Gurnsey, Earl F., SP 4

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
55 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Specialist 4
Last Service Branch
Signal Corps
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Signal Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1969-1969, 36A10, Letterman Army Medical Center (LAMC)
Service Years
1966 - 1969

Specialist 4

One Service Stripe

Three Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home Country
Germany, West
Germany, West
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Gurnsey, Earl F., SP 4 USA(Ret).
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Georgetown, CA

Date of Passing
May 29, 1982
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Georgetown Pioneer Cemetery, CA

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Door Gunner Vietnam Veteran 50th Commemoration

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
American Ex-POW Association
  1969, American Ex-POW Association - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Earl Gurnsey was born on July 22, 1948, in Bremerhaven, Germany, and later immigrated to the United States. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 10, 1966, and completed basic training at Fort Ord, California, in May 1966.

Gurnsey next completed Wireman School at Fort Ord in June 1966, Lineman School at Fort Gordon, Georgia, in August 1966, and Basic Airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in September 1966.

His first assignment was as a wireman with Company A of the 501st Signal Battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from September 1966 to April 1967, followed by service as a radio mechanic and field wireman with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in South Vietnam from June 1967 to August 1968.

SP4 Gurnsey then volunteered for a 2nd tour of duty in Vietnam, and served as a UH-1 Iroquois helicopter door gunner with the 118th Assault Helicopter Company in South Vietnam from August 1968 until he was captured and taken as a Prisoner of War in Cambodia on November 27, 1968.

After spending 41 days in captivity he was released by his captors on January 6, 1969. SP4 Gurnsey was medically evacuated back to the United States, and was hospitalized at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, California, from January 1969 until he was medically retired from the Army on August 13, 1969.

Earl Gurnsey died on May 29, 1982, and was buried at the Georgetown Pioneer Cemetery in Georgetown, California.
Other Comments:
SP4 Earl F. Gurnsey was the door gunner aboard Bandit UH-1C, 66-15015 on 27 November 1968 when the aircraft was struck by .51 cal anti-aircraft fire at XT238290 in the Tay Ninh area, near the Cambodian border.

All aboard the UH-1C gun ship were KIA, except Gurnsey. All efforts to recover SP4 Gurnsey were unsuccessful by both ARVN and 25th Division troops. Some eyewitnesses have said that, "when they flew over the wreckage and tried to drive the enemy soldiers from the area, a "waving hand" could be seen extending from the wrecked aircraft!"

When U.S. troops finally reached the wreckage, the remains of the three crew KIA members were found.

SP4 Gurnsey was held as a POW for 41 days. 
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviation Badge (Basic)
Parachutist (Basic)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1966, Basic Training (Fort Ord, CA)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Army Signal/Training Center & Ft. Gordon (Staff) Fort Gordon, GASignal Units101st Airborne Division 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry (Airborne)
173rd Airborne Brigade118th Aviation Company, 145th Aviation Battalion1st Aviation BrigadePOW/MIA
Letterman Army Medical Center (LAMC)
  1966-1966, 36A10, US Army Signal/Training Center & Ft. Gordon (Staff) Fort Gordon, GA
  1966-1966, Basic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne School
  1966-1967, 36A10, 501st Signal Company
  1966-1967, 36A10, 101st Airborne Division
  1967-1968, 05B20, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry (Airborne)
  1967-1968, 05B20, 173rd Airborne Brigade
  1968-1968, 118th Aviation Company, 145th Aviation Battalion
  1968-1968, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1968-1969, POW/MIA
  1969-1969, 36A10, Letterman Army Medical Center (LAMC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase IV Campaign (1968)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
Copyright Inc 2003-2011