Samuel Ray GardnerFirst Lieutenant
176TH AHC, 14TH AVN BN, 16TH AVN GROUP, AMERICAL DIV
Army of the United States
07 May 1943 - 05 May 1968
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The database page for Samuel Ray Gardner
Sam was a great guy with a fabulous sense of humor. He was a three year varsity letterman in both track and cross country at Wichita State University. He was not only a great teammate but a fellow ROTC jock.
I saw him shortly before he left Wichita for Vietnam. We were in the Student Union. I occasionally get back to Wichita and go back to the campus. When I'm in the Student Union I walk past the place I last saw Sam I remember him and what was lost in Vietnam so many years ago. When I think of Sam I remember him not only tall and straight in uniform, but also in a track singlet running like the Kansas wind.
I will always remember Sam. I think of him often. I'm well over 60 and over and my days as a competetive athlete have long since passed but in my heart he will be 22, in athletic trim and running like the great athlete he was. He was the only varsity letterman to have died in this war. He will always be a part of the traditons of Wichita State.
Rest in Peace and Glory, my friend and teammate.
From an ROTC classmate and Track/Cross Country teammate.
A Note from The Virtual WallDuring early May 1968 elements of the 198th Infantry Brigade had several engagements with NVA forces in Quang Tin Province, particularly along the east-west axis formed by LZs EAST (Hill 488), CENTER (Hill 348), and WEST (Hill 440) along the Hiep Duc Valley.
At 1030 05 May 1968 a UH-1D (tail number 66-17075) from the 176th AHC was shot down at BT069246 while carrying troops for a recon patrol southeast of LZ CENTER. The aircraft was hit by .51 caliber fire while at 2,500 feet, lost its main rotor, crashed and burned, killing ten men:
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an ROTC classmate and Track/Cross Country teammate.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 22 May 2008
Last updated 05/29/2008