Specialist Fourth Class Olson was serving as a team leader while his company was participating in a mission to reinforce a reconnaissance platoon which was heavily engaged with a well-entrenched Viet Cong force. When his platoon moved into the area of contact and had overrun the first line of enemy bunkers, Olson and a fellow soldier moved forward of the platoon to investigate another suspected line of bunkers. As the two men advanced they were pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire from an enemy position ten meters to their front. With complete disregard for his safety, Specialist Fourth Class Olson exposed himself and hurled a hand grenade into the Viet Cong position. Failing to silence the hostile fire, he again exposed himself to the intense fire in preparation to assault the enemy position. As he prepared to hurl the grenade, he was wounded, causing him to drop the activated device within his own position. Realizing that it would explode immediately, he threw himself upon the grenade and pulled it in to his body to take the full force of the explosion. By this unselfish action he sacrificed his own life to save the lives of his comrades. His extraordinary heroism inspired his fellow soldiers to renew their efforts and totally defeat the enemy force.
The following message was received:
"I was with Ken the day he was killed, we were talking about 5 minutes before he was engaged in the firefight. It was about 5:00 or 6:00 pm. on Monday May 13, 1968. There were three or four of us who went in and brought Ken out the next day. If anyone would like to contact me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org" Mike Cullinan
Born at Budapest, Hungary, September 21, 1939, he earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam while serving with the 74th Infantry Detachment (Long Range Patrol), 173rd Airborne Brigade at Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam, November 13, 1968.
For conspicious gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty. He distinguished himself while serving as leader of Team Delta, 74th Infantry Detachment. At 1000 hours on this date, Team Delta was in a defensive prrimeter conducting reconnaissance of enemy trail networks when a member of the team detected enemy movement to the front. As he and a comrade prepared to clear the area, he heard an incoming grenade as it landed in the midst of the team's perimeter. With complete disregard for his own life, he threw himself on the grenade and, covering it with his body, received the complete impact of the immediate explosion. Through indomitable courage, complete disregard for his own life and injury to the other members of Team Delta. By gallantry at the cost of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, he has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Army.
His body was returned to the United States where it was buried in Section 52 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 74th Infantry Detachment (Long Range Patrol), 173d Airborne Brigade. Place and date: Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 13 November 1968. Entered service at: Minneapolis, Minnesota. Born: 21 September 1939, Budapest, Hungary.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Rabel distinguished himself while serving as leader of Team Delta, 74th Infantry Detachment. At 1000 hours on this date, Team Delta was in a defensive perimeter conducting reconnaissance of enemy trail networks when a member of the team detected enemy movement to the front. As S/Sgt. Rabel and a comrade prepared to clear the area, he heard an incoming grenade as it landed in the midst of the team's perimeter. With complete disregard for his life, S/Sgt. Rabel threw himself on the grenade and, covering it with his body, received the complete impact of the immediateexplosion. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, S/Sgt. Rabel averted the loss of life and injury to the other members of Team Delta. By his gallantry at the cost of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, S/Sgt. Rabel has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
I keep you in my mind and in my heart. I remember you well. When we were students together at the MACV Recondo School in Nha Trang in 1967, you were so much older than I was. I was only twenty years old, half way through the first of two tours In Country. You were 27. You seemed so impossibly older than me then. On breaks, those of us who were students from the 173rd Airborne Brigade would gather together and tell stories. You regaled us with stories of the shock to your most innocent youth in Hungary in 1956, when you were a 17-year-old lad, being caught up in the Revolution that was brutally crushed. Your recounting of escaping and evading through Russian lines was a harrowing tale. I remember the twinkle in your eyes when you recalled how you took out a couple of Russians who were in your way during your escape to the West. Here it was 11 years later and you puffed up your burly chest with the pride of the opportunity to rid the world of more Communists and get paid for it. Your dedication and commitment to your mission and to your fellow soldiers both awed and inspired me.
Thanks for being in such good humor when I threatened to "pop" you one. It was my arm that was extended before you during the Medical Module / Intravenous exercise. You were trying so hard with your thick fingers to inject me with the proscribed amount of sterile water. On the first attempt, you rolled the needle off the vein to the right. On the second attempt, you rolled the needle off to the left. On the third attempt, you rammed the needle through the vein. On the fourth attempt, after my "threat", you got it right. While I was thankful, I was sore.
In 1968, however, I'd heard of your selfless act from friends of mine who were there. Recently, I read the citation language that accompanied your Congressional Medal of Honor. Your final act was so consistent with the dedication and commitment you professed while we were at the Recondo School. These days, Lazlo, I feel honored to have shared that little bit of blood with you. Does that make us blood brothers? If not, we remain brothers in spirit.
Eternal Peace is Yours, Larry Warner
The names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall from Minnesota, sorted by "Town" Click Here
The names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall from Minnesota, sorted by "Last Name" Click Here
Robert Alan Haney - Duluth, Minnesota.
John Marvin Stenberg - International Falls, Minnesota.
