JOHN G KOPRIVA
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HONORED ON PANEL 22W, LINE 112 OF THE WALL

JOHN GAYLORD KOPRIVA

WALL NAME

JOHN G KOPRIVA

PANEL / LINE

22W/112

DATE OF BIRTH

11/27/1948

CASUALTY PROVINCE

LONG KHANH

DATE OF CASUALTY

06/22/1969

HOME OF RECORD

TRAER

COUNTY OF RECORD

Tama County

STATE

IA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SGT

Book a time
Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JOHN GAYLORD KOPRIVA
POSTED ON 7.9.2020

Misadventure (Friendly Fire)

SP4 John G. Kopriva was an infantryman serving with the LRRP Platoon (Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol), E Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division. The “Lurps” were small, well-armed reconnaissance teams that patrolled deep into enemy held territory. On June 21, 1969, SP4 Kopriva was on a platoon-sized LRRP mission, twenty-five men total, in a densely forested area of Long Khanh Province, RVN. The team had been inserted by helicopter a few days earlier and was conducting a search and destroy mission. In the late afternoon, his team was resupplied by helicopter with water, LRRP rations, sundries, and mail. One of the Lurps got a care package from his brother, and he and a teammate retreated under a tree to sample the goodies. About the same time, a “Loach” (U.S. Army OH-6A light observation helicopter) came over their location. The gunner, believing he had spotted enemy combatants, opened fire on the Lurps with an M60 machine gun. The team immediately threw out three or four smoke grenades. The Lurps got on the radio and informed Battalion that they were being attacked by the chopper. One of the rounds fired at them struck Kopriva over the left eye. The helicopter pulled away and the team requested a medivac with a doctor for the critically injured Kopriva. A medivac aircraft was dispatched; however, no doctor was available, but a qualified medic was on board. Before the medivac arrived, the same Loach returned and landed. Kopriva was put in a poncho and loaded on the chopper, and the aircraft took off for Blackhorse Base Camp. The medivac was advised and replied it would escort the Loach. When the grim task of evacuating Kopriva was completed, the Lurps resumed their patrol. Kopriva was admitted to a military medical facility where he died the following day. He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant. An investigation into the friendly-fire incident revealed that the Loach was a 5th Battalion, 12th Infantry aircraft from LZ Libby flying in support of a “sniffer” mission, an airborne personnel detector mission. The helicopter reportedly had gone beyond its area of operations and apparently was unsure of its correct location when the attack occurred. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and Daily Staff Journal (1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division) for June 21, 1969; also, information provided by Jim Carew (July 2020)]
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POSTED ON 11.27.2018

John

John...Honoring You on your birthday...God bless
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POSTED ON 7.25.2016
POSTED BY: Curt Carter

Remembering an American Hero

Dear SGT John Gaylord Kopriva, 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 11.15.2013
POSTED BY: Dee McKinney

Thinking of you

John, your 65th birthday would be coming up soon. There are so many people who have never forgotten you, including me. Ron Pohlman and I had so much fun with you and Linda Wilson in high school. You had incredible athletic talent and huge potential, but you were taken from us too soon. To an outstanding guy, you will always be in our hearts and memories.
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POSTED ON 9.14.2012
POSTED BY: Shari Kirkpatrick

Remembrance

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