Mitchell Allen Wentz

Gunners Mate 2nd Class
United States Navy
10 October 1946 - 07 June 1968
Lompoc, California
Panel 59W Line 029


River Patrol

TF 116
Mitchell A Wentz

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Mitchell Allen Wentz

3 Apr 2001

MITCHELL ALLEN WENTZ, born on October 10, 1946 in Pensacola, Florida, was the son of a career Naval officer, Cdr. Charles A. Wentz, and spent his formative years living aboard many Naval Air Stations stateside and in Hawaii. After graduation from Lompoc High School in California, he joined the US Navy in November 1965. He was sent to boot camp in San Diego and upon graduation was assigned to the USS Betelgeuse and the USS Peregrine.

Mitchell arrived in Vietnam in October, 1967 and was assigned to River Section 541, Nha Be. He patrolled the Rung Sat Special Zone unil he was transferred to River Section 514, Binh Thuy, in April, 1968. He patrolled the North Bassac and served as boat captain of PBR 747. Mitchell made Second Class in two and a half years of service.

On June 7, 1968 at the age of 21, MITCHELL WENTZ gave his life in the service of our country in South Vietnam, Binh Thuy Province when PBR 747 came under fire on the Bassac River at Tan Dinh Island. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

His many friends will remember him as an avid surfer. One surfing buddy, Butch Olmstead, served in the Army in Vietnam at the same time that Mitchell was serving on the river patrol boats, and tells the story of their friendship and Mitchell's service in Memories Tell a Tale of Two Soldiers.

Mitchell is survived by his mother, Rita M. Wentz of Lompoc, California, and his sister, Dale Wentz Drake of Martinsville, Indiana. You can find MITCHELL WENTZ honored on the Vietnam Memorial Wall on Panel 59W, Row 29.

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea.

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson -

From his sister,
Dale Wentz Drake
Martinsville, Indiana

Gunners Mate Second Class Mitchell Allen Wentz is remembered by his
shipmates of the Brown Water Navy

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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