6th Battalion, 29th Artillery

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Thanks....Homer

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PFC Robert G. Stanko
HQ & Service Battery
Company C, 6th Bn, 29th Artillery
4th Inf Div, Vietnam

Hello sir. First of all thank you for your service in Vietnam. I am seeking information on PFC Stanko, who was the best friend of my brother. He was killed under unusual circumstances in Pleiku. He was at a firebase and in a bunker with other soldiers. An altercation took place, and as PFC Stanko attempted to break up the altercation, he was fatally shot by one of the other soldiers. The incident took place on 10/31/1968. His death was confirmed as an intentional homicide. I am wondering if you could possibly find anyone who served with PFC Stanko and knew him. PFC Stanko was in Vietnam for less than a month before he was killed.

Thank you.
Dean Rosan

Posted 22 SEP 2022

You can make contact via email to the Swamp_fox address at the bottom of this page. I will forward your email to Dean.


Jerry Robotka
S-4
6th Bn, 29th Arty

Howdy Homer,

I was the S-4 for the 6/29th. I was lucky enough to be the one responsible for packing them up and sending them home. I didn't get to go with the unit, since the Army decided I should spend 6 more months in country. Anyway, I'm alive and well and living in Wisconsin.

Best regards, Cpt. Robotka

Posted 2 OCT 2012

If you remember Jerry, email me at the Swamp_Fox address at the bottom of the page and I will forward it to him.


Jon Aldridge
6th Bn, 29th Arty

I see where you have a website in which members of the 5/16th Arty can post messages. One of the guys killed in Nam was attached to the 6th Bn, 29th Arty, but assigned to Alpha Btry 5/16th Arty.

His name was Donald Wise and he was KIA 6 Dec 66.

Members of the 6/29th are trying to locate photos of everyone KIA while in or with our unit. It is uncertain how long Wise was attached to the 6/29th and it may be that he had many friends and associates in the 5/16th, who possibly have a photo of him.

Our search for photos is in response to the "Call for Photos" put out by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund as they prepare to erect an Education Center near The Wall to further honor the Vietnam War dead by putting a photo with a name.

To date Donald Wise has no photo submitted to the VVMF.

Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Jon Aldridge
6th Bn 29th Arty

Posted 9 JAN 2012

If you can assist, email me at the Swamp_Fox address at the bottom of the page and I will forward it to him.


C/6/29
155 Battery

I received this request for any information about a missing soldier around LZ Swinger in April 1969.

Homer,

Just wondering if you or your fellow veterans can tell me anything about Chu Hing Mountain - was it in your AO during April 1969?

I have two Vietnamese witnesses (form the 3rd BN/28th REGT) that describe finding a mortally wounded American soldier after passing through a deserted American camp on an unknown night in April 1969.

They describe how they were Recon soldiers and had a recon mission up the peak of Chu Hing Mountain in search of the perimeter to an American Base Camp located near the peak. Their unit surrounded the American base camp an exchanged intense small arms fire with the camp at the peak for many days. Finally, they crawled up the mountain and saw fires burning in what seemed to be a now deserted camp. They believed the Americans withdrew toward Chu Do Camp (about 3kms north of Chu Hing Mountain).

When they reached the camp they walked around and heard a cry of pain and found the mortally wounded soldier, he gasped for air and died. They rolled him into a nearby communication trench, covered him with some dirt and moved on.

The communication trench was 1km in length and ran from the adjacent peak from the west to the American base camp located on the eastern peak. The trench ran through the saddle that connected both peaks (vic. 48P YA 825 965) estimate.

What can you tell me about Chu Hing Mountain (48P YA 837 965)?
Was there any American Base Camp there?
Did the US have a camp called Chu Dop Camp - 3km north of Chu Hing Mountain?
Are you aware of any 4-5 day battle in April 1969 on Chu Hing Mountain?
Did 4th ID have any MIA from that April battle and went back to the camp and recovered them later?
Are you aware of any battles where your unit engaged the 3rd BN/28th REGT specifically?

I have to admit, I like the detail these witnesses offer, it sounds first hand. We have no other losses within 15kms of this description of events, unless your unit had a loss and recovered the soldier at a later point? I would not have that information available to me, so this could be the description of an already wartime recovered soldier.

The timeframe is off a bit (but they are not that good at dates).

I can get a team out there with the witnesses, but they are quickly getting too old to walk up the mountain to show us the location.

Thanks for any help you can provide - please share with fellow veterans at your discretion.

Thanks again!!

v/r
Kate

Kate van Auken
LTC, United States Army
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office

Contact me through the Swamp_Fox address at bottom of page if you have any insight into this matter.

Posted 23 March 2011


Mr. Steedly,

I am trying to locate information regarding the following soldier KIA 5/26/68.

