James W Phair

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
10 June 1932 - 11 June 1966
Detroit, Michigan
Panel 08E Line 039


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign


The database page for James W Phair

20 Sep 2006


Jimmy's resting place is a cemetery in Sylacauga, Alabama, a long way from Fort Wayne, Michigan. On February 2nd 1950 four 16 year olds joined the US Army - Jim Phair, James Diotte, Oval Foist, and Frank Lozon. We finished basic at Fort Knox, Kentucky, then on to jump school at Fort Benning, Georgia. Still together we joined the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Here I was to leave the group, going to the 504th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Jimmy, James, and Oval went to the 325th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Over time we went our separate ways.

Today me and Diotte are still in touch. Oval left us in 1966 and Jimmy also in 1966. We miss them and honor their memory, Oval the quiet one and Jimmy the madcap of our group. Until we meet again - RIP from Frank and James.

From an Army buddy,
Frank J Lozon
6400 Jonquil Lane, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry got into a ferocious fight at the Loc Ninh Rubber Plantation on 11 June 1966.

As part of Operation EL PASO II, elements from 2/28 planned to sweep Village #10 in the rubber plantation northwest of Loc Ninh. Their two-platoon air assault was delayed for two hours by morning fog and the rest of A Company moved by foot to establish blocking positions. The battle was joined when a battalion from the 273d VC Regiment, dug in on a nearby hill, opened fire on A Company. A new LZ was selected to engage the enemy and additional troops brought in. C Company, manuevering to join the battle, found more dug-in VC on Hill 177 nearby.

A survivor of the fight, Lee Kanter, remembers the action at Hill 177 as follows:

"The battle between the 28th Inf and the 273rd Viet Cong Regt, took place on a foggy morning, The fight started with A and B company, later joined by C company and Recon. C company assaulted Hill 177 on line from east to west, Recon moved on the VC west along a ridgeline running north. The VC opened up with intense automatic rifle fire and grenades. With no cover the Recon Platoon and part of C company rushed toward a trench. Unknowing to them the VC had placed a machine gun at one end of this trench. The VC fire took a heavy toll on the men of Recon and C company. The enemy over ran the Recon platoon, C company called up their reserve platoon and they captured Hill 177." ... From A Veteran's Memory
Both hills were taken and the VC left 98 bodies on the field - but there were 34 American dead as well:
  • A Company:
    • SP4 Henry Burch, Henderson, NY
    • SGT John E. Miller, West Point, IL
    • PFC Roy S. Pitt, Menlo Park, CA

  • B Company:
    • SP4 Charles H. Shelton, Detroit, MI

  • C Company:
    • PFC Dennis E. Brown, Sioux City, IA
    • PFC David G. Bryan, Murrayville, GA
    • SP4 Willie Cole, Oklahoma City, OK
    • PFC Michael A. Garris, Baltimore, MD
    • SP4 Donel R. Johnson, New York, NY
    • PFC Jerry W. Looney, Hanford, CA
    • PFC Herman R. Meneely, Terre Haute, IN
    • PFC Tim A. Noe, Redlands, CA
    • PFC Clae T. Norman, San Leandro, CA
    • SSG James W. Phair, Detroit, MI
    • PFC Harvey J. Profitt, Chuckey, TN
    • PFC Ronald Richards, Cartersville, GA
    • SSG Franz X. Wallner, Yonkers, NY

  • Recon Platoon, HQ Company:
    • SP4 Kenneth A. Babb, Suffolk, VA
    • PFC Dannie G. Braswell, Crane, IN
    • PFC Ronald J. Brissette, Woonsocket, RI
    • PFC Thomas S. Cameron, Hogansville, GA
    • PFC Thomas W. Chatburn, Merrill, OR
    • SSG Ernest L. Duran, Pueblo, CO
    • SGT Grady L. Elder, Grantville, GA
    • PFC Charles E. Ford, Charleston, SC
    • PFC James E. Hill, Okolona, MS
    • PFC Louis A. Jefferson, Martinsville, VA
    • SSG Glen D. Lofton, Lyford, TX
    • PFC Richard A. Mitchell, Glen Head, NY
    • PFC Jack R. Price, Fayetteville, NC
    • PFC Jessie E. Shannon, Columbus, GA
    • PFC Michael T. Sukara, Parma, OH
    • PFC John R. Thompson, Saline, LA
    • PFC J C. Williams, Cleveland, OH

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 20 Sep 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009