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GERALD FRANCIS KINSMAN


is honored on Panel 5W, Line 45 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Never forgotten

    Posted on 11/6/17 - by worstmomever@gmail.com
    I have worn 1lt Gerald F. Kinsman' s bracelet since the 1980 's. It was given to me by An American Legion post member from Mission Hill Ma ( part of Boston) which is local to you since you were from Foxboro.. I see that you have a daughter who sadly was born 11 days after you gave the ultimate sacrifice. I am proud to wear your bracelet and would like her to know that we keep you both in our hearts and prayers. Thank you for your service.
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  • Final Mission of 1LT Gerald F. Kinsman

    Posted on 9/29/16 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    SGT James A. Harwood and 1LT Gerald F. Kinsman were part of the 5th Special Forces Group Detachment B-43 based at the Special Forces camp at Chi Lang, South Vietnam. The two were assisting in the training of the Reconnaissance Platoon, 2nd Company, 1st (later the 6th) Cambodian Mobile Operations Battalion as part of Capt. Harry Purdy's instruction team. Chi Lang was situated in a dangerous, contested border zone. Any training venture away from camp was subject to becoming a frightening battlefield between Cambodian trainees and hardened Viet Cong regulars, with predictable results, although the Special Forces had considerably more faith in the abilities of the Khmer troops than they had had in the Vietnamese CIDG unit they had formerly trained. The situation was worsened by the serious friction between Detachment B-43 and the former CIDG Vietnamese troops at the camp. The Special Forces made no secret of the fact that they felt the Khmer troops were superior to the ARVN border rangers, whom they considered hoods and thieves. The Vietnamese officer, MAJ Hoa countered by refusing to punish any Vietnamese caught stealing from the Americans. In January 1971, CAPT Purdy's team and the Khmer battalion-in-training conducted a field exercise at Nui Ta Bec, five miles northwest of Chi Lang. 1LT Gerald F. Kinsman, the tactics committee instructor, accompanied the battalion's 3rd Company cadre, LT James J. McCarty and SGT James A. Harwood. On 15 January, the three Special Forces troops were escorting the company's 24-man reconnaissance platoon, which was awaiting the arrival of the 8th Khmer Infantry Battalion, coming to replace them in the field. The platoon was moving downhill through thick bamboo on the slope of Hill 282 (Nui Ta Bec) northwest of Chi Lang and 2 miles from the Cambodian border, after searching several large rock outcroppings of Nui Ta Bec. SGT Harwood was in the lead, 1LT Kinsman was in the middle, and McCarty to the rear of the platoon. At this time, the platoon was moving in column formation. Suddenly the pointman came under automatic weapons fire, engaging the platoon in a firefight. Harwood radioed 1LT James J. McCarty that he was crawling up toward the point, and was receiving direct fire from the front. Communications were then lost with Harwood, and McCarty's shouts to him met with no response. McCarty then approached Kinsman's position at the front, and saw Lt. Kinsman standing in an open area saying he had been hit in the stomach. When he reached Kinsman, McCarty found him lying on his back in a bamboo thicket. He had been shot in the stomach, just to the side of the navel with an exit wound in the back, and was lying in a large pool of blood. McCarty tried to administer aid, but his weapon was shot away, and he was wounded himself. He tried to drag the unconscious 1LT Kinsman from the area, but enemy troops were approaching and he had to hide. McCarty did not see Harwood. McCarty's radioman was wounded in the leg as he frantically radioed SGT Stamper at the base of the hill. MAJ Leary, the Detachment B-43 commander, was overhead in an O-1 aircraft and relayed the request for immediate assistance to MAJ Hoa at Chi Lang. Hoa claimed all of his units were "busy" and no response was possible. Leary summoned a battalion from the 9th ARVN Division next, but by the time they arrived, the fighting was over. In addition to the Cambodian casualties, both 1LT Kinsman and SGT Harwood were missing. McCarty was later evacuated. Harwood was classified Missing In Action, and Kinsman, because of his severe wounds was classified as Killed/Body Not Recovered. Every detail of their loss is classified, and still unavailable to the public after 20 years. In August 1974, a Vietnamese source reported the following information which he received second hand from another Vietnamese, "The enemy (Viet Cong) ambushed a Government of Vietnam team, killed one American and captured one American, one officer and one NCO in that vicinity. The live American was ordered to pull the body into the forest. In the forest, the American was ordered to dig a hole and bury his friend. As soon as he finished his work, a VC cadre stood beside him and fired at his head with a Chinese-made Type 54 pistol. The two bodies were rushed into the hole, and it was filled with earth." The source also assumed that the grave site might have been in a valley. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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  • I was Jerry's Roommate In Chi Lang (God Bless his Family)

