Letter Home - SGT Adrian Sigler

LETTERS HOME - Written by SGT Adrian Sigler

SGT Sigler arrived in Vietnam in Jan 68. He was Killed In Action Feb 19, 1968 during the battle at the Water Purification Plant. The letters are followed by a copy of his Citation for the Bronze Star awarded for his actions leading up to his death. This information was provided by his Daughter Pamela, not yet born at the time of his death.




LETTER WRITTEN 28 Jan 1968

Dear Darling Liz, Well, I am in vietnam as you already know,but I am still being shuffled around from one replacement center to the next.It seems as though everybody wants me in their unit. I am presently in the 1st Infantry division but am going still further north to a combat unit known as the 1st of the 4th cav.which recently was engaged in heavy battle in the highlands and has won a presidential unit citation.I am presently about 10 miles from Saigon, but as I mentioned I will be leaving here soon to a place called Phu Loi. They told us to keep writing letters home but that we wouldn't recieve our letters for almost a month or longer. It would be best if you didn't write to me until I send you my permanent address in a few days. I haven't seen any of the war yet,but i am far enough in the highlands now where we can see it at night and hear it day or night.The v.c. hit the officers club here the night before i got in but only 4 people got hit so not much damage was done.Everywhere over here is a combat zone and we carry loaded weapons everywhere we go all the time.The biggest danger is from mortar shells and claymore mines.Overhead there are only our airplanes flying around so we don't have to worry about an air attack.

Well, I know what it like to have to go to the outhouse now because,that's all we have here.We also have to shower outside and the temperature over here is always above 90 so most of the time we run around without a shirt.The sun is so hot that it is easy to tell a guy who has been here for quite awhile because, his skin gets real brown and his hair gets bleached along with his eyebrows to almost white.

A guy just told me as I am writing to you that the address on the envelope is the one that you can use to write to me because, that's where I'm going to be. Well, I've got to do some more processing so, I'll close for now and will write again soon.

 
P.S. I Love You All !
                                 Always and Ever,
                                 Adrian


LETTER WRITTEN soon after arrival in A Troop - during Tet Offensive

Dear Liz, I don't know when you will recieve this letter or when I will get one from you but, I feel the need to write and let you know what is going on now.I ask that you do not get upset as you read because I am in no seriuos danger at present.

Since I arrived here at (phu loi) (A troop) (1st squadron 4th cav) we have been under V.C. attack both day and night.I don't know how much of the news has gotten back to the states but,since the beginning of (Tet) or the (vietnamese new year) (charlie or the vietcong) has changed his tactics in many ways, those who have been here for very long say that this is the worst yet and it is the first time that the v.c. would stay and fight. Latest intelligence reports state that approximately 10,000 v.c. soldiers have infiltrated from the north. 5 days ago the v.c. or I will call him charlie from now on hit many major points. Saigon the largest town was hit real bad and they are still under attack now.Other places that have been hit were Di-An,Bein-Hoa,Cu-Chi,An-Ke,Phu-Coung,and Phu Loi where i am now. My troop is deployed in saigon now still fighting. The 1st Sergent has been wounded,one platoon Sgt. wounded,and about 10 others injured or killed.They wont send me out with them until I complete a 5 day school which starts monday but,we still have to remain here at phu loi for the defense of the rear detachment personnel - about 20 of us in A troop but there are many more in the other units that are also located here.

From yesterday's and last night's attack, when we went out this morning to get a body count, they found a V.C. strong point out 2,000 yards outside of our perimeter area. We lost a couple of personnel carriers and 1 tank in the fight this morning. I'm sitting here in the bunker waiting for charlie to hit again. This is the 3rd day and night of fighting here but, our air force keeps bombing them and everything outside our perimeter.

5 trucks just went by and they have V.C. loaded on them, some dead, some alive, alot of women and children also. I think they are taking them to the aid station and then separate the V.C. sympathizers from the V.C. and put them in the prisoner of war camp located south of here. No mail is coming in or out as the roads outside get mined at night by the V.C. under cover of darkness.

My back is sore from sunburn and I am red all over. It is so hot and dry here. I am very tired as I have not slept for 3 nights now and I can hardly stay awake.They found out about my profile and they were going to send me to Long Bein for a re-evaluation but, we can't get out now and I think they are going to keep me here anyway.

I told them I wanted to fight with the troop at Saigon, they wont let me go there though, not yet.

