Donald Wesley Walters

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
15 April 1946 - 19 March 1967
South Gate, California
Panel 16E Line 117

Donald Walters

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Donald Wesley Walters

25 Apr 2001

Killed during Bravo 3/22 insertion into FSB Gold 3/19/1967. His courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten by the men of Bravo Company.


On 21 March 1967, at Soui Tre in Tay Ninh Province, 400 men of the 3/22nd and the 2/77th Arty stood off an attack by a reinforced regiment of North Vietnamese regulars until relieved by elements of the 2/22nd and the 2/34th Armor.

The North Vietnamese lost the battle. The men of 3/22, 2/77, 2/22, and 2/34 lost friends and comrades.

Presidential Unit Citation

Presidential Unit Citation 3/22nd

A memorial from his comrade-in-arms,
John Otte

12 May 2006

My precious brother Don, you are loved and missed so badly. You have not been forgotten, and never will be. I will continue to fight to find you and to know your whereabouts. I will never give up, no I will never NEVER give up. As I sit here, the hole in my heart aches, and I cannot begin to tell you how we are seeking answers to unresolved issues. When I return from DC I will have a DNA done on the remains in Inglewood. Mom now is 91 and in very poor health. However, her spirit is fiesty and they don't call her "Calamity Jane" for nothing.

I remember how you always tried to help others, and always took the underdog's position trying to help out. I longed for the day of your return from Vietnam. You were going to be a missionary and marry your sweetheart, I was going to be an Auntie. I have hope knowing that you know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My heart is filled with hope yet sadness as I do not know if you have passed or are you still alive somewhere in Vietnam.

I remember ironing your shirt that took up the whole back side of the ironing board. I would give anything to be able to iron your shirt today. I just want to see you and look into your eyes and tell you how much we love you and that we have never given up. If you are out there and able to read this, I will seek you until found, until my last breath.

Don, the 1/4 Horse Ranch still looks the same, I can almost see our Daddy standing there, always so very proud of his kids. A humble, gentle, loving person. You took after him - I am so very proud of you, Don.

The papers I received from the Pentagon do not add up. The surviving soldier who can be found (I was told there were two) does not remember you being on the helicopter that crashed that the Army told us you were on. You are not listed on the attached listing of those KIA during the acounting of the battle. If the remains are yours, Don, we will give you a hero's homecoming with full military honors.

Proud sister of Donald W. Walters, US Army
Love (Joie) Joy Jeannette
President, Chapter 1 of California Rolling Thunder Inc.

04 Sep 2007

Update My precious Brother Don, we are still working on your behalf, September 3, 2007. In May 2007 I received a hand carried envelope with your Mortuary Records within (so they say) from JPAC in Hawaii. As I sat with a dear friend and read page after page of your (records), I found that they did not match up with the papers received from the Pentagon two years earlier. I have more questions now than ever before.

Rest assured my precious Brother, I will never give up ... it's just a matter of time. The answers will be made known, We love you and miss you. Mom is now going on 93 ... she is frail, but full of spunk. My life is consumed with thanking you and all of our veterans for the freedom given to us ... To you all, Welcome Home...!

Always remember our POW/MIA's they never have a good day!

Sister Joy

05 Feb 2008

My precious brother Don, in May 2007 JPAC from Hawaii hand delivered to me while I was in Washington D.C., a copy of your mortuary records. While reading through the record, the information given once again did not add up. The Pentagone records and the JPAC records in several areas did not match. The only true record will be that of an DNA on the reamains sent home to us for burial in 1967.

What has kept us from having the DNA performed is the cost. When I asked for the governments help in this matter, I was told they could not do that and "good luck" as we proceed. As we speak we are in the middle of raising the funds. We must know your whreabouts. It's been 40 long years, nobody can ever replace. Lost minutes, hours, days, not knowing, just not knowing. My heart is so full..

Don, in Grandma Landau's hallway is a shrine for you, your pictures, your "bubble gum shoe", your Indian Guide totem pole, and records of your school days at South Gate High School. Your ROTC, and your wonderful warm smile always showing your love for others. Don, we have to have answers, I will not give up in this endeavor, we love you so much.

You are now the Uncle of my 4 sons, Russ, Randy, Ron and TJ. Russ has 2 children, now adults, Rusty a US Marine just got back from his 4th tour in Iraq, and his sister Amie Jo in Houston Texas. TJ is married, lives in Florida, and has 2 daughters, Nolani and Hanna. Randy and Ron do not have children.