    Posted on 5/29/16 - by Jim Sullivan
    We flipped to see who would go on this mission and Jerry "won" the toss. I was training Cambodians when I heard on the radio he was ambushed. There was a 3dy fight to find him, Sgt Harward & 1LT McCarty. Jerry was a good man, friend & soldier. Maile M. Dooley can be proud of him. Jim S
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  • 1LT Gerald F. Kinsman

    Posted on 4/27/14 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    SGT James A. Harwood and 1LT Gerald F. Kinsman were part of the 5th Special Forces Group Detachment B-43 based at the Special Forces camp at Chi Lang, South Vietnam. The two were assisting in the training of the Reconnaissance Platoon, 2nd Company, 1st (later the 6th) Cambodian Mobile Operations Battalion as part of Capt. Harry Purdy's instruction team. Chi Lang was situated in a dangerous, contested border zone. Any training venture away from camp was subject to becoming a frightening battlefield between Cambodian trainees and hardened Viet Cong regulars, with predictable results, although the Special Forces had considerably more faith in the abilities of the Khmer troops than they had had in the Vietnamese CIDG unit they had formerly trained. The situation was worsened by the serious friction between Detachment B-43 and the former CIDG Vietnamese troops at the camp. The Special Forces made no secret of the fact that they felt the Khmer troops were superior to the ARVN border rangers, whom they considered hoods and thieves. The Vietnamese officer, MAJ Hoa countered by refusing to punish any Vietnamese caught stealing from the Americans. In January 1971, CAPT Purdy's team and the Khmer battalion-in-training conducted a field exercise at Nui Ta Bec, five miles northwest of Chi Lang. 1LT Gerald F. Kinsman, the tactics committee instructor, accompanied the battalion's 3rd Company cadre, LT James J. McCarty and SGT James A. Harwood. On 15 January, the three Special Forces troops were escorting the company's 24-man reconnaissance platoon, which was awaiting the arrival of the 8th Khmer Infantry Battalion, coming to replace them in the field. The platoon was moving downhill through thick bamboo on the slope of Hill 282 (Nui Ta Bec) northwest of Chi Lang and 2 miles from the Cambodian border, after searching several large rock outcroppings of Nui Ta Bec. SGT Harwood was in the lead, 1LT Kinsman was in the middle, and McCarty to the rear of the platoon. At this time, the platoon was moving in column formation. Suddenly the pointman came under automatic weapons fire, engaging the platoon in a firefight. Harwood radioed 1LT James J. McCarty that he was crawling up toward the point, and was receiving direct fire from the front. Communications were then lost with Harwood, and McCarty's shouts to him met with no response. McCarty then approached Kinsman's position at the front, and saw Lt. Kinsman standing in an open area saying he had been hit in the stomach. When he reached Kinsman, McCarty found him lying on his back in a bamboo thicket. He had been shot in the stomach, just to the side of the navel with an exit wound in the back, and was lying in a large pool of blood. McCarty tried to administer aid, but his weapon was shot away, and he was wounded himself. He tried to drag the unconscious 1LT Kinsman from the area, but enemy troops were approaching and he had to hide. McCarty did not see Harwood. McCarty's radioman was wounded in the leg as he frantically radioed SGT Stamper at the base of the hill. MAJ Leary, the Detachment B-43 commander, was overhead in an O-1 aircraft and relayed the request for immediate assistance to MAJ Hoa at Chi Lang. Hoa claimed all of his units were "busy" and no response was possible. Leary summoned a battalion from the 9th ARVN Division next, but by the time they arrived, the fighting was over. In addition to the Cambodian casualties, both 1LT Kinsman and SGT Harwood were missing. McCarty was later evacuated. Harwood was classified Missing In Action, and Kinsman, because of his severe wounds was classified as Killed/Body Not Recovered. Every detail of their loss is classified, and still unavailable to the public after 20 years. In August 1974, a Vietnamese source reported the following information which he received second hand from another Vietnamese, "The enemy (Viet Cong) ambushed a Government of Vietnam team, killed one American and captured one American, one officer and one NCO in that vicinity. The live American was ordered to pull the body into the forest. In the forest, the American was ordered to dig a hole and bury his friend. As soon as he finished his work, a VC cadre stood beside him and fired at his head with a Chinese-made Type 54 pistol. The two bodies were rushed into the hole, and it was filled with earth." The source also assumed that the grave site might have been in a valley. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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  • Memorial Day remembrance

    Posted on 5/27/13

    Remembering Foxboro's brave soldiers lost in Viet Nam. Rest in peace, Gerry

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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.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit www.buildthecenter.org.