Ralph Lee ChurchFirst Lieutenant
D CO, 2ND BN, 501ST INFANTRY, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
15 July 1947 - 12 June 1971
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The database page for Ralph Lee Church
Ralph and I graduated from Infantry OCS Class 7-70 on March 27, 1970. Ralph and I were in the same training platoon. He was older than most of us having already spent a hitch as an enlisted man. Because of his experience he was one of our unofficial leaders. He was married to a WAC Lieutenant and planned to make a career out of the Army.
After graduating from OCS we all went our separate ways to stateside assignments. I know that several of us made it to Vietnam around January 71. As far as I have been able to determine, Ralph was the only graduate of class 7-70 to be killed in action in Vietnam. At least 3 of us were assigned to the 101st Airborne.
In late June 71 I ran into another classmate from 7-70 on in-country R&R at Eagle Beach. He told me that Ralph had been killed couple of weeks earlier. I've thought of Ralph often over the years and wondered about the circumstances of his death.
A Note from The Virtual WallDuring the first week of June 1971 elements of the 2nd Bn, 501st Infantry were operating in the Truoi River valley west of Phu Loc. Five men died as a result of contacts in the valley:
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
an OCS classmate,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 20 Apr 2004
Last updated 05/10/2008