Leonard Ashworth Coles was born on March 20, 1945 and joined the Armed Forces while in Webster, NY.
He served as a 71B20 in the Army, and attained the rank of SP4/E4.
On May 16, 1969, at the age of 24, Leonard Ashworth Coles perished in the service of our country in South Vietnam, Quang Tri.
Marital Status: Single
--- Military ---
Serial Number: 51776212
Component: Selective Service
Pay grade: E4
Start of Tour: Tuesday, October 29, 1968
Date of Casualty: Friday, May 16, 1969
Age at time of loss: 24
Casualty type: (C2) Non-hostile, died of illness/injury
Reason: Other accident (Ground casualty)
Country: South VietNam
Province: Quang Tri
The Wall: Panel 24W - Row 024
On May 20, 2000, Leonard's family memorialized his life.
I remember the dude that
fragged the Orderly Room, His name was Phronerbarger and he came to A Troop
on the same day in Dec 1968 as Paul Schiano and I did. He didn't like being
out in the bush so he kept trying to get hurt. Finally one day he jumps off
a tank and breaks his ankle. They send him to the rear to heal up. We are out
on a mission and when we come back into LZ Nancy the 1st Sgt sees Phronerbarger
out at the gook hootches in front of the main gate to Base camp. Top tells Phronerbarger
that the party is over for him and we were going to pull out the next morning
on another mission and Top tells Phronerbarger that he WILL be going back out
with us. Well the dude didn't like Top's idea and the next morning he goes down
with a loaded M16 and a grenade with the pin pulled and decides to convince
Top that he wasn't going back out. Top tells him what he didn't want to hear
and Phronerbarger sets the grenade on Top's desk and jumps out the front door.
We all heard the explosion and figured we were getting rocketed as we often
did, that's another story, so we all jumped in the bunkers next to the hootches.
After a little while we found out what happened and the last I saw of that dude
they were locking him in one of those big reefers we had behind the Mess tent
until the MP's could come to get him. Paul Schiano became the Company clerk
that day because he knew how to type. Funny thing about that is that when I
got back to the states I was sent to Ft. Benning and the clerk at the reception
station was he clerk for A Troop before the guys that got killed. He knew most
of the A Troop guys so he got me a nice instructor's job for my last 5 months
in the Army.
There are at least two other
brothers that died in Vietnam, Lenny Coles from outside Rochester, NY,
and John Jackson from Kansas. Lenny was a friend of mine from Commo school.
He was infused into A trp as a tank driver and we needed a radio mechanic/operator.
He transferred to commo and then became a clerk in the orderly room. Both men
were murdered by a weasel named Phronenbarger (not sure how that is spelled)
when he went into the orderly room and dropped a hand grenade. I had just walked
out of the orderly room and passed him on the way up the hill to the commo hooch.
I never did find out what happened to him.
A couple of years ago, I finally found Lenny's family in NY State. I went up there for a wonderful memorial service for him. His family really did not know what had happened.
I would love to know if anyone knows what happened to the slimeball that murdered the two men and injured several others, including the 1st Sgt.
But in reference to Lenny and John Jackson.: When the incident happened, Lenny was hurt pretty badly, as were Michael Harrison, Top and a guy from Charlotte that ran to the Orderly Room from across the street at the barber shop. Jackson did not seem to be hurt as badly, so I guess that he lived longer.
I was on a few patrols with this clown and I am the proud recipient of one of his finer days. I was wounded in the crotch from on of his grenade exploits. Then he fragged the orderly-room. I was in the motor pool working on the tank with Garry Norberg. Gary left for a while and I decided to look for him. I was headed up to the company area when I heard an explosion. I thought we were getting hit. When I got to the orderly room their were bodies everywhere. The Duck, nickname, was laying out side the door, Jackson and Michaelson were laying on the right side of the orderly room. Then the 1SG came crawling out, yelling kill the f-----r. A chopper flew into the compound and we loaded everyone up. The MP's showed up in a jeep and threw P. into it and drove away. I know P. ended up with some wounds and a broken right (?) leg. I saw him a one of the field hospitals. There is a lot more to tell, but I will save that for the reunion. Glenn Bowers
I was in the 11th ACR when
the orderly room incident happened but heard about it when I called Sgt Platt
from down south. After returning I was stationed at Ft. Meade. Harrison showed
up and I got him a job as company clerk with the troop I was then with. Harrison
was the company clerk that was in the fragging in Nam and apparently was the
clerk who jumped on the guy with the grenade and the M-16 he was about to shoot.
Harrison was pretty messed up in the legs for a while but I am happy to report
that he probably has done alright given the circumstances. Are you sure the
name Michaelson isn't really Harrison?
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This site is in no way connected to, or sanctioned by, any official Army or Government entity. This is, and will be a work in progress; we apologize now for any errors and/or mistakes. Information for this site has been and will continue to be gathered from many different sources. It is intended as a place for fellow troopers, family and friends of A Troop 4th Squadron 12th Cavalry (Vietnam Era) to visit, seek contact with, gather information or some insight into the history, language and jargon of the people who were part of A Troop, then and now. A Troop 4/12 Cav (Vietnam Era) invites and encourages trooper's family members to participate in the troop's reunions, memorial services, remembrances of our fellow troopers who have passed on to Fiddler's Green, and to continue the camaraderie of the BROTHERHOOD....Long Live the Cav and its BROTHERHOOD!!