Sunni Man's High School Friend's Vietnam Misadventure

Discussion in 'Military' started by Sunni Man, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    Clark Vernon Shawnee and I went to school together since the 7th grade. He was a guy who liked to laugh alot and make others laugh.
    About a year after graduation from high school I received my draft notice. So in April 1970 I reported to the induction station in my town.
    That's when I saw Clark and his big smile. I was so happy to so a friendly face. We were loaded on a bus and taken to the airport in OKC and flew straight to Ft. Lewis in Washington state for basic training.
    Clark and I spent 8 weeks there and graduated basic infantry training. After that we were both assigned to different units.

    That was the last time I ever saw Clark.

    He was one of 9 soldiers to lose their life in Vietnam from my town in Oklahoma.

    Miss you good friend



    Clark Vernon Shawnee
    Private First Class
    CASUALTY DATA
    Start Tour: Tuesday, 11/10/1970
    Cas Date: Sunday, 03/28/1971
    Age at Loss: 21
    Remains: Body recovered
    Location: Quang Tin, South Vietnam
    Type: Hostile, died outright
    Reason: Misadventure - Ground casualty

    ON THE WALL Panel 04W Line 090


    On the night of 27/28 March 1971 Fire Support Base (FSB) Mary Ann was occupied by 209 Americans from several units of the Americal Division:
    HHC 1/46th Infantry;
    C Co 1/46th Infantry;
    a Recon Platoon;
    elements of a Mortar Platoon;
    two 155mm howitzer sections, 3/16th Arty; and
    twenty ARVN artillerymen.

    At approximately 0230 hours, 28 March 1971, the VC mounted a coordinated mortar and sapper attack. Almost simultaneously with the mortar attack, sappers employed satchel charges and rocket propelled grenades (RPG) to penetrate the FSB's perimeter. Americans in the perimeter bunkers hunkered down until the explosions from the mortar rounds, satchel charges, and RPGs had subsided, but by then the sappers had breached the trench line and were inside the base. Once inside FSB Mary Ann, the sappers struck over half the bunkers.
    By the time the VC withdrew, 30 American soldiers were dead and 76 wounded. According to the Department of Defense's casualty database 12 of the 30 dead were killed by friendly fires; the Army's TAGCEN file amplifies that by attributing the deaths to artillery fire.

    Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall - The Virtual Wall®
     
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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  2. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    thank you for sharing the virtual wall...that is new to me.
     
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  3. GHook93
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    GHook93 Aristotle

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    Cheers to your fallen friend and American Patriot! :beer: May he RIP!



    I just hope he was a better man than you! :cool:
     
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  4. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    It's a good source for looking up friends, relatives, and fellow soldiers.

    I have wanted to make a dedication to Clark Shawnee for years.

    I figured today on Veterans Day would be a good time.
     
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  5. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    To your friend, and you, and all veterans. :thup:
     
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  6. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    I didn't know untill about a year ago that Clarks death was due to "Misadventure"

    This is the Army term for death by friendly fire.

    But this friendly fire was no accident.

    Fire base Mary Ann was so over ran by the NVA and their sappers.

    That one of the officers called in for the artillary to fire directly on their position.

    This act saved many of the American soldiers.

    But it also killed some of them.

    Clark Shawnee was among those who were killed by this last ditch tactic.


    The movie Platoon is loosely based on the savage attack on FSB Mary Ann

    Where in the final scene, The officer calls in the artillary right down on their heads.
     
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  7. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    I hope you'll let me cry with you.
     
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  8. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    Thanks Political Chic

    I was feeling quite morose as I made this thread.

    I guess it showed :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  9. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    For those who are interested.

    Here is the full story of the bravery, and sheer terror, of FSB Mary Ann

    It was the most deadly attack on a single U.S. firebase during the Vietnam War.


    "Running down the hallway of the battalion tactical operations center (TOC), Captain Paul S. Spilberg charged into a cloud of tear gas just as he reached the commander’s quarters. Staggering blindly back the way he had come, Spilberg made it to the north exit, crawled up the stairs and out the door into the fresh but bullet-ridden air. Forcing his eyes to focus, the shaken captain was stunned to hear the fire of AK-47s and the crash of rocket-propelled grenades from inside the base’s perimeter. In amazement he watched as numerous small figures darted catlike among the spreading flames. Everywhere he looked he saw the scurrying silhouettes, who were enemy sappers feeding the chain of explosions devouring Fire Support Base Mary Ann on that afternoon in 1971".


    to read more......... Deadly Sapper Attack on Fire Support Base Mary Ann During the Vietnam War ┬╗ HistoryNet
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  10. vinegarpie
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    vinegarpie Rookie

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    Sunni Man,
    My name is Glen. I am Clark's nephew (my mom is his oldest sister). It is nice to read someone's first hand experience with Clark. He and I were very close, and I still miss him terribly (my clearest memory is him eating a spoiled green hot dog while laughing his butt off)

    My 18 year old son is named after Clark. I was looking for new internet info, about Clark today, as my son's (my 6 year old his named after Clark's brother Lou) and I will be dancing at the Honoring Veteran's powwow here in Wisconsin this weekend in honor of Clark.

    Thanks for the dedication to Clark.
     
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