Bass, George Clinger, 1LT

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1970-1971, 1542, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile)
Service Years
1969 - 1971

Infantry

First Lieutenant



One Overseas Service Bar


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

51 kb

Home State
Texas
Texas
Year of Birth
1947
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Roger Gaines to remember Bass, George Clinger, 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
San Antonio, TX
Last Address
San Antonio, TX

Casualty Date
Mar 06, 1971
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Other Explosive Device
Location
Binh Thuy (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery - San Antonio, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
04W 026/ Section X Site 1204

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord


 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2019, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 
 Unit Assignments
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile) 82nd Airborne Division
  1970-1971, 1542, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile)
  1970-1971, 1542, 82nd Airborne Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1966-1969, United States Military Academy
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Laurie Bass Wagner

8 March 1971. It was the 24th birthday of my brother, George. The one he never reached. He died two days before. The officers, two of them, came in a sedan to our house at 3015 Samar Drive, San Antonio TX. My mother and I were home alone. The officers saw two cars in our driveway and mistakenly thought my dad was home. My dad was at San Antonio College where he taught math. He didn’t have his car because he carpooled that day with another professor who, like my dad, was working on his Ph.D. in math at UT-Austin. After teaching their classes they were leaving to attend class in Austin. I was in my room at the back of the house
 

I don’t know if they rang the doorbell. I never heard it. My mother saw the sedan through the living room window and being the wife of a retired Lieutenant Colonel she knew what it meant. She screamed. Over and over she screamed, “No.” I ran to the living room. She was alone; I had no idea what was happening. I didn’t see the sedan outside. She pointed to the closed front door. I opened it and there they stood. They came in and said nothing. Nothing. My mother kept saying “No,” but in a smaller, weaker voice. She walked away from the officers, into the dining room and they followed her, still saying nothing. I said to them, “Is my brother dead?” One of them replied, “Yes.” It felt like I shouldn’t have had to ask.
 

I felt my body raked by a wave of doom. It washed over me, through me. It left me weak-kneed and nauseous, but my first thought was of my mother. I had to take care of my mother. I remember feeling such searing pain for her. I thought, “Oh God, how is she going to survive this?” My mother kept walking backwards away from the officers – through the kitchen, into the breakfast room and then the family room where there was a sliding glass door to the backyard. Still no one spoke. It was spooky. It felt like an hour had passed, but it was probably twenty seconds. I was worried sick about my mom. She looked like she might jump through the sliding glass door or run out it and disappear forever. Finally, they spoke. The officers. The intruders. They asked where my father was. They asked me, not mom. I don’t think I answered. I was really pissed at them. I took hold of my mother’s arm. I wanted to give her an anchor. Something solid to hold onto.

But, I felt far from solid. I looked at the men; they weren’t in uniform. Why weren’t they in uniform? Or maybe one was in uniform and one wasn’t. I can’t remember. But, I remember thinking, “These guys don’t know what they’re doing.” Me, the teenager in the room and that is what I thought. I said, “Today’s his birthday.” They looked confused. I said, “Today is George’s birthday. He’s not dead, it’s his birthday.” They said he died two days ago, on 6 Mar. I had the crazy thought that it was too bad he missed his birthday. Mom and I had baked and sent him his favorite cookies – molasses cookies. They could survive a trip halfway around the world to a jungle. It was the last time in our lives we baked molasses cookies.
 

Then I got my mom back; the one that handled dozens of emergencies when her infantryman husband was “in the field” or on a hardship tour. She told me in a strong clear voice to “call daddy.” None of us kids called him daddy anymore, but mom did. She said I had to do it right away before he left for Austin. I had no idea how to reach him. He had an office, but he was never in it. I don’t know how I got him on the phone, but I distinctly recall telling him he had to come home and his getting increasingly mad and frustrated because I wouldn’t tell him why. I used the harvest gold wall phone in the breakfast room. My knees shook and I said pleadingly, “Please daddy, just come home.” I don’t know why I was the one talking to him. Surely it should have been the notification officers. They didn’t offer to do it. I didn’t occur to me to ask them. My “Bass training” kicked in.

