Sergeant First Class Luther Vermont Gilreath, US Army, was with the 1st Battalion of the 7th Calvary that fought in the battle of Pleiku in October and November of 1965. This was the first major engagement of the Vietnam War. The battle was documented in the book “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young.” He died on the 16th of November 1965. In the account he is described as the Platoon Sgt of First Platoon Charlie Company, a tall slender Paratrooper. It further related after his death that Col Moore and Sgt Maj Plumley, after recovering the Second Platoon Leader, returned, located Platoon Sergeant Luther Gilreath’s body, and brought him back to the landing zone to begin the long journey home.

LenSvc Between 16 and 17 years

Casualty Data
Start Tour Wednesday, 18 August 1965
Cas Date Tuesday, 16 November 1965 (see correction below)
Age at Loss 33
Remains Body Recovered
Location Province not reported, South Vietnam
Type Hostile, Died
Reason Gun, Small Arms Fire – Ground Casualty
Last Update November 1966

On the Wall
Panel 03E Line 065

Luther Gilreath died in the Battle of the Ia Drang (Landing Zone X-Ray) on November 15, 1965 – -not November 16. I know this because Gen. Hal Moore told me so. I attended a number of reunions of the survivors of the Ia Drang battle, held in Arlington, Virginia, in my uncle’s honor, and signed my book. His official date of death is November 16, 1965. Here’s more proof of the error: an email from Gen. Moore.

Thank you for this memorial for our soldiers.

Myra P. Lindsey

  • Rank: Sergeant First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 6 July 1932
  • Date of death: 15 November 1965
  • County: Hawkins
  • Hometown: Surgoinsville, TN
  • Service Branch: Army
  • Division/Assignment: 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
  • Conflict: Vietnam
  • Battles: Pleiku
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Fort Benning Post Cemetery, Fort Benning, Muscogee County, Georgia
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XXIII, Top Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Luther V. Gilreath

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