JAMES RAY HUBBARD
Company B 1/22 Infantry
4th Infantry Division
Date of Birth Oct 8, 1945
From: MEMPHIS, TN
Marital Status: Single
SP4 - E4 - Army - Selective Service
4th Infantry Division
MOS: 36K20: Tactical Wire Operations Specialist
Length of service 1 years
His tour began on Jul 21, 1966
Casualty was on Feb 27, 1967
In KONTUM, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
Body was recovered
Panel 15E - Line 105
James Ray Hubbard in Vietnam
Official record of the death of James R. Hubbard
James Hubbard's Decorations, above,
Top: Combat Infantryman Badge,
Center, left to right: Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal,
Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Bottom, left to right: Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, Vietnam Civic Actions Unit Citation
James Hubbard was the RTO for CPT Buck Ator, Commanding Officer of B Company.
The following story was written
by Bill Bukovec, who served with James Hubbard in B Company,
1/22 Infantry in 1966-1967. It is about James, though at the time Bill did not know James' name.
As is common among Soldiers who
serve in the same Company, but not the same platoon or
duty assignment, these two Soldiers knew each other by sight, but never learned each other's names.
I Wish I'd Asked His Name
As a "grunt"
stationed in Vietnam, my days were never usual or common. A
particular incident happened
during the time I was on one of many missions.
Some mornings after
breakfast, time permitting; I would take a short walk while
eating my ration of canned fruit
(usually peaches). I would go along a path, up a small hill or around the perimeter from my area and foxhole.
On most of these morning
walks I would see and talk with one particular guy. He was a
"grunt" too, but he was in
the company headquarters section and one of the Commanding Officer's RTOs. He would be eating his canned fruit
(usually fruit cocktail). I didn't know his name but he seemed a nice fellow, and we always found things to discuss.
We talked a lot those
mornings, but I can't recall exactly what we discussed. Perhaps
it was sports, the weather, or whatever.
We never exchanged names or talked about where we were from in the states. This was not uncommon for those times
because we learned not to get too friendly or too close to another GI, especially in a combat environment. All either of us knew
was that we were both "grunts" from the United States, in the United States Army, stationed in Vietnam. I didn't particularly care
for my usual canned fruit ration of peaches. This guy wasn't particularly fond of his usual canned fruit ration of fruit cocktail.
We discussed this and decided to trade. It became sort of a morning ritual. When time allowed, I usually walked to meet him
and ask how he was doing. He would say, "Fine," and then ask how I was doing.
"Fine," then we'd trade our canned fruits, sit and chat
a few minutes while eating them. I would then leave
and we'd both go about our daily duties.
One morning I took my
canned peaches and walked to exchange fruits. When I arrived at
the company CP, he wasn't there.
I asked his whereabouts and learned the guy had been killed the night before, during a mortar attack.
To this day, I wish I had asked his name, or at least where he was from.
The above story was printed in the book "WAR STORIES Utah Beach to Pleiku" by Bob Babcock
To order the book click on the following link :
Below are newspaper articles concerning James' death :
The following is the letter of
condolence sent by James' Commanding Officer,
Captain Richard "Buck" Ator, to James' Mother and Father :
The envelope which contained the information concerning James' death, sent to his parents.
Below is the program for the memorial
service, mentioned in Captain Ator's letter above,
which was held for James and other members of the Battalion killed in action
The following memory is from Daniel R. Patton, who was a Medic assigned to Company B 1/22 Infantry:
morning when we would go out, I normally led the way and James
followed. On this particular day, James came up to me
and said, "why don't you let me do this for you today.....I will lead and you follow me." So we started out.....James in the lead
and I followed. As we were walking through the jungle, a round of friendly artillery fire fell short and James took a direct hit.
I was about 20 feet away and I caught a lot of schrapnel from the explosion. James saved my life."
by: Loretta Hubbard
as told by: Daniel R. Patton
Medic, Co. B
Bob Babcock, who, at the time of
James' death, was the Executive Officer of James' Company,
wrote the following passage concerning James' death in his autobiographical book entitled
"What Now, Lieutenant?"
company had been moving through the jungle and had found several
enemy bunker positions.
As they approached more bunkers, Captain Ator called for artillery fire to blast the area. The first round, as usual,
was fired past the target. The artillery forward observer called the correction to the fire base to walk the fire back across
the bunker positions. The next round, called to land two hundred yards in front of the company, screamed in and exploded
right in the middle of the company command group. The round detonated as it hit Hubbard, one of the company commander's
radio operators, square in the back.
entire force of the explosion was unleashed through Hubbard's
Miraculously, the other members of the command group were not hurt even though they all stood
within five yards of where the round exploded.
