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War Buddies

This page contains pictures of soldiers that I knew during the Vietnam War.  I don’t remember everybodies name, which is a shame.  I hope I will be able to put names to all the people that I served with in the 1st Platoon.  As you can imagine, we had new guys joining 1st Platoon all the time.  Some of the guys were new to our platoon as I was getting to be a ‘short timer’ in Vietnam.

*

3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, Company C, 3/187th, 101st Airborne:

3rd Squad - Ed Raines in shirt, Sgt Alvin Dunn, unkown, Jack Schmitz, Ray Fleming, unknown with hand on chin and Ralph Crutts crouching.

 Sp4 – Jeff Crabtree:

Jeff/Jerry 'Hillbilly' Crabtree

 SP4 – Jack Schmitz with Woody:

Jack Schmitz & Val 'Woody' Wuthrich

Val ‘Woody’ Wuthrich and Ralph Crutts:

Val 'Woody' Wuthrich and Ralph Crutts

 Sgt Alvin Dunn and Sgt Roman Perez:

Sgt Alvin Dunn and Sgt Roman Perez at Camp Evans or Eagle.

Sgt Alvin Dunn:

Sgt. Dunn at fire base near A Shau Valley.

 Bandolier:

Sgt - Name unknow.

Bandolier

Alfredo Hernandez and Greg West:

Alfredo Hernandez and Greg West at firebase

 

 Wilkerson and Val ‘Woody’ Wuthrich at LZ

Wilkerson with Val 'Woody' at LZ

Wilkerson with Val 'Woody' at LZ

ARVN soldier and Acker: 

ARVN and unknown buddy, I think he was a Sergeant, standing at LZ

ARVN and Acker at mountain LZ

 Val ‘Woody’ Wuthrich and Wilson:

Val 'Woody' Wuthrich with Wilson at firebase near A Shau Valley

Jack Schmitz and Val ‘Woody’ Wuthrich:

Jack Schmitz and Val 'Woody' Wuthrich

 Hunter:

Hunter on fire base.

Val ‘Woody’ Wuthrich and Nohn: 

Val, 'Woody' with Nohn, a Kit Carson Scout attached to Charlie Company.

Val, 'Woody' with Nohn, a Kit Carson Scout attached to Charlie Company.

 Jack Schmitz:

Jack Schmitz at firebase

 Jack Schmitz and Ralph Crutts:

Jack Schmitz and Ralph Crutts at firebase

 Unknown:

Unknown war buddies playing cards late in the day at a firebase

 Unknown:

Unknown war buddy at firebase.

Unknown soldier between ARVN soldiers: 

War Buddy between two ARVN soldiers, with me trying to get into the picture.

Val ‘Woody’ Wuthrich and Ed Raines: 

Raines giving me a 'G.I.' haircut on a firebase. I'm drinking a beer, it's probably a warm one.

 Bell:

Bell at camp Evans, writing a letter home.

 Unknown buddy:

Unknown buddy on firebase near A Shau Valley

Unknown buddy on firebase near A Shau Valley

 46 Responses to “War Buddies”

  1. Victor "frenchy" Guenther says:

    First of all this is more then an impressive web site!!!! Jack Schmitz is a good friend of mine, we went to high school together. He was drafted in May ’68 and I was drafted in Sept. ’69. He got the short end of the stick and went to Viet Nam & I went to Okinawa. I would like to give him some of these photos as a surprise, if he doesn’t already have them, I would be glad to pay for the photos & postage. Please let me know if this is possible.
    Thank You
    Vic Guenther

  2. Pvt.Floyd says:

    My great Uncle Ronnie Anderson was in Vietnam. It’s sad though. My family doesn’t know if he did comunications, or infantry. They don’t know what hospital he’s in now. They forgot his birthday, rank, middle name, and all of that simple stuff you learn as kids. It hurts to know that he could pass away, if he hasn’t already, without knowing someone in his family loves him, though I’ve never met him. I’ve been looking for him for the past 2 years. He’s not to blame for how he is now. He gave something that’s worth more than his life, his sanity. If anyone that sees this knew or knows of a Ronnie Anderson please let me know. CageRageCannibal@yahoo.com thank you

