Billy Lane LaufferPrivate First Class
C CO, 2ND BN, 5TH CAVALRY, 1 CAV DIV
Army of the United States
20 October 1945 - 21 September 1966
Panel 10E Line 129
The database page for Billy Lane Lauffer
MEDAL OF HONOR 1968
A Middle School in Tucson, Arizona, was dedicated to him in November 2005
His father, Howard Lauffer, died 3 weeks before the dedication ceremony.
I am a friend of Howard's; we worked together at the Tucson Police Department.
Mary Jane Bish
A Note from The Virtual WallAt mid-morning 21 September Charlie Company, 2/5 Cavalry, was airlifted into LZ Pelham, located in a rocky and mountainous area, covered with dense vegetation. After securing the LZ for a follow-on landing by Delta 2/5, Charlie moved north toward a small hill. As they approached the Company Commander split his force, with 3rd Plt moving around the west side of the hill, while 1st and 2nd Plts moved around the east side. When 1st Plt was hit hard by what appeared to be an entrenched enemy platoon, 2nd and 3rd Plts were ordered to maneuver in support of 1st Plt - and an afternoon-long fight was underway.
Bravo 2/5 was lifted in and moved north to link with Charlie 2/5. At the same time, 1st Plt was directed to move west (clockwise) around the hill to meet Bravo 2/5 when it arrived. As it did so it moved into an area covered by previously inactive enemy troops and two bunkered machine guns opened fire on 1st Plt, pinning them in place. Once the machine guns were silenced, 1st Plt could disengage. As night fell Bravo 2/5 linked with Charlie 2/5 and the combined force withdrew slightly to establish a night defensive perimeter. By daylight on the 22nd the NVA/VC had withdrawn from the small hill and disappeared into the nearby mountains.
The engagement cost the lives of 7 US soldiers:
As noted above, the Billy Lane Lauffer Middle School in Tucson, Arizona, was dedicated 15 Nov 2005. In the photo below, PFC Lauffer's brother Rhodney Lauffer is shown accepting a plaque from Colonel Jonathan Hunter of Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 10 Mar 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009