Paul David SavanuckStaff Sergeant
HQ BTRY, 23RD ARTILLERY GROUP, 2 FIELD FORCE
Army of the United States
27 March 1946 - 18 April 1969
Panel 26W Line 002
The database page for Paul David Savanuck
To my brother in arms,
Paul wasn't assigned to the 3/5th Cav. He worked for Stars & Stripes as a photographer and was permanently assigned to another unit. But he also died there that night. We asked that he be grouped with the 5th ACR out of honor for his memory.
Your sacrifice for your country and freedom is honored and remembered by the 3rd Squadron, Fifth Armored Cavalry Regiment as well as the American people. The fact that you gave your life for a cause you believed in will serve as a reminder to the world that war is terrible and should always be a last resort to preserve the freedom and right to unrestricted life that exists for every American.
This Wall of names, memorializing our fallen brothers, fathers, sisters and mothers, friends, co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances and others, stands as a monument to your deeds of heroism.
You cannot and will never be forgotten ...
We thank you and love you!
Until today - the evening before Memorial Day 2007 - I only knew of you, but never remembered your name.
It was in 1969 that I was transferred - actually volunteered - to go from Pacific Stars & Stripes in Tokyo to Saigon. And if my memory, now nearly 40 years later, still serves me correctly, I may have been your replacement. I remember upon my arrival being told of the "first Stripes staffer to have been killed" in the Vietnam War, only the second in Stripes' history. And I was told that I even resembled you a bit (though I think, in all candor, that many of us at that age, in the military, "looked a lot like each other.")
I did not stay there long; missing a major story in Saigon (the Tokyo bureau had to run AP copy for that story) may well have contributed to my transfer to a MACV PIO in the Delta, though to this day I wonder if my 19-year-old carefree attitude about life may have contributed to it as well.
But it really doesn't matter. What DOES matter is now, nearly 40 years later, I know who you are. And from this day forward I will honor your memory.
May you rest in peace.
I was stationed with Paul in Vietnam. We were with the 23rd Artillery Group based in Phu Loi. He took some great pictures of me standing in front of my jeep that I have framed and have hung in the family room of our home here on Long Island for many years. Paul and I were the only two Jewish guys on the entire base. I remember flying down to Saigon with Paul on various occasions to visit an orphanage there. What a great guy he was. I only had three days to go in Vietnam when I was notified of his death. What a total shock. Being non-combat soldiers, I never even came close to experiencing the death of another comrade. I attended his memorial service offered by a rabbi who came in from Long Binh.
I am going to perform in a play called THE REMEMBERED at Hofstra University on October 13th and 14th, and am attaching the flyer with all the info.
All the very best
A Note from The Virtual WallStaff Sergeant Paul Savanuck, an Army journalist, was assigned to HQ Battery, 23rd Artillery Group. As noted in the article below, he became a Stars and Stripes staffer two weeks before his death. It is unclear if he had been formally transferred to the Stars & Stripes Pacific Office, Tokyo, Japan (a USARPAC activity) before he was killed in action. In any case, he was attached to the 3/5 Cavalry on assignment.
At about 1300, 18 Apr 1969, C Troop, 3/5 Cav, and C Company, 1/9 Marines, departed Fire Support Base C-2 to conduct a search and destroy mission north of the Cam Lo Valley. At 1730 the mounted force reached Nui Tot Mon, where the Marines dismounted and moved westward up the Cam Hung Valley. At dusk the Marines set up a night defensive position on high ground above the Cam Hung while Charlie 3/5 Cav established their NDP in the Cam Lo Valley.
At about 2030 (8:30 PM) C/3/5 Cavalry's night defensive position was attacked by a reinforced company of North Vietnamese Army troops. The attack began with heavy mortar fire which covered the approach of "sappers" - essentially satchel-charge troops on a one-way mission. The NVA were able to destroy several armored personnel carriers and breach the NDP's northern perimeter. In violent hand-to-hand combat, the NVA was discouraged - but Charlie Troop lost seven armored vehicles and - much more importantly - thirteen men:
after action report
is available on the Black Knight web site.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 14 May 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009