Melvin Lynn Applebury

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
12 August 1948 - 03 March 1969
Eugene, Oregon
Panel 30W Line 018


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Melvin Lynn Applebury

24 Jul 2008

My friend Lynn Applebury was a quiet guy with a good sense of who he was. When others in the class of 1966 were making hot rods of their cars Lynn kept the factory look on his yellow and white 1955 Chevy. That was his baby. I only went to North Eugene High School for a short time but Lynn was a good friend. I have been trying to find out where my friend was and what he was up to. By chance I found him on the Faces on the Wall. That was yesterday, July 23, 2008. It was hard to hold back tears while I was reading the Memorial of Dennis Coll and it listed the 21 men who lost their lives that day in Viet Nam. It's hard to hold back feelings when I just found out my friend is no longer with us. I will always remember him as my good friend. Every time I see a yellow and white 1955 Chevy I remember him and his love of his '55 Chevy.

From a good friend,
Donald L. Butts

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In February 1969 the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, was directed to block and destroy NVA transportation routes in the Plei Trap Valley. The operation began on 1 March 1969 with a combat assault by A Company, 3/12 Infantry, into Landing Zone Swinger. After securing LZ Swinger for artillery emplacement A/1/12 and other 1st Brigade rifle companies spread out into the valley looking for NVA troops.

Late in the afternoon of 03 March, A Company, 3/8 Infantry, found them when they were engaged by enemy troops. The initial contact was heavy and the Artillery Forward Observer's RTO (PFC Santos) was killed in the first few minutes, reducing the effectiveness of artillery support. The contact rapidly degenerated into a violent up-close infantry fight. By the time the NVA were forced from their defensive positions Alpha 3/8th Infantry had lost twenty-one men:

  • CPT Dennis R. Isom, Drexel Hill, PA (Company Commander)
  • 1LT Robert E. Griffith, Big Spring, TX (Bronze Star "V")
  • SGT George R. Robinson, New York, NY
  • SP4 Melvin L. Applebury, Eugene, OR
  • SP4 Philip L. Baker, Correctionville, IA (Medic from HHC/3/8)
  • SP4 Fred D. Burton, Chase City, VA
  • SP4 Dennis J. Coll, Springfield, NJ (Silver Star)
  • SP4 Charlie Fields, Winter Garden, FL
  • SP4 Rodger D. Force, Millport, NY
  • SP4 Rupert W. Goebel, Gastonia, NC (Medic from HHC/3/8)
  • SP4 Barry D. Horton, Airway Heights, WA (Silver Star)
  • SP4 Willie J. Hudson, Lovingston, VA
  • SP4 Vernon E. Lail, Conover, NC
  • SP4 William J. Schaaf, Baltimore, MD
  • SP4 Joseph Schmich, St Louis, MO
  • PFC Paul J. Buczolich, River Rouge, MI
  • PFC Michael England, Athens, GA
  • PFC William T. Rector, Front Royal, VA
  • PFC Layne M. Santos, Los Angeles, CA (Arty FO RTO from C Btry, 6/29th Arty)
  • PFC David A. Seiber, Waynesboro, TN (Silver Star)
  • PFC Willard A. Wimmer, Baltimore, MD
One man was missing in action - SP4 Jerry L. Guffey. The 1st Brigade, 4th ID After-Action Report description of events for the next day (04 March) contains the following:
"D/3-8th continued to move up the ridge from YA800856 to establish a block and prevent enemy withdrawal to the south. While moving to Hill 947 (YA14869), the company found a well used trail with telephone wire laid along side the military symbols carved in the trees. Hill 947 was reached without opposition. As the company moved further north, contact was made with an unknown size force, resulting in 4 NVA KIA and 1 US recaptured."

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a good friend,
Donald L. Butts

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 Jul 2008
Last updated 08/09/2008