Our Mom is now 92 years of age. She is slowing up but still very witty. Uncle Ron is here helping me take care of her.

Don, I just want you to know we will not give up! Bless you and all of our veterans who whereabouts are unknown... All I know is to keep searching, keep looking for answers and keep believing.

We love you Don, we love you, we will never forget, never!

Your sister
Joie, (Joy Jeannette)
Chapter 1 of California
Rolling Thunder Inc.

Chaplain Joy Jeannette
P O Box 813, Adelanto, California 92301
23 Apr 2007

I remember.
I remember I was ten years old.
I remember having all the family over for dinner. All those dishes in the sink for me to wash.
I remember there weren't enough places for everyone to sit and you used our refrigerator as a counter top to eat at.
I remember you kneeling down and talking to me and we both laughed.
I remember my father John and Grandfather Hal kidding you about joining the service. How they both served in the Navy, one during WWII and the other during the Korean War.
I remember that you didn't have to go. You could of gotten a deferment because of your eye sight, schooling, and you were the only son.
I remember you said it was your duty. To your country, to your friends and to your family.
I remember we got the news on my brother's birthday.
I remember your brother-in-law identified you.
I remember how everyone was worried about your mother. If she could survive without you.
I remember a wonderful man walking into your mother's life.
And I know he made every day special to make up for you not being there.
You are missed.
You will be remembered.

From a cousin,

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In March 1967 the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, was tasked with conducting a search-and-destroy mission in the area north of Suoi Da, Tay Ninh Province. The first step was to establish a fire support base where supporting artillery could be emplaced. The original intention was to have the 2/22 Infantry (Mech) and 2/34th Armor secure a suitable base, with the infantrymen of 3/22 Infantry being brought in by air. Various considerations caused the operation to slip by a day and move a few miles south - and required that 3/22 make an unsupported air assault to capture the proposed fire base.

The area chosen was heavily forested, with few suitable clearings for an air assault - but there were some, and on 19 May the 68th and 118th Assault Helicopter Companies began ferrying 3/22, led by Bravo Company, into the the chosen landing zone.

Unbeknownst to the Americans the enemy had built defensive bunkers and entrenchments in the tree lines surrounding clearings they considered to be likely landing areas and had mined the clearings themselves. The first lift went quietly enough, but by the time the second lift arrived the enemy had manned his defensive works and was ready to fight. The first sign of what was to come was a command-detonated 155mm shell which destroyed two UH-1s in the second wave. Other mine explosions followed, and the unopposed landing very quickly became a vicious fight between the outnumbered Americans and the surrounding enemy troops.

It was immediately clear the survival of the Americans on the ground depended on the ability of the Huey aircrews to get more infantrymen into the battle without delay - and the Huey crews responded accordingly. An adjacent clearing was pressed into use to expand the available landing area, an expedient that became invaluable as brush fires burned through the original LZ. As the day wore on both landing areas became strewn with downed Hueys, most of them done in by the mines. Some Huey crewmen stripped their aircraft of machine guns and became infantrymen, while others pulled wounded men from downed aircraft and established a medevac area.

Meantime, as more of the 3/22 infantrymen were brought in, air and artillery support went to work on the treelines. The 3/22 infantrymen gradually got the better of the fight and towards afternoon the VC withdrew. By nightfall the heavy guns of the 2nd Battalion, 77th Artillery had been brought in and the American soldiers were able to concentrate on establishing a defensible night position. Fire Support Base GOLD had been taken by assault - but at considerable cost. The burned-out wreckage of several Hueys littered the area and four Huey crewmen were dead. Bravo 3/22 had borne the brunt with nine dead, and a mortarman from HQ Company was killed by a mine as he stepped from a Huey. The dead were

  • 118th AHC, UH-1D tail number 65-09942
    • SP4 Johnny L. Washburn, Azusa, CA

  • 68th AHC, UH-1D tail number 64-13799
    • WO James P. Barton, Bates City, MO
    • SP4 John N. Sheffield, Chapel Hill, TN
    • SP4 Gilbert N. Smith, Durham, CA

  • B Co, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf Rgt, 4 Inf Div, USARV
According to the casualty records, SGT Patterson, SP4 Walters, and PFC Linn were killed in one or more of the downed helicopters - but available records do not associate them with individual aircraft.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Apr 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009