Milton George Kelsey
Benjamin Franklin Danielson
Harold Dean Housker
William Henry Beckwith
John Franklin Meyer
Philip Lawrence Jewell
Paul Victor Carlson - MIA - Minneapolis, MN
David Leonard Ugland
Martin John Nickelson - Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Michael A. Mahowald
Charles Edward Ryberg
Scott Douglas Schoeben
Richard Edward Mishuk
Gary Allen Rathbun
Thomas William Haney
James A Roberg
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial "The Three Soldiers"
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial "Ghost of the Night Watchman"
"To live in the hearts we leave behind, is never to have died." (Thomas Campbell, "Hallowed Ground", circa 1888)
Richard Alfred Ungerecht
Michael James O'Neill
Charles Orvis Deedrick, Jr
Peter Burr Hedlund
Keven Zane Goodno
John Alexander Smith
William Joseph Steffes
John Kim Vogelsang
Ronald William Panno
Ronald Alphonse Krebsbach
Dennis Gordon Hanson
Noel Steven Nelson
Bill Wayne Deetz
Paul Robert Edmond
Donald Ignatius Culshaw
Lauren Dale Huerd
Ronald Paul Allen
Lawrence Frank Lewellin
Dennis Irwin Pedersen
Thomas Ray Daniels
Daniel Thomas O'Laughlin
William Sylvester De Boer
Roger Michael Kittleson
Marlin Edwin Bembenek
Gordon Marlo Gunhus
Timothy G Robinson
Michael Edward Quinn
Peter Ray Willey
Peter Willey, who spent his younger days in Huron, Ohio, volunteered for the Marines right out of high school and went to boot camp at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, the summer of 1967. His brother, Ted, who now lives in Colorado, said Pete lost 58 pounds in boot camp and then left for Vietnam that September. After he went overseas, his family sent packages of "goodies" to Pete and his friends, but Pete gave his goodies to the Vietnamese children. He loved children, Ted said, and spent most of his free time with them.
Pete was 20 years and 10 days old on Jan. 15, 1968, when he was killed instantly in action. He was with his company on patrol in Thua Thien Province when the company became engaged in an intense firefight. He was killed by a mortar round which landed in his position. His commanding officer sent the family a personal letter, describing his unbelievable character and bravery.
When tomorrow starts without me, Don't think we're far apart, For every time you think of me, I'm right here in your heart.
Colonel 602ND SPEC OPS SQDN, 56TH SOW, 7TH AF United States Air Force 28 April 1926 - 04 October 1979 St Paul, Minnesota Panel 32W Line 039
On 14 Feb 1969 an F-4D (serial 65-0651, 497th TFS) flown by LtCol Stanley S. Clark and 1stLt Gordon K. Breault was shot down about 20 miles northeast of Saravane, Laos. Breault contacted his wingman while still parachuting down but there was no evidence that Clark had ejected from the F-4D. Although SAR efforts were begun at once, Breault was not picked up before nightfall.
Early on the 15th two A-1 Skyraiders from the 602nd SOS at Nakon Phanom launched to provide SAR support; LtCol Richard Walsh was the section lead and SAR coordinator for the effort to locate and recover Clark and Breault. A pair of HH-3s and two other A-1s stood off as the rescue force. Enemy AAA fire was fairly intense, and Walsh and his wingman set out to suppress the AAA guns. Walsh's A-1J, serial 52-142080, was hit by 37mm fire while at about 1,000 feet and went into the jungle.
Breault was eventually picked up, but no contact was ever made with either LtCol Clark or LtCol Walsh. Both men initially were classed as Missing in Action. An Air Force review board determined that all available evidence indicated that Clark never left his aircraft and recommended that his status be changed to Killed in Action/Body not Recovered. LtCol Walsh remained in MIA status until the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death on 04 Oct 1979. Both men were promoted to Colonel while in MIA status. Their remains have not been recovered.
The 602nd Fighter Squadron was reactivated at Bien Hoa Air Base in 1964 and endured several redesignations before it was deactivated on 31 Dec 1970. It first became the 602nd Fighter Commando Squadron, then it became the 602nd Air Commando Squadron, and on 01 Aug 1968 it was redesignated the 602nd Special Operations Squadron. The squadron's operating base changed even more frequently than its name; from Bien Hoa it went to Nha Trang for a brief period, thence to Udorn RTAFB, and finally in March 1968 moved to Nakon Phanom RTAFB. The squadron operated several versions of the A-1 Skyraider, providing strike and SAR support in South Vietnam and later in Laos. During its 6 years of service the squadron lost 80 aircraft and at least 38 pilots
Daniel Sulander 1961
Daniel Arthur Sulander
Daniel Sulander 1966
Daniel Arthur Sulander was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 18, 1943. Danny grew up in Minneapolis and Donald Michel, his close friend from childhood remembers him: I would like to tell you about my best friend Daniel Arthur Sulander.
