Richard Wayne Sanders

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
26 August 1944 - 01 October 1968
Goshen, Ohio
Panel 42W Line 059


Combat Medic

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Campaign, Vietnam Service


The database page for Richard Wayne Sanders

28 Apr 2001

Remember the day I helped you pack your 'chute in the barracks?

From a cousin.
E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 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:

  • Aircrew, UH-1H tail number 66-17029, 54th Med Det, 498th Med Co (AA):
    • WO Reinis Fox, Merritt Island, FL, pilot (DoW 10/07/1968) (Silver Star)
    • PFC Calvin E. McGilton, New Haven, CT, crew chief (DoW 10/03/1968)
    • SP4 Richard W. Sanders, flight medic, Goshen, OH

  • Wounded passengers:
    • SGT Robert F. Asher, Smiley, TX, D Co, 1/46th Infantry
    • SGT Ward E. See, Peru, IN, D Co, 1/46th Infantry
    • CPL Timothy G. Arens, Appleton, WI, D Co, 1/46th Infantry
    • CPL Frank A. Baggett, Williams, CA, C Btry, 1/14th Artillery
    • CPL Lemuel Johnson, Moore, SC, D Co, 1/46th Infantry
    • CPL Bernard J. Uhren, Billings, MT, B Btry, 1/14th Artillery
    • PFC Charles A. Branch, Glenwood, MN, D Co, 1/46th Infantry
    • PFC Jose D. Melendez-Gonzalez, Naguabo, PR, D Co, 1/46th Infantry
Seven other men died in the fighting on the ground:
  • 1LT Ronald D. Brown, Jefferson, OH
  • SGT Robert J. Davis, Abingdon, IL
  • SGT Frederick H. Flynn, Warrensburg, NY
  • CPL Gary W. Brown, Los Angeles, CA
  • CPL John W. Dingus, Kingsport, TN
  • CPL Eugene R. Suarez, Ann Arbor, MI
  • PFC Richard B. Clements, Lindsay, OK
As noted above, nine wounded men reportedly were loaded aboard Reinis' Huey, but only eight can be identified. All eleven men aboard the helicopter died from burns received in the crash. Corporal Gary W. Brown is not coded as a helo-related death, but he alone among the ground casualties died of burns. It is possible that he was the ninth wounded passenger, if there were indeed nine men loaded aboard.

54th Med Det

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.

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died 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