Donald Wayne Queen Remembered

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Donald Wayne Queen Remembered

Postby Jim Sheppard » Wed May 27, 2009 1:48 am

Thanks to the hard work of our "ad hoc" KIA committee member, Barbara, we have located Donald Queen's sister, Martha. She has contributed a wonderful photo...to which I have added an American Flag Background.

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Later this year, after I have "caught my breathe" from all that each reunion brings...I plan to begin a new section of Memorial Pages for each of our men killed in action. Our goal is to have a photo of each and every man...although we have a long way to go...and are still missing MANY photos....this will still be an effort we can all be proud of.

I have spent countless hours gathering all the documentation we have on every one of these men. I have also visited three prominent Vietnam KIA Memorial web sites and copied every posting for our men. The "hard copy" files I have amassed will be on display at the August Reunion. We now have a quick reference point for any quiry about any of these men...as well as a place to file remembrances and first hand accounts of the events surrounding their lives and death in Vietnam.

As I have done before, I urge you all to send me any remembrances you have of any of these men. If you have already done so....as many of you have....thank you!
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Re: Donald Wayne Queen Remembered

Postby james » Wed May 27, 2009 10:53 am

I called and talked to Donald's sister several years back and let her know about Donald last days with us on the operation he was kia on. The quad 50 joined Aco. out to a beach where it opened up on several boats trying to get away. Babyson the gunner opened up on them and they stopped and turned around and came back to the beach where the kit carson scouts dragged them out of the boats and determined the men were nva soldiers.That night we spent the night on the beach where we all talked and met Donald,{ Babyson a black soldier}, and Sanchez along with two other men from the quad who were later shot in the ankles the next day. I remember Donald especially becuase He was so funny cracking jokes and making us all laugh with Him. My track 612 with Donald Lowe ,Robert Allen and Sgt. Wendell Barnes was in front of the quad 50 when it was blown up and kia the three men. Bob Bahari was in the track behind the quad he told me after talking to him. This was my second worst mine incident and was so traumatic to me.When the quad blew it was blown upside down and started burning immediately and started cooking off the ammunition. I immediately jumped off the track and started running up the hill towards the burning track but I couldn't get to it and I couldn't understand why not,than I realised I was being held down on the ground by Sgt.Barnes who kept telling me to stop that I couldn't help them now because of the raging fire and the cooking off rounds. We had to leave the burning track because of the darkness and security reasons and went back to the beach to spend the night. The next morning we went to the track and I had to recover the bodies. I have nightmares all the time and can never get the scenes out of my head. I wasn't going to post anything about this but I hope by letting some of this out in the open it will help me some. May God Bless Donald and all the rest of our fallen Brothers they will never be forgotten. Take care all. James out.
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Re: Donald Wayne Queen Remembered

Postby Barbara Anne » Wed May 27, 2009 1:42 pm

Hugs James... lots and lots of big HUGS....

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Re: Donald Wayne Queen Remembered

Postby Bob Bihari » Sat May 30, 2009 9:21 am

I remember that action very well. I remember Donald as being a very friendly individual, and made friends very easily. The picture is exactly how I remember him, though he usually had a big grin on his face. I remember Sanchez also..I believe he was one of the loaders on the track, and I think he was sleeping in the main compartment when the mine went off, and Donald was driving. I don't remember Babyson, but the Quad was from another unit "on loan" to us. I think Donald was the only 1/50 man on that track. I think they were the only two in the quad track at the time, might have been three....I'm not too sure about that, but two of the loaders had been wounded in the ankles and medivaced out shortly before (the shields on the quad worked pretty well, but weren't quite long enough to cover the loader's feet).

We had just finished some operations on the beach, and were heading back to LZ Uplift in the late afternoon. As Doc said, I was in the track right behind the Quad 50 when they blew the mine (I think it was a command-detonated 250Lb bomb). I was standing in the main compartment right behind the TC cupola talking to someone when they set that thing off. When something that big goes off nearby, you don't hear it, you FEEL it in every bone in your body. I turned around and saw the track just falling back to earth upside down, and the quad 50 unit still flying up about 40 feet in the air, and then coming back down almost in slow-motion right next to the track. As Doc said - the thing caught fire instantaneously, and boxes of fifty cal. ammo started cooking off in a matter of seconds. I remember that there was some sporadic firing from some of the tracks and dismounted individuals for a little while, and a medevac coming in to remove some casualties (none were ours). Since it was an exposed position and getting dark, there was nothing we could do, except pull back. We moved back to a more secure area and spent the night watching the track burn from a distance and later calling in flares once in a while to illuminate the surroundings.

The next morning we went back to recover the track. We pulled dismounted perimeter security around the track as they flipped it back over to recover the crew and Donald's remains....I won't go into the details... it was pretty grim, but at least they never knew what hit them.
Another sad day amongst many....
Last edited by Bob Bihari on Sat May 30, 2009 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
A Company '68. WIA An Bao

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Re: Donald Wayne Queen Remembered

Postby Jim Sheppard » Sat May 30, 2009 9:55 am

"On Loan" to the 1st Bn (Mechanized) 50th Infantry that day were men from "E" Company, 41st Artillery Group. The two men KIA with Donald Queen were: Pablo Demeo Sanchez and Thomas Woodland. Queen was NOT an "A" Company man, but was also "On Loan" to "A" Company (From our "B" Company) to drive the APC which had been specially rigged with the quad fifty Machine Gun Array.

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Official Documents hint that the mine was very possibly command detonated...and it is believed by men from the 41st Artillery (And the Dusters, Quads and Searchlights Association) that the Quad-Fifty was the specific target.
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