David Rudolph Latsch

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
09 October 1947 - 21 September 1968
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Panel 43W Line 055

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart (2 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for David Rudolph Latsch

12 Aug 2005

On September 21, 1968 David (who I never had the honor of meeting) and my good friend, Tom Mitchell, were killed in action. Their names are next to one another on "their wall" with David's being right above Tom's. Both of them were only twenty years old.

David, I hope you are okay with me writing this for and about you. Any one who was a friend of Tom's was most certainly my friend too. I'm hoping that this will enable everyone who searches for you to find you so much easier.

Thank you for giving up your life for all of us, you were much too young and so very brave. I have two sons, one is 27 and the other is 17 ... I cannot imagine them going off to war and never returning. My heart hurts at the thought of it; I cannot fathom the pain your family has endured. We are so proud of you... When I visit "your wall", I will be honored to touch your name and know what an incredibly giving "young man" you were.

From someone who remembers.
E-mail address is not available.

08 Sep 2005

The photo and following articles are from The Philadelphia Daily News:

Army Sp/4 David R. Latsch, 20, of 712 Marchman Rd., Bustleton.

Sp/4 Latsch, in the service only 11 months, died Saturday of a wound received in a recent combat operation. Last June, he suffered a shrapnel wound of the chest, two months after his arrival in Vietnam with a unit of the 1st Infantry Division. After 13 days of hospital treatment he returned to his unit.

A graduate of George Washington High School, he was a machine operator with the Heintz Manufacturing Co., of Front Street and Olney Avenue, when he was drafted. He trained at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Jackson, S.C., before he was sent to South Vietnam last April.

His father, Rudolph S. Latsch, is a tool grinder for the Pennwalt Chemical Co., 5500 Tabor Road. Sp/4 Latsch also is survived by his mother, the former Helen Marsden; a sister, Mrs. Dianne Nagele, and a brother, Harry, 14.

"Latsch, a 1965 graduate of George Washington High School, was a lathe operator at the Heintz Division of the Kelsey-Hayes Co. at Front Street and Olney Avenue before entering the Army the day after his 20th birthday in October 1967. The specialist four, an ammunition bearer for Company B of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, died in Vietnam less than a year later on September 21, 1968. He was survived by his parents, a brother and sister."

Philadelphia Daily News, October 26, 1987

From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

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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