  3. Woody says:

    Floyd, I’m sorry that you never got to meet your uncle Ronnie. I’m also sorry that you don’t know if he is dead or alive, and if he’s alive where he is at. Can you tell me more about him? I will tell you that if he was in the Vietnam War, he is a war hero. There are men that I served with in Vietnam that I can’t find now. It is hard to find people, but with the help of the internet it’s easier than it used to be. I don’t know how you can go about finding your uncle, but hopefully you can find men who knew him in Vietnam. Please right again.

  4. Anita Wender says:

    Woody, I am so glad you posted this info about my brother Terry Wender. The idea of a sense of peace surrounding him at his death is most conforting. I and another sister live in Atlanta and his other siblings live in Bozeman, MT, Houghton, MI, and Manitowoc WI. Today is Memorial Day and so I salute you and all who served in Vietnam. The ripples seem endless.

  5. Awesome pics! I appreciate the post so much! ;)

  6. Anita Wender says:

    Hi again Woody, just another note to let you know we do read and gain much from your blog. It has opened up a whole new dimension to memory and history. Through it I have met you and in the future might be able to make contact with others who served with my brother Terry. I know what you are doing is not easy but know it is appreciated and keep up the good work and most of all your spirits.

  7. Woody says:

    Hi Anita, it was great to talk to you on the phone today. I have been thinking a lot about the things we talked about. I have decided to step back from writing about ‘Hamburger Hill’. Like I said, I’m going to go back to the first of 1969 to try and fill in some of the blanks before ‘Hamburger Hill’. I’m going to use the letters that I wrote home in conjuction with the letters that Terry wrote home and try and flesh out the stories of us ‘boys’ as we progressed towards those fateful days in May of 1969. As I said I have really been struggling with writing about my experiences. It’s hard to put those memories out there and then not really knowing what people are thinking of it. I do get some feedback, but not as much as I would expect or like to see. Woody

  8. Lil Wayne says:

    I typically don’t reply on sites but you have some good information material.

  9. Jeannie Hannah says:

    A very dear friend of mine fought in Vietnam. Roger Kingry. If anyone has any pics of him, would you email them to me.
    Thanks!

  10. kathleen says:

    Loved your site. Looking for anyone who knew Charles Annunziata from Sea Cliff New York. We were very close and I wrote him every day while he was in Vietnam. He just passed and I wanted to see if anyone knew him. He has 2 kids
    Thanks,
    Kathleen

  11. Woody says:

    Hi Kathleen, I don’t thik I knew Charles. Can you give more particulars as to what unit he served with and what years he was in Vietnam? Any information about his Vietnam service may be helpful in finding people that he served with and knew him. Woody

  12. James C. Kimble says:

    Woody

    I’m a USN Vietnam Vet. Served 1966 thru 1968. Loved the site. Need to know if you ever knew a good friend of mine
    by the name of Bundy Jenkins? He served in the U.S. Army and was on Hamburger Hill and was awarded the Bronze Star.
    Again your site is great and God Bless all our Brothers and Sisters that served in Vietnam.

    Thanks

    JC Kimble

  13. Woody says:

    Hi JC, I didn’t know Bundy Jenkins. Do you know which Battalion and Company he served in? Thank you for your positive comment. More later. Woody

  14. John Bianchi says:

    Great site, miss and remember all who served, died and wounded and made it back to the WORLD. C co. HH 3/187Inf 101st.

  15. Debra Stone says:

    I believe the last picture is of JB Stone. I am married to him, he is terminally ill, 100% service connection. Trying to locate some of his army buddies, He enjoyed your site.

  16. Rachele Anderson says:

    My father served in vietnam. Sergeant Michael Anderson 101st Airborne division, 327th infantry. I dont know much about my dad. im hoping someone can give me information about him. i found a picture of him in a Shua valley and seeing photos of men in the same place im praying someone knows him.

