Thomas Charles Littles
During the Vietnam War there was no overriding reason to keep close track of names of the men and women who died as a result of military service in the war zone. A decade after the withdrawal of US forces, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was approved for construction. The service branches went back through their records to identify our dead by name.
Inevitably some men who should have been named on the "Wall" were not. Over the years additional names have been inscribed on the Wall - some were men who died after the war as a result of wounds received in the war, and others were men whose names were overlooked in earlier years.
The Department of Defense approved having his name etched on the Wall during May 2014, along with 12 other names.
Born to Vora Jackson Littles and Hardy Littles, Thomas was raised in Alabama. He entered the Army on 31 October 1968 at Fort Knox Kentucky. He was assigned to C Company, 18th Battalion, 5th Brigade, US Armor Training Center, Armo, Fort Knox to take his basic and advanced individual training. He completed his training by 13 May 1969 when he was put on orders to Vietnam. He arrived in Vietnam on 6 June and by the 17th, he was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
At 0200 hours, on the 28th of December 1969, then PFC Littles' unit engaged an unknown enemy force while in their night defensive position. He received a head wound, with unknown damage to the eyes. He was put on a Very Seriously Wounded status and admitted to the 24th Evacuation Hospital. He was in a guarded position when his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hardy Littles, living in Brewton at the time, were notified of their son's condition.
He was evacuated to the 249th General Hospital in Japan and then to the Brooks Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston Texas, by the 3rd of February 1970. He remained there until 29 Jun 1970, when he was retired from the Army with a full medical disability retirement. At that time, he went into the Veterans Administration Hospital System where he ultimately was in the VA Hospital at Montgomery, Alabama.
On June 3, 1971, after 415 days of treatment, CPL (Posthumous) Charles C Littles passed away as a result of complications from his head wounds, specificially, pneumonia. Because his condition was not tracked after his placement on an Army Disability Retirement from wounds received in Vietnam, his name was not added to the Wall. It took 43 more years to have his name added.
At the Wall in Washington D.C. on May 11, 2014, marking the addition of Littles' and 12 other names to the Wall were relatives of Thomas Charles Littles, who died in June, 1971.
"I guess it would be the pride of my mother, to know that this is being done and when it's being done ... on Mother's Day," said his brother, Douglas Littles, president of Reid State College in Alabama. "She'd be proud of the fact that it's been accomplished."
"I was extremely excited" to hear that Thomas Littles' name was to be added, he said. "As were all my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, because often they come to Washington and say, 'why isn't Uncle Tom's name on the wall?' So we were all excited about it, and pleased that it eventually happened."
Thomas was laid to rest at St. Palestine Baptist Church Cemetery in Brooklyn, Conecuh County, Alabama. His father, Hardy is also buried there along with other Littles' family members. The Virtual Wall has not been able to confirm whether his mother, Vora, is also buried there.
- - - The Virtual Wall, May 12, 2014
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