Silvesan, Dennis Ray, SGT

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Last Rank
Primary Unit
1969-1970, 76C, HHB, 6th Battalion, 29th Artillery
Service Years
1968 - 1970

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 5 Jon Aldridge to remember Silvesan, Dennis Ray (Joe Cruit), SGT.

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
Last Address

Casualty Date
May 24, 1970
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
Pleiku (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
10W 092

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
6th Battalion, 29th Artillery
  1969-1970, 76C, HHB, 6th Battalion, 29th Artillery
  1969-1970, 76C, HHB, 6th Battalion, 29th Artillery
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
KIA during convoy operations at the end of the Cambodian Incursion on 24 May 70 at Edep Edang, RVN.  Silvesan and two other members were killed when a command detonated bomb exploded under their two and a half ton truck.
The others killed by the explosion were Russell Watts and Stephen Barkley.
Silvesan is buried at:
  (503) 556-9697
He was known as "Joe Cruit" to the men of the 6th Bn, 29th Arty, 4th Inf Div. He was the embodiment of a Beetle Bailey, Sad Sack, Willy and Joe all rolled into one. Until his death he portrayed himself as a private and proud of his honorable rank. He was a clerk in the motorpool and lived and worked in the headquarters base camp. I do not recall him ever wearing Spec 4 rank to which he was promoted in Nov. 69. He was the natural comic. He made life bearable at Camp Enari and Radcliff. I remember seeing him last on May 24, 1970 in the deuce and half truck the morning of his first convoy and death. He was proud as a peacock, had a bandolier of ammo over his shoulder and his helmet on backward. He was riding "shotgun" on a real mission and wouldn't be called "Cruit" anymore. The irony is that he had a medical profile that kept him in base camp because of a severe allergy to insect stings. He chose to go on the mission to bring a firing battery back from Cambodia at the end of that "incursion." The VC detonated a bomb under the truck he, Watts and Barkley were in at Edep Edang, RVN. They had just repaired a flat tire and had started moving when a mine was set off under the truck. None survived. We received word at the noon formation that we had 3 friendly killed in action (KIA) with the names yet unknown. It seemed an eternity until the word came about the names. Everyone in the S-1 office looked at each other when Silvesan was called out and then it struck us that Joe Cruit had been killed and headquarters was never the same.

Posted by Jon Aldridge at

Cruit was my neighbor in the motorpool; his shanny next to my welding shack. I didn't know he was KIA until Easter Sunday of 2008. It was then I found out Steve Barkley was killed the same day, and not until this passed week did know they were killed together along another comrad I shared a hooch with. I was moved to hear Cruit finally getting to go on a convoy, but to loose his life in the process is difficult to accept and understand. My arm is resting on Cruit's right shoulder in the photo, believe or not I do remember the night George Diener took that picture.
Posted by: Terry L. Smith (Bandito)
Relationship: We served together
Sunday, May 24, 2009
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