Samuel Arthur Sharp, Jr.
Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps
Name: SAMUEL ARTHUR JR SHARP
Date of Birth: 2/9/1947
Date of Casualty: 5/10/1967
Home of Record: SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA
Branch of Service: MARINE CORPS
Casualty Country: SOUTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: QUANG TRI
Name: Heinz Ahlmeyer, Jr.
Unit: H & S Co., 3rd Recon BN, 3rd Marine Division, Khe Sanh, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: 06 February 1944
Home City of Record: Pearl River NY
Date of Loss: 10 May 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163706N 1064404E (XD845485)
Status (in 1973): Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01
April 1990 from one or more of
Third Class Petty Officer Malcolm T. Miller was a Hospital Corpsman assigned to H & S Company at Khe Sanh, South Vietnam. He was working with A Company, 3rd Marine Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division at Khe Sanh on May 9, 1967.
On that day, Miller joined a reconnaissance patrol from A Company that had the mission of gathering intelligence information on suspected enemy infiltration routes near their base. The patrol was helicopter lifted into an area just south of the DMZ, where they found signs of recent enemy activity, and moved to high ground to establish a night defensive position.
Shortly after 12 p.m. the patrol came under heavy small arms fire, and several of the team were wounded. Twelve hours later, after numerous unsuccessful attempts, a helicopter was finally able to land and retrieve the wounded. It was not possible to retrieve the bodies of those who had died, including Miller, LCpl. Samuel A. Sharp, Jr., Sgt. James N. Tycz, and 2Lt. Heinz Ahlmeyer, Jr. All were said to have died during the action from wounds received from enemy small arms fire and and grenades.
The four men left behind near the DMZ were never found. The government of Vietnam has been consistently uncooperative in releasing remains they hold or in allowing access to known loss sites.
Even more tragically, evidence mounts that
many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia, still prisoners from
a war many have long forgotten. It is a matter of pride in the armed forces,
and especially in the Marines Corps, that one's comrades are never left
behind. Many men have been killed trying to bring in a wounded or killed
buddy. One can imagine the men missing from A Company, as well as Malcolm
Miller, had they survived, being willing to go on one more patrol for those
heroes we left behind.
As a U.S. Marine Corps band played taps and a hawk circled overhead, Phillip Dale Tycz said he felt his brother had finally come home.
“This is where I thought he belonged — not Vietnam ,” Tycz said.
For nearly four decades, the remains of Tycz's younger brother, Marine Sgt. James Neil Tycz, 22, of Milwaukee , had been missing on a hill in Vietnam , along with those of three other servicemen killed in a firefight May 10, 1967.
On Tuesday, there were burial services for three of the men at Arlington National Cemetery ; the fourth had his service in his hometown of San Jose last month. A painstaking recovery effort by the military led to the identification of the remains earlier this year, using dental records.
“What came home physically was one tooth,” said Irene Healea, whose younger brother, Marine Second Lieutenant Heinz Ahlmeyer Jr., 23, of Pearl River , New York, was killed in the fight on Hill 665, near the Laotian border. “But what really came home was his embodiment and his spirit.”
More than 100 family members and friends came to pay their respects Tuesday, the 38th anniversary of the four young men's deaths. Just before the service began, a Pentagon helicopter buzzed nearby, its whir-whir-whir a reminder of the fateful day in which a chopper retrieved the three survivors of the seven-man reconnaissance team, leaving the four dead behind. It was too dangerous to go back for them.
The silver-colored coffins reflected the sunlight of a perfect spring day, as a Marine marching band led a procession on the way to the grave site. Members of the POW-MIA group Rolling Thunder placed beads on the coffins. Each family was presented with a folded U.S. flag.
“The flag-folding was like watching a ballet,” said Sandy Keheley, the older sister of 20-year-old U.S. Navy corpsman Malcolm Miller, of Tampa, Florida “Seeing my brother as a hero today and not a statistic meant a lot to me. I feel his spirit is here. He's on American soil.”
Marine Lance Corporal Samuel Sharp Jr., 20, of San Jose , California, was buried last month alongside his family members, but he was honored along with the other three at Arlington National Cemetery.
Sharp's mother, Irene Sharp, said Tuesday was not a sad day.
“It's been a relief to me,” she said. “No tears shed. Finally, he's home.”
Sharp decided to sign up for the Marines after his best friend, Ed Charette, did. On Tuesday, Charette recalled telling his buddy: “What if you get killed, Sam? I'll feel really bad.”
“I wish Sam and I had been here together to watch somebody else's funeral,” Charette said. “I loved that guy.”
remains of Petty Officer Malcolm Thomas Miller during a burial service, Tuesday,
May 10, 2005, at Arlington National Cemetery
Posted: 10 May 2005 Updated: 27 August 2005 Updated: 29 July 2006
Photo Courtesy of Rosxanne Wells-Layton, July 2006