In Memory of SSG (E6) Gordon Stoakley ........ 1st Platoon
Gordon Stoakley, SSG (E6) KIA Feb. 16th, 1971 in Thua Thien, RVN Cause: Hostile Action, Explosive Device (IED) Born: February 4, 1951 in Detroit MI Vietnam Memorial Wall Coordinates: 05W 112
SSGT Gordon Stoakley
Killed in Action
February 17, 1971
Thua Thien Province
Republic of South Vietnam
In March 1970 I was transferred from Ft. Ord, CA to Ft. Benning, GA as a Candidate for NCOC School. Once in our Company area, I soon found out this was going to be a repeat of Basic Training as far as harassment goes. I was thinking what the devil have I gotten myself into this time!
When we moved into our barracks, Gordon had the bunk next to mine. I was complaining to him of the general %*#@* we were going to have to put up with. Gordon did not say much and just seemed to accept the situation we were in. In a very few days I saw a strong determination and confidence exhibited by Gordon. He had a very upbeat and positive attitude toward the Cadre and NCOC School in general. So, as a result, I started changing my attitude also and everything started to go better for me once I did.
Gordon really like being in NCOC school and excelled in the physical training as well as the class room studies. He talked of his family in Michigan and his fiancée. I could see early on in the program that Gordon was going to make a fine NCO. I even got the impression that he might make the U.S. Army a career. He gave the NCOC program 110% effort on his part.
On a cold and rainy night (about 5 weeks into infantry NCOC School) our company was told to "fall out" in formation. You could have heard our complaining clear down to the Infantry Hall on main post. We were informed that a new Mortar NCOC School had been formed, but did not have enough people in it. Twelve volunteers were needed to transfer from 11 Bravo to 11 Charlie NCOC School. I jumped on-board with on it. My thinking was, were going to Nam anyway so why not be a mortar man instead of a field grunt! I tried to talk Gordon into coming with us. He would have no part of being an 11C. He tried to talk me into staying in our infantry NCOC School.
I did not see Gordon again until he was assigned to our 1st platoon. He had made E-6 out of NCO school. That meant he was the best of the best in his graduating class as only 2 men made this rank out of the entire graduating class. We had several very nice talks and catching up on old times. He told me a lot of good it did you to leave our company at Ft. Benning. Now you are now an 11C grunt!
The day I found out that S/SGT Gordon Stoakley had died from his wounds was like a dark cloud descended over 1st platoon. I had lost a very good friend and a fine man I had much respect for. I will never forget my buddy Gordon. I think we all are better people for having known him. Currahee Brother……
Bob von Almen, 1st Platoon
"Thank you brother for a job well done". Until we meet again my friend ..... "Currahee"......"Stands Alone"
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