Stephen O'Meara WhiteSergeant
D CO, 4TH BN, 503RD INFANTRY, 173 ABN BDE
Army of the United States
23 December 1947 - 30 December 1968
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The database page for Stephen O'Meara White
I had been there since June of '68 and Stephen got there around September I recall. I remember him telling me he was drafted and was from the south side of Chicago. I was from Minnesota. We were on an operation one day and he told me that he wasn't going to make it home, it must have been late November of '68. On December 30th I got on a chopper to head for Bangkok for R&R. Little did I know that I would never see him again.
A few minutes after the chopper resupplied us and let me aboard, the fire-support base was mortared and the first round landed in the 81mm mortar gun pit and killed both he and a fella from Fort Wayne, IN, named Elton Bradley Collins. When I returned from Bangkok I couldn't believe my ears. I felt terrible because I had assigned them my job of FDC (fire direction center) for the mortar. They were where I would have been, in the gun pit returning fire.
I have since learned that he was from Beverly, a south-side Chicago neighborhood. I have also learned that he was quite a character in school. Once when the moving wall came to Chicago I was told that I just missed his parents, apparently they left just before I got there.
I'll never forget Stephen, I kind of took him under my wing when he got there. I reassured him that he would get back to "the world" and everything would be fine. He didn't. I miss him. I think about him often and totally appreciate the ultimate sacrifice that he and Elton made for our great country. Rest in peace my friend.
From a comrade-in-arms.
A Note from The Virtual WallThe MACV Summary for December 1968 contains the following entry for 30 December:
The unit involved was D Company, 4/503rd Infantry, and the "light casualties" included two dead:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 12 Jun 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009