West Point, 1965
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by William Browder on November 29, 2012:
15 Dec 1999
1LT Spotswood deWitt
1942 - 1966
1LT Spotswood de Witt was a member of C Battery, 6th Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, and was born on Saturday, January 24, 1942. He was killed in action on Wednesday, December 21, 1966 in the Province of Tuy Hoa, South Vietnam. He was the first combat casualty loss of 6-29 FA in Vietnam. He was single, and from Richmond, Virginia. (The Wall: Panel 13E-Row 067)
Spot was assigned to the battalion directly from West Point without the usual trip through the Field Artillery Basic Officers Course. The battalion Operations and Training Officer, MAJ Bill Johnson, took Spot "under his wing" and taught him the skills that he needed. This led to a closeness between Bill and Spot that others did not have.
On the morning of December 12, 1966, C Battery was ordered to relocate to another firing position. As was customary, a Forward Observer Team accompanied the Engineer mine removal team that cleared mines from the road to be traveled to the new position. Spot volunteered as the FO. Upon completion all returned to the battery position and joined the march column as it moved out.
Bill Johnson was overhead in a helicopter to observe the relocation. He was talking with Spot by radio, discussing dangerous points in the route of march, when Spot was shot by a sniper. Bill landed as quickly as possible but Spot was dead. Bill hastily organized a patrol and tried, unsuccessfully, to find the sniper.
On July 25, 1999, Lynwood Lennon and Jeff Bell presented a Certificate of Honorary Membership in the Spotswood deWitt Chapter of the Fourth Infantry Division Association to his mother, Mrs. Catherine deWitt. The family presented a handsome portrait of Spot as a Cadet at West Point to the Chapter. We will always cherish the portrait and it will occupy a place of honor.
29th Arty web site
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