ceased carrying all of that weight. Of course, this meant that Mike
became available to walk point, a job none of us relished, but we all took our turn.There were numerous and memorable patrols, firefights and battles for us 4th/47th troopers, but our experiences of June 19th and
July 11th, 1967 stand out most significantly to Mike. During the horrific battle on June 19th, our battalion lost 50 men killed in action and many more were wounded, including Mike.
On this day, Mike earned the Purple Heart and he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for valor due to his heroic actions battling the entrenched Viet Cong and aiding other wounded soldiers. Also on this day, Lt. Jack's RTO, Bob French, was seriously wounded resulting in Mike leaving Sergeant George Smith's squad to become Lt. Jack's RTO. These events, strangely enough, ultimately saved Mike's life. For it was on July 11th, the 2nd Platoon was suddenly pinned down in an open rice paddy by entrenched Viet Cong in a tree line. Sergeant Smith and three members of his squad were killed. If Mike had not become Lt. Jack's RTO, he would have been out there with Smitty, Phil Ferro, Butch Eakins, and Harold King. To this day, Mike feels truly blessed. Of the original 40 2nd Platoon troopers trained at Fort Riley's famed Custer Hill and sent to Viet Nam, Mike was one of the fortunate 13 remaining when our Tour of Duty ended in January, 1968. I will always remember Mike as a very good friend and he will forever remain an Old Reliable - a special member of our extended Charlie Company family.
Bill Reynolds - February 6, 2001
When Mike completed his Tour of Duty, he turned his RTO duties over to Tom Hogle, who hailed from Syracuse New York. Tom came to the 2nd Platoon as a replacement in early 1967. Tom Hogle is most memorable for his front page article in the New York times; his picture was taken immediately after the June 19th battle. The caption read, "The Viet Cong Lost, The Mud Won". Check the Battles page for this article.