FRANK S MCCUTCHEON III
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HONORED ON PANEL 5W, LINE 74 OF THE WALL

FRANK STAN MCCUTCHEON III

WALL NAME

FRANK S MCCUTCHEON III

PANEL / LINE

5W/74

DATE OF BIRTH

07/23/1947

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG NGAI

DATE OF CASUALTY

02/02/1971

HOME OF RECORD

DES MOINES

COUNTY OF RECORD

Polk County

STATE

IA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

CPL

Book a time
Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR FRANK STAN MCCUTCHEON III
POSTED ON 5.21.2023
POSTED BY: john fabris

do not stand at my grave and weep....

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
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POSTED ON 2.2.2022
POSTED BY: Fellow Artilleryman

Bronze Star Medal for Valor Award

Corporal Frank Stan McCutcheon III was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, with Combat Distinguishing Device (V), for his gallantry in action. He was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Merit for his sustained meritorious service. He served as a Cannon Fire Direction Specialist and was assigned to A BTRY, 3RD BN, 18TH ARTILLERY, AMERICAL DIV.
See http://www.coffeltdatabase.org/detreq2.php
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POSTED ON 8.7.2020
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear Cpl Frank McCutcheon, Thank you for your service as a Cannon Fire Direction Specialist. I researched you on your 73rd birthday, happy birthday. Saying thank you isn't enough, but it is from the heart. Today is Purple Heart Day. Time passes quickly, but our world needs help. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage, guidance and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 11.21.2016

Ground Casualty

PFC Frank S. McCutcheon III was a cannon fire direction specialist serving with A Battery, 3rd Battalion, 18th Artillery, Americal Division. On February 2, 1971, PFC McCutcheon was fatally injured when the firebase he was stationed on came under an enemy mortar attack. He was posthumously promoted to corporal. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org] The following is a personal account from a soldier present during the attack: The place Frank was KIA was called LZ Cindy (Landing Zone Cindy), we were the artillery firebase sometimes referred to as Firebase Cindy. The firebase had 80 to 90 people and was isolated from the rest of the division as it was only accessible to the military by air. We were located at Tra Bong in Quang Ngai Province, about 30 kilometers or so from the coast and was known in prewar times as the cinnamon producing capital of Viet Nam, i.e., “the Cinnamon Forest.” It was also known for having the shortest runway in the country. The runway was necessary for fixed-wing C-7 Caribou aircraft to resupply the firing battery. Ammo for the guns was so heavy and cumbersome that helicopters could not keep up with the tonnage demand for gun ammo. Cargo planes were necessary. We were a blend of three units defending what I believe was a district capital at the time. These units were the ARVN Ranger Group, the MACV guys, and my firing battery (A battery). We were positioned to the west of and out beyond the operating areas of the U.S. infantry brigade (198th) operating in the Americal area, and we depended on the Green Beret (MACV) guys and ARVN soldiers (a newly formed Ranger battalion made from local Regional Forces and Popular Forces) for any protection from ground assaults. Frank was part of the FDC (Fire Direction Center) crew. These guys call the mission, they call the gun, and tell us gun bunnies the data we needed to align and elevate the cannon properly so we hit the target and not some mountain ridge on the way or anything but the desired target. These guys in the FDC worked 12 hours on and 12 hours off seven days a week. I got to know Frank as oftentimes those guys, when not busy, would come out to the guns and hang around so they could help us if we had a large mission or were short a guy or so. Our battery was an integrated battery, two 8” howitzers, and two 175mm Guns. The 8” howitzers shot a 204 lb. projectile (range about 10 air miles) and the 175’s shot a 149/150 lb. shell and 60 lbs. of composition B propellant (range about 21 air miles). The gun crew would tire easily if the mission was heavy, and the extra guys were often times a great help. This is how I got to know Frank, always willing to help when not busy. He taught me how to plot fire missions in the FDC and beat that old FADAC (Field Artillery Digital Automatic Computer, a WW II firing calculator) machine every time. The FDC was a redoubt. It was located in the center of the firebase and had its own gate and fighting positions (fox holes). If the firebase was overrun or infiltrated, the FDC had a chance to defend itself separate from the rest of the base. The radio was there, and that made it worth the extra effort to defend. On the night of the attack that killed Frank, I was on the perimeter looking south toward the air strip and the old French fort. Frank was manning the foxhole inside the FDC fencing, guarding the gate into the FDC. I believe the mortars started coming in in the early morning hours (1 or 2 AM), but not really sure of the hour. From where I was, I can’t say for sure, but it seemed like rounds fell for an hour or so, some coming in to our perimeter, some purposely going into the village. The NVA had no regrets about killing people in the village, and it appeared that they shot a round at us, then the village, then us, then the village. I did not see the round that got Frank, just the medivac afterward. Story at the time was that Frank was manning the hole with a guy named PFC Brown (FDC also), Brown dropped a bandolier of M16 ammo and bent down to pick it up, Frank looked sideways and down to watch him pick it up. The round landed in front of the foxhole and tore into Franks face at the side. I believe he died in that hole. Brown got his arm shredded with shrapnel and survived. That is the story I heard in the morning. I cannot attest to any of it as I was on the perimeter elsewhere, so its hearsay I guess. The FDC then put an 8” crew on their gun and fired up the ridgeline to the south (my viewing area) and set the quadrant at 240 degrees (unbelievably low, I never recall ever firing that low) and proceeded to take out the ridgeline working from west to east. I do not know for sure, my thoughts at the time it happened was that perhaps 100 rounds fell, over what seemed to be a long period of time, not fast and furious, just a plunk, plunk, plunk that never seemed to stop. The shelling stopped after the 8” action was complete. The attack was over. Later I heard they found 3 dead NVA and a mortar tube in the area hit by the 8” gun. After my return home from RVN, I wrote a letter to the Creighton Abrams command in Saigon to see if there ever was an investigation into Franks death as there was some funny business before the shelling started, but no inquiry was ever conducted. Frank was a quiet guy and a real nice guy. We played chess in the lull periods, and planned to see each other after we got home (he was from Iowa, me, Illinois). The area Tra Bong is also the centerpiece of a book called “The Things They Carried with Them,” by Tim O’Brien, where the author describes the area pretty well. I have heard it is also the centerpiece of a Disney film called “Operation Dumbo Drop.” Frank was a real nice guy, quiet, honest, helpful, and I liked him a lot. He was smart, he did not use his head for just a hat rack. I got the impression early on that he knew a lot more than he showed, that he was meant for greater things. [Narrative by Anonymous (November 2016)]
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POSTED ON 7.23.2016
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

i'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Corporal Frank Stan McCutcheon, Served with Battery A, 3rd Battalion, 18th Artillery Regiment, Americal Division.
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