1964
Andrew F. Underwood June 5, 1972
Numa A. Watson, Jr. June 22, 1953
Don J. York July 14, 1962

The fourteen bios follow in alphabetical sequence.

Please send any comments or corrections to the Page Monitor (Frank Hart).

19 October 1930 - 15 October 1962

Bill was proud of his dad’s service in the Army Air Corps in World War II. In high school he had made up his mind for a pilot’s career in the Air Force. He wanted the best preparation for this career. This meant West Point. While waiting

for his congressional appointment he spent two years at Virginia Military Institute. Beast Barracks and Plebe year were a breeze. He made the Wrestling Team and sang in the Glee Club.  

Bill saw that the Air Force was developing new close-in support doctrine. He was an early volunteer to become a Forward Air Control Pilot. The U-10 aircraft was designed for football field take off and landing and close-in fire direction. Bill was ready when the call came for volunteers to put this doctrine to the test in support of ARVN units. He knew it was high risk but he was determined to be on the cutting edge. This tour deferred a German attaché assignment Bill had earned against stiff competition. On October 15, 1962 Bill piloted his plane into harms way with an Army captain and a sergeant as observers. They took heavy ground fire and went down to instant death. 

It’s stunning to relive the memory of Bill’s death. He was one of West Point’s best men. He was our class’s second combat death. His courage, his hero’s death, his Distinguished Flying Cross live on to inspire us all. Much of the sadness of his passing is the loss of a good friend, good husband, good father and now good grandfather. Bill married Nancy Penrose August 21, 1955. His son Herbert was 19 months, his daughter, Victoria, just days old when he left for ‘Nam.  Now Herb and Shelley have Ian, and Vicki and Ron have three boys Bradley, Westley and Riley. This is a full and proud legacy. Bill’s ashes were scattered over the Gulf of Mexico.

-- Bill Schulz                                              <
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4 June 1932 - 29 May 1963

James Henry Brodt was born and raised in Blue Earth, Minnesota. After an outstanding record as a student at Blue Earth High School, he entered West Point. Selecting Armor, Jim's first assignment after graduation from West Point was with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort

Bragg. It was during this period that he married Leason Chance Bovard in Cocoa, Florida. Shortly thereafter, Jim and Leason deployed to Germany with the 8th Infantry Division. It was in Germany that his twin daughters, Leslie Ann and Catherine Croix, were born. It was there also that Jim resigned his commission. In late 1957, he and his family settled in Cocoa, Florida. However, Jim soon became dissatisfied with civilian life and returned to the colors.

When the Vietnam War began to intensify in 1962, Jim volunteered for service with Special Forces. Jim got his wish and was assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group in Okinawa which sent A teams, one of which Jim commanded, to Vietnam for 6 months TDY tours. Jim's team was in Quang Ngai province in the Central Highlands. Jim plunged himself into the job with his usual enthusiasm and gusto. Not only were the Vietnamese that he was advising fighting the Viet Cong but also they were improving the lives of the highland Montagnards. It was during this assignment that Jim met his death on May 29, 1963. Jim's team was ambushed by the Viet Cong during a patrol in the last weeks of his tour. During the ambush, Jim's radio operator was wounded. Jim returned to rescue him from the killing zone and, in doing so, was killed himself. Jim's selflessness and courage are in keeping with the finest traditions of West Point. 

Jim is buried at Cocoa, Florida, the home that he adopted during his brief stint as a civilian. That city engraved his name on a monument honoring the members of the community who gave their lives in our nation's wars. In addition, a Special Forces Camp in Vietnam was named Camp Brodt in Jim's honor. His class ring was returned to West Point by his widow for display in the museum. Jim's widow has since died and is buried next to Jim. 

-- Doug Stuart, Phil & Yale Weatherby        

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12 January 1932 - 2 September 1969

"ANOTHER DAY IN WHICH TO EXCEL!" Andre said this many times, to his men, to his contemporaries, even to his family, often in a humorous way. Yet these words were more than a cliché, and their reiteration had a purpose. To Andre, they were a way of

expressing his philosophy of life. Although these words were spoken to others, they usually were self-directed, and he excelled as husband, father, and friend. The mutual love and affection among Andre, his wife Gene, and their children, Margaret, Jamie, and Andre, Jr., were apparent to all who knew them. Intense and dynamic in performing his military duties, Andre was also thoughtful and kind, and his capacity for deep and lasting friendships touched both military and civilian communities. 

