Walton, Lewis C, SFC

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Sergeant First Class
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
11B10-Infantryman
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1970-1971, 11B10, Reconnaissance Team Asp, Command & Control North (CCN)
Service Years
1952 - 1971


Special Forces
Sergeant First Class


Four Service Stripes



Four Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

18 kb

Home State
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
Year of Birth
1934
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Walton, Lewis C, SFC.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Providence, R.I.

Casualty Date
May 10, 1971
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Unknown, Not Reported
Location
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 





 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Master Parachutist (1 Combat Jump)

 
 Unit Assignments
187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)Reconnaissance Team Asp, Command & Control North (CCN)
  1952-1953, 4745, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
  1968-1969, 11B10, HHC, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1969-1970, 11B10, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1970-1971, 11B10, Reconnaissance Team Asp, Command & Control North (CCN)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
On 3 May 1971 Reconnaissance Team ASP was inserted into the area south of the A Shau Valley about 9 miles east of the Lao/SVN border. The six-man team's mission was to observe and report on enemy activity along a tributary of the Ho Chi Minh Trail which entered SVN at this point. The team consisted of

  • SSgt Klaus J. Bingham;

  • SSgt James M. Luttrell;

  • SSgt Lewis C. Walton; and

  • five Montagnard troops, names unknown.


The insertion was successful and apparently went undetected by the North Vietnamese. After an initial radio report the team proceeded under radio silence - and disappeared. On 04 May, forward air controllers searched the area but were unable to locate the team or to establish radio contact. On 05 May, aerial observers noted signal mirror flashes near the insertion point and sighted two men in dark green fatigues placing signal panels. Although no radio contact was made with the team, helicopters with a rescue team were launched at 1500 hours but could not make the insertion because of bad weather. Fixed-wing FACs remained overhead until 1700 without contacting or sighting the team.

On 06 May weather again prohibited search attempts, and on 07 May hostile fire in the area prevented the insertion of a rescue team. Poor weather then set in, preventing insertion of a search team until 14 May. The team was extracted the same day without having seen or heard from the missing patrol.


Recon Team ASP was given up for lost and the three Americans were placed in Missing in Action status. They were carried as MIA until the Secretary of the Army finally approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the three men - Bingham on 27 May 77, Luttrell on 20 Oct 78, and Walton on 12 Oct 78. Their remains were never recovered.


   
Comments/Citation
UPDATE

The Library of Congress recently has made available documentation regarding US POW/MIA personnel and a search of the documentation regarding RT ASP has produced additional information. In 1993, a JTF-FA team visited the locale and interviewed long-time residents, including several who were involved in the fighting which destroyed Recon Team ASP. In summary, a forty-man local militia (VC) force tracked down the team, killing the three Americans and one ARVN. On 04 May the remaining four ARVNs were sighted trying to signal search aircraft, were attacked, and were killed. The militiamen said the bodies were left where they fell - none were buried. An initial exploration of the battle sites failed to locate anything of material importance.


In 2003 a JTF-FA team returned to the village. Although initial searches and excavations recovered only limited personal effects the site was recommended for continued investigation. In 2004 excavations recovered additional personal effects, including a distinctive Saint Christopher's medal, and very fragmented remains which were repatriated to the United States on 19 October 2004. On 23 Oct 2006 the remains were approved as being those of Lewis C. Walton.


SFC Walton's son, SFC Lewis Clark Walton Jr., 115th MP Company, Rhode Island National Guard, traveled to Hawaii bring his father’s remains home. The younger SFC Walton, now a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, was 4 years old when his father left for his second tour of duty in Vietnam.


A Mass of Christian Burial was held May 5th 2007 at Saint Anthony's Church, Providence RI, followed by burial with full Military Honors in the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, Exeter, RI.


   
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