James Dale Brewer, KIA Vietnam

May 22, 2019

 

"It is sweet and right to die for your country....an old and dangerous lie. It might be necessary, but it is never sweet and rarely right.  It's a tragedy."   --Louise Penny, Bring Your Dead

 

On September 21, 1946 identical twin boys, James and John, were born in Huntington, West Virginia. Two brothers were later born, making this a family of 4 boys.  When James and John were twelve, the family, including their mom and step-father, moved to a small farm near Chester, Ohio.  The boys worked at the farm to help raise the animals and they maintained a huge garden. 

 

James Dale Brewer's cousin, Carol, has fond memories of growing up with him and playing "Army" with him.  His youngest brother, Charlie, remembers how his big brother always made him laugh with his comics and jokes. He says that James was an avid reader of military books and leadership books.

 

In November of 1965, James and his brother John both entered the service and did their basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.  James went into the infantry.  John went on to being a medic.  James was sent to Vietnam and John to Hawaii. 

 

James left Boston Harbor with the 196 Light Infantry Brigade on July 15, 1966 on the USS Patch.  They arrived in Vung Tau on August 15, 1966. From there they were flown to Tay Ninh to build a base camp near the Black Virgin Mountain. In November, he was involved in a large battle called Operation Attleboro which took place near Dau Tieng (where Eddy was based about a year later). 

 

He was involved in a few other operations before being transferred to A Company 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division on March 18th, 1967.

 

One day later, on March 19th he flew with his new company to Landing Zone Gold. Arriving the same day was Michael Doolittle, whom I wrote about in a previous post.  They both witnessed two of their helicopters getting shot down and 22 lives lost instantly. This was the beginning of the Battle of Soui Tre, which, on the morning of March 21st, James Dale Brewer lost his young life at age 20, along with 32 others. Front and center in this picture is Michael Doolittle, whose life was spared due to the quick thinking of one man, John W. Vessey, Jr., who later became a General and Joint Chief of Staff for Ronald Reagan.  I write about this in the other post about Michael Doolittle. At the bottom of today's post, I included a link to hear General Vessey speak about this battle at a reunion for the survivors.  All 33 names of the fallen soldiers were read aloud.  In this picture, the survivors are praying for the men they lost in this horrendous battle at Soui Tre, one of the worst battles in Vietnam, with the greatest loss in one day of the war. Below is a list of the young men they lost, the men are praying for.

 

 

On the eve of this battle, 52 years later, the youngest brother of James (top right in family picture), Charlie Brewer (youngest in picture), stood on this battlefield with Michael Doolittle, a survivor of the battle and with them, beside them, stood an officer of the North Vietnamese Army who fought against Michael and James on that horrible day.  Charlie, with tears flowing, stood with the "enemy" on the ground where his big brother lost his life and he says, "I knew James knew I was there honoring him and others."

 

 

 

The 33 who lost their lives at the Battle of Soui Tre, March 21, 1967:

 

Army, 3/22nd, 2/77th, 2/22nd, and 2/34th 

SP4 EDWARD M AMATO 

SP4 HERMAN E ANDERS JR

PFC MATTHEW D ATKINS III

SP5 NORMAN L BALLANCE III

SP4 MICHAEL A BALZER

SP4 LARRY D BARTON

PFC THOMAS L BELL

SP4 KENNETH G BLANTON

SP4 JAMES D BREWER

SGT JOSEPH J DI LANDRO

SSG JACK EATON

PFC BRIAN F GIBBONS

PFC CHARLES R GOODWIN

SP4 WILLIE GRANT JR

PFC CHARLES R GREER

PFC EVERETTE E HARDING

PFC JOHN O HARRIS

SP4 JAMES R HINTZ

SP4 VIRGIL M LEDFORD

PFC WILLIAM E MALLORY JR

SP4 EDWARD J MULLER

SP4 GARLAND A NEWHOUSE

SP4 THOMAS D PETERKIN

CPL JOHN F PEZZULO

SP4 LAWRENCE E POLLOCK

SP4 DAVID C ROGERS

SP4 THOMAS M SEKLECKI

SP4 ROBERT J SMITH

SP4 THOMAS R TALMADGE

SP4 ALGERNON P THOMAS

SP4 LARRY L WARNOCK

 

USAF O-1 BIRDDOG Crew

CPT TONIE L ENGLAND JR

CPT WALTER H FORBES III 

 

See General Vessey, Jr. speaking at a 2015 reunion of the survivors of the Battle of Soui Tre: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3UYucwCxkI
 

 

 

 

Please reload

Featured Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Recent Posts

October 28, 2019

April 27, 2019

Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic