Andrew Harry ShimpSpecialist Five
569TH ENG CO, 35TH ENG GRP, 18TH ENG BDE
Army of the United States
30 December 1940 - 09 June 1967
Panel 21E Line 081
The database page for Andrew Harry Shimp
Andy and I served as combat engineer instructors in the Department of Topography (DTopo) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where I was stationed from 1963 until 1966.
Andy and I shared an office and critiqued one another's work. He was a genuinely sweet and gentle guy and a good instructor. My wife and I both were about as fond of this fine young man as we could be.
Toward the end of my tour at Belvoir, we were just beginning to get letters back from former students - some of whom also would never return - from some place we knew little about - a place called Vietnam. The day Andy got his orders to head there we had no idea we would never see him again...
Upon my discharge, my wife and I got on with the business of raising our family. Vietnam was always there in the background with those awful TV images coming at us each night. We thought of Andy and the others as we watched from the safety of our home.
One day in July of 1967 the phone rang. It was Bob Velthuis, one of our fellow former Belvoir buddies, who told me that Andy had died in a plane crash. I sat in stunned silence for over an hour. Then I wept for my dead friend.
I STILL weep for - and am haunted by - all those who have given their last full measure of devotion for what too many of us take for granted.
And I weep especially deeply for the dead of Vietnam who were so horribly mistreated by those here who failed to recognize their sacrifice.
So, to Andy and the others, I say God bless and keep you all until we meet again on a gentler, more peaceful shore.
And I would add these beautiful words from the Nick Glenny-Smith/Randall Wallace hymn from the haunting film "We Were Soldiers":
From an old friend and fellow instructor,
My heart goes out to Andrew Shimp and his family as well as to the flight crew of the C-130. I, too, was a flight crew member and in the same squadron as those who lost their lives in that incident. I still remember the day it happened. We were getting ready for another routine flight out of Ton Son Nhut. A buddy of mine came over to my aircraft and asked me if I had heared that Billy Tyree's aircraft had not reported in and was considered missing. When I found out what had happened I, as well as many of their friends, was devastated. Billy was the flight engineer and was assigned to Captain Rivera-Balaguer's flight crew. I had flown with Captain Rivera-Balaguer who was the pilot, co-pilot Captain Starkweather, and Captain Podell the navigator a couple of times before. SSgt Herndon was the Load Master. I think SSgt Scott was a Flight Engineer being checked out by Billy and this was his first time in-country. I did not know the others. They were all good men and did not deserve to die so tragically.
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 09 June 1967 a C-130B (tail number 58-0737) from the 29th Troop Carrier Squadron at Tan Son Nhut was conducting a series of scheduled logistics flights within South Vietnam. The last leg of the trip was from Nha Trang to Tan Son Nhut. As the aircraft neared Saigon it was vectored around an artillery firing zone. The aircraft broke up in flight, with both wings separating from the fuselage, and crashed about 12 miles east of Tan Son Nhut. Because a structural failure of this sort was very unlikely, there was speculation that the C-130 might have been hit by an artillery shell. Ten men aboard the aircraft died:
Top of Page|
With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 16 Oct 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009