Louis Buckley, Jr
The fight at LZ Hereford was part of Operation Crazy Horse, which began on May 15, 1966, to "find, fix and destroy" the enemy force. (Photo: U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center)
Louis Buckley, Jr
Louis Buckley Jr Sergeant First Class Promoted while in MIA status...
Promoted while in MIA statusBUCKLEY, LOUIS JR. Sergeant First Class Promoted while in MIA status...
Name: Louis Buckley, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: Mortar Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry
Date of Birth: 20 May 1943
Home City of Record: Detroit MI
Loss Date: 21 May 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 141048N 1083002E (BR664628)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 1998.
SYNOPSIS: Sgt. Louis Buckley was attached to a mortar platoon based at An
Khe, South Vietnam. The day after his 33rd birthday, Buckley's 22 man
platoon was inserted by helicopter to LZ Hereford, located northeast of An
Khe near the Song Ba River. The platoon was to provide continuous fire
support for C Company's sweep of the area lying between LZ Hereford and LZ
Milton to the south.
Everything went without a hitch, and around 1200 hours, the platoon prepared
to be picked up to rejoin the rest of the Company at the bottom of the
valley. Helicopters were inbound when mortar platoon members saw a number of
enemy soldiers five meters away, and opened fire with their M16s. As if by
signal, other enemy located on a hill about 300 meters away poured a hail of
machinegun, mortar and rocket launcher fire onto the platoon's position. The
platoon's 81mm mortar was knocked out almost immediately, and the platoon,
taking heavy casualties, called for help.
The company commander immediately ordered his 1st Platoon to get up the
hill, and led the rest of the company, scrambling, sliding and falling in a
desperate effort to reach the mortar platoon. The commander did not realize
until later the scope of the attack and that his entire company might have
been in a classic ambush. The enemy had watched patiently until the
Americans felt confident that the LZ was secure, and they launched their
attack. The mortar company had 6 wounded, 15 dead and one missing.
The Viet Cong on top of the hill divided into two groups to search for the
remaining Americans, loot the dead and grab what arms and munitions they
could. Just 35 minutes after the first call for help, the enemy was gone,
and so was Sgt. Louis Buckley. His pack was found with blood on it. He was
declared Missing In Action. Survivors reported seeing Sgt. Buckley
withdrawing at a southwesterly direction by himself. He is reported to have
had blood on his shirt and arm, although it is not known for certain if he
Buckley is one of nearly 2500 Americans who are still missing from the
Vietnam war. Unlike MIAs from other wars, where many men were lost at sea
and could not be recovered, most of the missing in Vietnam can be accounted
for. Tragically, "several million documents" and over "250,000 interviews"
(State Department report, November 1988) are testimony that in our haste to
end the war, we abandoned hundreds of our men to enemy hands.
Were it not for the thousands of still-classified reports, Buckley's family
might be able to assume Louis was killed that day. But as long as men are
alive, and one of them could be Louis Buckley, they cannot forget. Can we?
PERSONAL DATA Home of Record: Detroit, MI Date of birth: 05/20/1943 This whole page © Copyright 1997-2012 www.VirtualWall.org MILITARY DATA Service: Army of the United States Grade at loss: E5 Rank: Sergeant First Class Note: Promoted while in MIA status ID No: 385426024 MOS: 11C4P: Indirect Fire Infantryman (Airborne Qual) Length Service: ** Unit: MORTAR PLT, C CO, 1ST BN, 12TH CAVALRY, 1ST CAV DIV, USARV CASUALTY DATA Start Tour: Not Recorded Incident Date: 05/21/1966 Casualty Date: 01/25/1978 Age at Loss: 34 (based on date declared dead) Location: Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam Remains: Body not recovered Casualty Type: Hostile, died while missing Casualty Reason: Ground casualty Casualty Detail: Not Reported URL: www.VirtualWall.org/db/BuckleyLx01a.htm ON THE WALL Panel 7E Line 94
The 1st 12th regiment site claim that some remains identified Sgt Buckley in 1978 when he was declared dead. The horrific scenarioo at LZ Hereford has haunted me all this years and I have wondered if the DOD actually did find remains of sgt Buckley. Has any one has ever contacted his family to verify the claim. I was the M-60 gunner bringing down the rear of the company column on the extremely narrow trail and about 20 minutes away from our motor platoon when all hell broke loose. They company reversed direction to get back to our motor platoon with assistance and guess what, I wasn't the M-60 crew bringing down the rear anymore. I was the guy providing point of the column going up. We were on trying to run back up the hill indesperation to assist our guys being averrunned by countles viet and NVA according to Helicopter personnel on the air providing some kind of fire support to them. The copter guys said that their were just too many enemy soldiers overrunning our guys. The trail was so narrow that my platoon commander was trying to pass me going up hill and he fell was just falling and sliding on the grass of the trail. It the look of hell when we finally got there. we secured and held the LZ till next day. I still seem to hear the screams of sgt Buckley being tortured. They played with our minds most of the evening and most of the night. We could hear Buckly screams of pain. The eco of his voice confused us as to what direction from us he could have been. It was a well planned by the vitcong. Even more scary to me was the thought that like they knew who to take away. Sgt Buckley was high regarded by most of us as a great mortar man, as one of the best when it came to organize his crews, shoot quickly and accruate when we most needed mortar support. BIG LOSE.