  17. Woody says:

    Hi Debra, It’s wonderful to hear from you. I can’t remember who the last picture is of on the War Buddies page. Can you tell me more about JB or do you have any other pictures of him in Vietnam? I have been having a hard time dealing with all my memories of Vietnam lately. I wish I could remember more detail, but it has just been to long. When I was younger I wanted to forget all about it, but now I would like to remember. Please write again. Woody

  18. Brendan says:

    Good blog. Thank you for this excellent posting. I enjoy it lots.

  19. Shirl says:

    Thank you a thousand times for your service. Do you remember anyone by the name of Steven Lafleur who was at Hamburger Hill?

  20. Woody says:

    Hi Shirl, I didn’t know anyone by that name. Do you know which unit he served with? If you could provide that information, maybe we can find somebody that served with and knew him.

  21. Anchor1 says:

    Thanks for some other magnificent post. The place else could anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect approach of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such information.

  22. Frank says:

    Dear Woody,

    Nice site, you have done a lot of work. I was w/C/3/187th for 2 trips to the field (“the bush”) in Feb and March of 69. C Co. did not have an FO and i was sent while A Co. was back at Evans and or FSB jack. As I recall we had contact a rew times and I handled the Artillery. I remember Cpt Griswald. I also remerber SFC Perez and what a good guy and leader he was. We played poker together.

  23. Chanisty Wood says:

    I was wondering if you knew a Ssgt. Heriberto Marrero Estrada. He was a friend of my friends dad. If you have any pictures of him please send them to my e-mail. thank you very much.

  24. Maggie Springer says:

    Val,
    I am thoroughly enjoying this amazing site that you put together. I know that a lot of your time has been put into this. The pictures are wonderful, they remind me of all the pictures that my dad has from his time in Vietnam (He was USMC 1-1, gunner, 1969-1970). When we spoke on the phone the other day regarding the military history of Hailey and the photo collage I had mentioned that the response had been “slim.” Today, after having 7-8 phone calls, the only pictures the committee has “received” are these that are on your blog. At this point, which upsets me to say, we don’t think the collage will happen this year…that’s not to say, though, that we cannot make it happen for next year. With how deep our country’s military history runs in Hailey it frustrates me that everything is so “unheard.” However, just the same, every Memorial Day more and more people come out to attend the ceremony. Maybe in time those same people will share their personal and family military history too. God Bless you, and Thank You, for your service to our country.

  25. Ernie Pirone says:

    Hi,
    Lately I have been thinking so much about all the men and women who were wounded or gave the ultimate sacrifice for their county. I am a Viet Nam vet, served in 1968-69 in Dinh Tuong Provence in the delta.

    For some reason yesterday I sent an email out, I never pass along emails, however this time I must. Seeing these pictures has been devastating to me.
    As a Viet Nam veteran I know first hand that most people, even most of my family members , just don’t give a damn about those children that have been forced to give their lives for our freedom. Sure they say they do but that’s BS. I have family members who never once wrote a letter to me during my 14 terrifying months in Viet Nam.

    I came home a different person. I left the comfort of my home in Bergenfield NJ a naïve, caring, sensitive child, age 20 and came back as a person that just didn’t give a damn for people.

    I am today that same person. I believe my life would have been much different if not for being drafted, spending my 21st birthday in a bunker wondering if I would live to see another sunrise. I do not want praise, I am NO hero. My best friend died in Viet Nam at the age of 21. You can look it up, his name is James O’ Shaunnessy (never could spell his name) he is my true hero.

    I bet if our shores were being invaded attitudes would change.

    I know I will not get any or only negative feedback, but shame on each and everyone of you who have not come to me or any Vet and said “Thank you for serving our country in Viet Nam.”. I smoked my first joint in Viet Nam and was addicted to this mood changer for almost 40 years.

