Gary Francis ShawPrivate First Class
A BTY, 3RD BN, 319TH ARTY RGT, 173 ABN BDE
Army of the United States
13 March 1948 - 11 November 1967
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The database page for Gary Francis Shaw
The battle of Dak To was the longest and most violent in the highlands since the battle of the Ia Drang in 1965. Enemy casualties numbered in the thousands, with an estimated 1,400 killed. Americans had suffered too. Approximately one-fifth of the 173d Airborne Brigade had become casualties, with 174 killed, 642 wounded, and 17 missing in action.
As the battle built toward its climax, the 173rd Airborne Brigade conducted aggressive sweeps of the area around Dak To. On one of these sweeps, on 11 November, troops from C Co, 1/503 Infantry, were engaged by North Vietnamese regulars. Four men - PFC Edwin Martinez-Mercado, PFC Gary Shaw, PVT John Stuckey and SP4 Robert Staton - were seen to have been shot during the engagement but they could not be recovered. When the area later was searched for casualties, their bodies were not found. They were classed as "Missing in Action, Body not Recovered".
Shaw's actions on 11 November were sufficient for him to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, but it would be nearly 30 years before his death on the battlefield could be positively confirmed. In 1996, it was reported that a DoD investigation of Shaw's case uncovered new evidence:
"Officials were able to find two medics who were in a battle with Pfc. Gary Shaw near Dak To on Nov. 11, 1967.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009