Andre excelled as a professional soldier, and an explanation of his success requires more than a recitation of early promotions, decorations, and honors, as two examples will show. Andre served as the commander of the first contingent to remain at Camp Century during the winter. Located under the Greenland icecap and 100 miles from its base camp, Camp Century provided the unusual challenges of survival while supporting arctic research activities. As a testament to Andre's leadership, one of his soldiers later wrote that "the men of Camp Century would have done anything for Captain Broumas, because he always put us first without compromising the mission." Andre was also an outstanding instructor in the Department of Mechanics, as exemplified by the selection of his class for a visit by the Secretary of the Army. His performance that day, as reported by a classmate, was perfect. 

In his last assignment, Andre returned to Vietnam to rejoin the 8th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, this time as its commander. Five months later he died when his command helicopter was downed by enemy fire. His service, sense of duty, and courage have been honored at Broumas Memorial Park, part of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum at Fort Hood. Andre was a man of unlimited drive, pervasive spirit, and deep religious faith. These attributes combined to make him a natural leader. At Andre's funeral the eulogy was given by Command Sergeant Major Salazar, who said: "In my heart I will always carry that proud feeling of having known him and having served him." Interred at West Point.

-- Jim Ransone, Ed Keiser, Jim Miller               <<back to top>>

28 October 1928 - 22 September 1967

Blackshear Morrison Bryan, Jr. was one of the tall young men entering West Point in July of 1950 to begin his journey toward a military career. "Babe", as he was known by his classmates, was born at the West Point Hospital, where his father, himself a graduate, was assigned to help

coach the football team. In 1955, when his dad was Superintendent, Lieutenant Morrie Bryan, a name his sweetheart preferred, and Catherine were married at the Cadet Chapel.

Influenced by Air Force orientations, Morrie sought an Air Force commission. After flight school he qualified as an F-86D pilot. He joined the 323rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Truax AF Base in Wisconsin where his family began to grow. He was transferred to Japan for one of the happiest periods of their lives. He taught conversational English to their neighbors and Japanese to his family. Their son Morrison went to Japanese school, while his younger sister, Claudia, stayed home with their Mom enjoying their Japanese community. He was then assigned to Germany and while living there, the family took countless excursions to explore sights which dad had spotted from the cockpit. In 1963, as a Captain, Morrie, requested transfer to the US Army. He was assigned to the Transportation Corps, completed flight transition and ordered to Ft. Eustis, Virginia where his daughter Catherine Anne was born. In 1967, as he was rounding out his tour in Vietnam, he was killed in a crash during a U-21A training mission while avoiding trespassers on the runway. Major Bryan was cited for heroism twice during his tour. 

The family of Blackshear M. Bryan, Jr., his widow and children, father and mother, brothers and sister, were all comforted with the knowledge that his dedicated service and sacrifice brought great credit to him, and his country.   They shared their grief for this man who was a quiet hero, husband, father, son and sibling. He is buried at the West Point Cemetery beside his father and his younger brother, Jamie, who after two valorous tours in Vietnam, died in a military aircraft accident in 1967. Morrie is survived by his widow Catherine and their three children, B. Morrison Bryan, III, Claudia C. Bryan, Catherine Anne Bryan Brown and six grandchildren.

--Len Reed                                                <<back to top>>

June 1931 - 7March 1971

The remains of Sheldon John Burnett, Colonel, U S Army, were brought home in April 2005 after 35 years of mystery.  Shelly’s military career began in July 1950 when a Congressional appointment brought him from Wisconsin to join the USMA Class of 1954. He was an active

member of the Dialectic Society behind the scenes, and he stood high enough in the class to be able to choose Armor upon graduation.

