The Wall of Faces

Advanced search +


is honored on Panel 3E, Line 79 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance


  • I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

    Posted on 12/19/17 - by Dennis Wriston
    Specialist Four Arthur John Heringhausen Jr., Served with Team 24, Company F (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol), 58th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
  • You are not forgotten

    Posted on 11/20/15 - by jerry sandwisch wood cty.ohio nam vet 1969-70 army 173rd abn bde
    The war may be forgotten but the warrior will always be remembered!!!! All gave Some-Some gave All. Rest in peace Arthur. :-(
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 10/27/13 - by Curt Carter
    Dear SP4 Arthur J Heringhausen Jr, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • Remembered

    Posted on 3/9/12
    (Photo Credit: Jerry Eversman) Rest in peace with the warriors.
  • A Decorated Veteran & Neighbor

    Posted on 4/25/11 - by Jerry A. Eversman

    By Jerry Eversman

    In 2007 I volunteered to write the biography of Arthur J. Heringhausen for the high school’s alumni association publication. We both graduated from Clay Sr. High in Oregon, Ohio. Arthur’s story and his death in Vietnam is one that in Army Ranger folklore continues to live on as he died in one of the most fiercely fought and horrific engagements of the Vietnam War. The date 20NOV68 is forever etched in the memories of the Long Range Recon Patrol (LRRPs) soldiers, the forerunners to what we now know as Army Rangers. I was a neighbor of this highly decorated soldier.

    Grasser Street, Oregon, Ohio, is located two streets behind Fire Station #2 on Wheeling Street. It was, by all accounts, a very average middle-class neighborhood in the 1960’s. Many families came to buy their homes along the street and raise their children. Grasser Street was home to the families whose last names were: Molnar, Breno, Klag, Koester, Ross, Koepena, Gladieux, Newell, Crosskill, Bender, Oberhaus, and the Eversmans, in addition to Arthur Heringhausen, Jr. and his younger brother Ron. Another Grasser Street resident, Bob Koester (Clay class 1964), was already in Saigon, South Vietnam, serving in the U.S. Army as a military policeman.

    The Heringhausen boys’ parents owned an orchard full of peaches and apples that each summer provided fresh fruit for everyone. People would come to their home in the middle of the block and load their station wagons with bushel baskets of peaches, pears, and apples, stopping to pay on the way out.

    Arthur Heringhausen, Jr. was known to his family and friends as “Butch”. Art’s father was nicknamed “Whitey”, and he operated a market in Toledo. A quiet young man who graduated from high school at age 17, (Clay, Class of 1967), Art was a sixth-degree brown belt in Judo. He and his brother Ron went to Judo classes five days a week at the various YMCA locations around Toledo. The 60’s was a generation that loved fast cars, muscle cars. Art’s car was simply a 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne, which perhaps matched his quiet personality, unlike his brother who had a 1967 Chevelle SS with a 396cc engine. Art also enjoyed scuba diving in some of the area quarries.

    Knowing that military service and the G.I. Bill held the key to a college education, Art enlisted in the United States Army in August of his 17th year, with hopes of someday becoming a marine-biologist. But before he was able to do that, Art had to convince his father to give permission and sign papers due to Art not yet having reached his 18th birthday. It was a decision, according to his brother Ron (Clay class of 69), that his dad never forgave himself for.

    Art Heringhausen entered the Army at Columbus, Ohio, in August of 1967, and from there went to basic training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, arriving there September 5, 1967. He never forgot his love of Clay High School or Toledo University football games, writing home to his family asking how the teams are doing in September of 1967. In one letter home, (September 16, 1967) he wrote, “Don’t know if I am going to Nam but if I go next year them VC (Viet Cong) don’t have a chance…” Art graduated from boot camp in October 1967.

    From there he advanced to Advanced Infantry Training at Camp Crockett located at Fort Gordon, Georgia. While there he wrote home to his family that, “country music is going to be the death of me”. In another letter he told his family “better get used to the idea I might be going to Viet Nam. You worry too much”. While at Camp Crockett Art’s goal was to be accepted into the special forces however he realized getting accepted would be nearly impossible at his young age of 17.

