Samuel Arthur Sharp, Jr

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
09 February 1947 - 10 May 1967
San Jose, California
Panel 19E Line 086


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Samuel Arthur Sharp, Jr

08 Apr 2005

Semper Fi Marine! You must be memorialized along with the others who were killed on May 10th, 1967, near Khe Sahn; Heinz, Jim, and Malcolm. Your mission was very dangerous and took you deep into enemy territory ... my mission is not to forget you nor let you be forgotten. Rest in Peace, Marine. Rest in Peace.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 9 May 1967 Lance Corporal Sharp was one of seven members of a reconnaissance patrol ("Recon Team Breaker") tasked with gathering intelligence information on suspected enemy infiltration routes near Khe Sanh. Although platoon commander 2nd Lt Heinz Ahlmeyer was among the seven, RT Breaker actually was led by Sergeant James N. Tycz. The team consisted of
  • 2nd Lt Heinz Ahlmeyer, platoon commander, Alpha 3rd Recon
  • Sgt James N. Tycz, platoon sergeant and team leader
  • LCpl Samuel A. Sharp, assistant team leader
  • HM3 Malcolm T. Miller, Corpsman
  • LCpl Clarence R. Carlson
  • Pfc Carl Friery
  • Pfc Steven Lopez
RT Breaker was air-lifted onto a ridgeline just south of the DMZ and overlooking a known infiltration route from Laos. As the team began to move they encountered a number of well-constructed but unmanned enemy bunkers, finds reported by radio to the mission monitor at Khe Sanh. The patrol was directed to leave the area and establish a night defensive position on high ground, which they did.

Shortly after midnight an NVA force of 30 to 50 men literally tripped over the Marines, forcing an engagement. Within a short time, four Marines were dead, one was wounded and unconscious, and two were wounded but functional. Pfc Lopez, an 18-year-old on his third recon patrol, took over the task of radio operator and artillery observer, calling in supporting fires. Several attempts were made during the night to extract the patrol, but enemy gunfire was so heavy that helicopters could not land (one, CH-46A BuNo 151923, made it to a 20-foot hover, where it was riddled with 23 hits, killing the pilot and wounding all other crewmen). At sunrise, fixed wing air was brought in and additional attempts were made to get a helicopter into the defensive position. Finally, toward noon, a UH-1 from VMO-3 was able to sneak in while other rotary and fixed wing aircraft suppressed the enemy. While the UH-1 was able to pick up the three surviving team members, it was not possible to retrieve the bodies of those who had died:

In addition to Sergeant Tycz' Navy Cross, three men were awarded the Silver Star:
  • Captain Paul T. Looney, HMM-164, pilot, CH-46A BuNo 151923, posthumous
  • Major Charles A. Reynolds, VMO-3
  • LCpl Clarence A. Carlson

The commanding officer of Alpha 3rd Recon, Captain Albert B. Crosby, was interviewed on 13 May 1967; a tape of the interview is available on the Internet.

The remains of the four men from RT BREAKER were repatriated on 27 May 2003. Identification of the remains was announced on 24 Feb 2005.

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index S
CA State Index . Panel 19E

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009