Dead oxen, cattle, people all over the town outside here now according to latest reports. Air Force has been bombing all day. I can see the bombs and mortars hit out there.I want to fight , they wont let me go. They told me I wont get a tank to command because they don't have any left without someone to command it. Each platoon is supposed to have 3 tanks but the 1st platoon has only one, the 2nd platoon has three and loaned one to the 1st platoon and the 3rd platoon lost another last night which leaves them only one. They talked about me being put on personnel carrier but, I don't want that, maybe I'll have to take it.

I am dirty and tired but, I cannot complain too much. There are some young kids here who have been through a hell of a lot. Some of them have been here almost a year. Everybody says this is the worst (charlie)has ever hit. I want to go with the troop but, I have this silly ass school to go to first to learn about mines and stuff. I don't know when you will get this,maybe I will get a chance to mail it after dark tonight. I can slip out of this bunker under darkness. More bodies and stuff going by on trucks now,damn fools! They sacrifice the lives of 4 or 5 hundred for 25 or 30 Americans. I don't understand this war over here. Charlie shoots from under cover of innocent people in town. Can't shoot back without orders from above. People who don't leave are considered to be V.C. or V.C. sympathizers.

Well, I must close now, I Love You Darling
I Love my children and I miss you all !
           Adrian
P.S. don't worry about writing too much,it will probably be a month old when i get it anyway.


LETTER WRITTEN: Probably first week of Feb 68

Dear Liz, In my last letter I wrote that I had to go to a school for a week but, right after I mailed it they called me out to the field. They needed replacements bad. I no sooner got out to the field (they flew me out by helicopter)when they told me I would go to the 1st platoon. I got on my track and met the rest of the crew. After that all hell broke loose in Saigon at (Tan Son Knut) air base. The V.C. had 43 officers trapped in a BOQ and we were called to go into the city and get them out.We lost two tanks and two armoured personnel carriers that were hit by RPG (rocket propelled grenades).We live, eat, and sleep on our tracks. About once a month we get to return to base camp at phu loi to pull maintenance for one or two days and then go back to the feild again. I got into my second firefight yesterday at a small village that the 11th cavalry lost some vehicles and men in. We sat outside the village about half the day before the first round was fired by the V.C. They knocked out a tank in the 3rd platoon. After that the C.O. pulled us back and called for an air strike.The jets came in about 50 yards to my front and hit them with bombs, rockets and napalm. Then we moved in again firing everything we had. I hit one V.C. hiding in a tree(sniper). I knocked him out with a 50 caliber machine gun. When we got through with that place nothing was left except the fires that burned throughout the night.

Today we are in reserve as a ready force to strike anywhere something happens. We are guarding a command post or what's left of it after they encountered a V.C. mortar attack last night.

No mail from you yet, but then they told me it would take a long time. Goddamn place stinks here with all the garbage laying around. Flies by the millions! Well, I got to close now, we are getting ready to move. Please take care of things for me at home and tell the children daddy loves them and misses you all very much.

                                                         
                           Love Always,
                           Adrian
P.S. I never knew things would be like this over here.


LETTER WRITTEN: 15th or 16th of Feb 1968

Dear Liz, I am writing this letter now with only the light from the moon to see by.I hope you will be able to read it. I got a letter from you and Kathy a couple of days ago. Yesterday we went on a search and clear mission through the jungle. We didn't find anything but, one of the guys in the infantry who was with us got horned by a water buffalo (right in the ass) he was evacuated to the hospital. He was horned quite badly. I think the buffalo had a baby near by because she even charged the tank twice. We finally shot it 4 times but, it didn't fall it ran off into the jungle. Maybe it will die but, if it doesn't and it runs across anybody else wounded like it is ,she will probably charge anything.

I cut my face on the side of my nose a little when a bananna tree hit me as we were pushing through the jungle. Later I was almost eaten up by the red ants that build nests in the trees. They were all over me. Almost caught a monkey today but, I didn't have time to chase him down. 2 or 3 guys have spider monkeys for pets.

For the last week now the V.C. haven't hit anywhere. When the V.C. don't hit they are hiding out. We have to go and find them. So far we have only had light contact with them this week. It is believed however that they are trying to regroup their forces and launch another major assault on Saigon soon. Right now we are in a night defensive position guarding a district headquarters. We have another mission for tommorow but, I don't know what yet. Intelligence reports indicate we will probably find some V.C. tommorow in the area we are going.

I hope that you are alright and the children also. I really miss you and I love you all ever so much. If our new baby is a girl, I think I would like to name her after jean or kathy. Either kathy jean or jean kathy but, I will leave the final decision up to you. I just want to know that you and the baby are safe and in good health.

