Thomas Eric ShannonSecond Lieutenant
A BTY, 6TH BN, 29TH FLD ARTY, 4 INF DIV
Army of the United States
07 May 1944 - 22 March 1967
St Paul, Minnesota
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The database page for Thomas Eric Shannon
Most of the men in Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, had been together since Basic Training at Fort Lewis, Washington; all were friends. They were the best friends and soldiers I ever knew.
2LT Thomas E Shannon was our Artillery Forward Observer - he and PFC Jerry L Pickworth, both of the 29th Field Artillery.
On 22 March 1967, Alpha 1/8 was ambushed by a North Vietnamese Battalion near Polei Duc in the Valley of Tears (the Plei Trap Valley). No-one shirked his duty or lost his nerve, and the bravery they showed was beyond belief - a Medal of Honor, two DSC's, seven Silver Stars, and many Bronze Stars were earned that day, but we lost friends and brothers.
The men who died that day in the Battle at Polei Duc will be remembered by those who didn't until we eventually rejoin them.
From his comrade-in-arms,
Thomas E Shannon was my final "cube mate" in OCS. Charlie Battery was originally known as "Charlie Battalion" as it was the largest starting OCS class ever. Being fortunate (?) enough to be in the first barracks building, I never had to move from my cube as the scores of candidates of our original 144 washed out or were re-cycled. When it came time for Thomas Shannon to move to our barracks, everyone said "Don't move in with Leonard, he is a jinx". Thomas Shannon said he did not believe in jinxes and moved in with me. That was a lucky day for me, because Shannon was one of the best men I have ever known. His loss was devastating for me, and I have felt it every day for over forty years.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 Jul 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009