Spittler, Ira James, III, SP 4

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Specialist 4
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11C20-Mortar Squad Leader
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1966-1967, 11C20, A Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne)
Service Years
1965 - 1967

Specialist 4

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Rick Dunn to remember Spittler, Ira James, III (Jim), SP 4.

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
Santa Maria
Last Address
Santa Maria

Casualty Date
Feb 05, 1967
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Bien Hoa (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Santa Maria Cemetery - Santa Maria, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
14E 125

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Cold War Veteran

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

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1965, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Training Brigade (Fort Ord, CA), D
 Unit Assignments
173rd Airborne Brigade 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne)
  1966-1967, 11C20, 173rd Airborne Brigade
  1966-1967, 11C20, HHC, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne)
  1966-1967, 11C20, A Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jul 05, 2011, Burial Site1
  Feb 05, 2013, General Photos
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Grade and posthumous promotion E4

Tour Date  05/24/1966

Posthumous decoration

Body Recovered


Marital Status:


  Jimmy's good friend
(Attached H.S. Graduation photo copied below)
Tho I was with Jimmy when he was killed - was looking into his eyes at the time - all I could remember of him was the eyes. That ended when a Good Friend of Jimmy's from high school, Bob Sanchez, sent me the enclosed photo. Thank you.
Posted by: John "Mac" McPherson
Relationship: We served together
Sunday, August 25, 2002

  So Young And Full Of Spirit
It was about November 8, 1965 when I arrived at Fort Ord, CA. I was just another face in the crowd of hundreds of young men who came to serve their country. Some of us were drafted and some had volunteered to serve this great country. We were all here this day to begin our basic training. I was assigned to D-2-3 and was in the third platoon. Another young man was also assigned to D-2-3, 3rd platoon. His name was IRA JAMES SPITTLER III. Jim bunked next to me throughout basic training and we became very good friends. We used to joke with each other about both of us being the third generation to carry our name. My name was Duane Edward Sweeny III. I used to jokingly call him Ira and he would jokingly call me Duane. He went by "Jim" and I went by "Ed". Jim was one of those people you liked as soon as you met him. He enjoyed playing pranks along with the rest of us. He was well liked by every one in our platoon of about 40 men. We were all young and full of vigor, we all told our stories of home and our lives prior to the Army. We all came to depend on each other in order to get through basic training. I remember when basic was over and we got our orders to move on to our next duty station, Jim and I exchanged addresses and phone numbers and promised to stay in touch. I went on to Fort Benning GA for Advanced Infantry Training and in April 1966 I was sent to Thailand where I served in the jungles along the Cambodian and Laos border. It was while I was setting in my tent reading the paper that we received telling us what was going on in Vietnam, Thailand etc. that I found out that Jim had been killed. They always listed the casualties in the paper and when I saw his name appear, it really hurt. What a waste of a wonderful human being. You don't come accross many people in your lifetime, like IRA JAMES "JIM" SPITTLER. He came to serve and he served well, right up to the end. Only 22 years old, when he died on February 5, 1967. I have visited "The Wall" in Sacramento, CA a few times and when I come across his name, it always brings back the memories of the good times I had with Jim. Thank You Old Friend For The Freedom We Have Today. God Bless You Jim, and God Bless Those You Left Behind.
Relationship: We served together
Saturday, June 24, 2000
  With him when he died.
Weapons Platoon, A co., 1/503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade. In firefight in bunker complex 5 Feb. 67, Spittler, Bob Ecker and I were advancing together. They both died. Medic Ken "Doc" Rypka and I, eventually joined by another, tried in vain to get Spittler "back" to the lines - he, we, were under intense fire from a bunker immediately in front of us. I was holding his hands trying to pull him free as he died. Our eyes were in contact. I didn't know Spittler well tho we were acquainted - he had the reputation of being a top notch Trooper and I was more than comfortable working alongside he and Bob. "Doc" Rypka, the other guy helping (Smith?) and I were all three wounded at the same time by one or more grenades. Medic Ken "Doc" Rypka, 2nd Plt. RTO Luigi Muzzin and I have gotten together often and THIS is the topic of conversation. A special wall at the entrance of my house over my work area hosts photos of the time (I have none of him) including rubbings from the wall of both he and Bob made on 5 Feb 1987. He's with me every day
Posted by: John McPherson
Relationship: We served together
Saturday, October 20, 2001
  From his brother.
 It is comforting to read the messages and know that Jimmy was not alone at the time of his death. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being with my brother. Feel free to contact me via e-mail.
Posted by: Tommy Spittler
Relationship: He is my brother
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Robert Sanchez
High School Classmate
1161 N. Lyndon Dr
Colton, CA 92324 USA
Very Classy Person/Friend
I am proud to say Jimmy was my friend. Jimmy was a friend of all of his classmates of Santa Maria High Class of 1963. He was always full of fun and happiness. I know he is missed very much. Whenever I go back to Santa Maria, I stop by and visit Jimmy's grave site to let him know he's not forgotten. Sleep well my friend.
Saturday, December 14, 2002

russ doble
po box 8492
santa maria, ca 93456 usa
I just stumbled accros this site and thought I would look up Jimmy Spittler. He was a friend and a good man. I know he was a good soldier. I will always remember him with Bob willits and Tommy Twyford (also KIA) they were always together only Bobby is leftand I haven't seen him in years. I don't know if this is what should be written here but when I saw that nothing was I felt that there should be. Rest easy bro.
Friday, May 31, 2002

Mickie Davis
Good friend
5170 Finch Circle
Sierra Vista, AZ 85650 USA
I grew up with Jimmy, although there were a few years difference in age. I helped train him in the oil fields surrounding Santa Maria and Orcutt area. We lost touch and after I started my first tour in Viet Nam, I found he was KIA. I will never stop shedding tears for this lost friend. Mickie Davis 'Nam 69-70 Ban Me Thout/Phan Thiet Area
Friday, June 03, 2005

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