Michael Jay Gladden

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
06 March 1947 - 20 November 1967
Odessa, Texas
Panel 30E Line 042

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star, Purple Heart (3 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

Michael J Gladden

The database page for Michael Jay Gladden

08 Jan 2004

The last time I saw Mike before he departed for Vietnam was in the summer of 1967. He was home on leave and he came by where I worked. He was dressed in khakis, complete with his jump boots, airborne patches and wings, his infantry designations. We met later and partook of a few beers. I was getting ready to go into the Army at the time, I reported in September, 1967. I remember telling Mike to take care of himself. He just laughed and we shook hands as we departed.

I had just reported to AIT at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, when I heard of Mike's death. I was shook, it was beginning to get really scary, suddenly I was losing way too many friends in Vietnam.

Mike was killed on Hill 875 at Dak To. A few years ago I saw the History Channel series on that infamous battle. It was a slaughter. I knew that Mike was initially reported MIA and as I read about the battle, I wondered just exactly what happened to him. He was reported to have died from multiple fragmentation wounds. I often wonder if he was among those that may have perished in the friendly fire episode when a U.S. bomb was dropped into the area where the casualities were being treated. One of those was a Catholic Chaplain who received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

I took a picture of Mike's name at the Wall. I had talked with his sister about giving it to her. Before I could get it to her, Mike's dad died. I thought it was too weird.

Mike would have been 56, he never had the chance to live a full life, have kids, a career and a home.

When I was compiling this, I found a strange irony, Mike had the same birthday as a classmate of his who also died in Vietnam 14 months earlier, Bobby L. Eaton , USMC. Both graduated in the Permian High School Class of 1965, both were friends of mine, and both are remembered on the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

Billy M. Brown

12 Mar 2006

According to Mike's sister, he was awarded a Bronze Star with "V" device at the Battle of Dak To that took his life.

From a friend aand PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

A Note from The Virtual Wall

As noted above, SP4 Michael J. Gladden died in the bitter fighting for Hill 875. Two Medals of Honor, three Distinguished Service Crosses, and numerous Silver and Bronze Stars were awarded the men who fought there between 19 and 23 November 1967 - but at least 125 Americans died there as well, with hundreds more wounded.

A summary of the battle and a listing of the men who died
during the fighting may be found on The Virtual Wall's
Hill 875 Memorial

SP4 Gladden earned three Purple Hearts: he was shot by a sniper in September 1967; injured by an explosive device in early November 1967; and the third for his death at Dak To.

The "friendly fire" incident mentioned by Mr. Brown occurred on 19 November and caused the death of three men from Charlie 2/503:
  • SGT Donald Iandoli, Paterson, NJ;
  • SP4 Jack L. Croxdale, Lake Charles, LA; and
  • PFC Benjamin D. De Herrera, Colorado Springs, CO.
Their bodies were not recovered.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and home-town acquaintance,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762
8 Jan 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/12/2006