Hughie Franklin SniderSpecialist Four
HHC, 1ST BN, 77TH ARM RGT, 5 INF DIV
Army of the United States
29 April 1949 - 28 April 1970
New Cumberland, WV
Panel 11W Line 065
The database page for Hughie Franklin Snider
Until You Welcome Us Home
Hughie, Rocky, and Carlos were three names I was looking up on The Virtual Wall web site, Rocky and Carlos to see if any remembrances had been added, Hughie to record his location on the Wall to add a remembrance. While doing so I noticed Rocky's date of death matched today's date, May 8. It was 33 years ago today he had meet his fate. This prompted me to look up Hughie's date.
From what I remember of Hughie's last day was that it started out with everyone in the Scout platoon seeming to have higher spirits than usual. That was no doubt because of our mission that morning would take us in a different direction than we were used to. We weren't heading for the Cambodian border or the DMZ . No , this mission was one most of us were looking forward to. The scenery this day wouldn't be the usual battle grounds of the past or the future but that of white sandy beaches with the fresh smell of the ocean and real food prepared by a Navy chief. You see our mission that day would take us to the South China Sea at the Gulf of Tonkin where the Navy began operations to pull out of Cua Viet. Our mission there was to provide security while they closed down operations in the bay and Vietnam.
I believe we arrived at Cua Viet mid to late morning and may have had one meal of real food. With time on our hands and a beautiful beach enticing most of the guys in the platoon, we took the tracks down to the sandy beach and left one man per track to maintain security while the rest of the guys enjoyed the sights and sounds of the ocean. It wasn't long before someone reported Hughie Snider had swum out a long way and they had lost sight of him. At the moment the situation with Hughie was reported to the rest of the platoon, I was further down the beach taking pictures of the tracks. I could see a small group gathering and wasn't sure what was going on. I've enclosed a picture I had taken of the last moments of Hughie's life. Whether it was a piece of shrapnel from an exploding rocket, a round from an AK-47 or suffocation from drowning, he was a casualty of the war in Vietnam and his service to his country will not be forgotten.
I will be attending a reunion on 4 July 2003, with members of the 1/77 scout platoon, It may seem like a "Welcome Home" celebration 33 years late. We will be remembering Hughie and several others and their service to our country. Possibly there will be some additional remembrances added to Hughie's page after the reunion.
I will sign off with this:
YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTENHughie Franklin Snider, Panel 11W-Row 065.
I often think of those who stayed behind
They'll not feel their mother's pain
A lover's love they shall never taste
A walk along a sandy beach
They stayed behind so we might go
I'll not forget the price they paid
The list grows long and longer still
Some say it was only God's will
Dedicated to Hughie, Rocky O'Ham, and Carlos Chavez
May they rest in peace
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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