Walter Alexander Terlecki

Army of the United States
15 March 1930 - 18 February 1966
Hartford, Connecticut
Panel 05E Line 050


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Walter Alexander Terlecki

29 Dec 2002

My name is Ralph C. Mitchell and I was a medic during Operation Masher/White Wing. On 18 Feb 1966 Sgt Collins was laying beside me when he took a hit from a 50 cal [machine gun] in the head. Sgt Terlecki took a hit from the same 50 and fell at my feet behind me, his last word was "Doc". I had been hit in back of my right shoulder. Preira got hit the first time and fell, he got up calling for Sgt Allison and got hit the second time, he tried to get up and the Cong finished him off. Riggs was killed by M79 fire.

I wish I could get in contact with their folks and tell them what a great job these fellows tried to do for their country.

A memorial initiated by
Ralph C. Mitchell
Box 297 Cross Plains TN 37049

28 Jan 2003

My name is Patricia. I was born in 1951 in Oceanside, California. Walter was my father whom I never got to know. I was an infant when my parents divorced, and I was raised by my stepfather as his child. When I was 14 I received a letter in the mail informing me that my father had been killed in action. My mother would not tell me anything about him. I would love to hear from anyone who knew him. What was he like? What type stories did he tell? Did he have other children? I feel like a piece of my life, a piece of my puzzle, is missing.

From his daughter,
Patricia Aletha Terlecki
Los Osos, CA 93402

22 Feb 2005


by his son,
Timothy J. Tabor

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Operation Masher/White Wing was the 1st Cavalry Division's name for their part of an Allied operation conducted against main force VC and NVA units operating in southeastern Quang Ngai Province and northeastern Binh Dinh Province. The combined VC/NVA force was the Sao Vang (Gold Star) Division, and a force totalling nearly three divisions of US Army, US Marines, Korean Army, and SVN Army and Marines were staged against them.

The Allied sweep of the operation area began on 24 Jan 1966 and continued for 6 weeks, officially ending on 6 March. The 1st Cav Division mounted out its 1st and 3rd Brigades. By mid-February, the Cav had operated from the coastal areas into the interior mountains. Based on intelligence data that the 2nd VC Regiment was concentrated in the hills south and east of the Kim Son Valley, the focus of the 1st Cav Div offensive changed. On 17 Feb the 5th Cav caught the heavy weapons battalion of the 2nd VC Regiment, leading to a series of engagements over the next four days.

On 18 Feb 1966, nine men of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, died in battle. Their bodies could not be immediately recovered and all are coded as "Died while missing":

  • A Co, 1/5th Cav
    • SGT Walter A. Terlecki, Hartford, CT
    • SP4 Dominic J. Preira, Burlington, CT
    • PFC Patrick J. Harris, Waukegan, IL

  • B Co, 1/5th Cav
    • SP4 Bob G. Brumley, Chowchilla, CA
    • SP4 James W. Mize, Palm Beach, FL
    • PFC Richard F. Barnes, Elmira, NY
    • PFC Willie E. Davis, Houston, TX
    • PFC Andrew A. Graziano, New York, NY
    • PFC William C. Rigg, Los Angeles, CA
Eight more men from the 5th Cav died on the 19th and 20th, seven on the 19th
  • C Co, 1/5th Cav
  • A Co, 2/5th Cav
    • SGT Raymond L. Naylor, Lancaster, KY
    • PFC Jack L. James, Mason City, IA

  • C Co, 2/5th Cav
    • SSG Robert C. Lilly, Nimitz, WV
    • PFC Douglas J. Wade, Idaho Falls, ID

  • B Btry, 1/77th Arty
and one on the 20th:
  • SSG James O. Allen, Indianapolis, IN, from C/1/5th Cav.

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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