Lange, Karl Ferdinand, LTC

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1969-1969, 1542, HHC, 1st Logistical Command
Service Years
1952 - 1969


Lieutenant Colonel

Five Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Roger Gaines to remember Lange, Karl Ferdinand, LTC.

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
West Allis
Last Address
West Allis

Casualty Date
Dec 09, 1969
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Ngai (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
15W 042/Section 2, Site 3389-2

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  1982, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified]4 - Assoc. Page
  2010, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award

 Unit Assignments
Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Resident Course2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)Command and General Staff College (Faculty Staff)
1st Battalion, 18th Infantry 1st Infantry Division1st Logistical Command
  1962-1963, 6, Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Resident Course
  1966-1967, 1542, HHC, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry
  1966-1967, 1542, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1967-1968, 1542, Command and General Staff College (Faculty Staff)
  1969-1969, 1542, HHC, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry
  1969-1969, 1542, 1st Infantry Division
  1969-1969, 1542, HHC, 1st Logistical Command
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1952-1952 Korean War/Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
  1952-1953 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
 Colleges Attended 
Ripon College
  1948-1952, Ripon College
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

My last Battalion Commander

Posted on 4/23/08 - by Thomas N. Padden
LTC Lange was the Commander of the 1st Bn, 18th Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division, Big Red One. He became the commander in approximately January of 1969. I was a platoon leader with Charlie Company. Soon I was reassigned as the executive officer of the Company and my Company Commander, Milton Menjivar was wounded and I was elevated to temporary CO. As this point I worked directly for LTC Lange.

He had a booming voice and was in great shape for an old man. He was 39. He had been in VN at least one tour prior to his service with the Big Red One. He was a very aggressive leader and set a great example in his work load. Frequently he would be up all night monitoring the needs of his company's on patrol or night ambushes. We operated out of a Fire Base a few mile North of Di An near Highway 13. LTC Lange kept the pressure on the enemy with constant patrols and air insertions into likely enemy havens. He was also imaginative and sought the ideas of others in planning missions. He set a leadership example that I have tried to copy in business. He was nurturing and compassionate but was tough guy if the situation required it. There was truly No Mission too Difficult and No Sacrifice too great with Karl Lange.

LTC Lange liked the way I commanded as the temporary commander and when Captain Menjivar returned to the company from the hospital, LTC Lange called General Talbot, the Division Commander and requested that I be given a command. I was soon moved to the 2nd of the 2nd Infantry which was located all the way north on Highway 13 at the Cambodian border. The 2nd of the 2nd was a mechanized infantry unit and because I had been a straight leg with the 1st of the 18th, I was assigned back as a platoon leader. LTC Lange discovered this, complained to General Talbot and said that he didn't send one of his best officers off to be demoted in responsibility. I was plucked out of a fire fight to return to the 1st of 18th. Karl Lange endeared himself to me forever with that action. I was given command of the HHC of the 1st of the 18th.

In August of 1969 I left the Army to return to college in California. Later that year I was quite upset when I heard that Karl Lange had been killed in a helicopter crash in his last month or two of his tour in VN . What also disappointed me is that his death had occurred while he was in his rear job (not as a line commander) and he had been transferred out of the Big Red One. Karl Lange's name, one of the best battalion commander ever in the Big Red One is not among the list of names of the Division's distinguished members who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

LTC Lange I will never forget you and I cherish the picture of you pinning on the Silver Star on my chest. Rest in Pease, Sir!

Remembering an Outstanding Officer

Posted on 10/29/04 - by Cary D. Clark, Sr. SFC retired
I had the privelage to serve with Col. Lange as Btn Operations Sgt. While Col. Lange was a Major and Executive Officer of the 2'nd Btn. 27'th Infantry. It was a delight to serve with him. I will always remember him.

Fellow Officer

Posted on 5/4/03 - by William Specht
I knew LTC Karl Lange when he was a Major with the 2d Brigade of the 25th Division. He was thoughtful, intelligent, professional and in remarkable physical shape. He was one of many field grade officers who made the Wolfhounds (27th Regiment) a strong unit that would function well in Vietnam. I learned of his death after I and many others were safely home - home because of the competence and hard work of Karl Lange and others. Thank you sir, we owe you more than you or we ever knew.

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