Thomas Joseph Roach, Jr

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
08 June 1949 - 08 March 1969
Royal Oak, Michigan
Panel 30W Line 080



Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, and Vietnam Campaign medals

The database page for Thomas Joseph Roach, Jr

08 Apr 2001


by the friend of a relative,
Fred Lewis
15 Nov 2004

I lived on the same street as Tom when we grew up, East Troy in Ferndale.

He once threw a snowball at me and hit me in the head ... I got so mad at him. I was so sorry to hear he died.

From a friend,
Donna Nairn

02 Nov 2005

He was my uncle. I never got to meet him.
My mom was only 5 when he died.
I am very proud to say that he is my uncle.
He was only 19 years old but he died for his country.
My brother is now in the Marines and will be going to Iraq in January.
Please respond if you have any info!

From his niece,


A Battery, 1st of the 30th Field Artillery, moved onto Landing Zone Grant (northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border) in February 1969 along with a battery from 2/19th FA (105mm howitzers) and the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry. The base was originally an old French position and a concrete bunker was still standing. The NVA had also visited Grant, leaving behind booby traps and mines for the next unit to occupy the position. Two companies immediately went into the jungle to find and interdict the NVA supply route and one stayed behind to improve the defensive positions and protect the Headquarters element and the artillery.

Three battles were fought for LZ Grant. They tested the mettle of a unit and they set a standard for artillerymen to meet in the defense of their unit.

"LZ Grant went through some of the toughest fighting experienced by the 1st Cavalry Division and certainly some of the very toughest A Btry, 1/30, endured. The battery was very fortunate to have the leadership they had at the time . . . A Btry did an outstanding job, though, unfortunately, the price was very high in casualties. They valiantly performed their mission at all times, a true example of professional artillerymen at their very best. We should all take our hats off and say, 'Thanks, A Btry, for an awe-inspiring, brave performance in combat, the kind all members of the Regiment can take pride in and seek to emulate.'"

Then-Lieutenant Colonel Dwight L. Wilson
Commanding Officer, 30th Field Artillery Regiment
Now Major General, US Army (Ret)

"On 23 February 1969 the first somewhat heavier attack occurred by the 95th NVA Regiment and a sapper company. While on an earlier tour in Vietnam, I had experienced enemy ground attacks, but never with this ferocity. From that first night I saw what the soldiers of A Battery were made of --- they were not afraid of anyone and showed courage it is hard to believe any young men anywhere could be capable of.

"On 8 March we were again attacked, this time by an even larger NVA/VC force. We accounted for over 150 enemy dead in the perimeter wire. The last major attack came on 12 March when we were hit by the largest ground force of NVA and VC plus sappers . . .

"Those three attacks defined the character of A Battery in 1969. Many of our 9 KIAs and about 35 WIAs in February and March were because those soldiers refused to take even one round of in-coming without giving him ten in return. They were always out of their hootches and bunkers, on their guns, looking after their buddies, and pounding the hell out of the enemy."

Thomas J. Vernor
First Sergeant, A Battery

"To this day, I marvel at the things I remember those soldiers doing. It was more than just a job, they were proud and that was the root of much bravery. My hat has always been off to all those Hard Chargers! God bless you all."

Norman "Skip" Wilfong
Sergeant First Class and Chief of Firing Battery, A Battery
Silver Star (2 awards), Bronze Star (3 awards), Purple Heart

"The (08 March) attack started with a withering preparation by 120mm mortars and 122mm rockets. For the second time in less than three weeks, A Battery lowered their tubes and placed direct artillery fire on the attacking forces. During this second attack, A Battery suffered 3 KIA and 6 WIA while receiving credit for 39 of the 154 confirmed enemy casualties.

"Killed in this action were SP4 Thomas J. Roach Jr., PFC Glenn Stair, and PFC Roy Wimmer. All three died while serving their gun in spite of the intense enemy fires. Each was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" and the Purple Heart.

"A Battery was awarded a Valorous Unit Award for their heroic and tenacious actions during the period 7-11 March 1969."

Dan Gillotti
Historian, 30th Field Artillery Regiment

The information above was taken from the
30th Field Artillery Regimental Association web site.

The men who died at LZ Grant were

  • 2nd Bn, 12th Cavalry:
    • LTC Peter L. Gorvad, Oakland, CA, HQ Company (Bn CO)
    • CPT William R. Black, Newbern, TN, D Company
    • CPT John P. Emrath, Lexington, KY, HQ Company
    • 1LT Grant H. Henjyoji, Portland, OR, D Company
    • 1LT Peter L. Tripp, Greenwich, CT, HQ Company
    • SGT Walter B. Hoxworth, Struthers, OH, C Company
    • CPL Larry E. Evans, Van Wert, OH, D Company
    • CPL Vincent F. Guerrero, Sinajana, GU, E Company
    • SP4 John R. Hornsby, Paducah, KY, E Company
    • PFC Charles D. Snyder, St Clair Shores, MI, D Company

  • 1st Bn, 30th Artillery:
    • SP4 Thomas J. Roach, Royal Oak, MI, A Battery (Bronze Star "V")
    • PFC Glenn R. Stair, Akron, OH, A Battery (Bronze Star "V")
    • PFC Roy D. Wimmer, Whitewood, VA, A Battery (Bronze Star "V")

  • 1st Bn, 77th Artillery:
    • SP4 Gordon C. Murray, Greenacres City, FL, HQ Battery

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
the friend of a relative,
Fred Lewis
8 Apr 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/07/2005