Crittenberger, Dale Jackson, COL

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Colonel
Last Service Branch
Armor
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1969-1969, 9th Infantry Division
Service Years
1950 - 1969

Armor

Colonel



Seven Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

40 kb

Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
1927
 
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Washington, DC
Last Address
Washington DC

Casualty Date
Sep 17, 1969
 
Cause
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Vietnam
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
18W, 101

 Official Badges 

Presidential Service Badge


 Unofficial Badges 

Armor Shoulder Cord


 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 3rd Award

 
 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1946, US Military Academy (West Point, NY), C
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
2nd Armored Division1st Cavalry Division 4th ArmyArmor Officers' Advanced Course
1st Armored Division57th Tank BattalionWhite House Military Office, Office of Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Course
4th Armored Division1st Battalion, 37th ArmorUnited States Military Academy West Point (Staff)Army War College (Staff)
Military Assistance Command Thailand US Army John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School (USAJFKSWCS)2nd Field Force Vietnam (II Field Force)3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division
9th Infantry Division
  1950-1950, 2nd Armored Division
  1950-1951, HHC, 1st Cavalry Division
  1951-1952, 4th Army
  1952-1952, Armor Officers' Advanced Course
  1952-1954, 1st Armored Division
  1954-1956, D Company, 57th Tank Battalion
  1954-1956, 2nd Armored Division
  1956-1959, White House Military Office, Office of Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
  1959-1960, Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Course
  1960-1962, 4th Armored Division
  1962-1964, HHC, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor
  1964-1966, United States Military Academy West Point (Staff)
  1966-1966, Army War College (Staff)
  1966-1968, Military Assistance Command Thailand
  1968-1968, US Army John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School (USAJFKSWCS)
  1968-1969, 2nd Field Force Vietnam (II Field Force)
  1969-1969, 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division
  1969-1969, 9th Infantry Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1951 Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military AcademyArmy War CollegeGeorge Washington University
  1946-1950, United States Military Academy
  1966-1966, Army War College
  1966-1966, George Washington University
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Colonel Crittenberger, a member of a military family with a long record of service to our great Nation, lost his life in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Today he lies in eternal peace among the other American heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.  Also see Crittenberger Multi-use Range located at Fort Hood, TX.

http://wwww.arlingtoncemetery.com

Courtesy of his classmates, United States Military Academy

DALE JACKSON CRITTENBERGER was born at Walter Reed General Hospital on 21 May 1927, the third son of Willis D. and Josephine W. Crittenberger.

Jack's boyhood was spent at the usual stations of the pre-World War II Army: Washington, Fort Bliss, Manila, Fort Knox, Fort Benning, San Antonio, and Panama; he attended schools at these locations, and in particular he enjoyed St. Albans in Washington; Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, where Pookie and Jack met;and the University of Texas, where he was a third generation member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Jack entered the U.S. Military Academy with the Class of 1950 and spent four years in Company C2, where he did well in both the academic and tactical departments. He was one of ten cadets selected for an exchange trip to L'Ecole Polytechnique during "Cow"summer. He was a Cadet Corporal and later the Senior Lieutenant in his company. Upon graduation Jack chose Armor and began his service as a Tanker in the 2d Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, which location facilitated Pookie's and hiswedding on 28 September 1950, at Fort Sam Houston. Twelve days later Jack went to Korea, along with many others from the Class of 1950, joining the 1st Cavalry Division,
first as an Infantry Platoon Leader, then as a Tank Platoon Leader. Later he was selected as Aide to Major General Hobart R. Gay, Division Commanding General, and returned to Headquarters, Fourth U. S. Army with him in 1951.

The Associate Company Officers' Course at Fort Knox, followed by a second tour at Fort Hood, this time as a Company Commander in the 1st Armored Division preceded another assignment with the 2d Armored Division, now located in Germany. Here Jack commanded D Company, 57th Tank Battalion, and later served in Headquarters, United States Army Europe, as a staff officer.

The Crittenbergers were recalled to the States in 1956, when Jack was assigned to the White House as the Assistant to the Military Aide to President Eisenhower for an exceptional three-year tour. The gold leaves of Major were pinned on a very surprised Jack by the President on 25 June 1959.