    Having been selected for service as Airborne, Art moved on to Ft. Benning, Georgia for jump school. In a letter home January 9, 1968, he wrote, “five more weeks of jump school”, and that he had put in for underwater demolitions training. Once again writing his goal was to go to college or to become a Michigan State Trooper. Art still dreamed of being in the special forces.

    On March 16, 1968, Art graduated from jump school and officially earned the coveted jump school wings. He was now airborne qualified, and joined the ranks of the Army’s most valuable combat troops. With his airborne qualification Art could now bide his time and join the special forces. (All members of the LRRP’s, which are now known as Army Rangers, and today’s Special Forces, the Army’s most elite troops, were required to have successfully completed airborne jump school training.)

    Art received orders on June 6, 1968, one year after graduating from high school, to report for overseas deployment that was to commence July 14, 1968. He arrived in Vietnam, shortly thereafter and in one of his first letters home said he was in Bin Hoa, about 25 miles south of the DMZ. In a letter dated August 4, Art wrote his parents to say, “It’s neat, a free vacation in S.E. Asia not so bad over here.” Another letter written August 9, said he had never walked so much in his life. PFC Art Heringhausen reported he was carrying an M-79 Grenade Launcher on patrols. He asked his family to send him some presweetened Kool-Aid and some instant tea.

    The horrors of war became apparent in Art’s letter to his family dated August 14, 1968. He wrote that in a military action against the Viet Cong a boy and two girls, ages 14 or 15, were killed. Art wrote these teenagers had been brainwashed by “northern advisors” (a reference to North Vietnam communists). He wrote, “I hate them all. Anybody that talks kids into being bloody killers and tells them to fight it out…pigs.”
    He was assigned then to B Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Division, of the 101st Airborne.

    In a letter home August 19, 1968, Art told his family he was pulling duty in the A Shau Valley, a place where soldiers would later call “the valley of death”. He wrote words to his brother Ron telling him, “you better learn a skill, start thinking about your future Math, Physics, English.” He also asked his family to have Pastor Erickson, their Lutheran Minister, send him some materials about studying The Bible. Art wrote he was half way through the New Testament. In the letter he wrote, “Hey don’t get the funny idea I want this material cause I’m scared about dying here or something. I already have my things straight. I got no sweat. Like I said this is kind of fun. No lie.”

    Art spent the next couple of months going on patrols operating out of LZ Sally a large base camp of the 101st Airborne. He still sought the opportunity to join the Special Forces, hopeful for an assignment as a member of an underwater demolitions team. At one point during this time period he survived a typhoon that rocked the area. Sometimes Art was given the assignment of being an RTO (radio telephone operator).

    At the start of October, 1968, Art was still seeking a transfer to a LRRP unit. He was back to carrying the grenade launcher on patrols and assignments. His letters back home began to count down the time he had remaining in Vietnam, nine months. Art wrote to his father, “Just think pop I’ll be back in the store taking all your coke & food pestering you; ain’t you lucky?”

    Throughout October and into the first few days of November 1968, Art anxiously awaited for word of transferring to the LRRP unit. On October 29, Art wrote his family telling him about this new unit he was attempting to get in. “Every LRP I’ve talked to has never had a team member killed or if they had, it was some idiot that killed him, not a ‘gook’. So its one of the better jobs.” He appealed to his father to see to it that his mother stopped worrying so much. On November 3, from Camp Eagle, he wrote, “Nam is getting tamer and tamer every day. In ½ year nothing to keep us here. North Vietnam has already lost.”

    Soon after the letter of November 3, Art wrote his last letter home saying he had been accepted into LRRP. He would be going to LRRP training and getting a new address and that he would write his family then, telling them to hold all letters and packages until further notice. LRRPs were an elite group of soldiers who would go on long range reconnaissance patrols and by stealth would be out in the jungle for days at a time. They would be the “eyes behind the lines” for American forces.