He married Margaret in 1954. They had four children, Michael, Steven, Patricia, and Leigh. After his initial assignments, he earned an MS degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, and was then assigned to the Army Armor Board and Fort Knox. He graduated from CGSC and was assigned as an advisor to an ARVN cavalry unit. He returned from Vietnam for two-year's duty with the Vice Chief of Staff’s Office where he worked on major Armor projects such as the M1 Abrams Tank. When offered an opportunity to return to Vietnam for a command assignment, he eagerly accepted.

In October 1969, Shelly took command of the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 23d Division, operating in the I Corps area. In March 1970, he flew out to check on an element of his Company A. What was assumed to be their LZ proved to be an ambush, and the OH58 was shot down. Two passengers were unhurt in the crash and escaped, but Shelly and the pilot were so badly injured that they could not escape. The command was unable to mount a rescue and he died the day of the crash. In September 2004, his burial site was located and Shelly came back to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 

--Bob Hunt                                                <
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20 January 1929 – 10 December 1967

On 20 December, 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Gross made his last West Point Formation. As in everything Bob did, the last formation was perfection. The honor guard from his Cadet Company, the Military Academy Band, the friends and relatives, all presented a picture that Bob

would have appreciated. Bob was born to Mildred and Roy Gross in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from high school in 1946, attended the University of Detroit from 1946 to 1949 and entered the military academy in July, 1949. 

Bob’s roommates made some astute observations: He had a serious air, quickly supplanted by a sense of humor. He was a loyal and trustworthy friend. His best subject was Portuguese. He had some problems with other departments. When kidded about not standing high enough to get anything but infantry he would laugh and say that’s what he wanted. Bob attended the Basic Infantry and Airborne Courses at Fort Benning. In November 1955, he married Rita Rogers at West Point. They were blessed with two children, Courtland and Gabriella. 

Although reluctant to leave his family, Bob was pleased to join the Big Red One in Vietnam. While conducting a search for a missing soldier, Bob’s helicopter crashed and burned. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. The true essence of a man’s character is not contained in words spoken of him while living but in how he is remembered when gone. We recall Bob Gross as an outstanding officer, a loyal friend, a devoted son, and a loving husband and father.

--Bill Schulz                                               <<back to top>>

26 December 1928 - 21 April 1965

Sayward (“Pete”) was born in Thomaston, Maine, to Sayward N. Hall, Sr. and Barbara Knight Hall. Pete graduated from Thomaston High School in 1947 and the same month enlisted in the Army. He served in the occupation of Korea in the Infantry, where he

earned promotion to Sergeant and subsequently took and passed the West Point entrance examination. During his time at West Point, Pete was known for his quiet friendliness. He had that Maine dry humor, was even tempered, and was a man of his word. He always knew where he was going when he graduated. A roommate remembers whenever academics got too tough, he would always open his desk drawer, pull out a Blitz cloth and polish his Infantry crossed rifles, saying he didn’t need to compete for the Engineers because he was going back to his beloved Infantry. On Christmas leave to Maine in 1951, Cliff Landry ‘53 introduced him to Mary T. Cowhig, from Boston, Massachusetts. This was to be the love of his all too short life.

After graduation, Pete went to Airborne School and Ranger School. In 1955 he married Mary, and they had five children: Sayward III, Nancy, Michael, Stephen, and Matthew. After an assignment at Fort Carson, Pete went to Fort Rucker for flight training. After he became qualified as a pilot, Pete served in a number of units in the U. S. and overseas. In Nov 1964, Pete took command of the 119th Aviation Company at Pleiku, Vietnam. He commanded the 119th until 7 February 1965, when he suffered fragmentation wounds as a result of an enemy attack. Major Pete Hall died of his wounds 73 days later on 21 April 1965, in a hospital in the Philippines. He was awarded the Bronze Star (Valor, OLC), Purple Heart (OLC), and Air Medal (2 OLC). He was interred at Thomaston, Maine. 

Pete is survived by his widow Mary, their five children, and ten grandchildren. Mary remembers: “We met under the Christmas tree one memorable holiday season.  Pete will always be remembered as a kind and loyal husband. He loved his family and always felt fortunate that he was able to be present as his five children entered the world. True to the West Point tradition of Duty, Honor, Country, he distinguished himself by personally directing the relief and evacuation of men of his command, who were wounded in the Viet Cong attack at Camp Holloway, before falling to mortar fragments himself. He is not forgotten and will always be missed.”

