Somerset County








POSTED ON 10.28.2018

Final Mission of SP4 Vins R. Hooper

On June 19-20, 1967, Sky Soldiers of the 2/503rd were lifted by helicopter into the hills near Dak To in Kontum Province, RVN, “to make their presence known” and conduct search and destroy operations. During the two-day operation, no contact was made with enemy forces. A Company received a radio call instructing them to return to Dak To proper (basecamp) the next day to rest up and recover. About a half an hour after daybreak on the 22nd, 1st Squad of 2nd Platoon took the point and headed down the ridge. At 6:58 AM, the seven-man squad had travelled about 200 meters when the point man fired his M16 and the squad leader behind him a M79 grenade launcher at some North Vietnamese Army soldiers they had seen. After 20 minutes of sniper fire and rounds coming in from the left flank, the squad pulled back up the hill and rejoined the rest of 2nd platoon. The A Company commander called in artillery to help support their movement, and sent a medic to the sound of battle. First Platoon sent a four-man detail with additional ammunition and a machine gun to the besieged 2nd Platoon. As they set up their two M60 machine guns, a NVA battalion-sized force suddenly appeared with its all its firepower. At 7:05 AM, 3rd Platoon linked up with 2nd Platoon, and a V-shaped perimeter was established with 2nd Platoon on the west and 3rd Platoon on the east. The NVA attacked in waves, screaming and firing their weapons, but each time were held off from completely overrunning 2nd and 3rd Platoons. By 10:00 AM, the two platoons were down to 15 effective fighters, with both platoon leaders killed, and the platoon sergeants wounded, several times. At 10:34 AM, all radio communication was lost. The 2nd Platoon sergeant ordered the men to grab the wounded, weapons, and ammo, and get back up the hill to the Command Post (CP). The A Company commander moved his CP further back up the hill to a small knoll and set up a defensive perimeter in a small clearing. Two more enemy assaults were attempted on the CP at 12:20 PM and again at 12:45 PM. When relief finally came, Company A was extracted from the area to the Brigade basecamp at 6:50 PM. When they got back, a formation for a head count was conducted. Normally 137 Sky Soldiers would be present. There were only 33 men standing in formation. The next day, as American troops policed the battlefield, a horrendous discovery was made. Over half the KIA's (43 personnel) had suffered head wounds inflicted at close range, evidence that the NVA had executed the wounded during the night. The Sky Soldiers suffered 77 losses on June 22, 1967. They included PFC Terry L. Allen, PFC Erling A. Anderson, PFC James Arnold, PFC William J. Boehm, 1LT Ervin L. Burns, PFC Albert Butler Jr., PFC Darrell W. Butts, PFC Carlin M. Campbell Jr., SP4 Ronald C. Clark, PFC Thorne M. Clark III, SP4 Jack L. Cripe, SP4 Lloyd D. DeLoach, PFC Lester M. DeRiso, SP4 Charles O. Deedrick Jr., SP4 Thomas A. Deschenes, PFC Thomas B. Duffy Jr., PFC Timothy J. Egan, SGT James R. Emmert, SP4 Russell W. Engle, SP4 Bobby L. Finney, SP4 Burrell Gibson, PFC Kenneth L. Greene, PFC David J. Heller, SGT Alvin G. Hill, PFC Doyle Holcomb, 1LT Richard E. Hood Jr., SP4 Vins R. Hooper, SGT David E. Johnson, SGT Harry J. Johnson, SP4 Richard B. Johnston, Richard J. Johnston, 1LT 1LT Donald R. Judd, SGT Stephen A. Kelly, SSGT Kenneth K. Lima, PFC Frederick H. Liminga, PSGT Robert R. Litwin, SP4 Jimmy C. Lowry, SP4 Gary A. Luttrell, PFC Walter C. Mayer, 1LT Ellis A. McBride Jr., PFC William S. McBroom, SP4 Frank McCray Jr., SP4 John H. McEachin Jr., PFC Stephen A. Mika, PFC Donald M. Munden, PFC William A. Munn, PFC Timothy J. Murphy, PFC Daniel L. Negro, PFC Jerry L. Noe, SP4 Michael D. O’Connor, PFC George Patton, SGT John P. Patton, PFC George A. Poor Jr., SP4 Leonard B. Poore, SP4 Robert L. Preddy, PFC Floyd E. Quarles, SP4 Ralph J. Rizzi, PFC Trine Romero Jr., PFC Hector M. Saenz, PFC James W. Sanford, PFC Warren H. Schrobilgen Jr., 2LT Jeffrey R. Sexton, SP4 John Sharber Jr., SP4 Lloyd E. Smith, PFC Charles H. Snow, PFC Johnson A. Steidler, SGT David A. Stephens, PFC David R. Stephenson, PFC Robert L. Stevens Jr., PFC Fa’asaviliga V. Tafao, SP4 Larry B. Turner, PFC Daniel V. Valdez, PFC Charlie L. Walker, SP4 Willie C. Warren, PFC Michael J. Waterman, PFC Edwin J. Williams, and SP4 Alexander C. Zsigo Jr. [Taken from,, and other web-based sources]
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POSTED ON 10.6.2018
POSTED BY: jerry sandwisch wood cty.ohio vietnam vet 1969-70 army 173rd abn bde

You are not forgotten

The war may be forgotten but the warrior will always be remembered. All gave Some-Some gave All. Rest in peace Sky Soldier.
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POSTED ON 6.18.2018
POSTED BY: Mike Switzer

Tribute to Sky Soldier

On behalf of those who served with you in the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) and all who followed, we offer our respect and remembrance of your ultimate sacrifice. May you never be forgotten and your family and friends take comfort in your valor in servin
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POSTED ON 9.2.2016
POSTED BY: Curt Carter

Remembering An American Hero

Dear SP4 Vins Ronald Hooper, 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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POSTED ON 6.24.2016
POSTED BY: Ralph Mora

Battle Buddy

Vins and I were reassigned to the `173rd from the 1st Air Cavalry in 1967. We took our in-country R&R together. We spent time in Quinhon and then to Cam Ran Bay before getting to the 173rd in Bien Hoa. He went to the 2/503rd and I went to Recon 1/503rd. We were going to go back to the world together but a few weeks before we were to return to the U.S. he was killed at Dak To. I was there when I found out that he had been killed though I didn't get to see his body. I have always thought of him. Like me, he was just a young guy who was hopping that serving would give him some chances back in the world. For a long time I felt guilty about his death but then I decided to make the most of my life so that he would not have died in vain. Thank you my friend.
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