Hang Ngoc Le
Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces
Interpreter attached to Company A 1/22 Infantry
4th Infantry Division
In the early years of American
involvement, members of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces
were assigned to American ground combat units as interpreters. In later years, after the US Army
began to utilize personnel from the Chieu Hoi program as Scouts, the need for
interpreters was diminished.
Most of the early interpreters
were actual members of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam
and one such interpreter had been assigned to Company A 1/22 Infantry, and was killed in action
during the battle of March 14, 1967, at grid coordinates YA 600587, approximately 26 kilometers west
of Plei Djereng airfield.
The following is the entry in
the morning report for Company A, filed on March 15, indicating
assigned interpreter had been killed in action on March 14:
The original report has made for
a rather poor copy, and details are difficult to make out.
In the entry the interpreter's name appears to be spelled as "Hang Ngtoo (or Ngtoc) Le".
Since that middle name is not a legitimate Vietnamese name, the website believes the name
was entered on the report by someone who was not familiar with the Vietnamese language,
and therefore misspelled it. The website believes the name should have more likely,
been properly spelled as "Ngoc".
Also garbled in the copy is the Soldier's rank, which appears to be SGT E5.
The website does not have any
other records to further identify this Soldier, who gave his life
defense of his homeland. He is honored here, among the Soldiers of Company A 1/22 Infantry,
with whom he served, and among whom he died, as a brother-in-arms, who gave his all for his country.
SGT Hang Ngoc Le's decorations *
* Note: a
complete list of SGT Le's decorations is not known. The above
represents the minimum awards he would have received, when killed with Company A on March 14, 1967.
Top photo from Lou Talley, Company A 1/22
Lou had identified this photo as the Scout/Interpreter for Company A, who was killed
in the March 14, 1967 ambush. Lou spelled his name as "Hang, Lo Ngoo".
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