Raymond Lewis Bethea

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
29 November 1949 - 09 March 1969
New York, New York
Panel 30W Line 084


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Raymond Lewis Bethea

05 Mar 2007

A truly selfless man.

By early 1969 the numbers of "B" Company of the "Red Warriors" were growing thin. There was a man nicknamed "Little George" in my platoon.

When I returned from a short range patrol, it was my duty to help assign the four members of the next patrol to be led by Sergeant Dean Johnson.

Little George was up in the rotation but Little George only had two weeks until his return to "the world". Raymond Lewis Bethea said to me "Hey, Little George is short. I'll take his patrol". It was the most selfless thing I ever witnessed in RVN.

Ray deserves a medal but I am the only man that heard Ray say this. I'm hoping another member of B Company heard this and replies.

My 1st Squad, 1st Platoon recovered his body.

From a Platoon member,
Staff Sergeant Ken Henkel

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 08-09 March 1969 elements of the 1st Bn, 12th Infantry engaged NVA troops on Hill 994, at the northern end of the Plei Trap Valley in Kontum Province. Ten men are known to have died in the fighting, and two who died of wounds on 10 March are thought to have been wounded at Hill 994.

The twelve men are

  • B Company:
    • SSG Dean H. Johnson, Craftsbury, VT
    • SSG Jerry C. McDonald, Port Aransas, TX
    • SSG Robert B. Protto, Sunnyvale, CA
    • SGT Thomas G. Turner, Bethesda, MD
    • SGT Clarence P. Burleson, Fairfield, CA
    • SP4 Raymond L. Bethea, New York, NY
    • SP4 Edward J. Millison, Fernwood, PA
    • CPL Julius A. Mitchell, Tallahassee, FL (DoW 03/10/1969)
    • SP4 Clarence Nofford, Newark, NJ
    • SP4 William J. Stedl, Greenleaf, WI (DoW 03/10/1969)

  • D Company:

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a Platoon member,
Staff Sergeant Ken Henkel

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 05 Mar 2007
Last updated 03/08/2007