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CHARLES MANUEL ANDUJAR
 

Thomas  Stuart
tstuart9769@gmail.com
Sgt. Andujar was my Platoon SSGT
4100 Hoffmeister Drive Waxhaw NC 28173 USA
I was in the front squad with Sgt. Andujar in the fire fight that took his life that day. I was Spec. Tom Stuart. Sgt. Andujar wanted to be with his point man on that mission. We men tried to discourage him from walking with his point, but he said he felt he needed to be with his point man. This fire fight occurred a couple of weeks after he extended for a 2nd tour. He was respected by his men, a man you wanted beside you in a fight - and he was immediately and always missed. He was killed on the trail and his body was taken to our front line jungle operations base, Black Horse.
Nov 8, 2014


Robert Fromme
rfromme@crl.com
I was a PFC., in the 199th and was wounded, in the same firefight that killed SSGT., Andujar
Rt., 3, Box, 45C, Floresville, Texas, 78114, USA
3/25/99 Last Sunday, Ruth, our youngest daughter was asked with the other band members at Floresville High School to play at the ceremony at for the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall which had come to the local Floresville, City Park for the week. My wife and I went over to support her at the event and I was not prepared for the experience of the wall. (even if it was only half sized and transient) For thirty years I have tried to avoid most of the memories from Vietnam and now I guess it was about time that I came to terms with a few things. Most of the names I could remember were of fellows who were not killed but were only wounded. After thirty years, only a few names of the dead came to mind. I remembered the name of Sgt. Andujar of Newark, New Jersey but discovered that I needed to do a computer search to find where he was amongst the thousands of men on the wall. This past week, I have been thinking a great deal about those years and the men in the 199thLight Infantry Brigade. I am thinking of trying to contact Sgt. Andujar's surviving family members in case they are interested in some of the details of his death. I am also thinking that the wall with its thousands of names may not make much sense to our future generations unless they can visualize that each singular name represents a very real, very violent, and very tragic event which ended the life of a very real human being who was asked to give up that life for this country and the things that believe, the things that we stand for as citizens of the United States of America. The wall is a sea of violence, of tragedy and of death. To grasp it's significance, let me tell you about just one of the men on the wall and the events which ended his life. Staff Sgt. Charles Manuel Andujar of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade was from Newark, New Jersey and he was killed on June 13, 1969 by small arms fire in an area called Phuoc Tuy. I was also hit in the same firefight that killed Staff Sgt. Andujar. He was the Sgt. from another Platoon in Delta company. That Platoon, like ours had been short of men. After several prior operations ( booby traps, daisy chains and fire fights) we were down from 24 to 14 men in the unit. The Captain decided to take a few men from several platoons of our company to create a mixed reconnaissance squad. Sgt. Andujar was placed in charge of the mixed reconnaissance squad which went out ahead of the company. The squad silently moved out along the dark jungle cover along what seemed to be a trail. They worked their way over the crest of a large hill and down to the bottom of the other side and right up under a row of N.V.A. bunkers at the crest of a ridge. Soon after the firefight began, I was forced to go down the trail to help them out, I carried an M60 at that time, and I could hear the men calling for a "60". The fellow with an M60 ahead of me on the trail had a gun that needed parts. My M60 machine gun had a few parts missing also but with the help of some wire from a C- ration box, it was still working. The 199th Light Infantry Brigade was a small unit and as such, resupply and combat support was often a problem. The larger divisions would help us if their own troops were taken care of but we often felt like we were getting the short end of the stick without our own dedicated support. Well, I was next in line up the trail. Although most of us draftees were quite young we had to face some some heavy reality and we had to make some critical decisions. We were on the other side of the world. It was a long way from home. I could not run away to avoid this situation. There in the jungle there was no place to run to. I had to go forward. I tried to focus on getting where I had to go. I tried to shut out the noise and the puffs of dirt and flying bark from the trees along the trail as topped the hill and ran down toward the men. When I got the bottom of the hill, the fire fight was still on. I found Sgt. Andujar's body on the trail. The medic later told me that the Sgt. had caught 3 AK47 rounds across his chest at the outset of the firing. The rest of the squad members were still alive, trying to return fire up at the bunkers on the ridge above them. The Sgt. had been the highest ranking man in that squad and the N.V.A would try to take out the one with the most rank first, if they could see