I wish to take this chance to thank the Bonner County Day by day Bee and local people for remembering our native veterans and their actions that are very a lot worthy of our consideration, making certain their tales are remembered in a better context.
This story is about Grasp Sergeant Willian Balt Hunt, a neighborhood veteran. Many right here in our group nonetheless keep in mind him.
William (Invoice) Hunt was a neighborhood child who graduated from Sandpoint Excessive College in 1953, coming into the US Military as a paratrooper. After his first enlistment he obtained out of the Military returning to Sandpoint to guide a traditional life working as a logger along with his dad. Invoice returned to the US Military, volunteering for Particular Forces (SF) coaching then subsequently changing into a “Inexperienced Beret” radio operator in 1961. He spent three excursions of responsibility in Vietnam 1962, 1964 and his ultimate tour in 1966.
On his third tour within the Republic of Vietnam 1966 he was declared lacking in motion. That is his story.
In 1966, the Vietnam Conflict was escalating with operations ever growing. The standard battle was intensifying with the biggest battle as much as that time within the battle looming on the horizon. In III Corps, Tay Ninh Province, alongside the Cambodian border simply northwest of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh Metropolis) Operation Attleboro commenced. Its basic purpose was to search out, then destroy North Vietnamese Military and Viet Cong logistical sources plus any enemy items working within the space. Attleboro would sluggish enemy assist and infiltration into the Saigon III Corps space. Amongst this standard operation was a really unconventional unit, the III Corps MIKE (Cellular Strike) Power, led by an Military SF Staff and manned by ethnic Chinese language Nung troopers.
In November Workers Sergeant (SSG) Hunt was attributable to rotate out of nation in a month. He was a passenger on a helicopter getting back from R and R (relaxation and rest) to Soui Da, an SF Camp and native SF Headquarters for fight operations. As a passenger on the helicopter, he was listening to site visitors on his radio headset explaining fight actions on the bottom. He shortly realized he knew the unit involved (III Corps MIKE Power) and satisfied the pilot to divert to conduct a med-evac (medical evacuation) for the American lead firm that had suffered heavy losses.
At a touchdown zone northeast of Soui Da, 10 miles from Dau Tieng, SSgt. Hunt was lifted into battle to assist evacuate the wounded. The helicopter was unable to take off attributable to overloading, so he voluntarily left the relative security of the plane to assist reinforce the MIKE Power. He had no tools or weapon, receiving his fight tools from SSG Jim Monaghan (an injured SF soldier simply loaded into the helicopter). Invoice discovered a weapon on the battlefield because the helicopter left with the wounded.
They fought for an additional two days taking on as platoon chief for SSG Monaghan’s platoon with the NVA and Viet Cong regularly probing the MIKE Power. The North Vietnamese forces continually attacked the place the unit was sustaining throughout the night.
After two days of heavy combating, and quite a few casualties, the MIKE Power was overrun by numerically superior forces on November 6. As SSG Hunt drug the wounded firm commander, Sergeant First Class (SFC) George Heaps out of hazard however whereas doing this, Hunt was gravely wounded by a bullet that hit him within the shoulder, penetrated his higher again, and exited his aspect. SSG Hunt nonetheless succeeded in transferring Heaps to a lined place the place each handed out from lack of blood.
Each Heaps and Hunt later regained consciousness, discovered a .45 Cal pistol on the battlefield and with two wounded Nung MIKE Power troopers crawled towards a touchdown zone for extraction. Progress was very sluggish due to their wounds, and at last SSG Hunt informed Heaps he couldn’t go farther, and for Heaps to proceed leaving him there. He would cowl their withdrawal along with his pistol. SFC Heaps left one Nung soldier with SSG Hunt however when a helicopter arrived on the lading zone the Nung soldier got here operating in direction of SFC Heaps saying, “Hunt lifeless, Hunt lifeless.” Heaps and the 2 Nung troopers have been evacuated. Heaps handed out for over 24 hours attributable to his accidents and the seek for Invoice was carried out a number of kilometers to the southeast, within the incorrect path. When searches have been made to get well his physique, it was not discovered.
SSgt. William B. Hunt was declared lacking in motion and has been carried in that class ever since November 1966. He earned the Silver Star and was awarded the Purple Coronary heart for his wounds. His title is inscribed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Panel E12, row 22 on the left boarder. His title has a “cross” subsequent to it signifying his MIA standing. His title can also be included at on the Conflict Memorial Area monument right here in Sandpoint and on the Veterans memorial monument in River Entrance Park, Spokane. Throughout his lacking standing Workers Sgt. Hunt was promoted twice, first to sergeant firstclass, and at last to grasp sergeant.
Supply: Compiled with some corrections by his son and by Homecoming II Venture 15 October 1990 from a number of of the next: uncooked knowledge from U.S. Authorities company sources, correspondence with POW/MIA households, revealed sources, interviews. Up to date by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.