ALTON J ZERANGUE JR
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HONORED ON PANEL 15E, LINE 52 OF THE WALL

ALTON JOSEPH ZERANGUE JR

WALL NAME

ALTON J ZERANGUE JR

PANEL / LINE

15E/52

DATE OF BIRTH

10/10/1936

CASUALTY PROVINCE

KONTUM

DATE OF CASUALTY

02/16/1967

HOME OF RECORD

ARNAUDVILLE

COUNTY OF RECORD

St. Martin Parish

STATE

LA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SSGT

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR ALTON JOSEPH ZERANGUE JR
POSTED ON 9.14.2019

Final Mission of SSG Alton J. Zerangue Jr.

On February 16, 1967, during the fourth day of Operation Sam Houston, Company A, 1st Battalion, 22d Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, was conducting a search and destroy mission west of Pleiku in the Plei Trap Valley. The point squad observed several North Vietnamese Army soldiers and gave chase, leading them into an ambush which they were unable to disengage until nightfall. The contact was with an enemy force that apparently was moving east and led them directly into the numerically superior NVA force. The squad received intense enemy automatic weapons fire and was subsequently cut off from the remainder of the company. Squad Leader SSG Alton J. Zerangue Jr. immediately organized his men into a defensive perimeter, and they counterattacked with a heavy volume of fire. The enemy inflicted many casualties among the squad, however, SSG Zerangue utilized his remaining forces to delay the enemy, giving the rest of the company time to regroup and form a defensive perimeter. Zerangue was wounded three times but remained with his squad to lead them against the enemy until he was mortally wounded. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for bravery. The vegetation in the area of the battle was extremely dense and the enemy used this to their advantage by deploying numerous accurate snipers in the trees and undergrowth very close to Company A’s position. The Americans requested close artillery support and air strikes including CBU (“cluster bombs”) and napalm. A heavy volume of fire was placed on the sniper's positions as soon as they were determined. When the battle ended, twenty-one members of A Company had been lost. The fallen troopers with Zerangue included PFC Channing Allen Jr., SGT Lee R. Bays, SP4 Anastacio H. Beltran, PFC William M. Berenwick, PFC Lanny R. Bolding, PFC Douglas R. Colbert, SGT Donald R. Dorman, PFC Curtis L. Duck, PFC Larry S. Fetherolf, SSG Walter W. Haring, PFC Clemente D. Hernandez, PFC Elmer F. Kepsel, SP4 Kenneth L. Koster, CPL Richard A. Lawrence, SP4 Lewis Lee, SP4 Marlow M. Loecker, CPT Colin D. Mac Manus, PFC John E. Oocumma, CPL Donald. L. Schnee, and SP4 Richard Tarkington Jr. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and SSG Zerangue’s Silver Star citation]
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POSTED ON 11.11.2016
POSTED BY: James King

Thank you. You would be proud.

I never had the opportunity to meet you, sir, but I am thankful for your service. You made the ultimate sacrifice and it shall not be forgotten.

I did have the opportunity to know your son, Keith.
I just want to say that you would be very proud.

Thank you.
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POSTED ON 2.16.2015
POSTED BY: A Grateful Vietnam Vet

Silver Star Citation

Alton Joseph Zerangue , Jr.
Date of birth: October 10, 1936
Date of death: February 16, 1967
Place of Birth: Louisiana, Arnaudale
Home of record: Arnaudale Louisiana
Status: KIA

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Silver Star

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Alton Joseph Zerangue, Jr. (ASN: RA-25506494), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Staff Sergeant Zerangue distinguished himself by intrepid actions on 16 February 1967 while serving as the point Squad Leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 22d Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. During a search and destroy mission west of Pleiku, the company made contact with a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. Staff Sergeant Zerangue's squad received intense enemy automatic weapons fire and was subsequently cut off from the remainder of the company. He immediately organized his men into a defensive perimeter, and they countered the attack with a heavy volume of fire. Although the enemy inflicted many casualties among his squad, he utilized the forces remaining and delayed the enemy attack giving the rest of the company time to regroup and form a defensive perimeter. During the attack, Staff Sergeant Zerangue was twice wounded, but refused to be evacuated. Instead, he remained in the heat of the battle, guiding and positioning his squad in order to counter the enemy's attack. He was subsequently wounded a third time, but remained with his squad to lead them against the enemy until he was mortally wounded. Staff Sergeant Zerangue's prominent display of aggressiveness, devotion to duty and personal bravery was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Action Date: February 16, 1967

Service: Army

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: Company A

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 22d Infantry Regiment

Division: 4th Infantry Division
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POSTED ON 12.8.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear SSGT Alton Joseph Zerangue Jr, 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, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 4.14.2011
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

ALton is buried at St Francis Regis Church Cemetery, Arnaudville,LA. SS PH
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