Manuel Martinez Gonzales

Army of the United States
15 April 1947 - 10 December 1967
Pecos, Texas
Panel 31E Line 074

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Manuel Martinez Gonzales

07 May 2006

Manual was born and raised in Pecos, Texas. He was the 5th of eleven children. He attended schools in Pecos and dropped out of Pecos High School after his junior year. He was drafted into the Army in April 1967. He joined the 50th Infantry stateside and shipped with the unit to Vietnam in October 1967. He was killed on December 19, 1967 when an RPG struck his APC. He received a posthumous promotion to Corporal. He was buried with full military honors in the Santa Rosa Cemetery in his home town of Pecos, Texas. His parents are now deceased as are two of his older sisters. He is remembered by his surving brothers and sisters and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial located in Midland, Texas. May his sacrifice not be forgotten.

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

The photo at the top of the page was taken aboard the troop ship which carried the 50th Infantry to Vietnam. The two photos immediately above were taken in Vietnam.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 06 December 1967 a reconnaissance helicopter of the 1st Bn, 9th Cavalry spotted a radio antenna sticking out of a hut near the village of Dai Dong (2), about 12 miles from Qui Nhon. "A" Troop, 1/9 Cav, sent an infantry platoon to investigate. At 1630 hours, as the infantrymen approaching the village, the platoon came under intense automatic and small arms fire and was pinned down. The Weapons Platoon of the 1/9 was sent in to help and they also were pinned down and unable to move. The two platoons had stumbled on a large element of the 22nd NVA Regiment and were in considerable danger of being overrun and destroyed. Additional troops from 1/9 Cavalry, 1/8 Cavalry, and 1/50 Infantry were inserted in order to extricate the two endangered platoons. Although the combined force encountered stiff resistance the 1/50's armored personnel carriers provided the necessary edge and the 1/9 platoons were extracted by 2100. Four US soldiers were killed in the fight.

This engagement was the beginning of the Battle of Tam Quan, a running battle which continued until 20 December and which resulted in the destruction of the 22nd NVA Regiment as a fighting force - but which also cost the lives of several dozen Americans and an unknown number of ARVN troops.

A major engagement on 10 December resulted in 18 Americans killed in action and many others wounded. The dead were

  • B Co, 1st Bn, 12th Cavalry
  • B Co, 3rd Bn, 12th Infantry
    • SGT Ronald L. Sandmann, Sleepy Eye, MN
    • SP4 Robert J. Larson, Minneapolis, MN
    • PFC Robert C. Campbell, Independence, MO
    • PFC John Nishimura, Morgan Hill, CA (Died of wounds 04 Apr 1968)

  • B Co, 1st Bn, 50th Infantry
    • SGT John J. Fullam, New York, NY
    • SGT Drew D. Shipley, Miami, OK
    • CPL Paul F. Branyan, New Castle, DE
    • CPL Bohdan P. Brydun, Jersey City, NJ
    • CPL Samuel V. Bulloch, Ochlocknee, GA
    • CPL Barry E. Feldmann, St Louis, MO
    • CPL Manuel M. Gonzales, Pecos, TX
    • SP4 Michael R. Shapard, Boulder, CO
    • SP4 Walker Smith, St Louis, MO
    • CPL James E. Wright, Arab, AL
    • PFC William P. Farrell, Buffalo, NY
    • PFC Donald L. Fleetwood, Davenport, IA

  • D Co, 1st Bn, 50th Infantry
    • 2LT Melvin D. Sodowsky, Fairview, OK

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 07 May 2006
Last updated 05/20/2006