Gregory Paul LawrenceSergeant
37TH ARRS, 3RD ARRG, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
10 March 1938 - 05 October 1968
Phenix City, Alabama
Panel 41W Line 013
The database page for Gregory Paul Lawrence
"THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE"
by his daughter,
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 05 October 1968 a MACV-SOG recon team - RT ALABAMA - was inserted into the SVN/Laotian border area due west of Danang. The team, which was made up of US Army Special Forces and indigenous troops, barely got out of the landing zone before they found themselves under attack. The team leader, SSG James D. Stride, was killed in the first exchange of fires. The other team members formed a perimeter around his body and called for an emergency extraction, but were unable to bring SSG Stride with them as they broke contact to make their way to a pick-up area.
Pick-up responsibility had been given to the Air Force's 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Danang, which promptly dispatched two JOLLY GREEN HH-3E helicopters. On arrival, the "low bird" went into a hover for a hoist recovery of RT ALABAMA but was badly shot up by the NVA and forced to abort the pick-up. As the first two HH-3s headed back to Danang - one limping, one escorting - another pair was dispatched, while RT ALABAMA attempted to break contact and the SAR cover tried to discourage the NVA from following.
On arrival, the "low bird" - JOLLY GREEN 10, HH-3E tail number 65-12782 - once again went into a hover and was immediately hit and crashed in flames. The high bird was able to make contact with JG 10's pararescueman and right-seat pilot, who had managed to escape the burning wreckage and join up. It was decided the high bird would attempt a pick-up of the two JG10 survivors as well as the RT ALABAMA team, provided that the recon team could get to the pick-up point in a hurry and that the SAR cover could suppress the NVA. The plan worked and all surviving aircrew and recon team members were hoisted aboard. The JG10 survivors confirmed that the other two crewman were dead, and the senior US trooper in RT ALABAMA confirmed SSG Stride's death. Since there was no hope of recovering any of the bodies, the SAR effort was terminated and the three men were declared Killed in Action/Body not Recovered. The three men were
Sergeant Lawrence had completed an enlistment in the Army, but chose to reenlist in the Air Force.
Top of Page|
With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 08 Apr 1998
Last updated 08/10/2009