    I watch the history channel everyday to educate myself about the horrors the World War II vets had to face as they stormed the beaches of France over 60 years ago, I for one feel I would not have the guts to get off one of those amphibious assault vehicles and face devastating machine gun fire. SHAME on each and everyone of you who has not watched a documentary on the wars we have fought. SHAME on each and everyone of you who has not called me to ask if that was what I faced.

    I am not religious, however may my higher power bless each vet you died or was wounded in the service of their country. If you have never visited a Vet hospital shame on you.

    A few months ago I posted a few pictures on Facebook of some devastation I experienced just to see what comments or silly “Likes” I would receive. I received 2.

    Most of you are very good people however I am sad to say most of you are full of shit.

    Talk is cheap, for the last 43 years how many of you have called me to acknowledge my service.

    I know this email is going to piss off so many if not all of you, I just have to say “I DON’T CARE”.

    Am I bitter, YOU BET, and it’s about time I said so. NOW IF YOU HAVE BALLS PASS THIS ALONG. Many thanks to my wonderful classmate Jack Carroll who continues to try to make people aware of the sacrifices some of us have made for this wonderful county. Many thanks to my beautiful nephew Brian who always asks me about my experiences in Viet Nam. These are 2 people who really care.

    To everyone in my address book, I would like to post here:

  26. Woody says:

    Hi Ernie,

    I too have felt the same way as you at times. I really went through a very tough stretch when I started this blog. I sought help from the V.A. and didn’t even find much help there. I was very depressed for a long time and even on A.D.’s I’m still somewhat depressed. I beleive I owe a lot of it to my experiences in Veitnam. When you are fresh of the farm, still green behind the ears and at very impressionable age, it makes an big impression on you when you wonder if you will ever see the ones you love again. Seeing your buddies killed and wondering if your number will be up next.

    I think most people don’t know all they have to do is say, ‘thank you’. I have had a small percentage say thank you. I always try to say thank you when I see a war veteran.

    Keep your chin up Erie and be proud that you served your country. What you wrote tells me that you are caring person, as is your classmate Jack Carroll.

    Gratefully yours,

    Val ‘Woody’ Wuthrich

  27. Faith says:

    I’m a teenager in high school and in my American Studies class we are learning about the Vietnam war at the moment. We had this homework assignment to read a collection of letters written from soldiers to their families, write a summery, and then find a picture to go with it. So this is how I found your blog here. I looked at the top of your page and saw 101st Airborne and remembered that one of the men had that title also. He had several other titles listed under his letter too, all of which I don’t know what they mean. But his name is Peter H. Roepcke. Served from Sept 1969 to April 1970. Broke is leg jumping from a helicopter. But sadly died of a heart-attack in 1981.

    P.S…I live in Washington State…not too far from Idaho!

  28. Bill Heaney says:

    I am very impressed with your site I wish I had the talent to get mine to look like that. I deployed with delta co from Ft Campell in 67. Was wounded 8-3-68.

  29. Ted says:

    -Ernie, I thank you for your sacrifice, and I visit vets.

    -Woody I would like to get in contact with some one who posted on here earlier. Debra Stone posted on June 2nd 2011. I am an actor about to shoot a documentary tv show and I think I am playing the role of her husband. The Vietnam fighter pilots name is Captain JB Stone.
    If you could help me get in contact with her I would be very great full. If there was anyone who could help me honor the man and the service he performed it would be her.

    Thank you
    Ted Neal

  30. Tyson says:

    My grandpa was on Hamburger Hill but I do not know what division he was in. I believe he was a Buck Sgt at the time I honestly do not remember that is just kinda what rings a bell. Anyway his name is Jerry Brown, he was one of the lucky ones on Hamburger Hill and came off unscathed, Interesting story though, he said when him and another guy came off the hill covered in mud they walked past a young low ranking Colonel and because they did not give him a full salute he began to rip their a*s until a full fledged Colonel came up and began to unleash on him for what he was doing and the reasons you do not salute in a warzone and because they had just came off the hill still covered in mud and when it was all said and done he said the young Colonel was demoted quite dramatically.

