Fiatele Taulago Teo

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
16 March 1952 - 19 June 1971
Pago Pago, American Samoa
Panel 03W Line 083


Fiatele T. Teo

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Fiatele Taulago Teo

31 Mar 2003

This person by the name of Fiatele Taulago Te'o was my uncle and by spirit still is my uncle. He was drafted at that time and now in American Samoa where we are from the Samoan people dedicated a recruiting center to him. It's on the island of American Samoa and it is called the Fiatele Te'o Army Recruiting Center. He was 19 years old when he passed away in combat fighting for our Red, White, and Blue. I will always love and remember him as a true soldier and hero.

Love from your niece,
Lucy Taulago Te'o
7500 N. Elmhurst Rd. Lot 73 , Des Plaines , Il. 60018

22 May 2007

Fiatele Taulago Te'o was one of twenty children of Mutia Taulago Te'o and Sauso'oitutuila Te'o. Fiatele is remembered for his spirit and courage. Fiatele loved dogs and had a canine named "Hero" that followed him everywhere in our village. These are accounts from local villagers that remember Fiatele.

"Educate yourself enough so that you may understand the ways of other people, but not so much that you lose an understanding of your own people.

Try things PALAGI, not so you become PALAGI
But so you may see the value of things Samoan (Fa'a Samoa).

Learn to speak Samoan, not so you sound Samoan
But so you may feel the essence of being Samoan.

ABOVE ALL be aware and proud of what you are (Samoan)
So you may spare yourself the agony of those who are asking...


From his nephew,
Coach Te'o
647 N. Rochester Street, Tacoma, Wa 98406

SP4 Fiatele T Teo

Notes from The Virtual Wall

SP4 Fiatele Teo's death has been remembered by a platoonmate, Paul Grandy. The following extract is used with his permission.

After leaving Kim Qui that afternoon (18 June) we set up for the night about 400 meters up the ridge line along what appeared to be a high speed trail that had been around long before the fire base had been built. The night was uneventful other than some monkeys trying to invade the perimeter in search of food.

In the morning Lt. Milo decided to take one squad out on a short patrol to a trail juncture about 200 meters out at the top of the ridge. The slack man was a little short guy from American Samoa. He had one of those first names that no one could pronounce so we just called him by his last name of Teo. He was a cocky guy but at the same time didn't have a lot to say. We used to joke around with him and tell the new guys that he was our "Kit Carson" scout, a term applied to former NVA troopers that surrendered and came to work for us. Most of them believed it at first. I could relate to Teo. I had grown up in a Mormon community although I didn't practice it. Teo had joined the church before he had joined the army. But Teo didn't smoke or drink or participate in the sins of the world. He had a quiet strength within.

The patrol, which consisted of about 8 people, headed out about 0730. ... The rest of the platoon was just sitting around eating and playing cards. Just routine stuff. About fifteen minutes later the morning silence was broken by the sound of an AK in the distance. Just a lot of rapid firing on semiautomatic. There was a few seconds of silence and then the sound of a lot of M-16's firing on semi and auto. From the direction of the firing I knew it had to be our patrol and told about 6 of the guys to saddle up light. Seconds later radio silence was broken as the patrol Radio Telephone Operator (RTO) started yelling hysterically to "Get someone out here, Teo's been hit and we're taking fire". By the time we took off up the ridge the firing had stopped.

About 150 meters out the jungle opened up into a small meadow. ... About 50 meters ahead the trail again disappeared into the jungle. I could see Lt. Milo on the far side of the meadow waving at us. We were moving fast. From the time the shooting started until we arrived on the scene was no more than 5 minutes.

As we arrived at the scene I noticed Teo lying face up with a gaping hole in his neck. ... Teo had been walking rear guard [when] a trail watcher had opened up on them. ... Lt. Milo and the RTO were busy ahead calling in a fire mission from Kim Quy.

As we waited my eyes turned back to Teo. He wasn't quite dead but from the size of the wound there was no doubt that he was on his way. ... There was the typical glazed look in his eyes. The pupils seemed to dilate and contract in irregular intervals. He was gasping and raling through the hole in his throat. I wasn't even sure if he was conscious of his surroundings. But the eyes seemed to focus on something above each time the pupils would contract. What did he see? ... It seemed like hours before the eyes finally dilated for the last time.

Taken from

Paul also obtained a copy of the Ops Report from the National Archives.
This is an extract from the Spot Report submitted immediately after the action:

Paul Grandy, Kim Qui, SVN, 1971

Fiatele Teo also is remembered on the
327th Infantry site.

Photos of Teo and Grandy courtesy of Gene Hallas

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 Mar 2003
Last updated 08/10/2009