Richard Allen Spangler

Specialist Five
Army of the United States
29 July 1944 - 05 November 1966
Big Spring, Texas
Panel 12E Line 030

Combat Medic

Bronze Star, Purple Heart (2 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Richard A Spangler

The database page for Richard Allen Spangler

25 Oct 2004

Richard was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and was raised in Big Spring, He was a 1962 graduate of Big Spring High School. He enlisted in the Army as soon as he graduated. He was a medic. He was killed by small arms fire on November 5, 1966. He is remembered by the Big Spring Vietnam Memorial, Big Spring, Texas and also by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial located in Midland, Texas. May his sacrifice never be forgotten.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Dau Tieng, Tay Ninh Province, 03 Nov 1966 - elements of the 196th Infantry Brigade and the 25th Infantry Division got into a heated fight with entrenched and bunkered VC troops, a fight that grew into a full-fledged battle fought over a three-day period. Landing Zone Lima Zulu, slightly north of where the 1st Bn, 27th Infantry, fought on 03/04 Nov, drew some of the heaviest fighting beginning after C Company, 2/27 Inf, was inserted at about 1400 on 04 Nov.

C/2/27 moved south from LZ Lima Zulu, intending to link with 1/27, but moved only a few hundred meters before being stopped by VC dug into a tree line. Unable to move forward, with enemy troops infiltrating to their rear, the battalion and company commanders dead, and under fire from three sides, C/2/27 pulled together after nightfall, using a left flank displacement to get out of the "horseshoe" and avoid encirclement. The maneuver worked, and C/2/27 held out through the night amidst sporadic hand-to-hand fighting. By 1030 on 05 Nov, Alpha 1/27 fought through and relieved C/2/27.

At the same time, HHC and A Company, 2/27, were coming into LZ Lima Zulu, intending to take the VC from the rear, pounding them against the anvil formed by A/1/27 and C/2/27. It didn't work; the VC anticipated the move and the arriving troops found themselves in a "hot" LZ. As the day progressed additional forces were brought in, eventually encouraging the VC to break contact and withdraw from the field.

While the engagements cost the VC dearly, with several hundred known dead, the US infantrymen paid a high price - 50 men killed in action over the three day period. Richard Spangler was one of five medics who were killed during the battle; he died at LZ Lima Zulu on the 3rd day of the fight.

SP5 Richard Spangler is buried in Trinity Memorial Garden Cemetery, Big Spring, Texas.

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

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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