James Martin Stotts
According to the 1940 census, SFC Stotts was only 6 years old and living with his family in Tipton, Tulare County, California. The record shows his father, Ance was born in Texas in 1896, and his mother Dovie, in Oklahoma, in 1910. All of the children were born in California and James had an older sister Billie Jean, age 6, a younger brother Jerry, age 3 and a younger sister, Janice, age 1.
His brother Darnell or Darrell must have been born after the 1940 census. Also noted on the census as living with them was Veria Boles, sister in law to Ance, and a 2 year old George Boles.
At the time of his death, SFC Stotts had 14 years 11 months of total Army service, to include duty at Forts Sill and Bliss. He also had 3 years 11 months of foreign service. One of his prior foreign service tours was in Vietnam with Battery C, 3rd Battlion, 18th Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division in 1966 when they were stationed in Western Pleiku Province during Operation Lincoln (25 March - 7 April).
It was believed the 1st Cav would have to fight with the 32nd, 33rd, and 66th NVA Regiments during the search and destroy operation in the vicinity of Duc Co, Plei Me, and the Chu Pong Massif beginning 25 March 1966. Resistance was light so by the 3rd of April, the Cav had moved in their 3 brigades and the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division in an effort to sweep the Chu Pong Massif.
On that day, you can read events below involving SFC Stotts as his unit was moving into their sweep area during Operation Lincoln. All of the details about the successful conclusion of Operation Lincoln can be found in the First Cavalry Division's Operational Report - Lessons Learned for the Quarterly Period ending 30 April 1966, dated 5 May 1966.
But it was during his 2nd or 3rd Foreign Service tour, in Vietnam again, this time with the MACV Advisor Team 70 that SFC Stotts lost his life - not to the NVA or VC in a firefight, but to a vehicle accident. Military Records show that SFC Stotts' vehicle was hit by a tank (unit unknown) about 21 miles Northeast of Don Xoai City, Vietnam. His family was notified and the local papers covered the announcement .
June 6, 1969- - - The Fresno Bee - The Republican Newspaper, page 31 - -
Sgt. 1. C. James M. Stotts of 2895 N. Winery Ave., Clovis, is dead in Vietnam, the victim of a traffic accident. In a telegram to the family, the Army reported Stotts, 34, was killed Sunday when the military vehicle he was in was struck by another. Stotts had been in the service since 1952 and in Vietnam for 10 months.
He was born and educated in Tulare County. Surviving are his widow, Barbara; two daughters, Brenda and Lori; his mother, Mrs. Dovie Stotts of Fresno; two brothers, Jerry of Belmont and Darrell (or Darnell) of Los Angeles, and two sisters, Ms. Janice Janes of San Hose and Mrs. Billie J Fleming of Los Angeles. Funeral arrangements are pending.
He is buried in Fresno Memorial Gardens, Fresno California, with his wife, Barbara who passed away on May 15, 2004.
- - The Virtual Wall, June 10, 2014
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