HOWARD LYNN BARTLEY, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U. S. ARMY, COAHOMA, HOWARD COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Silver Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Military Merit Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Howard was born and raised in Cortez, Colorado. He was the son of Arnold Nelson and Ruth Alice Dennison. When he was born, his mother was married to Mr. Bartley and the Bartley name was on his birth certificate. However, shortly thereafter his birth, his natural parents remarried. He went by Howard Lynn Nelson growing up. He was not told of his legal name until he registered for the draft in Howard County, Texas. He then used his legal name after that. In his early years, he was raised by his grandfather, Bill Dennison and after his death in 1960, he moved back with his mother. His parents had remarried and then divorced once again. He attended schools in Cortez. He dropped out of high school after his sophomore year in 1965. He moved with his family to Coahoma, Texas and Howard went to work in the oil fields around Coahoma.
He was drafted from Coahoma in January, 1967. While he was in the Army, his family moved back to Cortez. He completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and AIT at Fort Polk Louisiana in infantry.
During AIT, April 1967
When he came home on leave prior to reporting to Vietnam, he married Jenell Smith, a Cortez native, at the First Methodist Church on August 5, 1967. He and Jenell had one week together before he departed for Vietnam from Fort Lewis, Washington.
Howard Lynn and Jenell Bartley-August 1967
On Leave Before Vietnam-1967
Howard began his tour on August 13, 1967. He was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Howard was killed as he was walking point, when his unit was hit by small arms fire while on patrol on November 1, 1967. He was in the open and continued to lay down suppressive fire on the enemy even after he had been wounded several times. His actions were an advance warning to the others in his patrol and his actions saved the lives of many other who could have walked into the kill zone of the ambush. He succumbed to the mirades of wounds he sustained. For his actions he was awarded a posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart. The Vietnam government awarded him the Vietnam Cross Galantry with Palm and the Vietnam Military Merit Medal.
He was buried with full military honors at the Cortez Cemetery, in Cortez, Montezuma County, Colorado. He was survived by his wife, his mother, Ruth Dennison Echols, his father and his six siblings, all of Cortez. His brothers were Ricky Nelson, Douglas Kit Nelson, Keith Tilton, Sonny Joe Echols and David Echols and his sister, Tasha Nelson. He was also survived by his maternal grandfather.
His wife, Jenell still lives in Cortez, Colorado and has never remarried. His father, Arnold Nelson, passed away in 1982 and his mother passed away August 8, 2008 and was cremated and her ashes were spread over Sunshine Mountain near Cortez. His sister, Tasha Nelson Kaiser passed away in 2006. His older brother, Ricky Nelson lives near Big Spring, Texas. Keith Tilton lives in Stratford, Texas, Douglas Kit Nelson and David Weaver Echols continue to live in Cortez and Sonny Joe Echols lives in Delta, Colorado.
Cortez Cemetery, Cortez, Colorado
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
GENERAL ORDERS 10 December 1967
AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced.
BARTLEY, HOWARD L. US54402120 PFC E-3, Co C, 1st Bn, 27th Inf, 25th Inf Div
Awarded: Silver Star (Posthumously)
Date action: 1 November 1967
Theatre: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: For gallantry in action:
Private First Class Barley distinguished himself by heoric actions on 1 November 1967, while serving as point man with Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry in the Republic of Vietnam. Private Bartley was walking point through dense undergrowth in the Boi Loi Woods when he was fired upon by enemy automatic weapon positions. Without regard for his own life, he immediately returned fire to alert his platoon to the impending danger which enabled them to withdraw to safety. Private Bartley continued to expose himself in order to return fire until he was mortally wounded. Through Private Bartley's uncommon bravery, aggressiveness, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress,approved 9 July 1918, and USARV message 16695, 1 July 1966.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
OFFICIAL: Jasper J. Wilson
Chief of Staff
ROBERT S. YOUNG
*Transcribed from Original Orders by Billy M. Brown, PBVVM on 20 July 2009