Wayland Jess BatsonSpecialist Four
C BTRY, 2ND BN, 13TH ARTY RGT, 2 FIELD FORCE
Army of the United States
07 April 1945 - 23 April 1967
Hampstead, North Carolina
Panel 18E Line 074
The database page for Wayland Jess Batson
Buddy was the youngest of five children. He attended Topsail High School where he excelled in most sports, especially baseball. Never finishing school, he was drafted into the Army in November of 1965 at the age of 20.
He started boot camp at Fort Gordon, Georgia, on November 29 for eight weeks of training, graduating on January 21, 1966, with honors. He was one of six outstanding graduates out of two hundred and forty-five recruits and attained the highest score on the Physical Combat Proficiency Test.
Buddy went home for a few days before going for specialized traing in Fort Polk, Louisiana. Just before finishing up at Fort Polk, he received orders for Vietnam.
While he was at home again for a brief visit, his father died from a short illness. This delayed his deployment a couple of days. He arrived in South Vietnam on April 28, 1966, and was assigned to C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 13th Artillery, stationed at Phu Loi.
C Battery was involved in several operations in Vietnam. Operation Attleboro, which began in early fall and ended around November 25, 1966, was one of the largest "search and destroy" missions of the war. The next day C Battery was to be airlifted out from an unknown location back to the Phu Loi base camp. As the C-130 began its climbout from a small plantation, it was hit with automatic weapons fire near the end of the runway. This caused the pilot to turn back and come in for a crash landing. All aboard were beaten up or injured in some way. Buddy was awarded the Purple Heart on November 29, 1966, for wounds received from this action.
On the evening of April 23, 1967, Buddy and others were in the mess hall at Phu Loi celebrating going home most any day. A deranged soldier (also with C Battery) entered the area with his rifle and began shooting up the place. Buddy and Joseph Daly were killed. The deranged soldier was also killed when others tried to disarm him.
It's been over thirty-six years since my family lost Buddy. I think of what he might have done with his life, from time to time.
From his nephew,
Notes from The Virtual WallThere is no record of a C-130 crash in late November 1966, but there is a record of a C-123B Provider of the 19th Air Commando Squadron which went down under circumstances as described above.
The C-123B, tail number 56-4367, was hit by .51 caliber automatic weapons fire just after lifting off from the air strip at the Michelin Plantation at Dau Tieng, about 45 miles northeast of Saigon. The enemy fire ruptured hydraulic lines and the hydraulic fluid caught fire. The pilot, Captain R. A. Nagel, brought the aircraft around and made a successful belly landing on the airstrip. Those aboard suffered only minor injuries; there were no fatalities. The only available report of the incident mentions that ARVN paratroopers were aboard; no mention is made of US artillerymen.
The other man killed in the incident was Corporal Joseph Francis Daly of Phaldelphia, Pennsylvania.
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1 Jul 2003
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 06/29/2004