Steve was the loader on our tank (B-13) on the day he was KIA, we were ambushed some 1000
meters after leaving Fire Support Base Junction City on the east side of Song Saigon river. There were 4 tanks and 1 Armored
Personnel Carrier (APC) (mechanic's track) in the column (Tank B-12, Tank B-14, APC, Tank B-15, Tank B-13). Both lead
tanks, B-12 & 14 were hit by Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) as they cleared the wood line, wounding both tank commanders.
Tanks B-15 and B-13 were still in the woods, as B-15 had fallen some 200 meters behind due to mechanical/electrical issues.
Once we got to the wood line, B-15 moved into the clearing with B-13 in close pursuit. We (B-13) were hit in the bustle
rack by a RPG as we cleared the wood line. Steve suffered a shrapnel wound from that RPG that penetrated his flack vest
on his right side, just below the rib cage. He was "dusted off" by the MEDAVAC chopper with Platoon Sergeant Calhoun C. Smith
but expired shortly thereafter. The other tank commander was treated on site, as his wounds were not that serious.
Steve had also been awarded the Army Commendation Medal (General Orders #13493 dtd 26 Dec 1968) for his actions on
21 November 1968. I know all of this as I was the tank commander of B-13 during this time.
Thank you for all your work
Nick Pavlakovich Jr. SFC RET December 29, 2012