Clarence Leroy Casto

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
31 October 1935 - 13 November 1966
West Jefferson, Ohio
Panel 12E Line 066


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Clarence Leroy Casto

14 Jun 2006

SSG Clarence L. Casto was assigned to Company A, 1st of the 14th Infantry, and underwent enemy fire in Pleiku VN on 13 Nov 1966 when he was killed in action along with 15 other comrades of his company and Company C that came to the rescue. He followed his older brother Otis Ralph Casto into the military - Otis was a Marine, but Clarence went Army. He was my uncle and was scheduled to return home on 15 November 1966 but didn't make the flight as a passenger, he made the casualty list instead. He will be missed for the rest of my life, it would have been the first time I had ever met my uncle as my father was a Marine and we always travelled. I think of him daily as I am also a Vietnam vet assigned to the Americal Div in 1971, and the 101st Airborne in 1972 with which I came back home to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in February 1972.

From his nephew,
Dennis R. Casto
2254 Hwy 21 North, Springfield, Ga. 31329

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 13 November 1966 the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, was conducting search operations a short distance away from Landing Zone Lane in southwestern Kontum Province. In late morning Alpha Company encountered enemy forces and entered into a heavy exchange of fire. After a brief lull in the fighting Alpha 1/14 was engaged by a North Vietnamese Army battalion. Forced into a defensive perimeter, Alpha took heavy casualties before Charlie Company was able to come up, engage the NVA from their rear, and force the NVA from the area. Sixteen American soldiers are known to have died in the engagement:
  • A Company:
    • CPT Joseph X. Grant, Arlington, MA (Medal of Honor)
    • 1LT Terence D. O'Brien, Vicksburg, MS (Dist Svc Cross)
    • SSG Clarence L. Casto, West Jefferson, OH
    • SGT Aaron Blanding, Manning, SC
    • SP4 Edward Carrola, Sacramento, CA
    • SP4 John R. Schultz, Naugatuck, CT
    • SP4 William F. Sperry, Augusta, GA
    • SP4 Donald C. Vaughan, Modesto, CA
    • SP4 Ralph O. Watts, Ayer, MA
    • PFC Robert W. Hatton, Hamilton, OH
    • PFC James R. Northern, Fullerton, CA
    • PFC Louis W. Potempa, Philadelphia, PA
    • PFC Terry L. Weber, Albion, IN
    • PVT Samuel D. Danna, Temple City, CA

  • C Company:
    • SP4 Fred R. Lider, Oakland, CA
    • PFC Mozie L. Cole, Canton, MS
A complete description of the battle southwest of LZ Lane can be found on the 1st of the 14th Infantry website.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his nephew,
Dennis R. Casto
2254 Hwy 21 North, Springfield, Ga. 31329

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 14 Jun 2006
Last updated 04/05/2010