Gubbins, Eugene, SFC

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Sergeant First Class
Last Service Branch
Transportation Corps
Last Primary MOS
67R40-OH-58 Helicopter Repairman Supervisor
Last MOS Group
Transportation Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1967-1968, 67R10, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment (Air Cavalry)
Service Years
1950 - 1968
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate

Sergeant First Class


Six Service Stripes



Three Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Illinois
Illinois
Year of Birth
1930
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Roger Gaines to remember Gubbins, Eugene, SFC.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Albion
Last Address
Albion

Casualty Date
Mar 13, 1968
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Location
Thua Thien (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Lincoln Memorial Park - Oswego, Illinois
Wall/Plot Coordinates
44E 036

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 






 Ribbon Bar

Aviation Badge (Basic)
Rifle

 
 Unit Assignments
1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment (Air Cavalry)
  1967-1968, 67R10, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment (Air Cavalry)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
On 13 March 1968 a UH-1B HUEY (hull number 67-17254) departed Phu Bai Airfield (Hue) enroute Camp Evans, some 27 miles to the northwest. Ten men were aboard the aircraft: Aircrew, 1st Sqdn, 9th Cavalry 1LT Robert C. Peda, Kingston, NY, pilot WO Jimmy L. Watson, Lucama, NC, copilot SFC Eugene Gubbins, Albion, IL, crew chief PFC Larry J. Moore, Exeter, CA, door gunner Passengers Sgt Cleveland Evans, 3rd MT Bn, 3rd MarDiv SGT Steven W. Heitman, Indianapolis, IN, A Trp, 1/9 Cav 4 unidentified personnel from 1st Cav Div units At about 1830 the aircraft was brought down by enemy ground fire in Nam Giang village approximately 8 kilometers north-northeast of Camp Evans. None of the 10 men aboard the Huey were injured in the incident and all of them safely exited the aircraft. A decision was taken to split into two groupd of five men each with one group, led by 1LT Peda, striking out for Camp Evans while the other group remained with the helicopter to safeguard it. And so it was done. The coastal area northeast of Camp Evans had a history of VC activity, and Nam Giang had an active VC militia headed by the village chief. He rallied his militia and they attacked the soldiers who remained with the helo. After a brisk exchange of fires, the US soldiers withdrew from the helo. As they did so, two soldiers were killed - Gubbins and Moore. The remaining three established a defensive position in the village cemetery but eventually were killed. Although the villagers buried Gubbins and Moore in a single grave more or less where they fell, the other three Americans were removed from the cemetery and buried in separate, but nearby, locations. Meantime LT Peda and the four unidentified soldiers walked into Camp Evans at 2000 hours. Once the situation became clear, an immediate and intensive search and rescue operation was organized to locate the rest of the flight crew and passengers. However, the initial search failed to locate either the aircraft or the missing personnel. Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division recovered two bodies (identified as SFC Eugene Gubbins and PFC Larry Moore) in a shallow grave on 28 March. Although search efforts continued for the other three men in and around the location where the two bodies were found, as well as between Camp Evans and the crash site, they were not found. When the formal SAR efforts were terminated WO Jimmy Watson, SGT Cleveland Evans, and SSG Steven W. Heitman were listed Missing in Action. In early 1975 JCRC personnel revisited the site, and although they did recover material which positively identified the crash site as well as additional remains attributable to SFC Gubbins and PFC Moore they did not locate the other three men. Watson, Evans, and Heitman were continued in MIA status until their respective service Secretaries approved Presumptive Findings of death for them. In 1997 a joint US-Vietnamese team again visited Nam Giang village, and this time the villagers cooperated with the searchers. Three former VC militiamen who participated in the 1968 fight still lived in the village and all three gave much the same story about how the five US servicemen who remained with the helo had died. Unfortunately, the area where the three men who died in the cemetery were buried had been repeatedly disturbed over the years through cultivation and the digging of irrigation ditches. As a result of time and changes, the three militiamen - two of whom had participated in the burials - could not locate the graves ... excavations in the areas where they were thought to be found no remains, personal equipment, or anything which could be associated with Watson, Evans, or Heitman. As of 30 May 2008 their remains have not been repatriated. The surviving pilot, 1LT Robert C. Peda, was killed in action less than a month later, on 07 April 1968.
   
Comments/Citation
Not Specified
   
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