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4th Infantry Division Pathfinder Detachment
Status (KIA - Killed in Action: DAT - Died after Tour) Flt Duty (P,IP,CE,OBS,G) Date last updated 04/17/2013
I was a member of the 4th Pathfinder Det. We were activated in August 1966 and left with the division on the General John Pope and arrived at Plieku in Sept.
There were only seven of us originally. Lt Antony Stricker, Sgt Wesley,Sgt Devanish, Cpls Ray, Miller, and Gribben(me), and PFC Mabry. AT Plieku we picked up the rest of the Detachment over the next few months and at full strength we had 2 Lieutenants and 15 enlisted men.
The H & H company commander was Major William Kaufman.
By December of ,66, we were at full strength,2 Lts and 15 EM.
Our tent was near the Repo Depo, next the rappelling tower and one tent away from the supply tent, run by Sgt Manuel Soto And SPC4 Sal Grigola.
Our call sign was "Nightjumper"
We lost one member during my time there, Spc 4 Emmit Pope Jr,was KIA Jan,15,1967. Our C.O. was Major Richard Kauffman and later Capt William Pratt.
We did Pathfinder work with the entire division.
On Feb 17th '67,on a combat assault the helicopter attempting to deliver myself, Lt Stricker, Sgt Wesley and PFC Jim Tarian into a hot L.Z. was shot down.
The doorgunner was KIA and the pilot was badly wounded. I think the crew were from D troop and I never knew there names. Major Kaufman was piloting the second bird and was shot up also, however they were able to crash land about a mile away and the crew and the infantry men they were carrying were picked up safely.
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Last updated April 17, 2013