A year at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth broadened Jack's military education and professionalism and gave family and friends an opportunity to enjoy his great talent for piano playing, a hobby which brought as much pleasure to them as it did to the competent accompanist.

In 1960, Jack joined the 4th Armored Division in Germany as the G3 Operations Officer for eighteen months, before taking command, as a Major, of the 1/37th Armor at Crailsheim for a year and a half. Jack's knowledge of his equipment and tactics enabled him to march his Battalion through an aggressor enemy regiment without its knowledge.

From the 4th Armored Jack was ordered to the Military Academy for a rewarding tour in the Department of Tactics; one year was spent as the Senior Armor Instructor, Office of Military Instruction, followed by a year as the Executive Officer of the 1st Regiment, United States Corps of Cadets.

A move to Carlisle Barracks came next, where Jack graduated from the Army War College and received the degree of Master of Science in International Affairs from George Washington University.

From August 1966 to July 1968, Jack worked as Plans Officer, Military Assistance Command Thailand J3, where he was instrumental in the successful deployment of Thai armed forces personnel to Vietnam in support of Free World objectives.

In July 1968, the family returned to the United States and bought a house in McLean, Virginia, where Pookie und the children now live. Jack's second request for duty in Vietnam had been granted, and after attending the Senior Officers' Counterinsurgency arid Special Warfare Orientation at Fort Bragg, Jack reached Vietnam on 17 September 1968 and was assigned to II Field Force Vietnam Headquarters, as Senior US Liaison Officer to the Thai "Black Panther" Division. His continued service with the Thai forces had been requested by the Ministry of Defense.

On 1 May 1969, Jack received from Major General Harris W. Hollis the guidon symbolic of his assuming command of the 3d Brigade, 9th Infantry Division, operating in the important area between Saigon and Cambodia. He ardently wanted this command, extended his tour to accept it, and, as a tanker, was extremely proud when presented the Combat Infantryman Badge.

His Brigade had many visitors, since it was engaged both in combat operations and pacification projects in the hotly contested Hou Nghia - Long An area; all came away with praise for the "Go Devil" Brigade and its leader. Because of its capabilities and key location, the Brigade was selected to remain in Vietnam when the remainder of the Division was ordered home. Jack was inspired by his men, and often wrote of their competence, spirit, willingness, and "can do" attitude; similarly, his troops recognized in Jack a leader who looked out for their interests constantly, in action and in base camp,and who carefully considered all the eventualities before making a decision. Consequently this Brigade was known and admired for its ability to accomplish its missions quickly, with few casualties, and with more than a touch of the old elan of armor. Jack was aggressive in maintaining and exploiting a contact once gained, employing a combined arms team of air mobile and armored personnel carrier mounted Infantry, air ssupport, gunships, and Artillery fire support. He achieved outstanding success in his relations with the various Vietnamese leaders and units in his area. This Brigade was used as an example of how things should be done. On 17 September 1969, one of Jack's Battalions made a contact; in directing the engagement from his command ship, along with the engaged battalion's commander,and members of both staffs, Jack's helicopter collided with one of the incoming gunships. There were no survivors. Our understanding sympathy goes out to the families of these eleven valiant men - gallant soldiers, all of them. Jack died doing what he most wanted to do - serve his country effectively and unhesitatingly, with pride and enthusiasm for the achievements of his command. His ardent dedication to the task at hand and his persuasive leadership motivated his officers and his men. His life is an inspiration to all who knew him, for he was a model son, cadet, officer, husband, brother, father and friend. He possessed attributes of love known to all of us - justice, consideration, unselfishness, and graciousness. He is irreplaceable to his family; the letters of sympathy from President to Platoon Sergeant reveal that many share our loss. A dignified and moving Memorial Service was held at Tan An, Republic of Vietnam, on 19 September 1969, honoring Jack and his fallen comrades-in-arms and attesting to the esteem which the men of his Brigade had for "Colonel Critt."

His Division Commander has said of him, " When the challenge of supreme leadership was impelling on the field of battle, Colonel Jack Crittenberger was in no way found wanting. He gave so much to his Brigade. He brought so much inspiration - he won his battles while here because he won his men. He drained dry his Cup Of Valor."

