Thurl Guy Carter

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
18 January 1947 - 01 November 1968
Hayward, CA
Panel 40W Line 071



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thurl Guy Carter

27 Nov 2002

Thurl G. Carter III was a brave "redleg" (artilleryman) who fought to his death protecting his gun, his unit and Fire Support Base Rita on November 1, 1968. Manning a .50 cal machine gun atop a 155 mm Self Propelled Howitzer, Carter directed his intense fire upon sappers coming though the perimeter wire. His fire was effective. So effective, in fact, that he became the target of the insurgents. A direct hit with an RPG ended his life, much too soon.

I am proud to have served with this brave young man.

Mack Easley

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Fire Support Base Rita, located near the Cambodian border in the "Fishhook" area, had been established to block NVA infiltration from Cambodia into South Vietnam. On 01 Nov 68 it was occupied by units of 8th Bn, 6th Arty; B Troop, 1/4th Cavalry; and 1st Bn, 26th Infantry.

Just after 0300 on the morning of 01 Nov 1968, FSB Rita came under attack by North Vietnamese Army units. At the outset, the base was subjected to heavy mortar, artillery, and RPG attack, followed by a "human wave" assault against the northwestern defensive perimeter. Sappers and enemy infantry penetrated the perimeter, resulting in fighting within the northwestern section of FSB Rita. The artillery commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles C Rogers, rallied his men and beat back the initial assault. A second massed assault followed, and again LTC Rogers led a successful defense. As dawn broke a third massed attack was launched. Rogers, now with three serious wounds, no longer was able to physically lead his men but continued to direct the defense and once again the NVA were repulsed. The battle continued until about 0800, when increasing air support forced the NVA to break off the attack and retreat across the border to sanctuary in Cambodia.

While one Medal of Honor (LTC Rogers, 8/6 Arty) and one Distinguished Service Cross (SP4 Lester Williams, 8/6 Arty, posthumous) were won that morning, the attack cost the lives of twelve American soldiers:

  • C Battery, 8/6 Arty:
  • B Trp, 1/4 Cav:
    • SP4 Michael P Alongi, Jr, Elmwood Park IL
    • SP4 Wayne K Laine, Walnut Creek CA
    • SP4 Marvin N Propson, Hilbert WI (buried St. John's Cemetery, St. John, WI)

  • 1/26 Inf:
    • Sgt Thomas W Bayonet, A Co, St Petersburg FL
    • Sgt James M Ciupinski, B Co, Chicago IL (medic)
    • PFC James E Martin, B Co, Portland, OR

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a comrade-in-arms,
Mack Easley 
27 Nov 2002

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index C
CA State Index . Panel 40W

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 09/21/2003