-- Sayward N. Hall IV, Mary Hall Stone                
and Jim Hays                                             <<back to top>>

27 February 1931 - 3 July 1953

BJ was a warrior. He was born into a family of warriors. His father fought as a member of the United States Army during the Philippines Insurrection. Three of his four brothers fought in World War II: William was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart;

Fred received a battlefield commission for bravery; and Ernest also served his country. His fourth brother, Charles, sustained an injury while a member of the 82nd Airborne Division during the Korean War and did not go overseas.

BJ showed his fighting heart early as an outstanding boxer in high school. He won the Golden Gloves championship three times in High Point, North Carolina, and won championships in other cities in North Carolina. BJ received a Congressional appointment to West Point and entered on July 5, 1950. He continued his boxing career at West Point, establishing himself as a rising star in the squared circle. The Boxing Team report in the 1952 Howitzer states that “outstanding among the new men were BJ Hughes at 165 and …” BJ showed his true boxing ability by winning the Eastern Intercollegiate Championship in that year. 

In June 1952 BJ lost his last “fight” at West Point when he was “turned out” for academic deficiency. He returned home and joined the United States Army as a volunteer on September 11, 1952. Because of his experience at West Point and his outstanding leadership abilities, BJ was appointed the commander of his Basic Training Company. Upon completion of this training he received orders to Korea. On July 3, 1953, BJ was struck and killed by a bullet from another soldier’s rifle, which accidentally discharged when it was leaned against a stump. He had been on the frontlines for 8 weeks. BJ was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Korea. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His sister, Mrs. Donie Chatfield, and a brother, Ernest Hughes, survive him. 

--Chuck Luce                                            <<back to top>>

2 October 1930 - 23 July 1970

ANDRE CAVARO LUCAS brought two strong military traditions to West Point, one American, the other French. His father was a career Army officer who commanded a company in the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, during WWI. Andre served as an enlisted soldier in the

same company before entering West Point. His mother insisted that Andre receive his secondary education in her home town in France, where he was imbued with the glories of French military prowess during the Napoleonic wars. At West Point, his mother was thrilled to watch the Corps of Cadets march to the music “Sombre et Meuse.” For Andre, being a professional army officer was preordained. He never considered any other path.

Late in his Third Class year, Andre met his future wife, Madeleine Miller, fluent in French and of Swiss-French parentage. A strong personality, Madeleine gave him two sons and unflinching support for the rest of his life. The Lucases were famous for their hospitality, good wine and cuisine, and hilarious parties. Never ordinary people, they lived with energy and wonderful imagination. Their two sons, John and William, added to the excitement that always surrounded their home. 

After service in Germany, at Fort Benning and then at West Point as a Tactical Officer, Andre went to Vietnam where he advised a Vietnamese battalion, winning the first of two Silver Stars.  Returning to the States, Andre completed CGSC and then the French War College.  After commanding 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry in Germany and as G3 of 24th Division at fort Riley, he sought to return to Vietnam to command a battalion in combat. 

While commanding the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, the “Currahees,” in the 101st Airmobile Division, he was surrounded by a much larger North Vietnamese regular force.  His battalion fought for three weeks before Andre was allowed to evacuate his unit. Preparing to depart the fire base on the last helicopter out, Andre was hit by rocket fire and lost a leg. He died on 23 July 1970 on Fire Base Ripcord.  For his repeated bravery during the sustained close combat of Ripcord, Andre was awarded the Medal of Honor, the only member of Class of 1954 to be so recognized.

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27 August 1931 - 28 July 1968

As a leader, family man, pilot, athlete and friend, Rox Shain was exemplary. He excelled in leadership roles as a West Point cadet, and later as an officer and pilot in the United States Air Force always exceeding the high standards

required of him with integrity and professionalism. Moreover, he compassionately nurtured his charges and imparted the exceptional knowledge of his job and the in-depth understanding he had of people to assist them in achieving their goals. He led by example, and his subordinates willingly followed out of total respect.

