THOMAS E FRANCIS
VIEW ALL PHOTOS (4)
HONORED ON PANEL 26E, LINE 59 OF THE WALL

THOMAS EARL FRANCIS

WALL NAME

THOMAS E FRANCIS

PANEL / LINE

26E/59

DATE OF BIRTH

11/23/1946

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG TIN

DATE OF CASUALTY

09/12/1967

HOME OF RECORD

TRENTON

COUNTY OF RECORD

Mercer County

STATE

NJ

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

CPL

Book a time
Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR THOMAS EARL FRANCIS
POSTED ON 7.16.2018

Final Mission of PFC Thomas E. Francis

SP4 Robert Garcia was the crew chief of a 2nd platoon UH-1 helicopter from the 71st Assault Helicopter Company, the “Rattlers.” On September 12, 1967, his ship was the far-left aircraft in a V-formation of helicopters attempting an insertion on "Million Dollar Hill" in Quang Tin Province, RVN, so named because of the number of aircraft lost there. Unbeknownst to the flight, the landing zone (LZ) had been extensively mined by the enemy. The first ship in got hit by a "Bouncing Betty," a bounding anti-personnel mine. Garcia’s helicopter was so close that there was some collateral damage to his ship, specifically the tail rotor. The pilot had been hit and told his co-pilot to take control. The aircraft made an uncontrolled landing, but was still flyable. Garcia reported there were injured crewmen in the ship next to them, and he unplugged his helmet to go help. The next thing his crew heard was loud explosions and radio chatter exclaiming, "Don't move, there are land mines everywhere!" Apparently, Garcia got out of his ship and went over to assist the crew of the disabled Rattler aircraft. The gunner of the other ship, SP4 Efrain J. Robledo, was helping the wounded crew chief, SP4 James A. Morrison. As Garcia approached, Morrison stepped on a mine, instantly killing him and Robledo, and mortally wounded Garcia. With the disabled choppers in the LZ, there was nowhere for other Rattler ships to land. The rest of Garcia’s crew evacuated their chopper, and went to his side. There was little they could do. Asked if he wanted a smoke, Garcia said no. Despite his wounds, he appeared calm and peaceful like. They put a flak jacket around his lower body to try and control the bleeding. Soon another helicopter came in, but refused to land, instead asking that the wounded be lifted up to the hovering aircraft. Garcia was put on the chopper and taken to a military hospital where he succumbed to his injuries two days later. Three other U.S. Army personnel from 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry, were killed by hostile mines on Million Dollar Hill during the lift. PFC Calvin L. McDavis, an assistant M60 machine gunner, and PFC Thomas E. Francis, an infantryman, came in on the first helicopter. While moving toward the 12 o'clock position to secure the landing zone, McDavis triggered a Bouncing Betty land mine which killed him and Francis. Both McDavis and Francis were posthumously promoted to Corporal. MSG Thomas L. Forbes was also killed by a mine he stepped on while setting up a Command Post. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org, vhpa.org, and information provided by Ron Seabolt (June 2002) and Barry Lawson (December 2005) at rattler-firebird.org; also from information provided by Thomas Hitchcock (May 2005) at thewall-usa.com]
read more read less
POSTED ON 9.13.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter

Remembering An American Hero

Dear CPL Thomas Earl Francis, 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
read more read less
POSTED ON 7.26.2013
POSTED BY: New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

Submitted by the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation

If you have any additional information about this hero or are a relative, please contact the Foundation at [email protected] or 1-800-648-8387.
read more read less
POSTED ON 11.29.2009
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Thomas is buried at Ewing Cemetery in Trenton, NJ.
read more read less
POSTED ON 9.22.2007

Put A Face With A Name

Thomas E. Francis is remembered at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Educational Center. To learn more search on www.njvvmf.org.
read more read less