Foreman, James Lee, SGT

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11C20-Mortar Squad Leader
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1966-1967, 11C20, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
Service Years
1965 - 1967


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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Dave Stutesman to remember Foreman, James Lee (DSC), SGT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
May 18, 1967
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Pleiku (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
20E 026

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4th Infantry Division

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Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
4th Infantry Division1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
  1966-1967, 11C20, 4th Infantry Division
  1966-1967, 11C20, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)/Operation Francis Marion 5 Apr to 31 May 67
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

The Battle of Plei Doc
1st Battalion, 8th Infantry
18-20 May 1967 

1st Bn, 8th Infantry, had established a Fire Support Base at Duc Co on 13 May 1967 with orders to conduct search and destroy missions within a defined radius of the FSB. On 18 May Companies A and B set out to the west of the FSB, with Company C and two artillery batteries remaining at the FSB. The concept of operation required that "A" and "B" stay close enough together to allow for mutual support in the evnt of trouble, but a combination of terrain and vegetation prevented full implementation of that concept. Toward noon B Company encountered scattered enemy troops and established a company perimeter on the high ground formed by a ridgeline. The Company Commander detached 4th Platoon to patrol along a trail heading northwest and 1st Platoon to do likewise along a trail headed southwest from the position. Both platoon leaders were instructed to move no further than 200 meters from the company perimeter.

1st Platoon returned from its patrol without enemy contact. 4th Platoon was less fortunate and was engaged by heavy AW fire. When the 4th Platoon leader attempted to pull back toward the company perimeter it became apparent that a large enemy force had been inserted between the company perimeter and 4th Platoon. Simply stated, 4th Platoon had been isolated and was under attack from its rear and both flanks. The Company Commander's effort to move forward to link with 4th Platoon failed in a hail on enemy fire, and his attempts to out-flank the enemy found no flanks to circumvent. The 120 or so US soldiers had been engaged by a North Vietnamese Army regiment (either the 32nd or 320th Regiment) with some 1300 men.

At this point the broken terrain and heavy vegetation entered the equation. "A" Company was only a half mile or so distant and was promptly directed to join on "B" Company - but was able to make only slow progress across ground broken by ravines, covered with jungle growth, and increasingly well defended. "B" Company's continued efforts to link with the cut-off 4th Platoon were fruitless for similar reasons - the enemy troops held excellent defensive positions along the ravines which cut through the battlefield. Meanwhile, the 4th Platoon leader, Platoon Sergeant Bruce A. Grandstaff, took the only possible actions - he moved his men westward, away from the company perimeter, and called in artillery within 50 meters of his own men. At this point, elements of a second NVA battalion entered the fray, attacking 4th Platoon from the west. By 1:30 PM 4th Platoon was under heavy attack from all directions, and just before 3:00 PM PSgt Grandstaff advised his position was being overrun and called in artillery fire on his position. That call was the last contact made with 4th Platoon.

At 4:30 PM C/1/8 advised that enemy fire had slackened to its front. At about the same time the first reinforcements were brought into a newly-cut landing zone, and shortly thereafter elements of "A" Company arrived via helicopter (they had given up on fighting their way in and had cut a pick-up zone). By 7 PM "A" Company had joined and at 7:20 it set off toward the west to find the missing 4th Platoon. That effort failed and at 10:30 PM "A" Company was directed to form a night defensive perimeter.

At dawn on the 19th A Company began the search again, locating the 4th Platoon's final position at shortly after 8 AM - and discovered they had missed it by about 200 yards the preceding night. A Company recovered the 4th Platoon's survivors - one uninjured and 7 wounded - and collected the dead. In addition to 31 wounded, B Company had 30 dead and one MIA:

1LT Charles E. Aronhalt, Cumberland, MD (Dist Svc Cross)
PSGT Bruce A. Grandstaff, Spokane, WA (Medal of Honor)
PSGT Clifford A. Johnson, Pittsburgh, PA
SSG Esteban Colon-Motas, Benning Park, GA
SSG Joe L. Delong, Mc Minnville, TN
SGT James E. Burch, Freedom, IN
SGT James L. Foreman, Warsaw, IN (Dist Svc Cross)
SGT Horace R. Gore, Ocean Drive Beach, SC
SP5 Wesley I. Goswick, Gainesville, FL
SGT Alfred W. Robinson, Bedford, VA
SGT Robert B. Sanzone, Levittown, NY (Dist Svc Cross)
SP4 Joseph Calhoun, Detroit, MI
SP4 Duaine K. Fisher, York, PA
SP4 Danny E. King, Loudon, TN
SP4 Joseph A. Mancuso, North Bellmore, NY
SP4 Charles E. Ranallo, Allison Park, PA
SP4 James A. Workman, Bloomington, IN
PFC Christopher W. Beavers, Naperville, IL
PFC William A. Blackwell, Bluefield, WV
PFC James T. Burns, New York, NY
PFC Louis W. Coleman, McComb, MS
PFC Patrick J. Flavin, East Syracuse, NY
PFC Edward C. Hultquist, Norway, MI
PFC Joe P. Larsen, Everett, WA
PFC Charles O. Reed, Powell, TN
PFC Michael Sessa, New York, NY
PFC Melvin L. Shields, Detroit, MI
PFC Charles B. Watson, Seneca, SC
PFC William Wells, Brentwood, NY
PVT Steve J. Churchill, Elmhurst, IL
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to James Lee Foreman (US55843405), Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. Sergeant Foreman distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 18 May 1967 while serving as squad leader of a weapons platoon during a search and destroy mission in Pleiku Province. Sergeant Foreman's platoon was sent forward of his company to provide security for the main force. As the unit was passing through a small river draw, Viet Cong opened fire from all sides. During the ensuing battle, Sergeant Foreman began seeking the hostile emplacements most dangerous to his men. Spotting an enemy machine gun, he used only the cover of small trees to move in on the weapon, then rushed into an open area and threw two grenades into the position, silencing it. Continuing on, he attempted to cross a small stream, but was hit in the thigh. Nevertheless, he crawled downstream through sniper fire and succeeded in making it to the other side. Again using only light cover, he moved up to a position which revealed three Viet Cong machine guns in a heavily constructed bunker. Sergeant Foreman scored a direct hit with an antitank weapon and demolished that hostile position. He then returned to his men, giving them encouragement and treating the wounded, although ignoring his own wound. In an attempt to overrun his squad, the insurgents wounded the radio operator who lay forward of the friendly perimeter. Sergeant Foreman immediately moved from his position to get him. In this attempt to save his comrade, he was mortally wounded by intense sniper fire. Sergeant Foreman's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 3827 (July 26, 1967)
Home Town: Warsaw, Indiana

Vietnam Wall Panel coords 20E 026

Service #  55843405 

Start of tour  09/15/1966

May 22, 1967 -- Mr. and Mrs. William Foreman, Rt. 1, Warsaw, received word Saturday night that their son, Sgt. E-5 James Lee Foreman, 21, had been killed in action Thursday. He was believed to have been one of 22 soldiers killed when the Fourth Infantry Division was overrun by Communist troops. He was a 1964 WCHS graduate.

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