  31. Keith says:

    My father was in B Co. 3/187th and was wounded on Hamburger Hill 16 May. He has never really talked much about it and I understand why, therefore with respect and love I don’t ask alot of questions. After I was grown, had a family of my own, and a career in law enforcement he begain volunteering information.
    I wanted to say thank you for your service and for this site.

    Wm. Keith Hutchison

  32. Woody says:

    Hello Keith, I know very well how it is for your father. It seems though, with time it gets easier to talk about it. But it usually takes a certain situation for me to talk about my scariest moments in Vietnam. I can get pretty emotional about it to this day. Have you introduced your father to my site? I would love to hear what he thinks. Thank you for commenting. I think law inforcement officers have a good understanding of what it is like to be in harms way. Hope to hear from you again. “Woody”

  33. corey says:

    I’m only 16 and I’m trying to get as much info about nam as I can, main reason why I love it is cause the good old huey choppa love them and wish I had one for me self. Anyway looking at all the photos is a real insight into nam and as they say a photo says a hundred words, thanks for the photos.

  34. Debbie says:

    Hi, lovely site you have here, thank you for creating. I am wondering if anyone knows my friends dad who died in 1968 in the war. He had no photos of his dad who died when he was only 2 years old. The soldier was Isaac Clark from Jacksonville Fl. Please get back to me if you can. I look forward to hearing from you. It means a lot to him to know something about his dad. Thank you

  35. Woody says:

    Hi Deborah, I didn’t know Isaac myself. Do you know which unit he served with in Vietnam? Any additional information that you can provide would be helpful in finding others that knew him. I will see what I can find out about his service and hopefully someone that knew him will read your post and leave a comment. Woody

  36. Ryan says:

    Deborah Stone. JB Stone? As in the fighter pilot? Only wondering because my grandfather flew with him if that’s the case.

  37. Shelly says:

    My father was in the A Shau Valley in 1967, His name is Richard Gerfen and fired a howiltzer named “Alfie”. If anyone has any information or photos, please let me know.

  38. Woody says:

    Hi Shelly, Do you have any other information about your fathers Vietnam service? If you know what unit he served with, it may help with locating people that may have known him. Woody

  39. Woody says:

    I received this wonderful e-mail from Chris Erwig and just had to share it here, Woody.

    Really have enjoyed your site. I am not a veteran and in fact, I have never served in the Armed Forces but I have the highest respect for those who have. The Vietnam war has always bothered me because of all of the fatalities on our side. When I was growing up, I would watch the news with my dad every night (1968-1969). They would announce every night how many we got verses how many they got. I would ask my dad who is winning and he would say I do not know.

    All of you who fought are my hero’s because of your courage. I probably would run off and hide if my number was called. I struggle with the fact that @58,250 men lost their lives in this war. Sometimes I go to the virtual wall on line and just look at each name. Most of the boys were 18 and 19. It is a shame that these guys can never grow old. The one person that bothers me the most from the wall is James Walter Lahti. He had only been on his tour for 2 weeks and sure enough he was going home. There is a picture of him on the virtual wall that is haunting to me. The good news I guess is that he will always be remembered and he is probably in heaven smiling down upon us all!

    Anyhow, I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to put information out there for people to read. My hat is always off to you and I wish you nothing but joy the rest of your days. God Bless Woody.

    My greatest respects,

    Chris Erwig

  40. […] (Photo credit, Val Wuthrich) […]

  41. Linda Witt says:

    My husband was on Team 7, chosen by the Col. The 4 men on Team 7 all had red hair. When he was medivaced out, his team was the last one that was together. His job was recon. He had been in a pagoda when it was hit with RPG rounds. The blast gave him a concussion and caused him to have seizures. He had schrapnel all over his body when he reached the hospital in Japan. After that firefight, he said he was dazed and acted like he was on autopilot. He remained in country for some tie. When he was medivaced out, he was having a problem with sores all over his body. They told him it was something rare and he needed to be sent back to the states for treatment. He returned to Fitzsimons. Subsequently he has applied for a Purple Heart but was turned down because he could not give the location of the incident or names and verification of others to prove the incident really happened.

