The Wall of Faces

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THOMAS FRANKLIN YOUNG


is honored on Panel 37E, Line 16 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Semper Fi

    Posted on 2/3/15 - by A Marine - Vietnam
    Semper Fi, Sergeant.
  • Final Mission of SGT Thomas F. Young

    Posted on 11/3/14 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    Six men assigned to American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN) were taken prisoner during the Vietnam war, five spending about five years in captivity before being released. The sixth, SP5 Steve J. Stroub, was executed shortly after capture. The AFVN'ers were captured when the detachment at Hue was overrun on Feb 5, 1968 following a fierce fire fight during the Tet holiday. As 1967 came to an end, Detachment 5 of the American Forces Vietnam Network began settling in and broadcasting TV in the area of Hue, South Vietnam. The new commander, Marine 1LT Jim Bernardo, had just been welcomed by the NCO-In-Charge, SFC Class John Anderson, and Army engineers SFC Class Donat Goin and SP5 Harry Entmuller. The station's audience included the 1st Cav. Division, the 101st Airborne Division, elements of I Corps, and a large contingent of Marines. Hue, the ancient Imperial capital of Vietnam, was located over 50 miles from the DMZ and considered relatively safe from enemy attack. In January 1968, the station began transitioning to a full Class A operation by adding radio broadcasting. Four men arrived to begin the radio mission: Marine SSGT John Deering to serve as program director, Marine SGT Thomas F. Young attached as a broadcaster, and Army broadcasters SP5 Steve Stroub and SP4 John Bagwell attached from 1st Cav. Public Affairs. They would never spin records or play command information at the AFVN station. In the early morning of January 21, 1968, Communist forces in South Vietnam launched what came to be known as the Tet Offensive, a series of nationwide attacks on urban areas seeking to foment a general uprising against the Republic of Vietnam government. That day, a division-sized force of North Vietnamese Army troops and Viet Cong guerrillas moved on Hue. The Hue attack was the strongest and best coordinated of the North Vietnamese assaults during the Tet Offensive, and the only attack on a large city that resulted in any measurable success. Communist forces held most of Hue's center, what is known as the "Old City," and were seeking to expand their perimeter into the rest of the city against stubborn resistance by RVN forces. They soon faced a strong counter-attack by elements of the 1st and 5th Marine Regiments, later joined by the Army's 7th and 12th Cav. Regiments. When the men of Det 5 began taking mortar rounds and sniper fire on 31 January, they ceased all broadcast operations and took cover in the house they used as living quarters. They fought bravely for their station, holding off North Vietnamese attacks for five days until a full scale assault began on the night of 4 February. SGT Young was killed by a hail of bullets amid heavy bursts of small arms and died. SP5 Entmuller recalls their last conversation being about religion. Young's widow would say that all he ever wanted to do was work in radio and television, and he planned to apply to the University of Missouri Journalism School after his tour. By the morning of 5 February they had used all of their ammunition, eventually running out of food and water as well. Several men worked to make the station unusable to the North Vietnamese. After a series of enemy rocket-propelled grenades set fire to their house, they were forced to flee through a nearby rice paddy towards the MACV compound one mile away. They would not make it to their destination. The men had been assisted by NBC International engineer, Mr. Courtney Niles, 37, a decorated 10-year Army vet who covered the war from Hue, shared quarters with them, and helped defend the station with the rifle of an Airman on R&R leave. Niles fought with all the bravery of a soldier and helped save lives by killing several NVA. While escaping the house, he was hit by small arms fire and killed instantly. SP4 John Bagwell managed to evade capture and was given sanctuary by local Catholic priests, at great risk to their own safety. Six others were taken captive. One of them, SP5 Stroub, 20, was summarily executed while being led away, gunned down in the street in front of his comrades. He had fought with absolute valor throughout the firefight and was weakened by an open fracture wound and shrapnel wounds. The five remaining members of Det 5 were each wounded and didn't know if they would survive the day. Drawing on unknown stores of personal strength, they survived 5 February and every subsequent day for the next five years as prisoners of war in North Vietnam, suffering unspeakable torture and depredations at the hands of their captors. They were finally released on 3 March, 1973. The men of Det 5 AFVN Hue established an unparalleled legacy and fought desperately to defend their broadcast station and their brothers-in- arms. [Taken from oocities.org]
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  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 11/9/13 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net
    Dear SGT Thomas Franklin Young, 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
    MORE
  • God Bless You

    Posted on 8/7/10 - by Carol Haberchak haberchak1311@comcast.net
    After reading your story in "Dreams Unfulfilled", I just wanted to thank and honor you for your bravery, commitment, service to your country and the ultimate sacrifice you made. May you be resting in peace with all of God's angels. God Bless You
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  • We Remember

    Posted on 6/19/10 - by Robert Sage rsage@austin.rr.com
    Thomas is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Hot Springs, AR. PH
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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.