Van Harvey Pearson

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
19 October 1946 - 26 February 1969
Newark, California
Panel 31W Line 071


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Van Harvey Pearson

17 Jan 2008

You were my cousin but we never met. I saw your brother at a family reunion many years ago. Your cousin Donald Boyd and I also served in Vietnam. Rest well, you are remembered.

Roy King
2197 Bordeaux Court, Harrisburg, Pa 17112

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 26 Feb 1969 the Cu Chi base camp was infiltrated by sappers, whose primary target seemed to be the 242nd ASHC Company's CH-47 Chinook helicopters. Using satchel charges and rocket propelled grenades, the attackers destroyed nine CH-47s. Details are provided by one of the 242nd ASHC's pilots:
"Approximately 40 VC sappers came through the wire between us and Cu Chi village. They were using a map drawn by one of our local labor force members. They were being covered by their own rocket and mortar attack. They ran down our flight line and threw satchel charges in most of our 16 Chinooks or hit them with RPGs at close range. Because we were on yellow alert that night, we had one crew member sleeping on each ship. Fortunately only one maintenance man got killed (decapitated by a direct hit in the head with an RPG). We had six wounded. Thirteen other Americans got killed on our base camp that night. One crew member ran around a revetment and ran directly into a VC. They were both so surprised that neither one shot the other. We did not find that crewman until almost noon. He was hiding in a ditch nearby and was assuming the worst, since in addition to destroying eight Chinooks and damaging all but two of the rest of the 16 Chinooks, the VC also ignited our POL (fuel farm). Needless to say it was a very 'colorful' night with a Spooky gunship working our perimeter most of the night. Of the 31 VC killed and 5 captured that night, 15 were killed in our company area."
Gary Roush
CH-47 pilot, 242nd ASHC
SP4 Isaac Stringer, who was Roush's door gunner and was sleeping on CH-47A tail number 66-19012, was the only man from the 242nd ASHC killed in the attack - but 13 others died as well:
  • B Co, 65th Eng Bn
    • SGT William B. Wilson, Campbell, NY

  • A Btry, 3rd Bn, 13th Arty Rgt
    • PFC Ronald L. Quigley, Yakima, WA

  • HHC, 2nd Bn, 34th Arm Rgt
    • SSG Donald C. Le Blond, Rockville, CT

  • A Co, 554th Eng Bn, 79th Eng Grp
    • SSG Hobart E. Covington, Seymour, TN
    • SP5 Leon R. Goodale, Madison, CT
    • SP5 David C. Jackson, Indianapolis, IN

  • C Co, 554th Eng Bn, 79th Eng Grp
    • SP4 Iria D. Barnett, Cove, OR
    • SP4 Van H. Pearson, Newark, CA
    • SP4 Henry L. Quigley, St Augustine, FL
    • PFC Jerry L. Alferink, Ashtabula, OH

  • D Co, 554th Eng Bn, 79th Eng Grp
    • SP4 Richard M. Johnson, Kalispell, MT
    • SP4 Larry C. Koski, Menahga, MN
    • SP4 John R. Tennant, Fairview, WV

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 Jan 2008
Last updated 08/10/2009