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ARNOLD BENSON JR


is honored on Panel 25E, Line 114 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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REMEMBRANCES

  • The Lost Squad of Ap Binh Son

    Posted on 7/12/18 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    On September 5, 1967, two reconnaissance platoons from E Company, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, were combined to create three squads for a routine clover-leaf patrol of the Ap Binh Son rubber plantation, a few thousand meters from Bearcat Base in Bien Hoa Province, RVN. The three squads were trucked to the plantation, and at 10:30 AM split up and proceeded with their patrols. The leader of the 2nd squad was SGT Bravie Soto. His leaf involved patrolling the perimeter of a major portion of the rubber in the plantation, then into the bush and back into the Command Post (CP). About 20 minutes into the patrol, members of 1st and 3rd squad suddenly heard the chatter of small arms fire, the telltale sound of a firefight. Hand grenades and M79 rounds were also heard. The two squads stopped to listen. The radio had been clear up to that point. Third squad called the CP wanting to know what was going on. Second squad did the same. The firefight was a short, but intense exchange. Both squads were told to ignore the gunfire and advised that racket was coming from the direction of A Company, 2/39th, which was also operating in the area. By 11: 45 AM, 1st and 3rd squads had reported back to the CP. They sat around and talked about what they had heard. It was more than evident to them that something was very wrong, and they were very concerned about SGT Soto and his men. At 2:30 PM, they were told to saddle up and cover Soto's leaf of the patrol to see if could find them. They immediately took off into the rubber plantation. On the back road of the plantation, there was evidence of Viet Cong traffic: directions signs scratched in the dirt and limbs and branches laid out in patterns that could not be mistaken for anything other than movement signals. Unable to locate 2nd squad, the search party returned to the CP. More troops were moved into the area to assist in the search. A day later, 2nd squad was found. It appeared that the VC had ambushed them midway through the plantation on the back road. They were taken totally by surprise. Their bodies had been found riddled with bullets, stripped nude, and it was apparent that they had been brutalized after they were dead. The VC placed some of the bodies in water-filled APC emplacements or ditches, tied together and weighted down with rocks, or pinned down to the bottom of the water-filled ditches with stakes. Due to the 1st and 3rd squads being waved off when the initial firefight was heard, the VC had plenty of time to have their way with SGT Soto and his men. There were signs that a couple of the men had been shot execution style. There were no reported enemy casualties, but bloody sandal and foot marks indicated the guerillas had suffered some losses. Eight men comprised 2nd squad. They included SGT Bravie Soto, SP4 Edwin P. Prentice, SP4 William T. McDaniel, SP4 Kenneth J. Krause, SP4 Arnold Benson Jr., SP4 Elmer D. Byrd, SP4 Willie L. Jones Jr., and PFC William R. Brennan. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org, “The Lost Squad of Ap Binh Son” by John J. Bradley III, and “2 GIs Executed By Reds.” Pacific Stars & Stripes, September 9, 1967]
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  • missing you

    Posted on 3/26/17 - by valerie reeves reevedv@gmail.com
    although you've been gone from us these many years, the sting of your passing is always with there. rip
    sister val
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  • Remembered

    Posted on 2/14/17 - by Lucy Conte Micik bennysgift@gmail.com
    DEAR SPEC 4 BENSON,
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AS AN INFANTRYMAN. YOU PASSED ON MY MOM'S BIRTHDAY. SAY HI TO HER, HER NAME IS ROSE. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY. IT IS 2017, WHICH MAKES IT FAR TOO LONG FOR YOU TO HAVE BEEN GONE. WE APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE DONE, AND YOUR SACRIFICE. WATCH OVER THE U.S.A., IT STILL NEEDS YOUR COURAGE.. GOD BLESS YOU. MAY THE SAINTS AND ANGELS BE AT YOUR SIDE. REST IN PEACE.
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  • Lewis Cooke: Arnie's Dogtag

    Posted on 5/12/15 - by Kevin Farkas Kevin@veteranvoicesofpittsburgh.com
    Lewis Cooke of Tionesta, Pennsylvania served in Vietnam with Arnold Benson. In 2014, he shared a story about Mr. Benson with the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Intitiative. This powerful story can be heard on our website: http://veteranvoicesofpittsburgh.com/lewis-cooke-army/

    One day Arnold loaned a pair of fresh pants to Lewis, who desperately needed a change of clothes after being in the field on extended missions. Unknowingly, Arnold left his dogtags in the pants pocket. When Lewis was searching for Arnold to return his dogtags, he learned that he had been killed. Lewis was devastated by the news, and to this day he has kept Arnie's dogtag linked to his own. "It is my prize possession of the war," Lewis admits.
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  • Always remembered

    Posted on 6/28/14 MORE
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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.