Solomon, Samuel Kanehailua, Jr., 1SG

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Last Rank
First Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11G50-Infantry Senior Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1965-1966, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment/C Company
Service Years
1946 - 1966

First Sergeant

Six Service Stripes

Four Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Nov 03, 1966
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12E 016

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

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

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award

 Unit Assignments
2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment8th Infantry Division25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment
  1962-1964, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment
  1962-1964, 8th Infantry Division
  1964-1965, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment
  1964-1965, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1965-1966, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1965-1966, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment
  1965-1966, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment/C Company
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1951-1952 Second Korean Winter (1951-52)
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)/Operation Attleboro
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
22 October, 2012 : IN Tucker, Eugene (Gene Tucker), 1SG  "I was in "B" Company but knew of Mongoose. He and the CO Lt or Capt by then Henderson plus several others in the Company Headquarters died at the same time. He was well known and liked throughout the Battalion. It was a great loss".

Solomon honors namesake

By Jeremy S. Buddemeier Assistant Editor

A whisper of rain welcomed the students and more than 100 faculty and guests as they gathered for 1st Sgt. Samuel K. Solomon Elementary School’s rededication ceremony at Schofield Barracks, Nov. 22. The ceremony marked the 40th anniversary of Solomon’s death. The light rain, considered a “Hawaiian blessing,” stopped almost on cue as the ceremony began, and preceded the actual Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Elias Parker.
Parker’s booming voice drew light giggles from some students as he chanted in Hawaiian and deliberately crossed the recess field.

Although numerous VIPs attended and a group of teachers performed the hula, the more than 800 students who bordered the field were the heart of the ceremony. Students played ukuleles and performed the hula. They relayed the school’s history to the audience and presented numerous handmade gifts to the Solomon family, some of whom traveled from the mainland for the ceremony. Students even performed master of ceremonies duties. Two sets of eyes that barely cleared the lectern took turns and slowly introduced multi-syllabic last names of honored guests and speakers such as Clayton Fujie, the Hawaii Department of Education assistant superintendent, and Linda Yoshikami, the school’s principal.

“I believe First Sergeant Solomon is here with us today,” Yoshikami said before describing his character. “He had one flaw … his kind and caring ways, [which] brought an end to his life.” Solomon was killed in Vietnam, Nov. 3, 1966, by enemy machine gun fire as he made several trips to remove critically wounded Soldiers from the battlefield. The school was dedicated three years later on Veterans Day, 1969. Other speakers, such as Col. Timothy Ryan, 25th Infantry Division rear detachment commander, expanded on Solomon’s character.
“His zest for living allowed most who met him to come away better,” Ryan said.
Sean Ross was one of those men who came away better.

Ross served with Solomon at Coleman Barracks near Mannheim, Germany, in 1964. He grew up near Solomon’s hometown, Hawi, a former plantation town with 938 residents in 2000, located in the North Kohala region of the Big Island. Ross thinks his father knew Solomon’s father and remembered the first sergeant as a brother. “My second day in Germany, he came up to me and said, ‘Come on haole boy. We goin’ church,’” Ross said. “I hung out with him ever since.” Solomon also met his wife, Virginia, in Germany. She was a teacher at Coleman Barracks at the time. Virginia, who flew in from Utah, along with other family members, gave encouraging words to the elementary students and recalled her husband’s philosophy of life.
“‘I don’t want to be a hero,’ he would say. ‘I just want to serve my country and help my company,’” she said. 

Following Virginia’s speech, one student from each grade read a short essay that described their school pride. “[Solomon Elementary] is so cool that I don’t even want to [go outside to] play. It’s cool!” exclaimed second-grader Alexandria Curran as she read her essay.
Preschooler Kalia Alonzo read a description of the picture she drew for the essay contest.
“I like colors. Puzzles. I like to do dots. I really love circles.” In addition, more than 50 students and faculty festooned Virginia with flower, silk and construction-paper lei. Two teachers presented her a quilt. Virginia requested that some of flowers be taken to the National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), where Solomon is buried, so he would “feel [their] aloha there as well.”

After the ceremony, the entire student body formed meandering single-file lines and carried their chairs back to the classroom like ants from a picnic. Within minutes the sun shone through the clouds, and the cheerful sounds of children at recess filled the air.

Vol 1 No. 43 TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS December 16, 1966

Osaka Orphanage Fund Zooms As 1/27th Remembers Sergeant

Members of one Division rifle company have donated nearly $2400 to an orphanage in Japan in memory of their recently killed first sergeant, a staunch supporter of the home in the past.
1st Sgt. Samuel K. Solomon, of Hawi, Hawaii, was killed by a sniper at the battle of Dau Tieng during the first days of the recently concluded Operation “Attleboro” in War Zone C. He had been first sergeant for Co. C, 1st Bn, 27th Inf. “Wolfhounds.”

His unit has continuously supported the Holy Family Home in Osaka, Japan, and many credit Sgt. Solomon for the project’s increasing success over the years. Said one platoon sergeant, “He was the driving force behind the project. I’m afraid donations may drop off now that he is gone.” 