Rox and his wife, Nancy, enjoyed a "storybook romance." Their joy of bringing their family of two daughters, Christy and Sarah, and a son, Rox, into the world was an inspiration to their friends and family. Rox experienced an enviable USAF career until he met his fate performing the duties asked by his beloved Country. In conjunction with his duties as a combat fighter pilot, Rox held a variety of other assignments including physical education instructor at the newly formed Air Force Academy, aircraft maintenance officer, aide de camp, and Headquarters USAF staff officer. In addition to his busy career, Rox also achieved a master’s degree in business administration. While assigned as maintenance officer of a Tactical Fighter Squadron in Vietnam, Rox also completed over two hundred close air support combat missions. As the end of his tour approached, Rox refused the opportunity to let someone else take his last mission. He was not the kind of leader who would or could allow someone else to face the hazards involved, nor would he compromise his deep sense of duty. He paid the ultimate price on that last mission for being a true American hero.

Many of us benefited from the actions of this courageous aviator and warrior who successfully met the challenges that were his destiny. We are eternally grateful for having known this man.  Interred at Iowa City, Iowa.

--Jack Krause                                            <<back to top>>

10 February 1931 - 21 April 1964

It was March, 1964 at Tan Son Nuit Air Base in South Vietnam. I was out-processing after my first ‘Nam tour when I heard a familiar voice across the room calling my West Point nickname, “Jake.” I looked up and there stood my old friend, Jim Spruill. Since I didn't fly out

until the next day we agreed to have dinner that night. I took him to 'Cheap Charlies', a Chinese floating restaurant on the Mekong River. After dinner we sat there until they closed. Up early for the first flight out, I went by Jim's room to say goodbye. He was still in bed. I said "Take care, Jim.”  Jim mumbled back "Have a good flight, Jake.” Within a few weeks my old friend would be killed. Jim was with the SDC Training Center at Vinh Long Province. He was proceeding along a highway in the IV Corps area with his ARVN counterpart when the group was ambushed by the VC and Jim was killed.  

This loss hit me hard because Jim was my best friend. We first became well acquainted at Camp Buckner, our Yearling year. Each Sunday after Chapel Services we would paddle our canoe out on the beautiful Lake Popolopen. We fished, talked and laughed. Jim was such a delight to be with. Philosophy was his favorite subject. It was on this lake that I got to know the depth of Jim Spruill and it was here that I grew to respect him so much. I agree with how Jim’s West Point roommate described him: “I have never found anyone more basically honest, more honorable, more forthright, or anyone so completely and genuinely sincere. Jim was a thinker. He was never willing to accept the pedagogical tirades of the classroom without asking ‘why?’, without challenging false premises, without stripping away the sham of false tradition.” Jim’s character and compassion surfaced in the letters he wrote from Vietnam which his wife provided the newspapers and were published by the U. S. Government. In one, he wrote, “…we must stand strong and give heart to an embattled and confused people.  This cannot be done if America loses heart.”

I am drawn finally to something else that Jim once wrote, “You cannot chart such a man, you cannot encompass him, neither can you pass his way without experiencing the sweetness in the air and the strange comforting feeling that comes from the undefined nearness of something real yet unseen.” Unknowingly, Jim Spruill was describing himself.  Jim was survived by his wife Barbara and children Mark and Elizabeth. Interred at Arlington. 

--Jim Chandler                                           <<back to top>>

6 August 1928 - 5 June 1972

Andy hailed from a family of infantry officers.  His father was Class of 1909. Best known as a cadet for his physical exploits which earned him (a total surprise to Andy) an award at graduation for standing Number One in Physical Education. He was the first recipient of this

award. It was indeed exciting to watch Andy on the obstacle course. He lettered in swimming where his specialty was diving, and also in track. While in "prep school" Andy assisted his uncle (Class of June 1918) in completing design and assembling a pipe organ in an Episcopal church in Washington, D. C.  and at USMA he drew cartoons for the "Pointer" magazine, all of this contrasting with his physical education persona.