Well, I got to put this away now and it is hard to see out here but, please keep writing and don't ever stop telling me how much you love me. It sure helps out. If you can find a suitable box, I need two things sent to me. My camera and my plastic map case. I don't need cigarettes or anything like that. They give us plenty. In answer to your question, schrapnel is the pieces of metal that break off of a hand grenade or a round of ammo and tear into your flesh. Most of our casualties result from schrapnel.

Well, I must check the perimeter now, we have to set out some mines in case charlie gets stupid enough to hit here tonight.

I Love you and miss you, need you and want you,
     Love always and ever,
        Adrian
 
P.S. I think today is 15 or 16th Feb. I'm not sure which.


LETTER WRITTEN: possibly 18 Feb 1968

Dear Liz, Sorry I haven't been writing much, but I am always tired. We never get much sleep or something is always happening. If we aren't fighting we are working. Everytime a helicopter comes in there are tons of ammo and supplies to be unloaded. Each time we stop the tank we have to fill sandbags to put around it. I have had one set of fatigues on for over 10 days now. No way to get them clean. Luandry does get sent back once in a while but, the civilian operated laundry establishment is closed because they are fighting the V.C. also.

The 2nd platoon is out now, and since my last letter I have been transferred to the 3rd platoon. We are now in a reserve status to go anywhere something happens. The tank I am on now has a whole in the side of it where it got hit by an RPG round yesterday. That is the reason for my being transferred. The crew on this tank all got shot up. The platoon leader was wounded and the rest of the crew badly burned and hit with shrapnel. Out of the whole troop we have one platoon leader left and the company commander.T he other two platoon leaders got hit and the 1st seargent got hit in the battle of 2nd of Feb in Saigon.

We are now in a position between Saigon and Di an guarding a water purification and electric plant, how long we will stay here is unknown to me as yet, but I doubt that it will be for long.

The C.O. cried last night during his briefing when we got the report back on the cassualties from the various hospitals that they took the men to. The 1st Sergent (Kather) was his name was evacuated all the way back to Denver, Colorado for burn treatment.

Everywhere over here is a war zone and we have to be alert all the time. Never does one vehicle move by itself, always there must be at least two escort vehicles in case (charlie) tries to ambush. I thought at first I would be scared to fight but, after yesterday and the fight in Saigon, I feel that at the time you're actually involved in fighting you don't even think about it because you're physically involved every minute and if you did get hit you probably wouldn't even know where it came from. When I go into the jungle or in a town where V.C. are known to be, I cut loose at every house, tree, hole in the ground, or just any place I feel charlie might be. The only thing that makes me mad is the fact that we can never fire until we have been fired on first.

Well, a ship just came in (helicopter) I mean, so we gotta go unload it, so I'll try to get another letter off sooner next time. I am waiting to hear from you, please don't let this letter excite you because everything that I wrote about is happening everyday over here and is almost routine, besides I don't want our new baby to grow up biting her fingernails like daddy. Be good honey and it will please you to know I have not and will not touch any females over here. I mean that darling and I want you to promise me the same. I want you to be a good girl and take care of my children for me and if I get back home safely I will try to do more for them in the way of being a good father. I gotta go now, be good and write soon.

 
 
                Love you always and ever,
                Adrian


CITATION FOR: The Bronze Star with V/device awarded posthumous to SGT Adrian Sigler

The Bronze Star was awarded for valor to Adrian Edward Sigler for heroism in connection with military opperations against hostile enemy forces in vietnan Feb 19,1968. While serving as Tank Commander on a search and destroy mission in Thu Duc his armored column engaged a well conceiled v.c. force near Saigon water purification plant. Without hesitation SGT Sigler ordered his driver to move to the point of heaviest contact.As they manouvered across the embattled area he manned the tanks heavy machine gun and placed devistating fire on the insurgents positions. During the course of battle the friendly forces were ordered to withdraw to allow artillary and airstrikes against the vietcong forces. SGT Sigler had his tank manouver to a forward position where they could cover the withdraw of the other vehicles. He continued to place fire into the enemy ranks until several enemy rockets made direct hits on his tank and he was mortally wounded. SGT Sigler's bold and determined efforts undoubtedly saved several friendly lives and contributed signifigantly to the ultimate defeat of a large vietcong force. The Purple Heart was awarded for wounds leading to his death. The presentation of the awards was made by Major General K.L.Reaves, Commanding General of the 6th infantry division and Fort Cambell.


Pam's Website Tribute to her Father

A Troop - During Tet Offensive

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