I, Sp/4 Wayne M. Joslin, hereby give the following information about the individuals of the Recon team, Tracer 5.  The people in question are Sp/4 Franklin, Sp/4 Robertson, Sp/4 Pisarski, Sgt. Chrietzberg, and myself. 

One the 12th of March 1969, Tracer 5 made contact with enemy.  All of the team members performed their job and carried out each order given to them.  When engaged by the enemy they did what they had been taught.  At this time I would like to take each person and give a brief on each man.  I must say that I myself have not, or was not with the Tracer 5 team too long.  About 10 days, before we made contact on 12 March 1969.  Therefore, I do not know them too well personally. 

Sp/4 Franklin was the assistant team leader for Tracer 5.  Frank, as we called him, was walking rear-security for the team, when we made contact.  That was the 12th of March 1969.  When the team initially made contact, Frank was to my right.  He then moved to the side of the team leader, Sgt. Chrietzberg.  They then moved the team to a new location, for more protection from sniper fire.  When the Cobras came to shoot for us, Frank was helping in the coordination of the Cobra’s passes.  Word came from higher to either stay in place or move to A 1/8.  We decided to move back.  At this time, Frank took up the point.  As we moved back through the Bunker complex, Frank spotted a NVA soldier in a bunker about to open up on the team.  Frank engaged him before he shot and liquidated him.  We then moved on to the point where we were separated.

For the short time that I did know Frank, he was the best soldier I have seen to this day.  He had the knowledge and experience of the jungle that could not be surpassed.  He was a Man. 

Sgt. Chrietzberg is the team leader for Tracer 5.  On the day of contact Chrietzberg was carrying the radio and doing an outstanding job of bringing in the Cobras.  He kept the C.O. of A 1/8 informed of what was going on in our location.  When we were moving back Sgt. Chrietzberg detected a bunker from which we received fire.  He then took a hand grenade and placed it into the bunker and silenced the enemy inside.  Then he pushed to the point, where we got separated.  Chrietzberg is a good man when the chips are down.  I can say he keeps his head and full control of himself and his men. 

Sp/4 Robertson was walking behind the team leader and in front of me.  Rock was the first one to detect the enemy working his way up the hill to our position.  He was putting out a larger volume of fire than the rest.  When we were trying to rejoin our unit the separation took place.  Rock, Pisarski, and I were pinned down by a sniper in a spider hole.  Rock jumped up, ran to put a grenade in the hole.  In doing so he got the sniper.  We tried to maneuver and Rock spotted more of the enemy in the open, with a machinegun.  He engaged them.  While still maneuvering, we were taken under fire by a sniper in a tree, spider hole, and a machinegun position.  Rock was assisted in silencing the machine gun.  Then when falling back, he opened up on the spider hole and zapped him.  After trying to re-group, Rock, Pisarski, and I moved out of the area.  The 13th of March 1969, Rock and others did not have any contact.  The 14th of March 1969, Rock was walking rear-security for the small group.  The group made contact the first time by walking up on a group of NVA.  Rock worked great.  The second contact Rock must have seen something that the rest of the group did not see.  Rock opened fire to our right flank.  Then he and the group retreated.  Rock was running down an elephant trail.  I could see him and the AK rounds on the trail.  This was the last time we saw or heard of Rock.  Rock was the type of person that showed his fear more than the others, but did what you told him with no questions asked.  He thought more of the guys than himself. 

Sp/4 Pisarski (Pee Wee) was the point man.  Pisarski worked as our left flank in the initial contact and also spotted snipers in the trees.  When we moved out and headed for A 1/8, Pee Wee was our rear-security for Tracer 5.  When the separation came Pee Wee had a NVA soldier about 10 feet to his front.  He took the enemy under fire and did him in.  In doing so he received burns on his back from AK rounds.  We then tried to re-join Frank and Chrietzberg, but were unable to do so.  Pee Wee helped Rock to get the machinegun.  They did it with just their M-16s.  That was how close they were to the machinegun.  We then got out of the area.  Pee Wee was our point man for the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th, and did a damn good job.  The 14th of March 1969, Pee Wee saw two shirts hanging up.  He said “Chui Hoi.”  Then when one of the six stood up, the other soldiers were not far behind.  Pee Wee opened up and the first one was killed.  In our hasty retreat, he jumped in a hole and in the bottom was a NVA type hand grenade!  The second contact Pee Wee saw one NVA jump out from behind a tree.  Pee Wee was blinded by his buckle.  He returned fire and then retreated.  He found a NVA digging a hole in the bunker complex.  No shots were exchanged in the complex.  Pee Wee found a good NL and we ate our meal of “BUSLES.”  The next day Pee Wee heard sounds coming at us.  It was an NVA and he walked right past us.  Pee Wee spotted a B-52 bomb crater. Then he pointed out that we were in the contact area of A 1/8.  After about an hour’s walk he pointed out some GI bunkers that belonged to C 1/8.  We looked around and then found A 1/8 and were quite happy.


                                                                                                                /s/   Wayne M. Joslin

                                                                                                                Sp/4, 1/8th Inf

                                                                                                                19 March 1969








James A. Franklin Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross 

eyewitness John L. Pisarski

click to see eyewitness reports

eyewitness Chietzburg        eyewitness Pizarski       eyewitness Joslin

Thank you  from the men of the A-1-8

Specialist Four James A. Franklin distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism on 12 March 1969, while serving as assistant team leader for a reconnaissance team, Tracer-5, acting as point for his unit, A Company 1/8th Infantry, near Polei Kleng, in the Central Highlands, Republic of Vietnam. 

James Franklin Vietnam 1969
James Franklin 1969
James Franklin and Runkle Vietnam 1969
James Franklin and Runkle Central Highlands 1969