    Assigned to F Company, 58th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, on November 18th, Art and the other soldiers received warning orders for a mission on the nineteenth. They would be going into the Roung Roung Valley with two 12-man “heavy teams” since a normal team consisted of six soldiers. While one team would be inserted into the enemy occupied area to locate and destroy a radio transmitter, Art’s team would be going in as a killer team. Five kilometers would separate the two heavy teams. The teams were known as team 24 (Art’s team) and team 26. Ironically Art was originally assigned to team 26, but switched with Spc4 Kenn Miller, so Art could join his friend Sergeant Mike Reiff on team 24. Art was now a Spc4 in rank, also commonly known as a Corporal.

    All the men spent most of the day 19NOV68 preparing for their mission. Spc4 Gary Linderer, another soldier assigned to the team Art was on, recalled everyone was tense. He remembers everyone was loading up on fragmentation grenades, extra ammunition bandoliers, and extra claymore mines. Team 24 jumped aboard helicopters late in the afternoon of the 19th, destined for insertion near the South Vietnam border with Laos.

    After being inserted into twelve foot high elephant grass, Art’s team moved to concealment under a double-canopy jungle. According to Linderer, with natural light quickly fading, the patrol’s team leader, Staff Sergeant Albert Contreros, sent Sergeant Mike Reiff and Art Heringhausen off to scout a trail the soldiers had discovered. Other soldiers scouted about in a different direction. It wasn’t long thereafter as darkness settled over the 12 LRRPs selected a spot where they took up a night-time position. The team settled in on a knoll near a trail they believed the enemy was using to travel along in the jungle. The LRRPs set up their claymore mines in an overlapping kill zone. For some this night would be their last. Meanwhile, during the night enemy patrols with flashlights were looking for the LRRPs. They passed within ten feet of the team’s position, while the team held their fire not wanting to alert the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) in the immediate vicinity.

    The morning of 20NOV68 found Art Heringhausen and the other LRRPs maintaining vigil in their place of concealment waiting to spring their ambush on an unsuspecting enemy. Two soldiers from Team 26 (the other team) remember the weather as being rainy and foggy. The ground was wet and the temperature about sixty degrees Fahrenheit. At about 0730 hours one member of Art’s 12-man team was medivaced out due to sustaining injuries to both ankles during insertion into the jungle.

    At approximately 0900 hours half of the team was eating dehydrated rations while the others provided security. A little over a half an hour later an enemy patrol strolled down the trail and this time SSgt. Contreros gave the signal to detonate the claymore mines on the unsuspecting enemy troops. Art Heringhausen and the others squeezed hard on the triggers and the claymores erupted in unison. When the debris settled and the noise of the blast faded it was discovered that the enemy’s point-man had somehow survived and was sprinting down the trail away from the American soldiers. Two Americans tried to kill him with their rifles but miraculously the NVA soldier got away…no doubt to warn other NVA units of the presence of the LRRPs. Nine NVA personnel were killed, one of which was a major carrying a satchel bag full of documents that provided valuable intelligence to the Americans.

    Staff Sergeant Contreros reported the successful ambush to the command officers who radioed back to say a reaction force would be brought out to secure the area and develop the situation. Team 24 was to be extracted and then reinserted alongside Team 26. It was now about 1045 hours. By 1130 hours command officers notified SSgt. Contreros his team was not going to be extracted and no helicopters were available to deliver the reaction force soldiers to the area. Team 24 was now “royally screwed”, as team member Spc4 Gary Linderer, recalled sometime later. His fears the enemy would be upon them soon were correct as the team had remained near the sight of the ambush too long.

    Shortly thereafter enemy AK-47 fire reigned in upon the defensive position of Team 24 and Art Heringhausen. Sergeant Jim Venable was the first to be wounded seriously, taking rounds in his arm, neck, and chest. Contreros radioed commanders they were now fully engaged and brigade command dispatched two Cobra gun ships to their position for support. The enemy charged with a force estimated to be a platoon (approximately 35 soldiers). The Americans beat them back with grenades and small arms fire. A medical helicopter was able to drop a jungle penetrator, later, to allow for the extraction of Sgt. Venable in the midst of a battle.

