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The Troopers of the 409th Army Security Agency Detachment dedicate this page to Harry Colon, family and friends for his ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam 21 June 1969 when, enroute to 303rd RRBn at Bien Hoa, was hit by sniper fire.

Harry Joseph Colon Wall Rubbing

 

THE WALL PANEL 22W-ROW 103

The info letter about the ASA and about Harry Colon is great. I never 
got to see him again after he went in. But it seems like he was well 
liked. And that does my heart good.  I wasn't in the service, but my 
father, brothers, and my sister just retired from the Air Force after 
25 years, i read alot of all you guys went through, and i know i 
wasn't there, but i do care and thank all of you for what you went 
through for all of us!                 
Sincerley

Debbie (Hyatt) Lane
Hi Marvin,
After months of reserch I finally found out where Harry J. Colon is 
buried. He is at New St. Raymond Cemetery, Bronx. N.Y.  now I have 
the chance to say good-bye to him. Just some info in case someone 
wants to know where he is. Take Care
Debbie


Dear Marvin,

I was happy to find your web site today, which set my mind finally at ease over the death of Harry Colon some 32 years ago. When I first visited the Washington memorial in 1996, I was finally able to pay my respects.

In the short time that Harry was in my unit (856th RRD), we became good friends, though I was in our forward unit most of the time (Blackhorse and Xuan Loc) while he was working supply in the “rear with the beer.” The day after his death, I had to quell a near mutiny among a few of the guys in my section who refused a direct order from a “weed” operations Lt. to drive up to Xuan Loc to deliver some crypto pads to the forward unit. It wasn’t so much that the guys were afraid to go back on that road, but as it turned out, they were merely refusing out of respect for Harry whom we all liked. I took the pads up in a jeep with a lonely “shotgun,” and have to admit, that as we rounded that turn near the kiln site (there was a high bank on the east side of the road where the sniper was allegedly positioned) about 15 kilometers from BMB, my heart sank as I raced the engine and ducked all the way through that small pass.

I was always curious where Harry’s family lived in New York, as I had wanted at some point to visit his mother when I was in school there after I got out of the Army. I thought it was Queens, but never knew how to reach her or any family members.

In 1992 I returned to Viet Nam and was granted permission to go up to the DaLat (at that time off-limits to American tourists). I drove up that same road (which has been widened considerably) and found the same fateful bend. I thought of Harry. On my way back I returned via Xuan Loc, and drove the 60 to 80 kilometers over monsoon beaten roads to Ba Ria and back to Saigon. Blackhorse was nothing more than an overgrown pepper plantation, though my mandated “tour guide” (a civilian police officer) finally admitted that it had been the site of an infamous “re-education” camp after 1975. Much of the city (town) of Xuan Loc had been leveled just before the fall of Saigon, though a few of the French -built barracks of the 18th ARVN Division were still standing. I always thought Blackhorse was one of the most depressing and isolated places in the world, and was happy to have only spent a few rainy months there.

Anyway, enough rambling. I do appreciate your website and dedication to Harry.

Best of luck.

Larry Neber

856th RRD (9/67 – 6/70)

4 Responses to SP5 Harry J Colon

  • Joe Rodriguez says:

    To all the members of Harry’s unit, greetings. My name is Joe (Rob.) Rodriguez and Harry was a classmate of mine when we were in elementary school in New York. I served with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam from 1968 to ’69 in I Corp. I was a Northern Marine. My MOS was machine guns.
    On my return home from ‘Nam, I met up with Harry’s mother and she told me of his passing. We grew up in Manhattan, Spanish Harlem to be exact, however, we became neighbors in the Bronx a few years later. Just before I left for the Marines, myself and a few other friends got together for a last time. We all promised to see each other again in a year or two, but that never happened. When Mrs Colon told me about his death, it seemed as if a spear had pierced her heart. She did not say how he was killed, instead she said “they killed my son”. Those words always stayed with me.
    In case you are wondering where his gravesite is, it is located in the Bronx, St Raymond’s Cemetery, 2600 Lafayette Ave, Bronx, New York. The gravesite is St Peter’s Section, Range 25, no 19. He shares his grave with his mother. I only visited once but I intend to go back again.

  • Maj. Joseph M. Alicea, USAF Ret. says:

    I share your pain, Bro.

  • David Porter says:

    I was with 856 RRD with Harry. I was in the electronics repair area. Harry was the parts supplier for me and the motor pool. He was moving to the 409th RRD so they asked me to fill his job and mine until a replacement could be found. I was still doing both jobs when they closed 199th Light Infantry and 856th. It didn’t seem like it was very long after taking over Harrys job that we were told he was shot and killed by a sniper in a “spider” hole that he passed while in the passenger seat of a jeep. The driver said Harry took 3 hits then told him “get me to a hospital “. The driver thought he died almost immediately after that.

  • David Porter says:

    Forgot to mention I transferred to the 409th when 856th shut down. Spent 27 months split about equally between the two.

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