Douglass Terrell Wheless

Army of the United States
18 July 1946 - 22 November 1970
Shreveport, Louisiana
Panel 06W Line 078



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Douglass Terrell Wheless

03 Apr 2008

Doug and I served together in Germany in 68-69 in 1/32, 3rd Bde, 3rd Armor. He was a 1968 USMA grad and I was VMI 1967. His dad was VMI 1933 so we had a lot to say about where one or the other of us went wrong with our education. He was regular and I was reserve.

You could not ask for a nicer guy or a better friend. We were the two oldest (and most trained - I had four years on tanks at VMI) of 26 LTs in the Battalion. We had an LTC for Commander and one Major for asst. Cdr and 26 LTs. We were 2 to 3 years older than the college drop-out OCS guys and also low on the commission dates. Whenever the CO needed a job done that his company commanders could not do, he called on one of us. It did not make us very popular. But we were buds and Doug often had meals with me and my wife. He babysat once when I had duty and Joan was ill.

The listing here says he died in Binh Doung Province. I was told once by a Colonel who saw him during the five days it took him to die that he was in Cambodia - the week Nixon said we had no troops in Cambodia.

He was dating a stewardess named Susan when he was killed. Met her on R&R in Australia. I had some 400 "Brother Rats" at VMI. None any closer to me than Doug. I think of him often with emotion. I miss him.

From a brother-in-arms,
L. J. Abernathy
3200 Deer Creek Drive, Canton, Ga 30114

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Captain Wheless was wounded by a mine on 20 November 1970 and died on 22 Nov from the injuries he received. Mr. Abernathy notes being told that Captain Wheless's unit was in Cambodia when he was injured - but no known ground operations were conducted in Cambodia at that time. None of the 195 US military personnel who died during the last 15 days of November 1970 are coded for Cambodia - they all are coded for Laos or the Vietnams. Further, the MACV summaries for November 1970 document 11th Armored Cavalry operations in Binh Duong, Bien Hoa, and Long Khanh Provinces - but none along or across the Cambodian border. Mr. Abernathy's informant may have confused Captain Wheless's death with that of his predecessor in I Troop 3/11, Captain James A. Petrie, who was killed in Cambodia on 26 June 1970.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 03 Apr 2008
Last updated 08/10/2009