the black stripes. Charlie was very close in bunkers above. They could see the stipes on his arm. Our fire fight lasted several hours. They were lobbing a few grenades around us and at least one even sailed over us and exploded up the trail behind us. To make matters worse, our unit had a couple of crazies with M79 grenade launchers planted at the top of the hill behind us trying to give us support. Their rounds would hit the triple canopy of jungle and explode in the trees behind and above us. The rest of the company, over the hill, tried to call for artillery. The Captain's R.T.O. (radio operator) was trying to direct the guns from a distant base camp. and they walked two rounds in toward us from the right and a third came in over us, hitting to the left of us on its way past. When we yelled for them to radio out and stop the artillery, the Captain changed his mind and then called in a Cobra gunship (a fast helicopter with extensive fire power and a minigun mounted in front). This thing came in behind us and its guns chopped up the jungle between us and our unit. We thought we were going to be out of the picture soon with its second run coming straight in at us. All we could do was to pop smoke grenades and mark our position under Charlie's bunkers. Thank God, the pilot cut the gun just in time and flew on over us. When it was over, the medic discovered that I had been hit by part of a grenade. I had no cover for most of the fight and had been forced to step over the Sgt. and run the gun from a sitting position on the trail. His blood had been draining down the hill where I was sitting. I did not realize that I was also bleeding until the medic wanted to check me out. I was not hit bad but it was going to get me out of the jungle for a while. Sgt. Andujar's body was strapped to a stiff litter and hoisted up out of the triple canopy through an opening created by several artillery shells. We had placed him in a body bag but realized that the closest Lz (landing zone) was about three Clicks ( three kilometers) through the jungle and none of the troops wanted to drag the body to a place where the resupply chopper could come in and pick it up. In the army, a body is to be transported on a supply vehicle and only wounded men are to be extracted using a Medevac Chopper. The Captain decided to lie to the higher command and say that the Sgt. was wounded but alive, just to get him out of the jungle by chopper along with me. The Sgt. was taken out of the bag and strapped to a stiff litter and then hoisted up all the way to above the trees through a small opening in the canopy of the jungle I was the next to ride the hoist up to the "Dustoff" chopper. I will never forget that trip up, fighting branches, swinging around and watching my buddies turning into ants at the jungle floor. I road in the Medevac chopper with the body of the Sgt. at my feet. A couple times the chopper banked in the wind or on turns and he started sliding. We would catch him and the litter and drag him back to the center of the bird. I remember one of the door gunners leaned over and closed the Sgt's. eyes with two fingers and I remember how cool and free it felt in the wind up over the jungle. The last I remember of the Stg. was the sight of the medics offloading him as I was helped in to the operating area of the hospital tent at the base camp (Bearcat, I think.perhaps it was named Black horse, after thirty years my memory fails me here. ) I did not know Sgt. Andujar well since he was not my N.C.O. but I remember him as a muscular, dark complected, quiet man who was well respected by the men in his platoon. Recently, using the Internet, I have learned that he was 34 years old and marrried at the time of his death and his religion was Roman Catholic. His name is listed on the wall at Panel 22W- Line 40. I wish I had known this American hero better. Bob Fromme Rt. 3 Box 45 C Floresvlle, Texas 78114 rfromme@crl.com rfromme@stic.net
Sunday, March 28, 1999


Manuel Pino Jr.
Fellow Vietnam Vet
REFLECTIONS FROM THE MOVING WALL". I am a monument to a black period in this countries history.I am the Vietnam wall.,composed to two angled granite walls,inscribed with the names of fifty eight thousand,one hundred thirty four American men and women who died in hell (that was Vietnam) Many people come to see me. strangely they come mostly in silence-old people,young people,children,mothers,fathers,widows,and veterans.all for reasons of their own.they bring gifts,pictures,letters,flowers,poems and cigarettes.the letters speak of grief and loneliness and regret.they ask forgiveness.they are an out pouring of pain.the people softly touch names on my face.they water my grass with tears.then they leave in silence and I hope in peace.for I am more than two stone walls.I am a thank you from a nation that forgot.I am a long past due apology.I am healing for wounds too long left untended.I am a tribute paid to fallen warriors.I AM THE VIETNAM WALL. "America has forgotten the wars.will she remember her warriors"? you may be gone , BUT YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.
Thursday, September 23, 2004


Jim Helmick
felow vet
Seattle, Wa., 98146, USA
For you, your family & friends. we didn't, forget about you. Rev: 21, 3&4
Thursday, July 03, 2003

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