Fred Omar Pratt

First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
17 August 1941 - 26 August 1968
Columbus, Georgia
Panel 46W Line 032


Silver Star

Army Aviator

DFC, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Fred Omar Pratt

12 Apr 2005

I was a flight student with Fred and Tom Powell, also on the Wall.

From VHPA, Vol. 16, October 1999 ... Class 68-4.
The Flight Simulator building at Fort Rucker is named in his honor.

From a friend,
Fred Lee

02 Jan 2007

1Lt. Fred Omar Pratt
Born - Moorefield, West Virginia
Parents - Edwin and Vern Pratt

Pratt Hall, the flight simulator building at Fort Rucker, is named in Omar's honor.

Don't let the memory of our fallen drift away - they gave their lives so that we and others shall be free. Let us never forget that freedom is bought with blood.

*Remember our fallen*

From his niece,
Joye Brinson
E-mail address is not available.

18 Apr 2007

Lt. Fred Omar Pratt
One of America's best.
He gave all.

Remember Our Heros
They Safeguard Our Freedom

His sister
Janet (Pratt) Bosley

23 Sep 2007

As a citizen who has her freedom because of
brave men like Omar, I give thanks
realizing that freedom comes at the cost of life.

My sincerest thanks to the Pratt family for this sacrifice.

Joi, a friend of our Military and their families.
E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Duc Lap Special Forces Camp (Det A-239, commanded by 1LT William A. Harp) was situated on two hilltops linked by a saddle southwest of Ban Me Thout. Shortly after midnight on 23 August 1968 the 95th North Vietnamese Regiment struck both the SF camp and the district headquarters compound some four miles away and by dawn had surrounded the camp. During the 23rd two Mobile Strike Force (MSF) companies from Pleiku had been airlifted into the area but were unable to make headway against the now-entrenched NVA. After nightfall the NVA assaulted and captured the smaller northern hilltop, using captured weapons and munitions to increase the fire being brought to bear on the southern hilltop. On the 24th, three MSF companies were engaged in a battle on the camp's runway; two were turned back, but the 202nd MSF Company was able to make it into the camp perimeter. Shortly afterwards, a B-40 rocket hit just outside the tactical operations center, killing one SF soldier (SFC Harold F. Kline, Frederick, MD) and a Montagnard artilleryman as well as severely wounding the senior SF officer present and several others. Just before dawn on the 25th the NVA staged another assault, breaching the outer perimeter and occupying bunkers there; the assault was halted at the inner wire line. By midmorning several of the captured bunkers had been destroyed, but the situation was grim: the ammunition supply was depleted, the partially trained Montagnards were panicked, and the US and Australian advisors were uncertain if the camp could be held.

Conditions improved when Air Force C-7 CARIBOU transports made low-level ammunition drops into the camp perimeter, and more radically when four MSF companies were able to get into the camp itself. By early afternoon the defenders had organized themselves and planned a counter-assault. The 513th MSF Company assaulted the remaining captured bunkers in the saddle while the 522nd Company assaulted the NVA-held northern hilltop. The initial assaults were successful and additional MSF troops were put into what became a five-hour bloody battle for the hilltop. By mid-evening the hill was in friendly hands - but at high cost to both sides. Five US Special Forces soldiers had died in the fighting on 25 August:

  • CPT Norman E. Baldwin, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 201st MSF Co (Dist Svc Cross)
  • SSG Leslie L. Brucker, Circleville, OH, 201st MSF Co (Dist Svc Cross)
  • SSG Michael B. Dooley, Los Angeles, CA, Det A-239
  • SP5 Paul R. Severson, Glenwood, IL, 201st MSF Co (Dist Svc Cross)
  • SP5 Forestal A. Stevens, Doylestown, OH, 522nd MSF Co (Dist Svc Cross)
The fight at the Duc Lap camp cost one more American life ... on 26 August, while attacking retreating NVA troops, 1LT Fred O. Pratt, of Columbus, GA, 155th AHC, was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Although his copilot immediately headed for Ban Me Thuot, Pratt died before arrival. 1LT Pratt had been shot down during the initial fighting on 23 August; although himself lightly wounded, he was able to carry his unconscious crew chief from the wrecked UH-1H uphill and into the southern perimeter at Duc Lap. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on the 23rd.

Captain Thomas S. Powell, mentioned by Fred Lee above, was assigned to H Troop, 10th Cavalry. He and his observer were killed on 19 April 1972 when OH-6A tail number 67-16499 was shot down while on a recon mission southwest of Pleiku.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 16 Apr 2005
Last updated 08/10/2009