Gary Terrence Coleman

Private First Class
Army of the United States
23 October 1944 - 12 July 1967
Alameda, California
Panel 23E Line 056

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gary Terrence Coleman

25 Jun 2007

Gary was known as "Cactus Jack" by those on his track team in high school. He was married and was a member of the Church of Christ. He started his tour on 5/9/1967 and was killed on 7/12/1967 in Pleiku Province. He is listed as "hostile, died while missing, ground casualty, gun, small arms, body recovered". Panel 23E, Line 56.

From a high school classmate,
Norm Choate

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The statistics given above by Mr. Choate tell the barest minimum about the circumstances of PFC Coleman's death.

The Ia Drang Valley area, now known to most Americans as a result of the book and movie "We Were Soldiers Once - And Young", was one of several river valleys west of the Central Highlands in Pleiku Province. The area formed part of the South Vietnam-Cambodian border and had been a traditional avenue of infiltration for the North Vietnamese Army. Operation FRANCES MARION (April-October 1967) involved a series of search and destroy operations in the border area intended to locate and destroy NVA infrastructure - and if possible the NVA units themselves.

On 12 July 1967, the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, was engaged in the Ia Drang Valley 12 kilometers south of Duc Co by a battalion or larger force from the 66th NVA Regiment. When engaged, the 1/12's three rifle companies were physically separated, allowing the enemy force to attack the companies individually - B Company and C Company were isolated and taken under attack. Although C Company suffered only minor losses (5 wounded and none killed), B Company took heavy losses.

Additional information and a full listing of the casualties is on
The Virtual Wall's 1/12 Infantry Memorial

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a high school classmate,
Norm Choate

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To alpha index C
CA State Index . Panel 23E
12TH INF RGT Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Jun 2007
Last updated 11/12/2007