James Edward Self

Army of the United States
04 October 1947 - 22 August 1968
Madisonville, Tennessee
Panel 47W Line 032



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Edward Self

23 Jan 2006

Corporal James Self was a draftee who started his tour of duty with A Battery on February 9, 1968. He was a assigned as a cannon crew non-commissioned officer, which would have him performing duties as gunner, assistant gunner, or section chief. As the unit had 24 hour firing responsibility, SP4 Self would have found himself performing any of these interchangeable responsibilities.

A Battery operated out of the many fire support bases in Tay Ninh Province during 1968. No matter which base they were occupying, the sight of Nui Ba Dinh, the Black Virgin Mountain, was always present. No matter which fire support base they occupied near Nui Ba Dinh, A Battery received random sniper, mortar, and rocket fire.

Corporal James Self was killed by small arms fire, presumably sniper rounds, six months into his tour with A Battery. Exact circumstances need to be explained by another individual.

Unit veterans from Service Battery always commented that resupplying A Battery with ammunition, rations, and equipment was a dangerous task. A Battery seemed to be assigned to the most dangerous locations in III Corps during 1968-1970. They comment A Battery seemed to be located in the center of a bullseye target in the middle of Indian Country. Resupply of A Battery was always a dicey assignment, because of the fire support missions A Battery drew during those years.

Corporal James Self was assigned to a unit accustomed to dangerous assignments. He served in a leadership role with a 105mm howitzer crew for six months. Our veterans speak highly of the gun crew leaders, many of whom were drafted into the Army like James Self. Life at the fire support bases in Tay Ninh Province was filled with ever-present danger of shelling and ground attack. Leaders like Corporal Jim Self set the example for the men in their crews. The gun crews of A Battery, B Battery, and C Battery all had men like Jim Self leading by example. Small wonder why the Red Dragon Clan earned the reputation of being General Ewell's Fire Brigade in II Field Force Artillery.

Rest in Peace, Corporal James Self. You are honored, respected, and remembered by the Red Dragon Clan. LTC William Miracle, currently commanding 3rd Battalion 13th Artillery on active duty in Iraq, comments that his men are continually inspired by the performance, duty, and devotion of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions 13th Artillery in Vietnam. They frequent The Virtual Wall site pages for the 13th Artillery Regiment in Vietnam. Thus, Corporal James Self and the 27 other members of 2nd Battalion 13th Artillery who died in Vietnam are still remembered by Active Duty personnel. LTC Miracle assures us their memories are still honored by today's Red Dragon Clan.

From a unit veteran,
William E. Novakovic
513 Woodland Avenue, Oakmont, Pa. 15139

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009