David Louis Thorpe

Private First Class
Army of the United States
01 February 1946 - 08 August 1966
San Andreas, California
Panel 09E Line 119


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for David Louis Thorpe

17 Feb 2004

As we grew up we were close cousins, I always looked up to him ... he was a fun kid to hang out with. One of the stories I really remember is going to our Grandma's house for some kind of holiday party. We as kids would become bored ... We would go in the house and get the box of soda crackers and sit on Grandma's front porch and would stuff our mouths so full til we couldn't get anymore in - then we would try and talk. As we talked the soda crackers would spray everywhere ... we really thought that was funny, til the next day Grams would say "You kids need to start eating those crackers on the lawn". We would look at each other and die laughing.

David was a mischievous kid that basicly got into trouble when he was older so as the story goes he had a choice back then go into the Army or go to jail. He chose the Army (not sure that was a wise one looking back on that now). He was always a happy type of guy, things really didn't bother him - so what if he went to Vietnam, it's the experience of it all he said. David spent one year in the Army before we got the horrible news he was dead. It's been 38 years and still my heart is heavy ... I really miss his smile.

From a cousin,
Cyndi (Bedinger) Estrada

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 01 August 1966 units of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, were inserted into the Ia Drang Valley for a search-and-destroy operation named PAUL REVERE II. Although ample evidence of the enemy's presence was found during the first week, 1/7 Cav had little contact with enemy forces.

That changed shortly after noon on 08 August when "A" Company made contact with a large enemy force near Landing Zone JULIET. The 3rd Platoon was on point and made the initial contact with the NVA. They aggressively pursued and were immediately hit by several enemy heavy and light machineguns, cutting them off from the rest of the company. Most of the 3rd Platoon was able to exfiltrate back to the "A" Company perimeter, where the company found itself under very heavy attack. By 1500, artillery and air strikes had discouraged the NVA, which broke contact and withdrew into the jungles.

The price paid by "A" Company was very high - 25 dead, 36 more wounded. The dead were

  • A Co, 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry
    • SP4 Clifton E. Bennett, El Monte, CA
    • SP4 Judge Burroughs, Buffalo, NY
    • PFC Orrie J. Buskey, Champlain, NY
    • PFC Brian J. Clune, Scarsdale, NY
    • PFC Donald L. Corbin, Swedesboro, NJ (Medic, HHC with A/1/7)
    • PSGT Melvin F. Floyd, Amarillo, TX
    • PFC Charles R. Greene, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
    • PFC David C. Hampton, Oklahoma City, OK
    • SSG Martis L. Haynes, Vanderbilt, TX
    • PFC Douglas W. Jones, Lowry City, MO
    • SP4 John J. Kolz, Thayer, MO (Medic, HHC with A/1/7)
    • PFC George E. Matuscsak, Kearny, NJ
    • PFC Alfredo Ostolazo-Maldonado, Santurce, PR (Medic, HHC with A/1/7)
    • PFC Mark E. Parker, New York, NY
    • SP4 Derek B. Pope, Alameda, CA
    • PFC Richard W. Power, Southwick, MA
    • SP4 Charles R. Powers, Thayer, MO
    • SP4 Richard W. Roy, New Britain, CT
    • SP4 Donald A. Sherrod, Knoxville, TN
    • PFC John H. Shetters, Cowan, TN
    • PFC Frederick Stafford, Philadelphia, PA
    • PFC Bradley H. Tate, Pearisburg, VA
    • PFC David L. Thorpe, San Andreas, CA
    • PFC Jack A. Welch, Chicago, IL

  • HHC, 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry
Battalion Command Sergeant Major Richard Schaaf had volunteered to accompany Alpha 1/7 on the operation. He and his friend, Platoon Sergeant Francisco Roig of the 3rd Platoon, were instrumental in extracting the 3rd Platoon from the ambush site. SMAJ Schaaf was killed while providing covering fire; PSGT Roig survived. Both were awarded the Silver Star for their actions.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 Feb 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009