My parents taught George, Koy and me that if a job needed to be done, just do it. So, there I was, the baby of the family, telling my father George was dead. His favorite child. The one who grew up to be like him. An infantry officer. His response was an inhuman sound that I can’t bear to recall. I told him I was sorry. Like it was my fault. I couldn’t take it anymore. I handed the phone to one of the officers. Or maybe they mercifully took it from me. I sat down next to my mother and we held each other like our lives depended on it. We both spoke, worried that my dad shouldn’t drive himself home – it was a pretty long way. We were confused. We forgot he didn’t have his car. The officers reminded us and we were relieved that his colleague would bring him home. The officers said they thought he was at home because of the cars in the driveway. They seemed upset at how things had gone.
 

While we waited for my father the phone rang. I answered it. It was someone who identified himself as Lt. Anderson. He said he had been a platoon leader under George and he had been wounded and was at Brook Army Medical Center. He was calling to say, “Hi.” I was discombobulated. I said something like, “You’re calling to say hello?” He started talking about George as if he was alive. I got more confused and finally just said, “But, George is dead.” Lt. Anderson was silent and in the silence I realized Lt. Anderson didn’t know George was dead. I felt bad for how I told him- just blurting it out. It was awkward after that and we soon hang up.
 

The next thing I remember my mother said we needed to call my other brother, Koy. I remember thinking I was never talking on the f.…king phone ever again. I don’t know who called Koy. I just know it wasn’t me. I thought about Koy and I felt so bad for him. He and George were best friends. They were just sixteen months apart. I don’t remember thinking about my own loss. I loved George so much. He was my big brother. He was the oldest; he was in charge. I could always count on him and he never treated me like a dumb little sister. He was so strong, tough and fearless. It was inconceivable that someone could take him down. But, none of that went through my mind in that first hour. I just felt so bad for my mom and dad and brother. I loved them so much and I didn’t know how to help them. It wasn’t until later that my own pain engulfed me.

MY BROTHER

I could not have asked for a better big brother. And I thought that before you died. I have missed you through every stage of my life. I miss you now as much as I missed you the day the officers in the sedan came to tell us of your death. That day was your 24th birthday, a birthday you never saw.


You always wanted to be a soldier. You were so determined. You graduated from West Point, became an airborne ranger and in 7 months in Vietnam you were awarded the Silver Star, 5 Bronze Stars, 4 Army Commendation Medals and 3 Purple Hearts. But you never got the chance to be a husband, a father, an uncle, a grandfather. I knew you as a boy and as man. Your were warm, funny, loving, and always optimistic about life. I am sure you were full of life until the moment you died. Nothing I could write here could do justice to who you were as a human being. With Eternal Love, Laurie
 
   
Comments/Citation


FREEDOM IS NOT FREE . . .

As the widow of SSGT Freddie Louis Dacus, I keep the letter I received from 1LT George C. Bass (dtd Nov. 15, 1970, FBS Andre) detailing Freddie's heroic actions (KIA November 12, 1970). I will always remember and appreciate the kind words he expressed in letting me know he and my husband were together on an ambush mission on that date that is etched in my heart. 
Freddie was a Christian and so proud to serve (Co. B,2/7,1st Cav). His family and friends still feel his wisdom and love. 1LT George C. Bass remains in my Special Memories. My sympathy and respect to the Bass Family. (John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends). MAY GOD BLESS US ALL
 

MY FALL '68 ROOMMATE

We lived together in a dump of a room that barely passed inspections. You, Freeley, Paco, me - playing Bridge and Risk instead of studying, watching the tenths we'd gathered for three years go slowly down the shute. You lost 30 pounds every week to weigh in for 150 football, then gained it back in the 36 hours between weigh-in and game time. You lived for those Saturdays. You were ready then to do whatever it took to win. Those powerful steel blue eyes and the set, tough-bearded jaw cut an icey, terrible figure that was only melted by your brilliant smile. I miss you.

 

MY COMMANDER

Proud warrior from Texas and carried himself well as a commander for Bravo company 2/7. I will always remember and never forget Lt. George C. Bass, my acting commander in Vietnam. I remember the stand down at Christmas time and you were wearing a black cav hat with gold braid and smoking a cigar. Fellow Texan that served under Lt. George C. Bass, Kenny Guyer
 
   
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