LUIS A HILERIO-PADILLA
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HONORED ON PANEL 16W, LINE 69 OF THE WALL

LUIS A N HILERIO-PADILLA

WALL NAME

LUIS A HILERIO-PADILLA

PANEL / LINE

16W/69

DATE OF BIRTH

12/22/1948

CASUALTY PROVINCE

PLEIKU

DATE OF CASUALTY

11/13/1969

HOME OF RECORD

YONKERS

COUNTY OF RECORD

Westchester County

STATE

NY

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SGT

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR LUIS A N HILERIO-PADILLA
POSTED ON 11.20.2019
POSTED BY: THE K 75TH RANGER MEMORIAL TEAM

AFTER 50 YEARS, WE STILL REMEMBER AND HONOR YOU

It was to be a “milk run”. TL Luis Hillerio-Padilla of Yonkers, NY and ATL Eddie Carpenter of Lexington, KY were both seasoned veterans who had pulled several missions together. New to the team was PFC David Burdock of Joplin, MO, PFC Angel Jiminez of PR and PFC Albrico. This 5-man team was to be a radio relay in the mountainous Plei Mrong area of the Central Highlands. If we were professional football players instead of Rangers, we might have referred to this as a bye week. But, as we all came to realize, there were no byes in the jungles of Vietnam, the Highlands always held dangerous surprise. Getting an early start, Team R-30 was inserted at 09:10 and moved North to locate a suitable RR position. Within the hour, the team discovered a fresh and often used trail, wide and invisible through the single canopy. The team moved parallel to the trail for another 30M before Carpenter, who was walking point, confronted two VC in dark clothing armed with AK-47s – it was now 10:40. In the initial volley Carpenter was mortally wounded, one VC was killed, and the other wounded but their now arriving comrades entered the fight. Hilerio was immediately critically wounded but continued to engage the enemy and call in resources on the radio. A Chi-com grenade further wounded Hilerio in addition to Dave Burdock. PFC Albrico relieved Hilerio of the radio and brought additional firepower to bear. Using grenades and small arms fire, Burdock, Jiminez and Albrico held the enemy at bay. At 11:10, after 30 minutes of an active gunfight, the gunships reported on station.
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POSTED ON 6.4.2019
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear Sgt Luis Hilerio-Padilla, Thank you for your service as an Airborne Qualified Infantry Operations & Intelligence Specialist. This week is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and we should remember all of you who served. Watch over the USA, it still needs your courage. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 12.22.2018
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Sergeant Luis Angel N. Helerio-Padilla, Served with Company K, 75th Infantry Regiment (Rangers), 4th Infantry Division, United States Army Vietnam.
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POSTED ON 9.2.2016
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Final Mission of SGT Luis A. N. Hilerio-Padilla

SGT Luis A. N. Hilerio-Padilla and PFC Eddie D. Carpenter were Airborne-qualified Army Rangers serving with K Company, 75th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. The following is an account of their last mission by Dana McGrath: On November 13, 1969, K/75th Rangers SGT Hilerio (team leader), and PFC Carpenter (alternate team leader) and one other Ranger (name unknown) conducted a POW-snatch mission in the Pleiku, RVN, area of operations. I spent a couple days prior to their mission trying hard to talk my buddy Carpenter out of this idea, but his mind was set and he was determined to carry out the mission, not unusual for a soldier, and there was that 3-day R&R if they could get it done. Ranger Carpenter was 19 years-old and an old man already, one of the finest Rangers I’d met and had all the courage a young warrior could hold. I also spoke with the team leader (TL) Hilerio who was a fine 20-year-old Ranger TL and dedicated to the given mission as planned. The birds (insertion aircraft) left and the mission began after a successful insertion. The mission ended on a trail not long after insertion. We listened as the initial SITREP (situation report) came in: CONTACT! One Bee Sting, one Wasp Sting, the code words of the moment for friendly WIA & KIA. Chilling words in all cases. We continued to listen as all hell broke loose--no birds available, no way for us to reach the two living Rangers, with small arms and grenade background music on the horn (radio). All who listened to the radio traffic felt what you feel when you can’t close the distance between your buddies in trouble and the help they so badly need. The mission story as I recall was that Carpenter was the point man and stepped out in front of 3 ditty-bopping NVA, telling them to “Chieu Hoi” (“Surrender”) and they laid down immediately. The God-knows-how-many NVA behind the point element killed Carpenter with small arms & grenades, and wounded Hilerio. Hilerio was in the prone position in a cover position for Carpenter. Hilerio took a round through the shoulder/neck area, and it ended up in his lower abdomen. He spoke for a long time on the radio, calmly and professionally, directing what support could reach them and continuing the SITREP as if he wasn’t hit at all. His voice grew weaker and we suspected he was the Bee Sting, but he would not say so over the clear net--a professional in the worst of conditions, and one fine Ranger to have known. FSGT Don Keller and one other Ranger found & commandeered the Brigade Commander’s bird – the first we knew of it was when they came up on the horn to tell the Team they were inbound. They had found a couple gunships enroute and had some cover for the insertion. They only had one pistol (from the pilot), yet they landed and made their way through the contact and located the team. The only one capable of standing was the new Ranger (I believe it was his first mission), who was pretty frazzled until the FSGT helped him get squared away on the work at hand. Carpenter and Hilerio were carried through the now-quiet contact AO to the bird and lifted out. Ranger Hilerio died at the hospital soon after arrival. I remember well the faces of these three Rangers. When that fades, I will be disappointed, but they will understand. I thought for years there was a 4th Ranger on the team, but recently learned from then-FSGT Keller there were only three. It was not as unusual as it sounds, as there were still a few two-man teams working in 1969 in K/75th Rangers. It is a fine day to remember, and the worst of the memory has passed into time’s special place. I don’t think I’ll forget the sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness of that day, as that was the day I threw all hope for the future out the window. When some of the best Rangers you know have been taken down, the world around you changes its shape and purpose, and anger can become your best friend. First Sergeant Don Keller (now CSM, Ret.) was the most courageous leader I ever knew, yet he will tell you today he was just doing his job. He’s the same soldier who stood so tall and walked so calmly around our Company AO during the night sapper/mortar attack on K/75th on my 6th day in-country. He was one tough nut to crack then and is one tough nut to crack yet today, by the way. The soldier matters in combat and everything else is second. Every leader should know that rule and live it. The other Ranger on the rescue bird was then-SGT/E5 Gates, who would later become Command Sergeant Major of the Army Julian Gates during his career. (Narrative by Dana McGrath, K/75th Rangers 1969 – 1970, edited for clarity). [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and k75ranger.com]
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POSTED ON 5.13.2016
POSTED BY: Rafael Brochero

Remembering good times

Hey Luis its been 46 years since I last saw you but it feels like it was yesterday we were trying out For a baseball team in Central Park. missing you bro.
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