The Commander of the US Naval Forces Vietnam, with whose men the 3d Brigade worked closely, wrote: "He was one of the truly great who stood out, not only in professional competence, but also in his compassion and understanding for his associates and subordinates."

Colonel Dale Jackson Crittenberger was buried at Arlington Cemetery on 22 September 1969, on a gentle slope overlooking the beautiful city of his birth, completing the circle of love and service that was his life. We who long for an equally confident and solid base of life aspire to the dedication, humility, and courage inherent in him.

Jack was awarded the Silver Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal (with ten Oak Leaf Clusters), Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Combat lnfantryman’s Badge, the National Order of Vietnam Fifth Class, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, and numerous theatre and service ribbons. Moreover, during his time in command, his Brigade wascited by the Vietnamese Government with the Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Civil Actions Honor Medal 1st Class.

Besides his parents, Lieutenant General (Ret.) and Mrs. W.D. Crittenberger, he is survived by his wife Pookie, the former Mildred Kelleher, and their eight children: Josephine, Kristina, Dale Jr., Juliet, William, Amelia, Kelly, and James; and a brother, Major General W. D. Crittenberger Jr. Another brother, Corporal T.W. Crittenberger, was killed at the Remagen Bridgehead in World War II.

Taking a small liberty with an appropriate song, "The Corps": "It may be said 'Well Done'

Be Thou at Peace .........
   
Comments/Citation

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17821
The Army purchased this helicopter 1068
Total flight hours at this point: 00000706
Date: 09/17/1969
Incident number: 690917261ACD Accident case number: 690917261 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 3 BDE 9 INF
The station for this helicopter was Tan An in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 10 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 6
costing 882208
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P 1LT SNOWDON RICHARD ATWOOD KIA
AC WO1 MAYER ROBERT P KIA
CE SP5 FITCH WILLIAM ANDREW KIA
G SP5 HAUGHT GARY LEE KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
CPT DIETZ DONALD WILLIAM, AR, PX, KIA
MAJ MITCHELL DANA WESSON, AR, PX, KIA
LTC SIKORSKI LEO PETER, AR, PX, KIA
MAJ MACKEY DAVID RANDELL, AR, PX, KIA
MAJ MCNAIR WILLIAM TERREL, AR, PX, KIA
COL CRITTENBERGER DALE J, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 ON 17 SEPTEMBER, 1969, "B" TROOP, 3RD SQUADRON, 17TH AIR CAVALRY WAS IN SUPPORT OF THE 3RD BRIGADE, 9TH INFANTRY DIVISION, PROVIDING THEM WITH THREE HUNTER-KILLER TEAMS, CONSISTING OF ONE AH-1G AND ONE OH-6A EACH. THE 3RD BRIGADE AVIATION SECTION WAS PROVIDING ONE UH-1H AS A COMMAND AND CONTROL AIRCRAFT. THIS COMMAND AND CONTROL AIRCRAFT AND ONE OF "B" TROOPS AH-1G AIRCRAFT WERE INVOLVED IN THE ACCIDENT. THE OH-6A IN THE HUNTER-KILLER TEAM WAS AT TREE TOP LEVEL OVER THE ELEMENT IN CONTACT. THE AH-1G WAS COVERING HIM WITH LEFT HAND ORBITS AT AN ALTITUDE OF APPROXIMATELY 800 FEET. THE AH-1G WAS SOUTH OF THE TARGET AREA AND STARTING A TURN TO THE NORTH. HE WAS PREPARING TO SET UP HIS N - S ROCKET RUN FROM ALTITUDE OF APPROXIMATELY 800 FEET. THE OH-6A STARTED TO DEPART THE TARGET AREA. THE COMMAND AND CONTROL AIRCRAFT DEPARTED FROM OVERHEAD THE ADJACENT GROUND ELEMENT USING APPROXIMATELY THE SAME ORBIT PATTERN AS THE AH-1G, ONLY HE WAS MUCH LOWER. THE COMMAND AND CONTROL SHIP CAME INSIDE THE ORBIT OF THE AH-1G, AND WHILE CLIMBING STRUCK THE AH-1G IN THE UNDERNEATH LEFT SIDE WITH HIS MAIN ROTOR BLADE.\\

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