Richard Wayne SandersSpecialist Four
54TH MED DET, 498TH MED CO, 55TH MED GRP, 44TH MED BDE
Army of the United States
26 August 1944 - 01 October 1968
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The database page for Richard Wayne Sanders
Remember the day I helped you pack your 'chute in the barracks?
From a cousin.
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 01 October 1968 D Company, 1st Bn, 46th Infantry was engaged in the vicinity of the Thien Phuoc Special Forces Camp in Quang Tin Province. During the fight, attempts to medevac their wounded were hampered by heavy enemy fire on the helicopters. One attempt, flown by WO1 Reinis Fox, resulted in a downed helo. Reinis and his crew volunteered to try again.
With the help of supporting gunships, Fox succeeded in landing his aircraft and remained on the ground long enough for nine of the casualties to be loaded on to the aircraft. Once airborne, his aircraft continued to receive hostile fire and sustained several hits, putting it into a tailspin and causing it to crash land. Upon impact, the aircraft burst into flames. Three wounded crewmen were recovered from the downed Huey, but the bodies of the dead could not be recovered at the time.
As the day wore on the US soldiers were required to pull back, taking their wounded but unable to recover their dead from the ground action. US forces later reentered the area and recovered all their dead - 16 men. Two more died of wounds incurred in the action.
The medevac helo loss is known to have resulted in eleven deaths:
SP4 Sanders received his first Combat Medical Badge in the Dominican Republic in 1965 while serving with the 82nd Airborne Division. He received the second award in Vietnam.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 Apr 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009