Gary Gordon Hahn

Sergeant
A CO, 4TH BN, 12TH INFANTRY, 199 INF BDE
Army of the United States
19 July 1943 - 06 December 1967
San Gabriel, California
Panel 31E Line 046

199 INF BDE

12TH INF RGT
Silver Star

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gary Gordon Hahn

19 July 2002




To my Uncle

Gary G Hahn was killed in action on December 6, 1967, in Bien Hoa.

I just wanted to say "Happy birthday, Uncle Gary" and I miss you and think about you all the time.

Thanks for your service and your ultimate sacrifice so we may be free.
And thanks to all vets.

My e-mail address is
redcatcher2000@yahoo.com

From his nephew,
Brian Lee Hahn
408 E 10th Ave, Post Falls Id 83854

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The 199th Infantry Brigade arrived in Vietnam on 10 Dec 1966 and for nearly a year operated in the rice-paddy country around Saigon. That changed on 04 Dec 1967, when the Brigade established Fire Support Base NASHUA about 17 kilometers north of Bien Hoa Air Base. NASHUA was located in hill country that was covered with double- and triple-canopy jungle, an area which had been controlled by the Viet Cong for years. The 199th's move north was intended to locate and destroy NVA/VC forces and to disrupt the NVA/VC infrastructure. Although NASHUA itself was located in a relatively large cleared area near Ku Tru Mat village it was surrounded by jungle.

Recon teams from F Co, 51st Infantry had begun conducting recon patrols several days before the four companies of the 1st Bn, 12th Infantry arrived by air assault on the morning of 04 Dec. By nightfall FSB NASHUA was a going concern; artillerymen from C Btry, 2/40th Artillery had their howitzers in place and D Troop, 17 Cavalry's armored personnel carriers had arrived by road march from FSB HANOVER, 12 kilometers to the southwest. On the morning of 05 Dec 1/12 began its patrols around the new fire base. While 1/12 had little contact on that day, two patrols from F/51 did make contact 4 kilometers south and southeast of NASHUA - and had one man killed in the contacts.

At dawn on 06 Dec NASHUA received 20 to 25 mortar rounds from the southeast. The 1/12 commander responded by sending two platoons from Alpha 1/12 out to locate the mortar sites. Charlie 1/12 was sent on patrol to the west, Echo 1/12 was sent to the north, and 1/12's remaining forces concentrated on construction at the fire base itself.

The enemy made their presence known by ambushing D/17 Cav's morning road-clearing patrol from FSB HANOVER. The ambush was initiated at a point where the cavalry's five ACAV vehicles were forced into column; the VC destroyed the leading and trailing ACAVs with command-detonated mines, leaving the remaining three trapped in a killing zone. 1/12 responded by airlifting two platoons from Bravo 1/12 into the area; the infantrymen dispersed the enemy but two cavalrymen had been killed and others wounded. After medevacing the dead and wounded the combined force turned back toward FSB HANOVER.

As the day progressed both Echo 1/12 north of NASHUA and Alpha 1/12 to the southeast made contact with enemy forces. While Echo 1/12 encountered only small groups of NVA/VC (but enough to cost two dead), the 78 men from Alpha's two platoons ran into a hornet's nest - a well-constructed, well-manned VC battalion base camp hidden under triple-canopy jungle.

Alpha 1/12's initial contact rapidly degenerated into a vicious close-range firefight, with Alpha's forward elements pinned in place and in desperate need of fire support and reinforcement. 1/12's ability to respond was limited - Charlie and Echo Companies were on patrol, 2 platoons from Bravo Company were with the ACAVs, and NASHUA itself could not be left undefended. Charlie and Echo were recalled, but could not be of immediate assistance. Five D/17 ACAVs and the remainder of Bravo Company moved out at 1515 [3:15 pm]. Outside reinforcements also were made available - Alpha Company 3/7 Infantry was airlifted to the north of the base camp with instructions to conduct a flanking attack to the south. Although helo gunships, fixed-wing aircraft, and artillery support all were available, their effectiveness was limited by the jungle canopy - who was where? - and the available munitions ... 20-millimeter strafing and 105mm howitzer high-explosive shells failed to make much impression on the enemy bunkers. The contact began and would continue as an infantry fight.

