Charles Kenneth LarkinsSpecialist Four
D CO (RANGER), 151ST INF RGT, 2 FIELD FORCE
Army of the United States
09 September 1945 - 11 February 1969
Beech Grove, Indiana
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The database page for Charles Kenneth Larkins
SP4 Charles K. Larkins is remembered by his comrades-in-arms of the
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 11 February 1969, a classified South Vietnamese agent report to HQ II Field Force Vietnam stated that regimental size NVA and VC units had massed in strength south of Route 1 and east of the Long Binh military complex. CPT Ron Himsel, commander of Company D (Ranger), 151st Infantry, was ordered against his objections to insert a Long Range Patrol team on the evening of 11 February to verify the agent report.
Team 3-1 was given this extremely dangerous assignment and was inserted 5 kilometers north of Bearcat at about 6:45 PM. Immediately after hitting the ground the team realized they had landed amid the base camp of an extremely large enemy force. They received massive fire from all around the hasty perimeter they had established after their insertion. Radio operator SP4 Charles Larkins of Beech Grove, Indiana, notified the command and control helicopter of the team's dire situation and that his team leader was seriously wounded and requested immediate extraction. With that, Larkins began to place fire on the countless enemy targets that surrounded his position and was mortally wounded, becoming the fourteenth National Guardsman killed in Vietnam. With the team's situation in total disarray, the remaining members of Team 3-1 quickly hid Larkins' body and fought their way to a pick-up zone while carrying two wounded team members.
Captain Himsel personally met with the commander of the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, COL George Patton III, and planned a relief convoy to recover Larkins' body. Throughout the night, American, Thai and other allied forces were put into blocking positions to corner the enemy force. Artillery and air forces continually attacked the enemy position until the next morning, when elements of the US 1st Infantry Division and the 11th ACR relief convoy with members of D/151 arrived to bring back Charlie Larkins, fulfilling the Ranger creed to "... never leave a fallen comrade in the hands of the enemy." Team 3-1's contact resulted in over 100 enemy soldiers confirmed killed.
For his heroism in ground combat, SP4 Larkins was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for valor.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009