Edmond Tello Ballance
Private First Class
RECON PLT, HHC, 1ST BN, 61ST INFANTRY, 5TH INF DIV, USARV
Army of the United States
Orlando, Florida
November 29, 1950 to June 06, 1971
EDMOND T BALLANCE is on the Wall at Panel W3, Line 67

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Edmond T Ballance
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January 29, 2015

It all began with a request to The Virtual Wall to change the casualty code-2 from Misadventure which is also called "Friendly Fire". Dr. Joel R. Harms simply wrote: " I was the squad leader of PFC Edmond Tello Ballance, Panel W3 Line 67. He did not die from friendly fire. He was killed as a result of a heavy mortar barrage from NVA troops. Several other platoon members were also wounded. Other platoon members are available also to provide testimony. Ed died firing an M-60 machine gun returning fire."

Edmond T Ballance

Research and additional information provided by Dr. Harms, from 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Combat Operations After Action Report (COAAR), Montana Mustang, documents show that at grid YD087630 at 1905 hours: "Scts/1-61, while setting up night ambush sites, took 6-8x 60mm rounds - - 1 US KIA, 2 US WIA."

Operation MONTANA MUSTANG was a reconnaisance in force, and search and clear operation along the southern bounary of the DMZ and western Quang Tri Province. It was also a combined operation with the Government of Vietnam forces in the coastal lowlands of Quang Tri Province to curb infiltraton and secure the population. The operation was started on 8 April 1971 and ended 11 July 1971.

The 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mech) conducted operations with TF 1-61 in Area of Operations (AO) Orange, TF 1-11 in AO White, TF 3/5 in AO Green, TF 1 -77 (A/4th/12th Cav attached) initially in Mai Loc District, and D/3-5 Air Cav in the Recon Zone.

During Operation MONTANA MUSTANG, the 5th Infantry (MECH) lost a total of 34 soldiers from the various task forces contacts. In addition, 30 soldiers of the 5th Infantry Division were also killed during a rocket attack on Fire Support Base C-2, 6 kilometers south-southeast of Con Thien South Vietnam on 21 May 1971. Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry lost the most. You can read the full Montana Mustang Report here.

At the time of his death, Edmond was survived by his wife Linda Marie Burke Ballance (married 17 April 1970), Orlando Florida, his daughter, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E Ballance, Rouse Road, Union Park, Florida. He was buried in Chapel Hill Cemetery, Orlando.

Edmond T Ballance


- - The Virtual Wall, January 31, 2015


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