This was a friendly fire accident. From one of the members of the troop at the time this is what happened. "We had stopped to take a break from the heat & two APCs were sitting in a low point with their fronts up in the air and two Sheridan tanks pointing with their guns down into the low point......I was standing on one of the Sheridans talking to them.....they were in the shade behind the vehicles.......the Sheridan right behind them, the main gun went off.......it was a flechette round.....there was no helping them.....the TC was reclining in his cupola and he received dozens of wounds to his arms......The TC on the Sheridan that fired kept his breech closed and safety off...he used the TC controls to fire the main gun......this was a horrible accident and took 3 lives.
A Note from The Virtual Wall
The three men killed in the accident were
CPL Arthur J. Castillo, Pico Rivera, CA
PFC Robert P. Query, Santa Ana, CA
PFC Raul J. Vargas, Orange, CA
To My Falling Brothers
The day is forever tethered to my soul, the four of us just stopped to rest from the heat and set down behind our PC #34.It was you and me. Arthur and Raul. As hot as it was It was a beautiful country in contrast to where we were. Only minutes past and I got up and went into the track to retrieve something and you were gone as was Pete and Raul. An accident, friendly fire. Three brave and dedicated souls departed this earth. We were brothers in arms. I loved you as brothers. We shall meet again .
Posted on 5/16/14 - by Lynn Branch
My Dear Brother,It has been over 44 years since I lost you and I still feel the pain and heartache. You were 21 and I was 15 at the time. We never got to finish growing up together. I still look at your photos, close my eyes, and still can't believe you are gone. The loss of you left a void in the family forever. You had so much life left to live-riding motorcycles, listening to the Rolling Stones, teasing me..... I was too young to truly appreciate you as a brother, I would give anything to have you at my side; it has been lonely without you. I will love you forever.Your sister,Lynn
PO Box 522 Mount Vernon WA 98273 USA
I still remember after all these years walking the halls of high school with you and a few other friends. You will be forever 18 in my heart. Thank you for your sacrifice! Always remembered with admiration! Sharon
Jun 15, 2009
USAF Veteran - 191st photo recon.
Vietnam Veterans of America - Chapter 785
Rest in Peace, my Brother. You will not be forgotten...
Oct 15, 2008
Fellow Veteran 69-70 An Khe
Union Gap, WA. 98903
“You are Remembered”
Peace and condolence, to the family and friends. "He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother.” Rest in peace brave soldier, you have not been forgotten. (W.Shakespeare) May God Bless You for your Sacrifice!!!
Nov 10, 2007
unknown, but related
7460 S. 167th St. W.
Although we must be related, I never knew Robert or any of his family. I'd like to make contact with them to see how we are related. I too served in Vietnam from April of '69 till March of '70. I was among God's chosen and came home unharmed. I have an interest in the "WALL" and the vet movement. If any of the family reads this, please e-mail or write to me at the above addresses. MEL
Wednesday, September 01, 1999
220 West Arch
Nevada, Mo64772 United States
Robert Peter Query
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Thank you PFC Query for your ultimate sacrifice. Rest well brave soldier for you, Sir, are not forgotten.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
FELLOW 25TH INF DIV BROTHER
2555 MIDDLE WAY
EASTON, PA 18040 USA
NOT FORGOTTEN HERO
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN, HERO. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE.DOUG, CO. A , 222ND MECH. INF., 25TH INF. DIV. 1968
Thursday, November 10, 2005
3/4 Cav Trooper
I just talked with Vargas, and Castillo, why it happened i don't know, it was so hot we had just finished talking you three were drinking water one minute then you were gone. Even today i haven't forgotten you guys. God Bless you!
Posted by: Pat Bartlett
Relationship: We served together
Monday, February 9, 2004
Thank you for your sacrifice
am doing this as a High School project with the rest of the students of Gridley High. I wish to thank you for your sacrifice that you made that fateful day, you will not be forgotten. Thank you
Posted by: Rusty Collins
Monday, November 10, 2003
Peter, you will never be forgotten
Peter Query was my best friend. We met while we were waiting in line at Radford High school Hawaii. Why we became best of friends only God will know. We shared many good times together, motorcycle riding (Peter had the most God awful Cushman you ever saw, a real piece of work!), snorkel diving, body surfing,and just being friends. When I say best friend,I don't mean just pals or buddies, but the kind of friend you find only once in your lifetime. Peter was the once in a life time friend that you believe you will have forever.
Peter left Hawaii and went back to North Carolina for a year, we remained best of friends and wrote to each other all the time. He returned to Hawaii and worked at the Ft Shafter gas station, by that time I was in my first year of college at the University of Hawaii. I left Hawaii and went to Colorado to be with my family and go to school, Peter went to California.
Peter was drafted, I don't recall if it was late 1968 or 1969. I remember how afraid he was, and how his letters expressed his fears. I remember how his mother told me when he got on the plane for Viet Nam he said he was not coming back. Whether he knew his fate, or his fear was coming out, again only God knows.
Peter wrote me all the time while he was in Vietnam, I still have his letters today, I will keep them as long as I live. I remember the plans we made to just bum around the US when he got back. Take time to just see stuff and let it all hang out. Then Peter was killed. I will never forget the day I was told. His mother called me, she had sent me a letter but I had not gotten it, so she felt she should call. There is no way I can ever express the grief and pain I felt at that moment. I could not believe Peter, my best friend was dead. I'm not sure how long I cried over Peter, but it was a long time, in a way I have never stopped crying, and I know I never will. I remember his funeral, I remember how angry I was at the Color Guard, they all looked like crap, unshined shoes, cutting up, it just really pissed me off. They were there to pay respect and there was none. They were alive and Peter wasn’t. Maybe it was just my grief, but I remember my anger as if it were yesterday. I remember the cemetery, Rosencrance (misspelled I'm sure) located in San Diego, even today I can walk to his grave without really thinking about where it is. I remember how angry I was when I found out he was killed in an accident, he and several others. Evidently a tank gun went off and killed them all. I guess it shouldn't matter how Peter died, he was still gone, but the needless loss from an accident somehow made it worse. I can only hope he and those around him did not suffer, that his death was quick and there was no time for pain or wondering why. Perhaps it just makes me feel better to hope this was the case.
I will always remember Peter, he will always be my best friend. His memory, what he was, our shared times, will always be with me. As long as I shall live he will live within me. Peter my friend, I still miss you so, I always will.
Why God chose to take you, and so many others, only he knows. I do know someday you and I will be together again, our friendship once again renewed, this time for eternity. Until then Peter my friend rest in peace, you were loved, and you still are.
All my Love
Your friend forever