On this day (12 March 69) our company
(Co. A, 1st Bn, 8th Inf, 4th Inf Div) came
across an NVA bunker complex (in the Plei Trap Valley area, just west of
Polei Kleng Special Forces Camp), and also an unknown size NVA force.
All hell broke loose. Our point elements SP/4 Kaiser, PFC Summerlin, 1st
LT LePeilbet, and SP/4 Pearce came under intense fire from these bunkers.
1LT LePeilbet got hit by grenade fragments. Then PSGT White and Sgt.
Horton attempted to maneuver on the bunker with these men (PFC Summerlin,
SP/4 Pearce). They almost reached the bunker, when a recoilless rifle
went off wounding SP/4 Pearce, PSGT White, Sgt. Horton, and PFC Summerlin.
Since all our leaders were wounded,
SP/4 Jerry Loucks took complete command. He and Sgt. Woodall
maneuvered on the (same) bunker alone. SP/4 Loucks had received
fragments before this, and refused medical aid. He moved up behind the
bunker, and Sgt. Woodall came up on the (right) flank. A NVA started
firing out of the rear of the bunker at SP/4 Loucks, wounding him in the
face. While he (Loucks) sprayed the bunker (killing the NVA), Sgt.
Woodall dropped a grenade down into it.
After all the bunkers were silenced,
SP/4 Loucks took complete command, while still refusing medical aid.
The NVA had split our forces from our main element, and SP/4 Loucks moved
our two platoons to keep us from being wiped out. Whenever he would
receive fire, SP/4 Loucks would immediately go to that area, and direct
counter fire until the enemy was silenced. He directed the movement of
the wounded, and also directed the movement of the two platoons back to the
main force of our company. He continued to direct fire, distribute
ammo, and help the wounded. He would run across open areas through
intense machinegun fire to help people. Whenever some of our people
were pinned down by the NVA, SP/4 Loucks would quickly silence the enemy.
When our two platoons rejoined the
Company, SP/4 Loucks then had his wounds bandaged. When the dust-off
came in, he refused to go. He had to stay and help the men.
During the 6 hours of continuous
fighting, SP/4 Loucks personally silenced one enemy bunker, and was wounded
twice, and yet refused medical aid. He took command and saved our
platoons, and I believe by his direction, the whole company. He took
care of moving the wounded.
The man did an outstanding job.
Without SP/4 Loucks the Company would have been overrun.
S/ Ron Westbrook
Eyewitness - Jerry T. Loucks Awarded the
Distinguished Service Cross