SGT Dennis Ray Silvesan A member of HSB, 6th Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, was born on Friday,
December 24, 1948. He was killed in action on Sunday, May 24, 1970 in the Province of Pleiku, South Vietnam.
To his friends he was known as "Joe Cruit"!
He was "posthumously" promoted to Sergeant, single, and from Longview, Washington.
(The Wall: Panel 10W-Row 092)
His Family Mourns His Loss
His Comrades Honor Him
Left, Terry Smith, center, then SP4 Dennis R. Silversan, right, SP4 John Maloch.
He was known as "Joe Cruit" to the men of the 6th Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Division. The embodiment of a Beetle Bailey, Sad Sack, Willy and Joe all rolled into one. He was a natural comic, making life bearable around Camp Enari and Camp Radcliff.
On the morning of May 24, 1970, he was proud as a peacock because he was embarking on his first combat related mission, and wouldn't be called "Joe Cruit" anymore. He had a bandolier of ammunition over his shoulder, and wore his helmet on backwards. The mission was to convoy to the foreward headquarters to bring a firing battery back to An Khe from the Cambodia-South Vietnam border, near the end of an incursion operation. The irony of this is that he had a medical profile that kept him in base camp because of a severe allergy to insect stings. Even with that, he still chose to go on this mission.
During the convoy operations, he was accompanied by Private First Class Russell David Watts, a 52B20 Power Generation Mechanic and Private First Class Stephen Richard Barkley, a 13A10 Field Artilleryman. At some point, their M35-series two and one-half ton cargo truck developed a flat tire near the village of Edep Edang. Pulling out of the convoy, they managed to make repairs, and in moving back onto the roadway to rejoin the convoy, a land mine detonated under their vehicle, killing all three soldiers instantly.
Story contributed by Jon Aldridge.
SGT Silvesan as he was reporting into to Ft. Lewis for assignment to Vietnam.