The Springfield 50 Project
Western Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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February 7, 2004

Dear Steve,

I really donít know where to begin this note.  Last evening I received a telephone call from Portland, Oregon regarding a fellow soldier I had served with, Wayne K. Smith.  I had left a remembrance some two years ago and had almost forgotten.  His sons just found the virtual wall site and found my message.  I didnít realize he had even had any children, makes you think.

My name is Henry A. Trickey Jr.  I was a Sergeant E-5 with the 101st Airborne 2/502 Alpha Company 1st Platoon.  I served in-country from December 1969 till December 1970.  

On May 8, 1970 we were on a search and destroy mission.  I was the squad leader for Charlie squad of the 1st Platoon.  We took turns walking point, and this day it belonged to Peter Nolan and Wayne Smith.  The NVA were waiting and Peter and Wayne were KIA.  It is probably just the luck of the draw that my squad wasnít leading that day.  I will list a few names that were also KIA during this operation and maybe you can research some of those names for information:

Donnie E. Horton               KIA April 30, 1970
Ivory Lee Mc Kinney         KIA May 5, 1970
Green E. Miller Jr.             KIA May 5, 1970
Peter F. Nolan                   KIA May 8, 1970
Wayne K. Smith                KIA May 8, 1970
David L. Christopherson   KIA May 16, 1970 
David L. Jones                  KIA May 16, 1970
John R. Mariani                 KIA May 16, 1970
Billy Ray Mc Cullough      KIA May 16, 1970

We lost others, but these names were closest to the time frame you are interested in.  My M-60 machine gunner is a man named Roy Larison, he is from Kentucky.  He seems to remember most of the details.  

I swear to God that I spend 25 plus years trying to forget that place, and now try to remember. 

All of these men were great individuals with bright futures.  They gave their all for us, may they rest in peace.

Hopefully this will assist you.

Strike Force
Hank Trickey

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