Denis Eugene Abbott
Private First Class
WEAPONS PLT, A CO, 2ND BN, 35TH INFANTRY, 25TH INF DIV, USARV
Army of the United States
Mc Connellsburg, Pennsylvania
July 15, 1943 to April 22, 1966
DENIS E ABBOTT is on the Wall at Panel 6E, Line 129

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Denis E Abbott
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14 Jul 2001

Denis,

I never knew you but you were my husband's best friend growing up. You are not forgotten. We even named our first borne daughter after you - her middle name is "Denise". After the antics of you two in church, you'd be glad to know that Carl's a preacher, like your father. I hope Carl introduces me to you in Glory. I have a feeling that you will be one of the first to greet us when we arrive. You are truely missed and thought of here!

From a friend's wife,
Julie Brumbaugh
331 Cattail Lane, Yorktown, Va, 23693
cjbrumbaugh@msn.com

 

Denis Eugene Abbott, 22, son of Rev. and Mrs. Eugene R. Abbott, North Fourth Street, McConnellsburg, was killed in action early last Friday morning in Viet Nam. He died of wounds received in a sneak attack by the Viet Cong on the camp where he was stationed, near Pleiku. His death marks the first war casualty for Fulton County in Viet Nam where a number of other county youths are now serving.

The Abbott Family, who have lived in McConnellsburg for the past three years, were told of their son's death on Friday afternoon by Lt. Eastwood of the Letterkenny Army Depot. Mrs. Abbott was on duty at the Medical Center where she is employed as a nurse; Mr. Abbott was contacted in Baltimore where he is doing graduate work in social studies. He is the executive director of the Fulton County Board of Assistance. Mr. and Mrs. Abbott were told that their son had died on April 22 at 2:30 A.M., Vietnamese time. Later, the family received the following telegram:

"The Secretary of the Army has asked me to express his deep regret that your son died in Viet Nam on April 22 of metal fragment wounds received when the perimeter of the camp was hit by small arms fire and grenades. Please accept my deepest sympathy. This confirms the personal notification made by representatives of the Secretary of the Army."

The telegram was signed by J.C. Lambert, Major General, USA, Adjutant General.

At the time he was killed, the young soldier had been in the Army just a little over a year, having entered on April 8, 1965. After training at Fort Jackson, he was sent to Hawaii in August, 1965, and then to the Viet Nam area on January 7 of this year. He was a private first class in the 35th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 25th Division. He had taken part in the Tropic Airlift which won national acclaim several weeks ago, serving as an army vehicle operator.

In civilian life, Denis was a quiet, unassuming boy, working in his spare time with the young people in the community. A former boy scout himself he was Cubmaster of McConnelsburg Cub pack 43. He was born in Somersville, NJ on July 15, 1943 and spent part of his childhood with his parents in missionary work in the African Congo. He graduated from the Phillipsburg Osceola High School in 1962 and attended Shippensburg State College from 1962 - 64 as a liberal arts student. He planned to resume his studies after serving his hitch in the army with a view towards a legal or journalistic career. During high school and college Denis showed great interest in dramatics taking part in many plays and joining the National Thespian Dramatic Society.

Besides his parents he is survived by three brothers and one sister; Roger 21, now serving the Waynesboro Unit of the National Guard at Ft. Jackson SC, Timothy J. 11, James T. 7, and Linda M. 14 all at home. Mr. and Mrs. Abbott have been informed that their son's body is now in route home from Viet Nam. Funeral Arrangements will be in charge of the Kelso Funeral Home. The services to be held at the Knobville Church of the Brethren in charge of the Rev. Roger Macky of York and the Rev. Gaylord Wright Pastor of the Hyde Baptist Church of Pennsylvania, in which Denis held membership.

Burial will be at the Gettysburg National Cemetery where formal military services will be conducted.


Remembered by his fellow soldiers of the
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35th Infantry - the Cacti Regiment
Photo and obituary courtesy of the 35th Infantry

 

Found among the notes of the Commanding Officer of Headquarters and HQ Company, 3rd Brgade, 25th Infantry Division, from what appeared to be a tribute to PFC Elmo Lee DeFord, it was learned that at 0200 hrs, 22 April, the Pleiku area base camp perimeter came under an attack from an enemy force of approximately squad size. The sapper force attacked and partially overran American positions. The exact circumstances of the action were difficult to construct but two men were killed during that attack, from metal fragment wounds and small arms fire. The two men were:

On Friday, April 22, 1966, in the United States, the same date Abbott and Deford were killed in Vietnam, an American Flyers charter flight with most of the passengers bound from Ft. Ord California to Ft. Benning's airborne training achool in Georgia, some possibly destined for Viet Nam crashed near Ardmore Oklahoma, killing 83 of the 93 passengers. The probable cause: "The incapacitation, due to a coronary insufficiency, of the pilot-in-command at a critical point during visual, circling approach being conducted under instrument flight conditions." Read the full story with list of passenger information here..

On Monday, April 25, both the crash and loss of Abbott was published on page 1 of the Clearfield Progress, for local areas including Clearfield Pennsylvania:

Denis E Abbott

Denis was survived by mother Vivian C. Abbott and father Eugene E. Abbott, three brothers, and a sister, and Denis is buried in Gettysburg National Cemetery.

Denis E Abbott

On June 9, 1966, local papers publihed a photo and artcle of the presentation of the Purple Heart. The article read: The parents of' a 22-year-old man killed in action on April 22 while serving with the Army in Viet Nam were presented their son's Purple Heart. Denis Eugene Abbott, son of the Reverand and Mrs. Eugene R. Abbott, the eldest of four sons and one daughter, died of "metal fragment wounds received while on the perimeter of a camp which was hit by small arms fire and grenades." Capt. Gerald Slavin, of the Letterkenny Army Depot representing the United States Department of the Army made the presentation.

The Abbotts were given the medal and a plaque which read, "The United States of America to all who shall see these presents, greeting: This is to certify that the President of the United States of America has awarded (he Purple Heart, established by General George Washington at Newburgh, New York on August 7, 1782, to Private First Class Denis Eugene Abbott, United States Army for wounds received in action in Viet Nam, resulting in his death on April 22, 1968."

The plaque was signed by J. A. Lambert, Major General U.S.A. and by Stanley Resnor, Secretary of the Army. Another plaque was also presented to the deceased soldiers parents by the American Legion of McConnellsburg. Denis was the first Fulton County resident to be killed while stationed in the Republic of South Vietnam.

At some point after the PH presentation, Denis's family was presented his Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service.


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