Denis Eugene Abbott
14 Jul 2001
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,
331 Cattail Lane, Yorktown, Va, 23693
Remembered by his fellow soldiers of the
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 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.
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.
- - - The Virtual Wall, September 6, 2014
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