Cordell, Terry Denver, CPT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1962-1962, 1542, MAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)
Service Years
1957 - 1962


Special Forces

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

17 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Cordell, Terry Denver, CPT.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Oct 15, 1962
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Dinh Tuong (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Oaklawn Memorial Park - Lake Mary, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 013

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  1962, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Master Parachutist

 Unit Assignments
Special Forces UnitsMAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)
  1960-1962, 11A, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1962-1962, 1542, MAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)
 Colleges Attended 
The Citadel
  1953-1957, The Citadel
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
At the time of his loss, Capt Terry Cordell was serving with Detachment A1-334A (Buon Enao), 1st Special Forces Group,MAAGV in Darlac Province, RVN. 

He was killed when his small observation aircraft, a USAF U-10A Helio Courier (tail number #62-5909), was shot down. The aircraft was from the Air Force "Farm Gate" program at Detachment 2A, 1st Air Commando Group, Bien Hoa AFB, Vietnam. 

Capt. Terry Denver Cordell (USAF) FAC
Capt. Herbert W. Booth Jr. (pilot)
TSgt. Richard L. Foxx (USAF) FAC

Read more at:

In the early morning of 15 Oct 1962, three C-21C Shawnee (Flying Bananas) helicopters flew in. The first lift was loaded and the copters lifted off. I was standing in the door of the lead chopper and it was struggling with it's heavy load.

All of a sudden the door filled with tree branches and leaves, I thought we were going down for sure, but the pilot gave it the gas and we went up above the treetops. When we landed at the objective we immediately captured two VC. The Viet Cong prisoners were brought over to me and upon questioning them, my interpreter, pointing to the jungle, said to me: "many VC! many VC!!"

I threw a smoke grenade toward the VC encampment and the B-26 started its run, dropping bombs and strafing the area. Not all the VC in the camp had small arms and those that were not killed scattered into the thick jungle. They were in small groups that we encountered during the remainder of the operation. We had to be careful of the women and children that were with them

By the evening of 15 October 1962, we had destroyed the VC training camp and were securing the objective. I was in communication with the senior Special Forces Commander, CPT Terry Cordell, coordinating the resupply of ammo and supplies in order to continue the mission. My Radio Operator was up in a tree putting up the jungle antenna for better communication.

CPT Cordell was in the HELIO U-10D observation aircraft, flying overhead -- low and slow. I was speaking with him on the FM radio (PRC-10) and suddenly he went blank. My Radioman shouted, "look! look!!" I looked up and saw the aircraft going straight up with fire coming from the nose area. It looped over and started spiraling down into the jungle.

On board the plane were CPT Terry D. Cordell (U. S. Army Special Forces, 1st SFG, Okinawa) and two USAF personnel, Capt Herbert W. "Willoughby" Booth Jr., the pilot, and T/Sgt Richard L. "Dick" Foxx, the Combat Air Controller (USAF Det. 2 Alpha, 1st Air Commando Group) All were killed in the resulting crash.

Recognized as the first U.S. officer, as well as being the first Special Ops Officer, to be killed-in-action in Vietnam, 15 Oct 1962. His was the first fixed wing airplane downed by enemy fire resulting in KIA's and more than 1700 additional fixed wing airplanes were shot down in Vietnam before the war ended in January 1973.
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