Once Bravo 1/12 and the ACAVs linked up with the surviving elements of Alpha 1/12 (17 men of the original 78 were still functional) they were prepared to renew the attack. Because the two US elements - the 1/12 elements and Alpha 3/7 - were not in physical contact their movements had to be coordinated via radio. Attacking from the north, Alpha 3/7 did manage to penetrate to the center of the base camp before being forced to withdraw. The 1/12 attack did not penetrate the enemy's inner perimeter but did allow recovery of additional wounded before withdrawal. As night fell, the two groups established defensive perimeters and cut mini-landing zones so their dead and wounded could be evacuated. Although enemy assaults on the defensive perimeters were expected, they failed to materialize.

At dawn on 07 Dec the base camp area received heavy attacks by air and artillery supporting fire, followed by a ground assault - but there were no live NVA/VC to be found. The enemy had withdrawn from the camp, disappearing into the jungle. They did leave 62 hastily buried bodies behind - and they had executed wounded Americans who had fallen within the base camp's perimeter.

The fighting had cost the lives of 26 Americans - one from F/51 Infantry on 05 Dec, 24 killed in the actions on 06 Dec, and one who died of wounds on 07 Dec. The American dead were

  • A Co, 4th Bn, 12th Infantry
    • SGT Gary G. Hahn, San Gabriel, CA (Silver Star)
    • SGT William H. Pruitt, Pedro, OH (Bronze Star "V")
    • SP4 Eugene Zeigler, Montgomery, AL (Bronze Star "V")
    • PFC John C. Filippi, Seven Hills, OH (Bronze Star "V")
    • PFC David M. Midcap, Fort Morgan, CO (Bronze Star "V")

  • E Co, 4th Bn, 12th Infantry (north of FSB NASHUA)
    • PFC Robert O. Buckner, Irving, TX (Bronze Star "V")
    • PFC Joseph L. Reynolds, Bellevue, WA (Bronze Star "V")

  • HQ Co, 4th Bn, 12th Infantry
    • SP5 Teddy G. Whitton, Paragould, AR (Silver Star)
    • PFC Durward A. Limbacher, Farragut, IA (Bronze Star "V")

  • D Troop, 17th Cavalry (2 KIA in ambush, 3 KIA at the base camp)
    • PSGT Alfred Dugger, Warren, OH
    • SP4 Ronald R. Hammerstrom, Harris, MN (Bronze Star "V") (DoW 07 Dec)
    • SP4 Kevin M. McGovern, West Brookfield, MA
    • PFC Charles E. Brown, Thorne Bay, AK
    • PFC Clayton M. Spainhower, Fort Myers, FL

  • F Co, 51st Infantry (southeast of FSB NASHUA 05 Dec 1967)
    • SGT Daniel H. Lindsey, Orlando, FL

  • A Co, 3rd Bn, 7th Infantry
    • 2LT Gary R. Clark, San Francisco, CA (Silver Star)
    • 2LT John W. Sognier, Savannah, GA (Silver Star)
    • MSG Guy M. Finley, Norfolk, VA (Silver Star)
    • SGT Mario Moreu-Leon, Ponce, PR (Bronze Star "V")
    • CPL Robert J. Bawal, Marine City, MI (Bronze Star "V")
    • CPL Douglas L. McLoud, Prattsburg, NY (Bronze Star "V")
    • CPL Robert A. Pretty, Raleigh, NC (Silver Star)
    • CPL Daniel K. Puhi, Honolulu, HI (Bronze Star "V")
    • PFC Solomon W. De Hart, Lebanon, PA (Bronze Star "V")
    • PFC Thomas O. Harper, Philadelphia, PA (Bronze Star "V")

  • HQ Co, 3rd Bn, 7th Infantry
    • PFC Robert L. Pultz, Toledo, OH




"I only knew Gary Hahn for a few days ... I had just joined A 4/12. He has been in my head for 31 years as a good soldier who did his best to get me trained fast for what we had to do. He had a great sense of humor and was very proud of his family. When he died he was doing his job without hesitation. To me he IS "duty, honor, country" ... I was with him on 6 December 1967 and am honored to have known him."

Wayne H. Morris
Platoon Leader





SP4 Gary Gordon Hahn
was buried on 18 December 1967 in Plot 132
Los Angeles National Cemetery,
Los Angeles, California,
among other men of integrity and courage.


The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his nephew,
Brian Lee Hahn
408 E 10th Ave, Post Falls Id 83854
redcatcher2000@yahoo.com



Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon
www.VirtualWall.org

Back to
To alpha index H
CA State Index . Panel 31E
12TH INF RGT Index

Webmaster@VirtualWall.org



With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 19 Jul 2002
Last updated 09/15/2007