Yntema, Gordon D, SGT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Special Forces
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1967-1968, 11B10, HHC, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Service Years
1964 - 1968

Special Forces

One Service Stripe

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper (ATWS Senior Military Advisor) to remember Yntema, Gordon D, SGT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Pontiac, MI

Casualty Date
Jan 18, 1968
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Vietnam, South
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

Parachutist (Basic)
Vietnam - Jump Wings

 Unit Assignments
5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1967-1968, 11B10, HHC, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1955-1973 Vietnam War
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Yntema joined the Army from Detroit, Michigan, and by January 16, 1968 was serving as a Sergeant in Company D of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). On that day, near Thong Binh in the Republic of Vietnam, Yntema and the two platoons of irregulars he was with were involved in a heavy firefight with the Viet Cong. After the group's Vietnamese commander was wounded, Yntema led the force for the remainder of the two-day battle as ammunition dwindled and losses mounted. With his position about to be overrun, he refused to abandon his wounded comrades and instead fought to the death.

Yntema, aged 22 at his death, was buried in Pilgrim Home Cemetery, Holland, Michigan.

SERGEANT GORDON D. YNTEMA, UNITED STATES ARMY, Detachment A-431, Company D, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, distinguished himself on 16-18 January 1968, while advising civilian irregulars from Camp Cai Cai. Sergeant Yntema accompanied two platoons to a blocking position east of the Village of Thong Binh. They became heavily engaged in a fire fight with the Viet Cong. Assuming control of the force when the Vietnamese commander was seriously wounded, Sergeant Yntema advanced his troops to within 50 meters of the enemy bunkers. After a fierce fire fight, Sergeant Yntema withdrew his men to a trench which offered them protection while still allowing them to perform their blocking mission. Under the cover of machine gun fire, a company of Viet Cong maneuvered into a position effectively surrounding Yntema’s platoons on three sides. A dwindling ammunition supply, coupled with a Viet Cong mortar barrage which inflicted heavy losses on the exposed position, prompted many of the South Vietnamese troops to withdraw. Seriously wounded and ordered to withdraw himself, Sergeant Yntema refused to leave his fallen comrades. Under withering small arms and machine gun fire, he carried the wounded Vietnamese commander and a mortally wounded American Special Forces advisor to a small gully 50 meters away to shield them from the enemy fire. Sergeant Yntema continued to repulse the attacking Viet Cong during their attempts to overrun his position until, out of ammunition and surrounded, he was offered the opportunity to surrender. Refusing, Sergeant Yntema stood his ground, using his rifle as a club to fight the approximately fifteen Viet Cong attempting his capture. His resistance was so fierce that the Viet Cong were forced to shoot him in order to overcome him.  
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