PFC Nilon Kay Bacon
B Battery B Battery, 6th Battalion, 29th Artillery - (Searchlight), 4th Infantry Division


KIA Kontum Province near Dak To
Fragmentation Wounds, Body Recovered
Very likely Hill 875 (captured Nov. ‘67 by the 173rd Airborne with 376 KIA and 1441 wounded)
Killed on his 40th day in Vietnam

My interest is this:

I am a writer and storyteller, age 59, who did not serve in the armed forces. I obtained a college deferment 1969-73, but studied two years of Army ROTC. After graduation I was not called and did not volunteer. None of my friends were killed in Vietnam, but one earned the Silver Star (of course, he never talks about the war).

In 2000 I visited a traveling exhibit of the Vietnam Wall and was deeply moved by bravery, sacrifice and, to some degree, hopelessness. “Gladiators in a system gone mad.” I made a rubbing of Nilon’s name because his home (Fall Branch, Tenn.) was near where I went to college (East Tenn. State Univ.).

Following that visit, I published in my newspaper column a story about the deep ambivalence I felt for not serving. “For all I know, Nilon was denied admission and died in my place.” Today that remains one of the most powerfully received stories I tell, especially by Vietnam veterans, who thank me for keeping alive the experience of those times.

I have found basic information about Nilon, including a web page published by his high school friends: He had a Gomer Pyle grin he’d throw at opposing batters right after his knuckleball no one could hit.

But I have not been able to locate anyone who served with him. I would very much appreciate any leads or direct communication with anyone who knew Nilon, as I want to present him as completely and respectfully as possible.

I have located some of his relatives, but have not made contact. My gut feeling is that the time is not yet right.

Thank you for your service to our nation, and for this post on your website.

Lewis Garnett
Stories by Lew





Posted 13 MARCH 2011

Doug Williams

What an amazing site – I have been to many of the places in these threads, starting my tour with the ‘yards and SF at Ranger’s Roost north of Dak Pek!!

My name is Doug Williams and I just read the piece from Terry Ward about FB 20 and Task Force Alpha in March 1969. I’d like to offer what I recall. I was the 1/8 Artillery LNO on FB 20 for the whole period and assigned to the 6/29 Arty. It was a very difficult time because nobody had been in Plei Trap for six months and it showed. There were formidable NVA regular forces coming from the tri-border area along a route that would lead east toward Polei Kleng, and then on to Kontum. Also, for the first time, we were on the receiving end of 105mm rounds. The operation lasted many days with intensity increasing with each day.

The 105’s were shooting Chinese ammunition (later extracted with some tubes) and were devastatingly lethal – in one night, toward the end, we counted over 250 rounds landing at or within the FB 20 perimeter. Throughout much of the action, we fired support both for our position on FB 20, and also the poor guys down in the middle of the NVA trail on Hill 467 – they were right in the middle of the bad traffic; and the stench of the good job they were doing was prevalent. When possible, I got in a LOH and went out looking and on one occasion, spotted about 6 NVA trucks with arms and ammo moving down the trail just a little beyond 467. After cranking up our own 105 DS tubes, as well as our 81’s and 4-dueces, I also brought in 175mm from Ben Het and 155’s from somewhere back near Polei Kleng. The fires were arranged to circle the trucks and close them in – it worked, with several large secondaries forthcoming.

The most heroic thing I have ever seen was while on FB 20 during the night of incredible incoming. The Battalion Surgeon, stranded for the night due to no flights in and out, went way beyond what one would expect. One 105 gun crew that was shooting counter battery took a direct hit – it was chaos and bedlam as the rounds kept coming in. We were all trying to put out ammo fires, tend to wounded and keep our own tubes firing. We heard some more booms and I knew more rounds were in-coming – as they hit, they landed just outside the pit that had taken the previous direct hit. As the landing rounds exploded, there were balls of light in the dark background. Between the light and me, silhouetted there in the light of the fireballs was the Doc, lying on top of a soldier who had just lost his leg, protecting him and holding up an IV to assist the soldier with pain and loss of blood. I can still perfectly see the memory – the troop made it and was evac’d the next day.

Eventually, we found the tubes that were crating so much havoc after a crater analysis and going looking for them in a LOH. As we got near to them, 37's, 12.7's and small arms opened up on us simultaneously – the pilot was incredible and we were at tree top in split-seconds. But we now had their position. That night and early next morning, B52s hit the tri-border area where we found the tubes. After that, their tubes were silent and we extracted both positions, even then under great duress.

In all, we brought out nine 105 tubes, and found they were all American carriages that were traced back to the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. The supply line had been broken and the NVA had suffered enormous losses – unfortunately, ours were also high. But for the actions of the Doc, there would be one more -- God bless him wherever he is.



Jim Lehmann

I was a medic with B battery 6th/29th artillery during the Plei Trap valley campaign from March 1, 1969 to April 6th when I left the field to go home. I was amazed when I read your post above. I have been taken by the depth of your feelings about that time. As an enlisted man, I had come to believe that officers didn't have the same feelings I had. Your site has opened my eyes. Recently I've come to the realization that a lot of what I thought was my own specific reaction to the war was common to others who served. After I came home I just didn't have anybody with similar experiences with whom to talk. Civilians just don't have a clue. The issues we had were left for us to deal with on our own.



Posted 16 NOV 2004



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