To See What Homer
Never Forget The Price Paid by Veterans For Our Freedom
Here you will experience life among the Grunts, who slept in the mud of the Ho Chi Minh Trail on the Cambodia/Laos Border. There are stories of unsung heroes, bravery, regrets, and haunting mistakes. I was a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Headquarters Commander in base camp, and a Company Commander in the field. Come along as I recall courage, death, anger, fear, sadness, and red Pleiku mud. Arriving a Second Lieutenant and leaving a Captain after two consecutive tours, nearly destroyed me psychologically. Go on to the 4th Infantry Division Unit Pages to get the full story. Over 300 Veterans have contributed materials to this site.
Ivy Leaf Shoulder Patch
the 4th Infantry Division
Click here for more info on patch symbolism
Bullets was the nickname
of 1/8th Infantry. We wore a bullet in the camouflage band of our steel pots, a sign we did not intend to be captured alive!
Above - Me as XO
of B/1/8 on run from Dak To to Pleiku during the dusty dry season.
Below - Bathing in a stream at Polei Kleng, just minutes before a mortar attack and my departure to join Task Force Alpha.
"Thou Shalt Not Kill."
Someone I deeply regret KILLING, was a young NVA Medic, Hoàng Ngọc Đảm.
This photo of Dam is on an Altar in his family's home. To view other Personal Documents carried by this heroic Medic, the story of our deadly encounter, and the impact of returning these personal documents to his family and village, nearly 35 years later, click on the photo. This simple act resolved only one of the nearly 200,000 missing in action cases Vietnam is still desperately investigating. In May 2008 I returned to Vietnam and aided the Hoang family in locating and returning Dam's remains to the family cemetery.
Nation Books released Wandering Souls: Journeys With the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam late in September 2009. On March 19, 1969, then young First Lieutenant Homer R. Steedly, Jr., shot and killed a North Vietnamese Medic, Hoàng Ngọc Đảm, when they met on a jungle trail. Nearly forty years later he returned to locate and bury Dam's remains in the village cemetery. This book tells that emotional journey with details from both sides. It is a captivating story written by Wayne Karlin, a former Marine Corp helicopter door gunner in Vietnam, who has written extensively on the Vietnam War and visits the country often. The "Thou Shalt Not Kill" section above tells of his aid in my journey. My version of the story pales in comparison to Wayne's. Everyone should read this story. It will touch your very soul.
To read my complete story, click My Combat Stories. To read about the other units, who served with me in the 4th Infantry in Vietnam, click on 4th Infantry Division Unit Pages. These links also appear on the floating menu for Java equipped browsers.
Any of you who served with me, please contact me and tell me what you remember of these events. I can't be sure my memories are accurate after over all this time and I know each of you have different viewpoints and memories. You all have stories to tell, many that I was too busy to even notice. Write, email, send photo's, video, audio tapes. I will incorporate all stories into this site's guestbook and return your precious materials to you safely. I want to tell our story from all our perspectives. It's time everyone found out about us and what we did over there. Not all heroes got medals, in fact most did not. I do not remember all your names, but I do remember your courage every day, when I wake up alive and free, and again every night before I fall asleep. Help me to keep the memories of those we left behind alive for future generations. As John Lennon so aptly said in his 1969 single, lets just "Give Peace a Chance".
Anyone who served with, or in support of the 4th Infantry in Vietnam is welcome to contribute to this site. That includes the family members of those who served. Your story about how their service changed them and your lives is just as significant as the tales of your loved ones service overseas. We were all changed by the Vietnam experience. Click Here for more information about how to help me build this site and tell the complete story....
Where are all you support and service troops??? We grunts would never have made it without you. I know you have stories to tell...we want to hear them also.
|Here you will find some maps of our Area of Operations, including a pan and zoom topo. Click the magnifier...|
A/1/8th Crosby Texas Meetiing _ 1SGT McNerney - Nine Days in May remembered.
Good morning A Company and friends.
Starting this year, 2020 there will be a slight change in our meeting dates in Crosby TX.
Each year, we will meet during the 4th week of March on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, acknowledging the importance of March 22, a day A Company will never forget. The days will always fall in the week of March 22. By doing this it, will provide everyone a consistent yearly date to depend on in future years and to help plan in advance for our A Company gathering, First Sergeant McNerney Scholarship presentation, breakfast, and National Cemetery events.
This year it will be Tuesday March 24, Wednesday March 25, Thursday March 26.
Everyone is welcome to meet with us. More details coming as plans are finalized.
Capt Richard Koelle
4th Bn, 42nd Artillery
5th Bn, 16th Artillery
Hello, my name is Karl Koelle. My father, Capt Richard Koelle, was killed at Bragg in 1975. I've been doing
some research recently and found that he was with the
HSB, 4th Bn 42nd Arty, 4th Infantry summer of 1969-early 1970,
then it looks like he was with
5th Bn 16th Arty the rest of his tour.
I know very little about my father's time there other than some pictures in an album. I would love to learn more about his military service.
