Carl Barry Mc Gee
12 March 2006
Dear Lt. McGee,
I did not know you but I had been out with Charlie Company on patrols and had several good friends in it. I recently found Captain Knight's things and bought them and in them was a great photo of you. I can't imagine that West Point hasn't gone back and made sure that every graduate who was a KIA hasn't been added to this site yet. You were graduate number 28264 in the class of 1969 and I wish I had a later book than 1970 as I am sure it would show your decorations which I do not know.
I wish you could have made it with the rest of us so you could have lived a long and happy life but God must have had a need for you that day. I don't think there is anyone who doubted your bravery or the bravery of the man shaking your hand, Captain Richard Vincent Knight, also Killed In Action on Mary Ann that night. I'm sorry to say I don't know who the other soldier is.
I ended up where you started, with Recon 1/46th as a Squad Leader and am doing what I can to see to it that you guys don't get forgotten. God Bless you and your family, Lt. McGee.
Larry M. Pistole
Squad Leader, Echo Recon
1st of the 46th, 196th LIB
23rd Infantry Division 1971
A Note from The Virtual Wall
On the night of 27/28 March 1971 Fire Support Base (FSB) Mary Ann was occupied by 209 Americans from several units of the Americal Division:
At approximately 0230 hours, 28 March 1971, the VC mounted a coordinated mortar and sapper attack. Almost simultaneously with the mortar attack, sappers employed satchel charges and rocket propelled grenades (RPG) to penetrate the FSB's perimeter. Americans in the perimeter bunkers hunkered down until the explosions from the mortar rounds, satchel charges, and RPGs had subsided, but by then the sappers had breached the trench line and were inside the base. Once inside FSB Mary Ann, the sappers struck over half the bunkers. By the time the VC withdrew, 30 American soldiers were dead and 76 wounded.
The dead were:
You can read a full tribute to Lt McGee at West Point Alumni Association. Part of the tribute notes: " Barry graduated high enough in his class to have his pick of branches. He chose the Infantry, earned his Airborne wings and Ranger tab, volunteered for Viet Nam, and went to war with the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) on 2 Aug 1970. Wounded in the middle of his tour, he was offered a staff assignment to finish his Viet Nam service. He shunned this offer and pleaded to return to troop duty. During the latter part of his tour, he served as a recon platoon leader, working out of fire support base LZ Mary Ann west of Chu Lai. As might be expected, Barry was a soldier's officer. He led his men well, and they truly respected and liked him. He was committed to his unit and what he had been assigned to do."
"In early March of 1971, he decided to extend his service in Viet Nam for another year; but on 28 March, he was killed in hand-to-hand combat when the fire support base was overrun by North Vietnamese sappers."
"His posthumous Silver Star award citation relates that his company was in its night defensive position at Mary Ann when it came under intense mortar fire and a full-scale North Vietnamese Army sapper attack. During the initial phase, Barry was seriously wounded when satchel charges and grenades hit the bunker he was in. Despite the pain of his multiple injuries, in defense of his troops, Barry left the bunker and attacked, in hand-to-hand combat, two North Vietnamese soldiers. He killed one of them, but as he turned to the other, a barrage of small arms fire mortally wounded him. His exploits became legend in his unit."
Barry is buried in Grand Lawn Cemetery (Section 27, Lot 28, Grave 57), a large cemetery in Detroit, Michigan. His grave is marked with a flat Veterans Administration stone but it tells the visitor nothing about the strength, character, courage, humor, and spirit of this wonderful young man.
- - - The Virtual Wall, April 16, 2014.
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