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View a eulogy for Paul Coburn Sawtelle, USMA '69, who passed away on April 16, 1971.

Paul Coburn Sawtelle

West Point, 1969

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Wayne K. Murphy on December 13, 2006:

Of course I knew Paul at the academy, but I also served in the 101st Abn Div (Ambl). A few months before Paul fell I was working on a river recon in the area west of Hue on a tributary to the Perfume River. I had a small part of my combat engineer platoon (C Co, 326th Engr) and as I recall we were tasked with checking crossing sites, etc. We were out by ourselves with small boats in an area that was considered pretty secure but had supposedly not had US troops in it for some time. When we happened upon a group of 101 recon guys and were a bit startled -- not expecting anyone in the area. They were practicing a one rope river crossing. To my surprise the leader was Paul Sawtelle, my classmate. We greeted each other as old grads do now at Army Navy games or other class get togethers, and exchanged our current roles and stories. We wished each other well, and I departed envying Paul his "recon" assignment. I heard later he had been taken by a booby trap on a recon. I thought then and I do now that we paid a terrible price that day.

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