Thanks for your service and thanks for the site.
You can contact Karl through the Swamp_Fox email address at the bottom of the page.
Sp/4 Dennis Allen Watson
E CO, 4TH ENG BN, 4TH INF DIV
I found your website today through a Google search. My maternal grandfather had a cousin, Dennis A. Watson, who served in the 4th Infantry, 4th Engineer Battalion, E Company from February 1969 to his death in December 1969. I know a division is a very large group of men, but I'm wondering if yourself or anyone else who contacted you through your site may have known Dennis.
I would also appreciate any insight you might be able to provide of what an engineer battalion would have done in Pleiku.
I'm very new to learning about the Vietnam War as it's history wasn't really taught when I was in school.
Thank you for reading,
You can contact Isaac through the Swamp_Fox email address at the bottom of the page.
RE: Kenny Danner
A Company. 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment 4th Infantry Division, VietnamMy Dad was drafted in 1966. By 1967 he was in Vietnam, assigned to A/1/8 as a Medic. He was not one of the originals since he went through basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO. I'm trying to confirm if he was part of the Nine Days in May Battle that stretched from May 18th -27th of 1967. He was shot in the spleen on May 20th, but they patched him up and at some point he was able to return to duty, at least for long enough to catch some shrapnel. He came home before his Company made it to Dak To in November 1967.
He doesn't like to talk specifically about himself so all the stories I've heard from him are more like anecdotes. I was hoping someone here might have more info to share with me. He says I care too much about the past, but I say I just care about him.
Thanks for any and all help.
I would like to post a message on your guest book to try and find "Gator 376". They pulled a rescue mission/extraction of a SF team on 21 December 1967. The SF Team member that was lost on that mission was Lee Dalton Scurlock, who went MIA when he fell off the rope ladder during the extraction. I am doing research on that particular incident for his surviving family members.
If you can help Tezeon find Gator 376, contact me at the Swamp_Fox email address at the bottom of this page and I will forward your email.
SFC Darrell "Moe" Elmore
5th Special Forces Group
Special Augmentation Unit
Attached to 4th Infantry
In the summer of 1967 our project (Det B-50, Project Omega, 5th SFGA) had a launch site at Plei Djerang where we were running missions along the border and in the Plei Trap Valley region. Between June and August we got a call that one of the 4th Div LRRP teams had been inserted into our AO and were engaged by some Montangard VC with at least one US KIA and one US WIA (I was in the hole at the time so I was not on our reaction force). According to our Commander the Division did not have the team plotted and when they finally sorted it out, our guys deployed and recovered the team. I would appreciate it if anyone recalled the event and could give the full story.
If you remember this action, please contact him through the swamp_fox email address at the bottom of the page.
Samuel Jackson Brady Jr.
D Battery, 5th Battalion, 16th Artillery
4th Infantry Division, Vietnam.
Brady passed away and I want to make a wall mounted memorial to give to his wife. I am looking for any information about his service, so as to be, as accurate as possible, in constructing this remberance. If you knew Brady or were in his unit, please make contact through this website using the swamp_fox email address at the bottom of the page.
Help this daughter connect with her Veteran father.
I hope this email finds you well. I am helping my mother look for her father, who was stationed in Pleiku in 1967. My mother was born August 1967 and also has a younger sister that was born 2-3 years after her, same father. A few years later, he came home to the states and brought my moms younger sister home and my mom was in a different city so was not able to come back with him. After everything, my grandma burned any pictures or letters that had to do with my grandpa because the communists were coming and they could not risk their lives. With that being said, we do not have any name or address. The only information I have of him is he should be about 74-78 years old, younger than my grandma, had a family member that was a nurse, and called my mom "Lucky" as a nickname. If you have any information or anyone I could get in contact with, please let me know. I would love for my mom and her father to be reunited, or for her to know any information about him.
Use the email address at the bottom of this page to contact me, if you can help.
704th Maintenance Battalion - Headquarters and A Company
4th Infantry Division
An Khe Vietnam 1970
Unit Photo Album
Click on Photo for to go to the photo gallery.
There are 76 pages in this book with hundreds of photos of the men of Headquarters and A Company, 704th Maintenace Battalion.
It was published in An Khe, Vietnam in 1970. Some photos were cut out of my copy. If you can supply the missing images, please do.
If you would like a CD with the restored images, suitable for printing, contact me at the Swamp_Fox email address at the bottom of the page. I will also include on the CD this website in a format you can review with any computer browser.
Due to the cost of production of the CD and the 100+ hours it took to scan and restore the images, I must ask for a donation of $20.00 for the CD. Part of the money will go to the increasing cost of maintaninig this website. Any other donations are most welcome.
I would like to personally offer up my sincere thanks to all you hard working support troops, who kept us supplied with the equipment we needed to do our job in the jungles. Having spent two months as Headquarters Company commander for the 1/8th Infantry, in basecamp at Pleiku, I know first hand the hassles of life there. I think I actually preferred the honesty and simplicity of the jungles. We grunts do appreciate all you did for us.