Danny was placed in a foster home in my neighborhood when he was about 10 years old. He adapted well to being the new kid in the neighborhood and we soon found out we shared the same interests. We belonged to the Boy Scouts and Danny really enjoyed the outdoor activities especially camping out. Later on he joined The Civil Air Patrol and explained to me that they had two things the scouts did not have, airplanes and girls. He introduced me to one of those girls and she later became my wife. He always liked gadgets such as cameras, tape recorders, and CB radios, but flying was his favorite experience.
Danny graduated from Hopkins High School, in a suburb of Minneapolis, in 1961. During his school years he played hockey, belonged to the ski club, and did stage lighting for plays and shows. After high school he went to the University of Minnesota for a year before joining the Army. While driving trucks out of Fort Lewis Washington the opportunity came for helicopter training at Fort Rucker. He jumped at the chance to do what he loved best, fly. He was proud of his accomplishment of becoming a pilot.
Danny loved life and always had a plan and goals. His ability to adapt to any situation always amazed me. I think of him often and wonder what could have been.
Sincerely, Donald Michel
Before attending flight school Danny rose to the rank of Specialist 5th Class in the Engineers. He graduated from RW Class 66-9W and was commissioned as a Warrant Officer on 13 May 1966. Danny was assigned to the 281st Assault Helicopter Company and arrived in Nha Trang Vietnam on 21 June 1966. Fred Philips, a fellow Intruder and friend remembers him:
I'd been in country for several months when Dan Sulander arrived. At first, we weren't much impressed with his flying. He was just another clueless guy, like all of us had been when we first got there. But Dan was different. Before long, we saw that he could keep his cool under fire. When the bad guys started shooting he was the greatest there ever was and that's a fact. It was his downfall. In the 281st, the best pilots got the worst missions.
But you asked what Dan did that made us laugh, or chuckle, or puke, or whatever. Before he went to flight school he was in the Army Engineers where, he claimed, he learned how to make stuff. On a really bad operation near a Montagnard village called Boun Blech, Dan took it upon himself to build a field shower, which would presumably improve our hygiene. For two or three days, he gathered tools and materials and worked like a beaver. He finished that masterpiece just as the monsoons arrived - with natural warm showers far better than he could ever construct.
Dan also owned the most extreme combat stereo system I ever heard. He had an amazing amp and a pair of huge speakers (purchased in Hong Kong or maybe Bangkok) that worked off of an Army generator. It didn't matter what kind of music you liked - rock, country, big band, classical, jazz, folk, whatever - he had it all and you got whatever you wanted, even in a firefight (Literally) in the middle of the night at some forward operating base like Song Be or Tay Ninh.
Dan Sulander was one cool guy and, like you, I miss him.
WO Daniel Arthur Sulander was lost on December 2, 1966 along with WO Donald Harrison, SP/4 William J. Bodzick and SP/4 Lee J. Boudreaux, Jr. A brief synopsis of the mission in which they lost their lives follows:
WO Daniel Sulander was assigned as the Aircraft Commander on UH-1D 65-10088. He and his crew left Khe Sanh South Vietnam, along with six other UH-1s from the 281st AHC at approximately 10.00 a.m. on 2 December 1966. Their mission was to recover a long-range recon team located inside the borders of in Laos. The team, consisting of two Special Forces personnel (MSG Russell Bott and SMAJ Willie Stark) and a number of South Vietnamese Army personnel were in contact and under heavy fire from larger enemy force from the NVA 325B Division, Stark had been wounded in the chest and leg, and several ARVN troops had been killed or wounded. The team reported that they were running low on ammunition and that their situation was precarious. SGT Irby Dyer, a medic with Det B-52, 5th Special Forces Group was on board the aircraft with WO Sulander.
As the UH-1D neared the team's position and begin to make its approach it came under heavy intense automatic weapons fire. The crew of a 281st AHC helicopter flying protective cover reported that the WO Sulander's aircraft descended in a nose down attitude and crashed. The aircraft immediately engulfed in flames and continued to burn for the approximately fifteen minutes.
Searches conducted between 10 and 13 December located the UH-1D wreckage and identified the remains of the five men aboard, but the search team was not able to recover the bodies. No trace of Bott and Stark was found. Another team was inserted to recover the remains of the helicopter crew, but found that US air strikes in the area had hit the UH-1 wreckage. While three bodies could be positively identified and recovered, WO Sulander and SGT Dyer's remains could not be identified.
Although there was some evidence that Bott was captured, there is no certainty of what happened to either of the two Special Forces men.
WO Daniel Sulander's body was not recovered. On 2 August 1973 his status was changed from missing in action to presumed to have been killed in action on 2 December 1966. WO Sulander was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, The Bronze Star, the Air Medal For Heroism and the Government of South Vietnam awarded him the Gallantry Cross With Silver Star, The Military Merit Medal and the Gallantry Cross With Palm. Danny was 23 years old when he gave his life in the performance of his duty. His service with the 281st AHC and his outstanding performance of duty under fire clearly marks him as an "Intruder" that that shall not be forgotten. His Grandmother, the late Mrs. Ella Bockler, his brothers Gary L. and George Sulander and his life long friend, Donald Michel, survived him.
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