The Wall of Faces

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JAMES PRICE SPENCER


is honored on Panel 14E, Line 75 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Final Mission of CPL James P. Spencer

    Posted on 12/21/14 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.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]
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  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 3/29/14 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net
    Dear CPL James Price Spencer, 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, Sir

    Curt Carter
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  • We Remember

    Posted on 7/6/10 - by Robert Sage rsage@austin.rr.com
    James is buried at Spencer Cemetery in War Creek, KY. PH
  • A Tribute to James Price Spencer

    Posted on 9/17/07 - by Joe Vallecorsa vallecja@sce.com
    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
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  • to my dad

    Posted on 3/13/06 - by step daugter melisssaco2003@hotmail.com
    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
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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.