    Eventually the Cobras were overhead and they would soon join in the fight. Little did the Americans know they were engaged near a NVA base camp, according to Sp4 Riley Cox, who was fighting alongside Art Heringhausen and the other nine LRRPs. Cox estimated the NVA could have had upwards of a 1,000 to 3,000 soldiers there. When the Cobras had to leave the battle site to rearm and refuel, SSgt. Contreros called for artillery from two nearby American firebases, Brick and Spear. Artillery rounds soon rained down to within 350 feet of Team 24’s defensive position on the knoll and hillside, helping to keep the Americans from being overrun by the superior NVA force.

    Spc4 Larry Chambers of Team 26, described this epic engagement, “It was a heroic battle, one of the worst you could imagine and the hardest fought against overwhelming odds.” Chambers and others on his team, six miles from Art Heringhausen’s Team 24, listened in misery to radio traffic all the while hearing the explosions taking place. Team 26, originally ordered to make for a landing zone for the purpose of being airlifted over to Team 24 for reinforcement were then told to remain concealed as the airlift was cancelled. They would not be going to help their comrades.

    Several hours of continuous fighting raged on. Spc4 Linderer remembers Spc4 Heringhausen calling out on the east side of the team’s defensive perimeter that the enemy was moving up on the other side of the trail. Minutes later a deafening explosion ripped through the American’s defensive position. Linderer recalls where 10 soldiers stood fighting for their lives, now there were none, following the blast. Everyone was down. Amazingly, six men would come to and resume the firefight while checking their fallen LRRPs. Three soldiers were dead from the blast. Spc4 Terry Clifton, Art Heringhausen, and the friend Art wanted to accompany on the mission, Sgt Mike Reiff. SSgt Contreros lay wounded with a faint pulse (he later died after being medivaced out.)

    To the rescue of the stricken soldiers came a hastily organized force of soldiers from the base camp of Team 24. These were cooks, clerks, and soldiers set to leave Vietnam in the coming days, which had monitored the battle over military radio channels. They grabbed any weapon they could find, boarded choppers in sandals and skivvies, determined to come to the aid of their friends and comrades. These soldiers, aided by some heroic chopper pilots, were able to rescue the five remaining soldiers severely wounded and fighting to their last round of ammunition.

    For Clay graduate Arthur J. Heringhausen, Jr., the war had ended. His flag draped casket was returned to Toledo Express Airport. Eggleston-Minert Funeral home handled the arrangements. Families living on Grasser Street contributed money for flowers, “from their neighbors”. Clay High School and Oregon, never learned the story of Art’s valor in death. Art is buried in the Lake Township Cemetery on Walbridge Road, Walbridge, Ohio.

    On April 2, 1969, Art’s brother, Ron, accepted a Silver Star, for gallantry in action in Vietnam, awarded posthumously, at a ceremony held at the University of Toledo ROTC Armory. Lt. Col. Donald Leese presented the award to Ronald Heringhausen on behalf of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Heringhausen, Sr., 1034 Grasser Street. Art Heringhausen was also awarded the following awards and decorations: Bronze Star, for Meritorious Service in Ground Operations against Hostile Forces in South Vietnam; National Defense Service Medal; Expert Badge wRifle & Machine Gun Bar; Sharpshooter Badge wAuto Rifle Bar; Parachute Badge; Vietnam Service Bar w1 Bronze Service Star; Combat Infantry Badge; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w60 Device; Purple Heart; and Good Conduct Medal.

    For more information about this battle or the soldiers who served in the LRRP’s, pick up a copy of Gary Linderer’s book, The Eyes of the Eagle, ISBN 0-8041-0733-5; or the book by Larry Chambers, Recondo, ISBN 0-8914-1840-7; or the book by Kenn Miller, Six Silent Men, ISBN 0-8041-1564-8.
1 2 3

The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.