Tony Larue Tate

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
01 December 1945 - 11 March 1968
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Panel 44E Line 022

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Tony Larue Tate

15 Mar 2005

You were just a plain and simple guy
with a great sense of humor and a good buddy.

I miss our friendship.

Dave Clement

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 11 March 1968 B Company, 3/21st Infantry, was conducting a search-and-destroy mission in the Que Son Valley, Quang Tin Province. The Company Commander established a defensive position on Hill 407 and sent two platoons out on patrol. The Command Group, one line platoon, and a weapons squad stayed on the hill.

Shortly before noon one of the S&D platoons radioed that they had been ambushed. The Company Commander directed the other S&D platoon to rally on the ambushed platoon and took the remaining line platoon from the Hill 407 position toward the action, leaving the weapons squad on Hill 407. When the defensive position came under mortar attack, the six-man squad broke cover to move away from the barrage. Three men went down the east side of Hill 407, and three the west side.

When the fighting stopped, six men were dead and three were missing:

  • SGT Porter E. Calloway, Bernice, LA (MIA)
  • SGT Thomas J. Davis (MIA)
  • CPL Isiah R. McMillan (MIA)
  • SP4 Tony L. Tate, Thibodaux, LA
  • SP4 Gerald F. Wernsdorfer, Baltimore, MD
  • PFC Eldon J. Kirkpatrick, Ashland, OH
  • PFC James L. Nufer, Dodge City, KS
  • PFC George H. Oehler, Staunton, IL
  • PFC Jeffrey A. Turner, Mill Valley, CA
The three missing men were the weapons squad soldiers who had moved down the eastern slope of Hill 407. Despite extensive searches the men were not found and they were classed as Missing in Action.

So matters stood until Operation Homecoming in early 1973, when SGT Thomas E. Davis and CPL Isiah R. McMillian were released with other POWs. During their debriefings, Davis and McMillan said they were ambushed coming down Hill 407 and that SGT Calloway was wounded in the thigh. He was bandaged and the three attempted to evade the enemy but after several hours were captured. Calloway's wound bled heavily through the night and he died the following day. Davis and McMillian endured captivity in the south until they were moved to Hanoi in 1971, where they remained until repatriation in 1973. SSG Porter Calloway's body has not been recovered.

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