SGT Earl W Himes and SP4 Sanderfierd A Jones, KIA 5 Mar 1969. Both men were assigned to CCN and taking part in OPERATION DEWEY CANYON.
SGT Himes was point man on a MACV-SOG recon patrol in the A-Shau Valley in Laos when he was ambushed and killed. SP4 Sanderfierd (Sandy) Jones ran to him despite attempts by SSG (later 1SG) Charles Gray’s to stop him. SP4 Jones was hit multiple times with AK-47 rounds to the legs, chest and one to the head that killed him instantly. Both SGT Himes and SP4 Jones were awarded the Silver Star for their actions during Operation Dewey Canyon.
23 year old SGT Himes was born October 10, 1945, the son of Mr. And Mrs. Francis Himes of Spring Hill, PA. Although a native of Phoenixville, he spent most of his life in the Spring City area. Earl was a member of the Spring-Ford High School’s wrestling and football teams and graduated in 1964. He had worked as a die caster for the Doehler Jarvis Division of the National Lead Co., Stowe. Despite being severely wounded by a VC-placed bamboo spike in 1967, while making a parachute drop and spending several months in Army hospitals for the leg wound, he asked to be sent back to Vietnam in July of 1968. He is buried in Limerick Gardens of Memories, Limerick Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He was survived by his parents, several brothers and sisters and a young daughter, Michelle.
SP4 Jones, 22 years old, was born 22 Feb 1947 in Dallas, Texas. In 1965 he graduated from Wilmer-Hutchins High School and attended Texas A&M University for two years. He joined the Army in May 1967. He was survived by a wife and his parents. He is buried in Edgewood Cemetery, Lancaster, Texas.
Silver Star citation for Sanderfierd Jones.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Specialist Fourth Class Sanderfierd Allen Jones (ASN: RA-15884605), United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force while serving with Command and Control North, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Fourth Class Jones distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 5 March 1969 as a Squad Leader of a company of indigenous soldiers on a search and clear operation deep within enemy territory. When his company’s point element was helplessly caught in an ambush, Specialist Jones moved his squad forward to assist his stricken comrades. The enemy realized his movement would block their retreat and shifted the greatest volume of fire on his squad, pinning his men down also. Aware that immediate action would be necessary to keep his troops from being annihilated, Specialist Jones moved from man to man, reassuring and encouraging them. He then led an assault on the hostile positions, inflicting numerous casualties on the enemy. As the communists began to withdraw, he was mortally wounded by hostile fire. Specialist Fourth Class Jones’ gallantry in action, at the cost of his life, was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Silver Star citation for SGT Earl Himes. CITATION:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant Earl W. Himes (ASN: 15955630), United States Army, for gallantry in action in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force while serving with Command and Control Detachment, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, in the Republic of Vietnam. Sergeant Himes distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 5 March 1969 as assistant leader of a reconnaissance team operating deep within enemy-held territory. As he and his comrades entered a clearing they were caught in an ambush and were pinned under the intense hostile fire. Seeing the point man shot by an enemy machine gunner, Sergeant Himes maneuvered forward to assist the stricken man and found that he was dead. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he charged the machine gun position, firing his rifle and throwing grenades until he was mortally wounded by the communists’ barrage. His courageous act enabled his fellow team members to escape the enemy killing zone and reach cover. Sergeant Himes’ gallantry in action at the cost of his life, was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.