Larrie Jack Gotcher

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
15 November 1945 - 22 March 1968
Citrus Heights, California
Panel 45E Line 055

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Larrie Jack Gotcher

21 Apr 2005

This man lies next to my friend John E. Nelson and I thought anyone of such honor and integrity should have a memorial to their sacrifice.

Bill McCormick
(Vietnam 68-69)

23 Jun 2006

Larrie Jack Gotcher, the only son of Robert H. Gotcher and Louise Schoolcraft, was born November 15, 1945 in Alameda County, California. His parents split up when Larrie was little, and he was raised primarily by his father. Larrie attended elementary schools in Lincoln and Roseville in Placer County. As a freshman, he attended Encina High School in Sacramento, but in 1963 he graduated from San Juan High School. Larrie attended Taft Junior College in Kern County where he was voted most valuable football player in 1964. He also attended Sacramento State College. In 1967 he was drafted into the Army and deployed to Vietnam in November of that year. He was an Infantry Indirect Fire Crewman with A Company, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 199th Light Infantry Brigade.

On March 22, 1968 in Bien Hoa, the platoon spent the day on a hard jungle sweep. Larrie was walking point as the Radio Telephone Operator when several Viet Cong were spotted. The men searched for the enemy, with Larrie and two others taking the lead. There was a huge explosion, later determined to be a 50-pound land mine and a US artillery dud rigged in a tree. Specialist 4th Class Gotcher, age 22, died instantly from a large chest wound. Two others in the platoon also were killed in action that day. Ironically, in Larrie's pocket was a letter he had been writing to his mother, part of which said not to worry; he was perfectly safe, desk-bound in a clerk job. Burial with full military honors was at the Veterans Court of Honor, Mount Vernon Memorial Park, Sacramento.

From a schoolmate,
Kathie Kloss Marynik
Granite Bay, California
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A Company, 4/12th Infantry, lost three men on 22 Mar 1968:
  • SP4 Phillip J. Cayford, Brewer, ME
  • SP4 Larrie J. Gotcher, Citrus Heights, CA
  • SP4 Brian S. Perlewitz, Milwaukee, WI

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers,
Bill McCormick

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 21 Apr 2005
Last updated 09/27/2006