FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- The Kentucky National Guard will host its annual Memorial Day observance on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Kentucky National Guard Memorial located at the entrance to Boone National Guard Center (100 Minuteman Parkway) in Frankfort Kentucky.
The keynote speaker for the event will be Vietnam veteran Col. (R) Jerry Cecil, a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Kentucky. Lt. Col. April Brown will sing the National Anthem and My Old Kentucky Home during the event.
Families of any of the fallen honored on the Memorial are encouraged to attend and be recognized at the event. The event is free and open to the public.
Three names are being added to the Memorial and are scheduled to be in place by the event. This will bring the total names on the Memorial to 272 men and women who have fallen in the line of duty since 1912. Those fallen whose names are being added to the Memorial are: Captain Samuel Edward Gipe, 39, of Daviees County, (October 24, 1916); Private Ross L. McCord, 18, of Christian County, (October 25, 1922); and Horseshoer Eddie Stafford, 31, of Calloway County (14 October 1918).
2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the return to the Bluegrass from Vietnam following a 12-month tour of duty for the 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery. This year’s ceremony will highlight Guardsmen who fell in the line of duty during the Vietnam era. The actual flag that flew over Fire Base Tomahawk by the 2-138th is will be flown at the Memorial for the event.
KENTUCKY THUNDER IN VIETNAM
The 2-138th units in Louisville, Bardstown, Elizabethtown and Carrollton, were ordered to active duty and completed accelerated training at Fort Hood, Texas. Advanced elements of the battalion departed Fort Hood, Texas on October 11, 1968. The final elements of the organization arrived in Vietnam on October 30, 1968. On November 13, 1968, at 2 p.m., Brigadier General Allan G. Pixton, XXIV Corps Artillery Commander, pulled the lanyard on Number 3 piece, Battery A, and fired the first 2-138th Field Artillery round into the mountain range south of Phu Bai, Vietnam. During the tour in Vietnam, the battalion had a primary mission of reinforcing the fires of the 101st Airborne Air Mobile (AM) Division Artillery and frequently supported the 1st Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Division as well as regional and local militia. During the period, 2-138th Field Artillery Battalion fired approximately 150,000 rounds.
Senior Commander in Vietnam, General Creighton Abrams, said the 2nd Battalion 138th Field Artillery, was “one of the best trained, and absolutely the best maintained battalion-sized unit in Vietnam.”
The fallen from the Vietnam Era — February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 — on the Memorial:
KYNG Fallen Serving in Vietnam:
-Brown, Harold SSG Army Bullitt County Battery C, 1st Battalion, 82nd Artillery Americal Division VN 11-Jun-1969
-Carr, Bertram SGT Army Jefferson County Battery B, 2-138th FA BN, 24 Corps in VN 1-Jun-1969
-Chappel, Luther 1SG Army Carroll County Battery C, 2-138th FA in VN 19-Jun-1969
-Collins, David SP4 Army Nelson County Battery C, 2-138th FA in VN 19-Jun-1969
-McIlvoy, Joseph PFC/SP4 Army Washington County Battery C, 2-138th FA in VN 19-Jun-1969
-Moore, James SSG Army Nelson County Battery C, 2-138th FA in VN 24-Jun-1969
-Simpson, Ronald SP4 Army Nelson County Battery C, 2-138th FA in VN 19-Jun-1969
-Williams, Billy MAJ Army Crittenden County Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) Advance Team 3 in VN 6-May-1970
-Wray, James SGT Army Jefferson County Battery B, 1st Bn 40th Artillery, 108th Art Grp in VN 2-Jul-1969
KYNG Fallen Elsewhere During the Vietnam Era
-Brown, Lanny PFC Army Wayne County TNG in Kentucky Battery C, 1st Battalion of the 623rd Field Artillery 15-Jul-1970
-May, Martin CW4 Army Daviess County TNG at Ft Hood HHC, 2Med Tank BN, 123rd Armor Other 14-Mar-1975
-Powell, Glave SGT Army Mercer County TNG in Kentucky SVC Battery, 2/138th FA BN Other 12-Jan-1975
-Sanders, Roger Capt Air Jefferson County TNG in Kentucky 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron 14-Sep-1971
-Sawyer, Robert Capt Air TN County AD in Missouri 165th Tac Recon Sq Other 5-Aug-1968
-Smith, William LTC Army TX County AD in Korea formerly Battery C of the 138th Field Artillery Battalion VN 27-Nov-1968
-Uhl, Timothy PFC Army Fayette County TNG in Kentucky SVC Battery, 2-138th FA BN Other 12-Feb-1975
The ceremony is planned to last approximately forty-five minutes. Parking for the event will be near the ceremony site on Boone National Guard Center and those attending are asked to arrive a few minutes early to allow for potentially congested traffic flow and time to accommodate parking.