Thomas Franklin Crews

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
16 September 1942 - 06 May 1968
Marion, Alabama
Panel 56E Line 004


Combat Infantry

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

The database page for Thomas Franklin Crews

08 Dec 2002

Thank you for your service to our country. We miss you. Gone, but not forgotten. That old 427 Chevy sure would run, scared the heck out of me!!!

A memorial from a friend.
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Notes from The Virtual Wall

In May of 1968, the North Vietnamese launched what has been called their "Tet II" offensive, striking 119 provincial and district capitals, military installations, and major cities including Saigon. Unlike Tet I, which was primarily a Viet Cong uprising, Tet II was almost entirely an NVA affair.

The battle of Dai Do actually began on April 30 with the ambush of a US Navy utility boat by elements of the 320th NVA Division at the junction of the Bo Dieu and Cua Viet rivers. Since Battalion Landing Team 2/4 was in the area, it was ordered to eliminate the threat to the crucial waterway.

Faced by three Regiments of the 320th NVA Division, BLT 2/4 was forced to fall back to defensive positions north of the river, but they stopped the enemy attack. NVA reinforcements were turned back by men of the Army's 3rd Bn, 21st Infantry, Americal Division, which occupied blocking positions at Nhi Ha to the northeast.

The NVA attempt to open an invasion corridor into South Vietnam had failed. The "Magnificent Bastards" of 2/4 Marines and the 3/21st Infantry had saved the day, for if they had failed the NVA would have been free to overrun the major supply bases at Dong Ha and Quang Tri and the entire DMZ defenses would have been undermined. However, the cost had been high. The Marines and sailors suffered 89 dead and another 297 seriously wounded, while Army forces at Nhi Ha sustained 28 deaths and 130 wounded. But the enemy suffered even greater losses - not only did the NVA fail to achieve their objective, they also left 1,568 bodies on the battlefield.

Alpha Company, 3/21st Infantry, lost twelve men in the fighting on 06 May 1968:

  • 2LT William B. Kimball, Parlin, NJ
  • SFC George L. Dale, Gorham, NH
  • SSG Thomas F. Crews, Marion, AL
  • SGT Terrance W. Allen, Bay City, MI
  • SGT David L. Betebenner, Alba, MO
  • SGT Sydney W. Klemmer, Owatonna, MN
  • SP4 Terry H. Alderson, Fort Worth, TX
  • SP4 Curtis E. Bandy, Denver, CO
  • SP4 Allan G. Barnes, Greer, SC
  • SP4 John A. Johnson, Chicago, IL
  • SP4 Allen A. Straus, Omaha, NE
  • SP4 Richard F. Turpin, Roseville, MI

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8 Dec 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 02/28/2006