The following is the letter
written to James' Aunt, by Lieutenant Bob Babcock, in response to
concerning positive identification of James' body :
The envelope in which Lieutenant Babcock's letter was sent
The Hubbard's in Memphis had a
very difficult life.
The kids lost their mother when they were young.
James was the oldest.
Their mother died at 41 with cancer.
This was just 7 months after James death.
She had a baby boy not long before she died.
David (James' brother) said it was kids raising kids. Their dad worked.
A neighbor helped by taking care of the baby while the older children were in school.
David stated that he was 13 when James was KIA.
James Hubbard is buried at Memphis Memory Gardens
Loretta Hubbard 2011-----------------------------------------------------
Left: James ( 6 years old ) and
James sitting on his car before leaving for Vietnam
I am the sister of James Ray Hubbard,
who was KIA in 1967 in Vietnam.
His lost was unbearable for my mother and family.
But I have a memory, that is special just for me and
I want to share it with you.
I was a junior in high school,
when I received a letter from James.
He spoke of how he was telling some of the guys about his car.
James asked that I take photos of his car and send them to him.
He wanted pictures of the front, side, rear end
and rims of his 1958 Edsel.
But there was one request that he made.
He did NOT want the pictures to appear obvious of the car.
He wanted me to sit on the front hood,
put the smaller kids next to the side of his car,
or close to the CHROME rims.
James said he wanted to show off his car
but didn't want it to appear that he was bragging.
Needless to say, I did as he requested
and went right to work taking the pictures
and getting them developed to send them asap.
Even today, every time I think about James' request
it brings a smile to my face and I have to giggle.
He had dated different young ladies
but his one true love was his 1958 green and white Edsel
with white leather and green trim and chrome rims.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Janet Hubbard Moore - 2011
James with his car, before going to Vietnam
Below are the photos which Janet took of James' car, and sent to him in Vietnam:
James' brother and sisters:
Cathy, Janet, Linda and David, on James' car
The 1958 green and white Edsel
James' sister Janet, who is five years younger than James
James loved that '58 Edsel, and after he died,
it was reminder of him to the family. James' father Woodrow was
the only one allowed to drive it,
and he couldn't bear to move it from where James used to park it. He was persuaded to sell the car to a neighbor, who restored the Edsel to its original condition.
Woodrow Hubbard was pleased when he saw the results, as were the other family members. They understood it had become a true memorial to James' love for the car.
The car was still in the neighbor's yard when the family moved from the neighborhood.
James' brother-in-law Roger Moore, who
served in the 1st Cavalry in Vietnam in 1968,
and is a Purple Heart recipient, on a visit to the Wall in Washington with his wife Janet
James' sister Janet, pointing to James' name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
The following poem was written
by James' brother David,
after visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
James Hubbard's name is on the Wall at Panel 15E - Line 105.
-----------------Black Granite Wall
It stands as a sentinel before my eyes
Each name has its own story to tell
These were battle worn and weary
Each day their ranks do swell
Suited in the uniforms of our nation
Countless numbers have been tried
Standing before a war memorial
I see the names of those who died
Stones of granite polished till they shine
Black like the emptiness inside
Name after name is upon this wall
Even so my finger is my guide
A- son, a -husband, a -father
Trembling they outline a name
Time hasn't softened the aching heart
Emotions flow, the pain's the same
Head against wall, tears bathe cold stone
Yet there is still a fire inside
Old Glory dances in the breeze
What it stands for causes great pride
Forever the words liberty and freedom
Should be crimson like a rose
Sweet to the taste of all mankind
From this nation hope has arose
A great burden is placed upon us
War like polio should have an end
Yet where is there the oppressed
We will rise to defend
With a grateful heart I turn away
It's a lonely walk along this wall
I pause to look back once again
At the names upon a black granite wall
David W. Hubbard---------------------------
The grave marker of James R. Hubbard, in Memphis Memory Gardens
This memorial page created through the efforts
of James Hubbard's family and Loretta Hubbard, wife of James'
William L. Hubbard, who served in Company A 1/22 Infantry at the same time that James served in Company B 1/22 Infantry
To view photos of James Hubbard in Vietnam click on the following link:
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