Firsts and Lasts
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.
First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961.
The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident. Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 – 131.
The last pilot casualty in the country of Vietnam occurred during the Embassy evacuation in Saigon, William C. Nystal and Michael J. Shea both died on the helicopter on April 30, 1975 approaching the USS Hancock in the China Sea (both are located at 1W, 124). The last pilot killed in the Vietnam war was Air Force helicopter pilot Second Lieutenant Richard Vandegeer who was killed on Koh Tang Island, Cambodia. This occured during the Mayaguez incident when his helicopter crashed on May 15, 1975. It is concidered the last combat action of the Vietnam War.
The youngest Vietnam KIA is believed to be Dan Bullock at 15 years old. The oldest person on the Wall is Dwaine McGriff at 63 years old.
Other Wall Stats
- At least 5 men killed in Vietnam were 16 years old
- At least 12 men killed in Vietnam were 17 years old.
- There are 120 persons who listed foreign countries as their home of record.
- At least 25,000 of those killed were 20 years old or younger.
- More than 17,000 of those killed were married.
- Veterans killed on their first day in Vietnam 997 (unconfirmed)
- Veterans killed on their last day in Vietnam 1,448 (unconfirmed)
- Number of Chaplains on the Wall — 16 (2 Medal Of Honor)
- Number of Women on the Wall — 8 (7 Army, 1 USAF – 7,484 served)
- There are 226 Native Americans on the Memorial.
- There are 22 countries represented on the Memorial.
- Most common name on the Memorial “Smith” with 667 veterans.
- The most casualties for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 casualties.
- The most casualties for a single month was May 1968, 2,415 casualties were incurred.
Over 58,000 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Names are still being added. Requirement is that death must be a result of wounds sustained during the Vietnam conflict.
Honoring. Respecting. Remembering.
Show-Me Hero Salute invites you to join in this special event,
June 12-16, 2013.
Escort starts at 3:00 pm, Wednesday, June 12.
Viewing starts at 1:00 pm, Thursday, June 13, ends at 3:00 pm, Sunday, June 16.