He married the former Vallette (Val) Chellew, the daughter of an Army Colonel. Andy received his Masters at Indiana University and the family was posted to West Point where he was in the Tactics Dept. In Vietnam 1966-67 Andy was awarded The Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Air Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge. Physical conditioning saved his life as he was rescued from a river in Vietnam by a medic after a soldier behind him tripped a submerged land mine and was killed, costing Andy 225 stitches. Andy recovered to do high dives with skill and play handball again. 

After CGSC and a tour with the Combat Development Center, Andy returned again to Vietnam in 1971. He was aboard a C46 in damp foggy weather when the aircraft flew into a mountain on 5 June 1972.  Andy is buried at Arlington.  He is survived by his wife Val, of Houston, TX, daughters Karen and Connie and two grandchildren who live nearby.

--Paul Reistrup                                           <<back to top>>

12 July 1928 - 22 June 1953

Numa A. Watson, Jr. was a third generation West Pointer and a third generation Infantry officer. Numa’s grandfather, Brigadier General Frank B. Watson, Class of 1895, named his son Numa Augustin Watson after his classmate Joseph Numa Augustin who was killed in Cuba

at the Battle of San Juan Hill. Numa Watson graduated with the Class of 1922 and retired as a Major General. Both General Watsons were distinguished infantry officers and regimental commanders.

Numa A. Watson, Jr. was born in Washington, DC on 12 July 1928. He wanted to pursue a military career and enlisted in the Air Force to facilitate an appointment to West Point. He succeeded and entered the Academy with the Class of 1954 on 5 July 1950. Although Numa loved West Point, he had an even greater love for his lifelong sweetheart, Ruth Ross, whom he married after resigning from the Academy in 1951. He and Ruth had two sons, Numa III and Dale.

Numa enlisted in the Army and attended OCS at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was a distinguished graduate and commissioned in the Infantry. He was assigned as a rifle platoon leader in the 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division in Korea. His father was in Korea at the same time, serving as the Assistant Commander of the 24th Infantry Division. The 65th Regiment saw fierce fighting. By then a 1st Lieutenant, Numa was serving as a liaison officer during the Battle of Outpost Henry on 10 June 1953. His bunker received a direct hit from an artillery shell and Numa was severely wounded, dying of those wounds on 22 June 1953. Numa is buried at the Presidio National Cemetery, Presidio of San Francisco, California. Later, Ruth married Alfred “Sandy” Sanderson, Class of 1950, who adopted Numa III and Dale. 

--Bob Goodwin                                           <<back to top>>

28 November 1932 - 14 July 1962

Don Joseph York lived his life and served his country with dedication and a quiet enthusiasm that was infectious to those who knew him. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, he grew up admiring his uncle, a West Point graduate whose

footsteps he yearned to follow. Don entered the Corps as a member of the Class of 1954 and earned even more admiration from classmates and others whose lives he touched with his combination of boyhood enthusiasm and dedication. Upon graduation he entered the Infantry and began his short but productive career as a military officer. He married a home town sweetheart, Johanna Mooney, in his family church in North Carolina, adding a partner who would mean so much to him in years to come.

After Infantry, Ranger and Airborne training, Don had assignments in Washington, Alaska, Fort Benning and Fort Bragg, where he gained a reputation as one of the finest company commanders in his division. Based on his past performance, Don was selected as an advisor with the Vietnamese Airborne Brigade, a prestigious posting. He became popular with the Vietnamese through his self-taught use of their language, his guitar playing and singing of Vietnamese folk songs in lighter moments, and his worship in a Vietnamese Catholic church. On 14 July 1962, Don volunteered to accompany two companies of his battalion on a convoy escort mission from Ben Cat to Saigon. At 0800 hours on Highway 13 north of Saigon, the convoy was ambushed by a Viet Cong battalion.  Don’s vehicle, fifth from the convoy lead, was destroyed along with one other, and all occupants were killed. Because Don had taken the precaution of ensuring adequate spacing between vehicles in the convoy, no others were destroyed. 

Sadness prevailed among all those who knew Captain York. The Vietnamese named a building after him, and his former U.S. unit designated an athletic trophy in his honor. He was brought home and laid to rest in his beloved North Carolina mountain country.   

--Wayne Cantrell                                        <<back to top>>




Last updated: December 4, 2011                          

Page monitor:  Frank Hart