Gary Lee Crone

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
03 December 1941 - 29 January 1968
York, Pennsylvania
Panel 35E Line 058


Combat Medic

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


The database page for Gary Lee Crone

24 Nov 2007

I was a Marine who served as a volunteer on the Special Forces team sent out from FOB 3 (at Khe Sanh combat base) to recover KIA and MIA personnel from the late MSG Bill Wood's team which was ambushed on Hill 471 on 29 January 1968. Gary was on that team. According to MSG Wood, he was killed almost immediately in the ambush while using the radio to try to get support. The team was split into two groups by the ambush, and Bill was unable to recover Gary by himself.

Our recovery team encountered a greatly superior force of NVA, and suffered several KIA and WIA, eventually being forced to retire from the hill without recovering the men we set out for, although we were able to bring off our own casualties. In April 1968, after the siege was lifted, Marines found Gary's remains on Hill 471 and notified the Special Forces who sent out a recovery team under CPT Hammond Sally.

I regret that we were unable to recover or rescue Gary and the other men on his team.

I would like to contact any of his surviving family, to inform them of what I know, and I convey my deepest respects and condolences to them for their loss. I did not know Gary personally (though in one of those odd coincidences, I lived in York briefly as a child), but his Special Forces friends all spoke well of him. In the words of the ancient Greeks, "War is not sparing of the brave, but of cowards." I deeply regret the loss to his family and country.

F. J. Taylor

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The three Americans who died on the east side of Hill 471, 3 kilometers south-southwest of Khe Sanh airfield, were As noted above, SSG Crone and SP5 Mahoney were killed in the initial ambush, while SFC Tredinnick was on the recovery team. The Defense Department announced the recovery and identification of SP5 Mahoney's remains on 08 May 1968; regretably, a review of the DoD casualty lists through August 1969 failed to produce a "remains identified" date for SSG Crone.

Long after the action on Hill 471 Mr. Taylor edited a summary of the action on Hill 471.

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a comrade-in-arms,
F. J. Taylor

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PA State Index . Panel 35E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 Nov 2007
Last updated 11/29/2007