Apparently such fears were unfounded as the men of his company contributed an average of more than $13 per man to the First Sergeant Solomon Memorial Fund providing for the record breaking total contribution. The battalion sergeant major, assessing the meaning of the large contribution, commented that he felt it was due to respect for the man himself rather than to his position as first sergeant.

Men who worked with him or for him alike, remembered Sgt. Solomon as a kind and generous man who worked with all his enormous. Energy to promote the welfare of the orphans of Osaka. Expressing the feelings of the entire company the executive officer issued this statement: “The donations from Co. C, for the Wolfhound orphanage are in memory of 1st Sgt. Solomon and show our desire to continue to support our friends in Osaka in the same fine spirit that he established.”

All honor to his name. C Co, 1-27th INF. At 0950, 3 NOV 66, C Co landed at LZ #1, vic XT410533. The LZ was cold. C Co then moved north for 1200 meters to elephant grass at vic XT 411538. CPT Henderson sent a soldier to look at a trail. The C co came under fire from all directions by the 9th VC Division. By 1230 hrs, C Co had had 10 KIA and 14 WIA.
Posted by: LTC Pike
Saturday, November 17, 2007
You were always there for us. PT, Training Or Moral Guidance . Even in combat,you were there. On 3 Nov. 1966 you died a Heroes death doing what you did every day. Taking care of Soldiers. Your soul may have left this earth on that fateful day but your Spirit lingers on. Your spirit lives on in the good the soldiers you trained accomplished. I've thought of you often over the years and when I became a 1SGT. you must have been there with your hand on my shoulder. Many times when a sticky situation would arise I would think, " What would 1Sgt Solomon do", or if it turned out right I would think, and a lot of times even tell people,"Now, thats the way 1SGT. Solomon would have done it." I can hear you now. " OK, Hoodlum, Where are your hoodlum buddies?" always in a fatherly tone and we knew you cared about us. I think you died the way you would have wanted to, but I miss you, I would have loved to have had you around for some of my accomplishments so you could have gotten the credit you deserve. You were not responsible for any of my mis-steps. Thank you 1SGT.
Posted by: RUBEN H FORD
Relationship: My 1SGT. in HHC /Cco.64/66
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
It was early in the morning just after daybreak on November 3rd,1966.I was leaning against the wall of the toc cmd Bunker at Dau Tieng 1st 27th inf Wolfhounds.I was waiting for my ambush assignment for the night just ahead.I was formerely a Plt Sgt in C 1/27 and one of the few remaining originals that came from Hawaii with the unit.!st sgt Solomon led C Co up the trail to the LZ, coming just by me.He smiled and said(wish you were going with us today White)I said be careful today Top.

In 3 Hours he was dead along with 18 other brave young men from C Co.Caught in a ushape with concrete Bunkers in the Michelin.1St Sgt Solomon exempliefied all that is great in the American Soldier HE WAS A TRUE AMERICAN HERO AND A GENTLEMEN and Died trying to carry the Wounded to cover--Donald R. White formerely Plt Sgt/1st sgt US INF 1/27 Wolfhounds-oct-63--Jan-67 and 1/8 Inf 4div Oct 68--Mar--69
Posted by: Don White
Relationship: We served together
Thursday, February 6, 2003
The finest soldier I ever knew both professionally and personally. A man admired and respected by all ranks. He was killed in action 35 years ago, yet a day hardly goes by that I don't still think of him. His Bn Cdr
Posted by: Maj Gen Guy S. Meloy
Friday, November 16, 2001
It is now November 22, 2000. Then it was Nov. 3, 1966. My first fire fight. I came to the wolfhounds as a replacement in late September or early October of 1966. You made me brave, you made me strong, you gave me spirit. In the short time I knew you, you made me understand about the importance of life and how short it is. I was 19 and I wondered why someone so "old" was here with me. Thank you for being there. What you gave me by example has lasted me a life time.

You will live in my soul forever.
Posted by: John Colasurdo
Relationship: We served together
Thursday, November 23, 2000
I served with First Sergeant Sam Solomon, 2nd Bn, 13th Infantry. I'm also from Hawai'i. my first morning in the company, I was awakened by this huge man, gently informing me I was to accompany him to church. His words were, "Comeon haole boy! We going church". And he was my friend ever more.

I was his bodyguard for two years. Yet when he needed me most, I was not there. There are many times. I wish I were with him, now.

He was kia attempting to bring in wounded, and, hit several times, continued his mission. This is Sam, the protector, the counselor, the father. God Bless this hero, and God Bless the United States of America.

Kent M. "Sean" Ross
2/13 8th Inf. Div.
Posted by: Kent M. "Sean" Ross
Relationship: We served together
Tuesday, June 6, 2000
Sgt Sam, What a great guy. Remember you always. Sgt. Ronald Kittrell, Wolfhounds 1966.
Posted by: Ronald Kittrell
Relationship: friend
Saturday, April 29, 2000


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