HSB, 5/16th Artillery
Please contact me...someone wants to make contact with you.
I will use some of this money to offset the increasing cost of maintaining the website.
|Daughter of Larry (Bemis) Savin --- K Company, 75th Rangers, is looking for a picture of him in Nam. Her Dad just passed away & she wants to know more about him. She said that he was wounded but doesn't know the date. If you can help with this, contact me at the Swamp_Fox email address at the bottom of the page.|
Looking to contact Lt. Tom Spangler, Platoon Leader D/1/8 nickname "Rat", Late 1967 - 1968. Contact through Swamp_Fox email below...
Searching for anyone that knew my father, Thomas Earl Atkinson, 4th Infantry, Pleiku 67-68. Field Wireman assigned to HHC, 1st of the 8th Infantry, from Mississippi. Also I would like to know what medals he should have received. Contact through Swamp_Fox email below...
Calling All 4th Infantry Division, Vietnam Veterans
I need your help! I get many requests from Veterans and their families to locate orders that show their awards and decorations, often to correct their personnel files, or to receive benefits. If you have any orders from Vietnam, awards and decorations orders, travel orders, anything that has names of servicemen who served in Vietnam, please get me a good photocopy, or even better a 200dpi computer scan of them. I will not release any SSAN or Service numbers to anyone, except those listed on the orders. This is really important! Go through your stuff...copies of orders were often included in the awards case, when the award was made, and they have many other people listed, as well.
Thanks...Homer - aka Swampfox
Use email address at bottom of page to contact me for mailing address or phone number. You have to type in the address manually, and don't forget to include the "Underscore" character between the Swamp and fox. Swamp_fox
PFC James O. Holiday, D/1/8th Infanrty, served in Vietnam from January 1966 - wounded 7 January 1968. Looking for fellow soldiers.
Mark Garrison, 119th, AHC (Croc's and Gators), flew during the final extraction of Task Force Alpha from Hill 467. He was one of the Croc's who provided gunship support for us and his book "GUTS 'N GUNSHIPS" gives great insight into what these brave souls faced during their tour. My respect for those brave aviators has always been deep, but hearing the details from their perspective, makes their courage and dedication even more amazing. Read this book if you want to know more about the pilots, co-pilots, and crew and their daily lives in combat. You can hear an audio of his role in the Battle of Hill 467 by Task Force Alpha Here.
Robert Clifton is looking for members of C/2/35th Infantry, who might have been in country, when he received the Bronze Star.
The 4th Infantry Division underwent a major reorganization and became a “modular” division, and as a result, the 124th Signal Battalion was inactivated on 16 December 2004 and remains inactive to this day. A Specialist from Hq & Hq Bn, 4th Inf Div has located thousands of photos from the 124th and needs help identifying these images in his efforts to preserve these important historical documents. Click Here to see his guestbook posting.
Colonel Hale H. Knight was 1st Brigade Commander with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam from 24 October 1968 through 21 April 1969+. He was one of the finest combat leaders I have ever known. Only recently have I learned where he came by his incredible understanding of the soldier on the ground in a jungle environment. It appears Colonel Knight was a hero and accomplished jungle fighter early on in his career while serving with Detachment 101 of the Office of Strategic Services in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II. Colonel Knight died in June 2001 and was buried in Arlington that July. His family has graciously allowed us to post nearly 200 photos from his personal collection. Many of the Brigade and Battalion Staff, as well as, many Company Commanders are shown here for the first time. Click on his photo for the full story and photo gallery.
Joe Galloway's "God's
Own Lunatics" tribute to the 4,095 helicopter pilots,
crewmembers and observers lost in the Vietnam War.
The sound of chopper blades still stir my soul nearly half a century later.
Please send me the link to any page with errors since the last site update.
Homer R. Steedly Jr.
Infantry Small Unit Commander
1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
4th Infantry Division, Vietnam
2Lt. 1st Plt Ldr, B/1/8th Infantry ------------ AUG 1968 - NOV 1968
1Lt. Executive Officer, B/1/8th Infantry ---- NOV 1968 - MAY 1969
1Lt. CO HHC, 1/8th Infantry Battalion ----- MAY 1969 - OCT 1969
Cpt. CO D/1/8th Infantry -------------------- OCT 1969 - FEB 1970
Cpt. S-3 Air, 1/8th Inf, Battalion TOC ----- FEB-MAR 1970
I served two tours in the Jungles of the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, along the Cambodia/Laos border, patrolling the Ho Chi Minh Trail system...Dak To – Ban Me Thout – Pleiku – An Khe – Qui Nhon, but spent most of my time in the triple canopy jungles, sleeping in the mud, heat, insects and climbing those awful hills.
If you decide to call me, you have to leave a message and return number.
I only pickup for family. I will call you back as soon as I get your message.
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Webmaster:Homer R. Steedly Jr. (Email: ) Copyright 08/12/1995 - 03/29/2020. Commercial Use of material on this site is prohibited.