Gregory John D DentonSergeant
D CO, 1ST BN, 506TH INF RGT, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
25 October 1947 - 28 July 1969
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The database page for Gregory John D Denton
REMEMBEREDGregory Denton survived the assault on Hill 996,
only to be killed by a mortar round 17 days later, on 28 July,
at a place called the "Eagle's Nest" in the A Shau Valley.
If I had to pick only one man to go into that jungle with, it would have been you. That's saying a lot, because D Company had many very good and capable men from which to choose.
You could be down right frightful at times, quite possibly the most intense person that I ever met. No doubt about your abilities or knowlege. You held nothing back. You said what you thought should be said and were ready to challenge anything.
You said about Hill 996, "No one will ever know what happened here" and you were right.
When you spoke to a few of us one night, Lieutenant "K" found out that you were quite a character.
On the night/early morning that you were hit, I think I changed forever.
Everyone got prepared for an attack. You left the bunker and went down to yours. The first explosion was real close. The second was a direct hit on the bunker I was in, just above yours. It was dark and raining, and at first, I couldn't find where you were hit. Doc Lanue couldn't either. We got you patched up then couldn't get a medevac in.
I held onto you for about an hour or so. You never said a word. You couldn't. I still don't understand it? You were tough and looking for a challenge, but by no means careless. I never will understand it?
You were a combination of yesterday's John Wayne and today's John Rambo. You were the soldier. The kind that is always needed to fight for a cause.
You are officially listed as being KIA in Quang Nam. Were you ever even in Quang Nam?
I found Lutz a long time ago. I had past it many times without even realizing it.
May you rest in peace and may that darkest night become your brightest day.
Gregory, I remember helping to get you on the Medivac when it finally arrived. "Doc" Daniels did everything he could to save you. Unfortunately no one has the power to change time. You were a "soldier's soldier" and I will always remember you. By the way: you were right about Hill 996.
From a fellow member of Delta Company,
Gregg was assigned to A Co, 158th Avn Bn, 101st Abn Div, before he was assigned to the 506th. He was a door gunner and I was a crew chief. We flew on the same ship most of the time. Very few people in my life have affected me like Gregg. He was my best friend.
Everyone liked Gregg - he had a great sense of humor and told tales of Tampa and Lutz, the mob. He liked to talk about his mom and dad, and his wife Mary Jo. He liked to show her picture, a pretty girl he loved very much. One night most of the flight platoon was in the hooch which was unusual. We all got very drunk. Gregg and I for some reason did a great monkey act everybody loved, he became the monkey, I on the other hand became a sharecropper ... after he said I looked like a "g-d sharecropper", everyone agreed. We had some pretty hairy times but Gregg wanted to get closer to the action, everyone he talked to tried to keep him from going to the 506th but he had his mind made up.
The last time I saw him he came by the flight line to show me the Silver Star he had gotten for taking out three enemy bunkers by himself. A couple of weeks later we got the news he had been killed. Ralph Keeling and I sat up drinking most of the night to try to kill the pain. It didn't work then, and now 34 years later the sadness remains. You are one of a kind and those of us that know you will never forget you. You will remain alive in my mind until I die. I love you, man.
Greg Denton was my Uncle. Only 4 years separated us in age. He was my best friend. The one who held me at night when my parents argued. The one who made me laugh all the time. The one who treated me like a princess.
When we all lived in New Jersey, before my grandparents and Uncle Greg moved to Tampa, Uncle Greg and I used to play for hours on the floor with little green army men!! Good thing I was a tomboy then. We used to take cushions off the couch and make forts and "play" Army. He made great gun sounds and explosion sounds and I tried so hard to do it as good as he did.
Just before he left for basic training, my sisters and I spent the summer in Tampa with Grandmom, Granddad and Uncle Greg. He took me to Bob's Big Boy for a hamburger and a coke in his red Corvair Convertable. It was great. I was only 14 years old and no longer the tomboy he remembered. All his buddies came running over to the car wanting to know who the blonde was (guess they wondered where Mary Jo was). But in typical style, Uncle Greg let them know I was his niece and he'd kick a** if he caught anyone messing with me.
When we got on the train to head home to Jersey, I stood next to him just staring at this wonderful man as he held my sister in his lap as she cried, not wanting to leave. The night before, Uncle Greg had gotten into a fight with some guys that were messing with another guy who wasn't able to defend himself. In the fight, someone grabbed a fork and ran it over Uncle Greg's face. He was always protecting someone no matter what the risk was to himself.
He was my champion, my hero, my everything. I miss him so much.
From his niece,
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
Laurie Ann Cortez
28 Apr 2002
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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 07/29/04