    His name is Jerome Witt (aka Jerry), after their medic was killed, he took the Aid bag on missions and the guys called him Doc. He also carried the radios and ammo. He was there in ’68-’69. He can only remember one name and that is Ernie who was from Jacksonville, Florida and had worked for White’s Grocery before being drafted. I am looking for anyone that can remember Team 7 and help locate any of the members. Perhaps someone knows the First Sgt name and he might have some recollection. Jerry’s military license to move freely about Vietnam and to live in villages, was signed by a man named Ralph H Ballard (rank unknown). Perhaps he may have a recollection. Our phone number is 360458-7062 if you have any details that might help.

    I see how Jerry struggles with things even today. He has PTSD and I can’t even imagine the things he saw and lives with today. I appreciate this site and am proud and thankful for him and what he has been through. I am thankful to all of his brothers of this war and all I can say is THANK YOU AND WELCOME HOME!!!

  42. Woody says:

    Linda, Your story has touched me deeply, as have other stories I’ve heard and read. To have you there for your husband, with support and understanding, as my wife does for me, as much as you can. If Jerry is like me, he has had a harder time this last five years. Maybe we could talk sometime. Woody

  43. Rob Hollingsworth says:

    Hello Sir and thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

    My father, Roy Donald Hollingsworth Jr. passed away in 2012. He was in country around 1969. I’m looking for anyone that might have known him or if someone knows how I can get ahold of information on where he was in Vietnam. All he would tell me is he was a Radioman, E5 and he was a Screaming Eagle, 101st Airborne. I know there are alot of people who serve in the 101st.. Just hoping I can get lucky and find someone that might know him.

    The only thing he would tell me about his tour was how he got home. He said he was in the jungle (obviously) and there was an explosion. He then woke up at a medical camp with all limbs and they told him he was going back to the states. He said no, and that he wanted to get back to his unit. They explained to him that they were all “gone”.

    Before his passing, his wishes were to find the person, or people responsible for getting him out of the situation he was in when the explosion happend. He would always tell me “Someone saved my life and I dont know who to thank.” I’d like to continue his search and maybe one day find them, or thier family.

  44. Woody says:

    Thank you! I really need positive comments at this time. It is strange how after forty five years I still get emotional when I look at these pictures. I still feel down and have a weird social dissonance that I can’t really explain. Again thanks, Woody

  45. Irene Bradbrrry says:

    My brother and I were apart pretty much all my young years. He was raised in MI and I in FL. He served in 101st Airborne. He came home for about 3 weeks during his furlough just prior to shipping out to Nam. Even though we had been apart all those years we instantly bonded! I loved my brother and as years go by I YEARN to know more about him. He died in service to USA in April of 1968 in the Province of Thua Thien. He was a medic. I wish I could talk to some of those brave soldiers who knew him just so I could learn more about my only sibling.
    If anyone knew Gene Michael Burkell PLEASE contact me. I was only 13 yr old when he died.
    He was a bit rowdy in his teen years and kept getting kicked out of public school. I’m a school teacher… Nowadays he would have gotten some help as he was probably just ADD/HDD…HYPERACTIVE.

  46. Jennifer Phillips says:

    My daddy recently died. He was in the Vietnam war. I was with him his last few days and I miss him alot. I have been trying to find out anything on his service. Why- because I spent a long time angry with him then as I got older I realized he did the best he could with what he returned home with and I spent the last couple years trying to figure how to go talk to him and let him know that I am no longer angry with him and I understand why he was the way he was and that I don’t doubt he did his best and I love him and will always be his little girl no matter how old I get. I finally figured out what I think I should say and then I get a phone call form my mom that he had a Stroke on 7/3/14 and there is nothing they can do and now he is gone. I know he was in Company C 2nd battalion and was in country in 1969 somewhere near Duc Pho. His Name is Dennis David Harer

    Thank You

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