James Alfred GaiserFirst Lieutenant
B BTRY, 5TH BN, 22ND ARTY RGT, 1 FIELD FORCE
Army of the United States
16 June 1946 - 07 November 1969
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The database page for James Alfred Gaiser
Lt. Jim Gaiser was the FDC officer for our heavy artillery unit that was based in Ban Me Thuot in the Central Highlands.
Several days prior to November 7, 1969, Jim led a forward raid party consisting of one 175mm gun, a contingent of FDC personnel and an ammunition supply unit to a newly established but temporary firebase near the Cambodian border to cover infantry movements in that area of operation.
During the early morning hours of November 7, Jim's firebase came under intense enemy rocket and mortar fire. While directing the defensive strategy of the perimeter forces, a mortar round landed near his position and Jim was killed.
Every soldier in our battery, to a man, was visibly shaken by the loss of our beloved Lieutenant.
In the worst of conditions you could find Jim sharing the burden with his men. On many night fire missions, after laying the guns, he would come down from the aiming tower and stand knee-deep in mud with the rest of the gun crews, often carrying an artillery round or bags of powder to make one man's job easier; or, you could find him climbing onto the water tower to light the diesel fuel so that the men could have a warm shower; or, helping to screw the 1500 pound breach block onto the end of a gun barrel when another hand was needed; or, mediating arguments over who's horseshoe was closer to the peg; or, helping to splice the 20th break in the evening's movie; or, putting his arm around the shoulder of a man who had gotten a not-so-pleasant letter from home; or, just keeping a pot of hot coffee ready in the FDC bunker for after the 3am fire mission. Little things that let everyone know that he cared about you and wanted to see you get home in one piece with as little trauma as possible.
We held a memorial for Jim at the main firebase on November 9. Flags in the battery were lowered to half staff and taps was played over our never-working P/A system, made operational through the all-night effort of the commo section.
We, collectively and individually, needed to salute what Jim's life meant to us all.
God Bless You, Lieutenant Jim Gaiser.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
25 Mar 2005
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/25/2005