The official Army Casualty Report states: Individual died as a result of severe burns when the military aircraft on which he was a passenger was hit by hostile automatic weapons fire, crashed and burned. It was also noted on the report that SP4 Moran was listed as missing from 9 August to 17 August when his body was recovered.
Tim Moran was just 10 when the Sheriff's deputy and Army soldiers pulled up to his Big Bear Lake house in August 1967. They were delivering bad news.
Moran's older brother, Ray E. Moran Jr., was missing in action in Vietnam.
Ray was 10 years older than Tim, who still lives in Big Bear City. Ray was a quiet, soft spoken, friendly guy, Tim says. He said goodbye to Ray about a year earlier and expected to see him soon. Ray was close to the end of his tour of duty when he was shot down in South Vietnam.
Spc. 4 Ray Edward Moran Jr. served with C Troop Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division USARV. He began his tour Nov. 24, 1966, two days before he turned 20. He was a crew member on the helicopter when it took hostile fire.
Read full article about brother Tim Moran remembering Ray.
On 09 Aug 1967 elements of the 1st Cavalry Division got into a fight at Landing Zone PAT in the Song Re Valley area of Quang Ngai Province. The engagement cost the lives of 11 American soldiers - 6 infantrymen, four helo crewmen, and one artillery observer. The US dead were:
D Co, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion
A Co, 2nd Bn, 8th Cavalry
In UH-1C tail number 65-09422, C Trp, 1st Sqdn, 9th Cavalry
- SP5 Andrew C. Conrad, Millington, MI
- SGT Robert J. Maxwell, Fresno, CA
- CPL Joel D. Fendley, Richmond, TX
- CPL Joseph Harrison, Thomasville, GA
- SP4 Michael J. Hotchkiss, Anaheim, CA
- SP4 Prentice D. Le Clair, Tulsa, OK
- CPT Robert A. Thompson, Lincolnton, GA, pilot
- 1LT Honorio M. Fidel, Stockton, CA, 7th Bn, 13th Artillery (Arty F/O)
- WO Francis A. Rochkes, Pana, IL, copilot
- SP4 Ray E. Moran, Big Bear Lake, CA, gunner
You can read more about this and other battles of the 1st of the 9th Cav here.
SP4 Ray E. Moran was buried in Memory Garden Memorial Park, Brea, California. Ray was survived by his parents, Ray E., Sr, mother Betty, and two brothers. His mother, Betty, passed away on March 11, 2013 in Bear Lake City at age 84 and she was survived by husband Ray, sons Thomas and Tim, and 2 granddaughters.
- - - - - The Virtual Wall, February 23, 2014