PARKER, DAVID ALLEN
PARKER, DAVID ALLEN
Rank / Branch:
SSG E-6 U.S. Army
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, SMALL ARMS
Awards & Decorations:
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list by County
DAVID ALLEN PARKER, STAFF SERGEANT, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES, SAN ANGELO, TOM GREEN COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Medic Badge, Parachute Wings, Special Forces Badge, Bronze Star with "V" device, Bronze Star for meritorous service, Purple Heart, Army Commendation's Medal with "V" device, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, RVN Campaign Medal
David was born in Tacoma, Washington. At age 2, his parents divorced and his mother remarried and moved with David to Roswell, New Mexico. When he was in junior high school, he moved to San Angelo and lived with a family until he graduated and entered the Army in 1962 and was inducted in El Paso, Teas and he used San Angelo as his home of record.
David completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and then was trained as a medic at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He completed operating room technology training at William Beaumont General Hospital which is the Army hospital attached to Fort Bliss. He competed overseas assignments in Germany assigned to the 4th Surgical Hospital and also with the 8th Medical Battalion. He applied and was accepted for Officer Candidate School in artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma but washed out.
He was then assigned as a medic for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 307th Medical Battalion. This is where he became involved with Special Services and completed parachute training. He married in 1965 and then began his tour in Vietnam with Headquarters and Headquarters Company with the 5th Special Forces Group on November 14, 1966. He was assigned as a medic with a C team at their compound at Bien Hoa providing assistance to native troops and their families and working with the doctors there. He was considered to be a scrounger and according to the doctor there, he could get anything. The doctor was quoted as saying that virtually all of the hospital beds, medical cabinets, orthopedic beds, therapy equipment, two complete and nearly identical operating rooms to be used to treat casualities in a mass casualty situation, air conditioners and vastly more were scrounged by SSG Parker.
Parker was considered to be a braggard by some, but he could usually back up what he said. He was quoted as saying, "he could trade for a complete Huey still in the crates at the Ben Hoa Air Force Base or get a F-104 jet if needed."
He volunteered for field duty and was assigned as a medic to a Mike Force. Mike Forces were three companies of native soldiers and in the area where SSG Parker operated, these native soldiers were Cambodians. These soldiers went out on special missions to sweep areas that were considered hot or to react to units pinned down by superior forces to relieve or re-enforce camps under attack. Joining these units was a sure way to encounter the enemy. He joined a team at Ton Le Chon as a Senior Medic and was there the night it was attacked by a regiment of NVA troops. It was a bloody night and a disaster for the NVA.
He was then attached to B-36, called Task Force, which conducted special operations around III Corp during 1967 and 1968. While on a operation in Long An Province ambushing supplies coming in from Cambodian he contracted malaria and was hospitalized. He was then assigned to A-361 and was at Song Be. The unit was attempting to find and map a little road that had been found in the jungle coming out of Cambodia and down toward Saigon. It was believed that troops and supplies that had been used in the TET Offensive in Saigon had come down that road. On April 6, 1968, SSG Parker was on the mission with an 8 man team and they came under fire and split up. The two elements eventually linked back up and SSG Parker and a Cambodian were gone. The group was pulled out the next day. Task Force went back into the area a few days later and found SSG Parker's body but did not find the Cambodian. SSG Parker had been killed by small arms fire.
SSG Parker was buried with full military honors at the Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. He was survived by his wife and his daughter that he had only seen when she was 10 months old.
Information provided by John Marshall of Lake City, Minnesota who served with SSG Parker.