Final Mission of CPL James P. Spencer
Posted on 12/21/14 - by firstname.lastname@example.org
On January 24, 1967, CPL James P. Spencer was the stand-in door gunner on a helicopter participating in a “checkmate” operation. The action was an identification check of indigenous Vietnamese, a mission that helped in maintaining stability in the 25th Infantry Division area of operations (AO). The highly motivated Viet Cong (VC) constantly pressured the Vietnamese population to cooperate and capitulate. It was difficult to tell them apart, and neither could the Vietnamese authorities without checking their identification. These frequent checkmate operations were routine, but risky. During the approach to the impromptu Landing Zone (LZ) on the mission that day, pilot MAJ Myron E. “Mike” Squires landed with a slight skid to the right to give his port door gunner CPL Spencer a better field of fire. The checkmate team quickly exited and the individuals disappeared from view in nearby shoulder-high grass as the helicopter hovered away. On the ground, aero rifle platoon leader LT John Alto hustled to quickly get his few men into a search formation. In mere seconds, but before they can move forward, there was a distinctive burst from an AK-47 rifle and a short burst by door gunner CPL Spencer. As the aircraft began to hover away sideways, MAJ Squires spotted a VC with an AK-47 in the cane and alerted his substitute door gunner CPL James Spencer. Nearly simultaneously with his intercom check with Spencer, he was hit and tumbled forward out of the gunner’s seat, hitting the ground a short distance away from LT Alto. MAJ Squires immediately attempted to recover Spencer and had a fuel failure due to fuel system damage from that same single AK-47 burst. The downed helicopter was quickly secured. It was determined later that the VC was first seen lying face down. As the helicopter started to hover away sideways, he suddenly flipped over, firing his AK-47 at Spencer. Spencer received multiple hits to his flak jacket from below that resulted in fatal ricochets strikes to his head. Other rounds hit the chopper fuel system. Spencer had failed to secure his monkey safety strap and fell out of the Huey and to the ground dead. At troop operations the initial action was monitored on the tactical command radio. Based upon the current situation of slick lead down, a door gunner killed in action and just one aero rifle squad on the ground, MAJ Peterson elected to take the remaining three slicks of aero rifles to reinforce LT Alto and recover the downed slick with the causality. In a brief minute or two the aero rifles captured a lone VC carrying an AK-47, who was suffering from a fresh gunshot wound. This was obviously the VC that had shot Spencer. The VC was later returned to Cu Chi for interrogation. [Taken from centaursinvietnam.org]
YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN !
SGT E-5 7th Infantry d.m.z Korea 68/69.
'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables' from Les Miserables
Oh my friends , my friends forgive me that I live and you are gone. There's a grief that can't be spoken there's a pain goes on and on Phantom faces at the window. Phantom shadows on the floor. Empty chairs at empty tables where my friends will meet no more. Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me what your sacrifice was for. Empty chairs at empty tables where my friends will sing no more...
Jan 24, 2010
Grand Junction Co
In Remembrance of a Fallen Hero
In Remembrance of this Fine Young Soldier, with a Multitude of Thanks for his Courage, Service and Dedication to our Country and for Freedom. Rest in Peace, Cpl James Price Spencer and know that you will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. I am the sister of such a young hero, who made the Supreme Sacrifice in Vietnam in 1967.....'STEP FORWARD NOW, YOU SOLDIER, YOU'VE BORNE YOUR BURDENS WELL, WALK PEACEFULLY ON HEAVEN'S STREETS, YOU'VE DONE YOUR TIME IN HELL' Author Unknown
Jan 24, 2009
A very proud cold war USAF veteran remembers you on this day. My God bless you and your family always. I salute you, Thank you
Jan 24, 2008
Manuel Pino Bco 2/8th 1st Cav 68-69
Fellow Vietnam Army Vet
D Trp/3/4th Cav Rgt, 25th Inf Div
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings, Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things. You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung, high in the sunlit silence, hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air. Up, up the long delirious, burning blue I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle flew, and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and touched the face of God. By John G. Magee, Jr.
Jul 1, 2007
Though you are gone you will never be forgotten! You and men
like you, are the reason we are free today! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the sacrifices that you made! I hold you and those like you in the highest regard and you deserve nothing less! I love you all, you were and always will be HEROES to me! I promise never to take for granted the freedoms I have, which you paid the ultimate price for! Happy Birthday!
Let no man be forgotten…I WILL REMEMBER YOU!!!
May 3, 2007
Fellow Veteran 69-70 An Khe
Union Gap, WA. 98903
“You are Remembered”
Peace and condolence, to the family and friends. "He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother”. Rest in peace brave soldier, you have not been forgotten. (W.Shakespeare) May God Bless You for your Sacrifice!!!
Jan 24, 2007
In Honored Rememberance
To a Fallen Hero
Honoring your memory on this date for the Ultimate Sacrifice you made on January 24th 1967. James, you are remembered with honor.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
James is buried at Spencer Cemetery in War Creek, KY. PH
A Tribute to James Price Spencer
You were one of the brave who answered the call. You honored us by your service and sacrifice and we now honor you each time we stand and sing the words "...the land of the free and the home of the brave". Rest in peace and know you are not forgotten.
A fellow Vietnam Veteran
Posted by: Joe Vallecorsa
Relationship: A fellow veteran
Monday, September 17, 2007
To my dad
I'm sorry you had to leave me. I love you so much and thank you for giving me your last name. I wasn't yours but you took me in and loved me with all your heart. I remember all the birthday cakes we shared and how you held me on your lap while we blew out the candles. I remember the tapes you mailed us telling me to be a good girl I always was I remember the walk up the mountain to your burial grounds and everything about ky that day and I remember the sounds of the guns being shot and the music played at your funeral I remember everything and I will never forget you noone has ever taken your place in my heart. I have nothing to remember you by now except my memories of a sweet loving dad who was a hero to many but most of all me and I thank all those who took the time to care about you I have 3 children now and I am a teacher love cindy
"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."
Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.
We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:
Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.
From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers
Posted by: Bill Nelson
Relationship: NamVet 2/502 Inf 101 Abn 69-70
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Known by a name
My eyes scan the wall,
Erected in memorial.
So many died,
So many sacrificed.
My fingers touch a name,
One of the many.
Who was this hero?
I did not know James. His name is all I know. His life is a mystery. It is odd, I think, to be known by ones death. How he lived, I do not know, but my heart is filled with compassion when I think of the life that he sacrificed for our country, his life. God bless your memory, James. May it live on in the hearts of countless Americans, forever. You have my gratitude and respect. May you rest in peace. (Posted as part of the Gridley High School posting project.
Posted by: Christy Stoller
Relationship: An American
Friday, April 9, 2004
My name is Heidi Finck and I attend the Gridley High School. I’m doing a school posting project for my History class. While doing this project I realized there was more to this project than I thought. I now realize that if it wasn’t for soldiers like you I would not have the freedoms I have today, so now I look at you and I am proud of what you have done for me. I will never forget the obligations you had to do for your country. You will always be respected and never forgotten