JAMES R SPELLER
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HONORED ON PANEL 30E, LINE 34 OF THE WALL

JAMES RONALD SPELLER

WALL NAME

JAMES R SPELLER

PANEL / LINE

30E/34

DATE OF BIRTH

02/05/1949

CASUALTY PROVINCE

KONTUM

DATE OF CASUALTY

11/19/1967

HOME OF RECORD

WINDSOR

COUNTY OF RECORD

Bertie County

STATE

NC

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

PFC

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JAMES RONALD SPELLER
POSTED ON 1.31.2021
POSTED BY: ANON

Never forgotten

On the remembrance of your 72nd birthday, your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Forever 18.

HOOAH
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POSTED ON 3.3.2019

Misadventure (Friendly Fire)

On November 19, 1967, during the Battle of Dak, one of the worst friendly fire incidents of the Vietnam War occurred when a Marine Corps fighter-bomber dropped two bombs into the perimeter where officers and noncommissioned officers of 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry had set up a command post with their radio operators. The soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade were dug in on the steep southern slope of Hill 875, fighting beside napalm fires and exposed to the guns of North Vietnamese Army shooting from tunnels nearby. Just past dusk, after making three dry runs over the battlefield, the Marine Corps A-4 attack jet descended to 1,000 feet above the jungle and released two 250-pound Mk-81 bombs fitted with Snakeye fins. Barreling in on a shallow 10-degree angle at hundreds of miles per hour, the two bombs from the A-4 hit the ground. One was a dud. The other exploded in a huge orange fireball. Instead of hitting the North Vietnamese, the bomb struck the branches of a lone tree along the Americans’ perimeter, under which the battalion had set up their command post. It was also a casualty-collection point where the most badly wounded soldiers were being treated by medics while awaiting medevac helicopters to take them off the hill. The bomb killed 21 men and wounded 10 more, including most of the remaining senior leaders and medics. A single radio operator was spared when he was protected by a pile of broken tree trunks that absorbed deadly fragments. The dead included MAJ Charles Watters, a 40-year-old Catholic priest who served as the battalion’s chaplain. Earlier in the battle, Watters had ventured out past the perimeter several times to rescue wounded soldiers, carrying or dragging them to safety, providing first aid and administering last rites to the dying—actions for which he was later awarded the Medal of Honor. After witnessing what happened below, a crewman on a U.S. Air Force AC-47 “Spooky” gunship flying in a slow circle 3,000 feet above the dead and wounded troops tossed parachute flares out the back of the plane to help survivors on the ground see in the darkness. The lost Americans included PFC Mario A. Cisneros, SP4 Gary R. Cooper, SP4 Gerald L. George Jr., SP4 Mark R. Hering, SP4 Thomas P. Huddleston, PVT Roger A. Kros, PFC Robert C. La Vallee Jr., SP4 Andrew J. Orosz, PFC William A. Ross, SP4 Robert J. Sanders, SP4 Jack H. Shoop Jr., SP4 Lewis B. Smith, PFC James R. Speller, SP4 Harry E. Stephens, 1LT Richard W. Thompson, PFC Richard Walker Jr., MAJ Charles J. Watters, and SSG Remer G. Williams. The remains of three Skysoldiers have never been found—SP4 Jack L. Croxdale II, PFC Benjamin D. DeHerrera, and SGT Donald Iandoli. A January 1968 U.S. Air Force investigation into the incident was inconclusive, declaring that “there is insufficient evidence to determine the exact cause of the short round” before blaming “improper release conditions.” The investigator recommended that pilots undergo remedial training and that the investigation be closed, as it had revealed “no gross personnel errors nor evidence of equipment malfunction.” [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and “The Secret History of a Vietnam War Airstrike Gone Terribly Wrong” by John Ismay, nytimes.com, January 2019]
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POSTED ON 2.5.2019
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Private First Class James Ronald Speller, Served with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, United States Army Vietnam.
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POSTED ON 12.14.2018
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 11.19.2018
POSTED BY: Janice Current

An American Hero

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Thank you for stepping up and answering your country's call. Rest easy knowing you will never be forgotten.
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