VIETNAM - SIPPERLEY, LORNE JAY

Sipperley, Lorne Jay

VIETNAM - SIPPERLEY, LORNE JAY
SIPPERLEY, LORNE JAY

Rank: Specialist 5

Unit: Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 11E – Armor Crewman

Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with Valor Device and Two Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Badges: Combat Infantryman Badge

Unit awards: Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Note: OH-6A, Tail # 66-17768, Crew Chief

Enlisted by: Regular

Date of birth: 19-Mar-1945

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Marital status: Never Married

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Entered service: 18-Mar-1966

Start of tour: 18-Mar-1969

Incident date: 27-Apr-1969

Date of casualty: 27-Apr-1969

Age at death: 24

Cause of death: Hostile, died. Helicopter Crash — Passenger (MC). Aircraft loss, crash not at sea.
Lorne Jay Sipperley was killed while crew chief of a military aircraft on a military mission when the aircraft received hostile weapons fire, crashed and burned. / Crew chief of light observation helicopter (LOH) on visual reconnaissance mission when received hostile ground fire.  Aircraft crashed and burned.

Two Blackhorse troopers died in this incident:
CWO Phillip Sherman Mohnike
SP5 Lorne Jay Sipperley

Location of fatality: Tay Ninh, South Vietnam, XT 425 727

Place of interment: Clearwater Township Cemetery, Rapid City, Michigan, USA

View this soldier‘s Find a Grave page (opens in a new window)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 26W 067 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
POSTHUMOUS

SPECIALIST FIVE LORNE JAY SIPPERLEY
27 APRIL 1969
AIR CAVALRY TROOP
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Specialist Five Sipperley distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty on 27 April 1969 while serving as an aerial observer with the Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date the helicopter on which Specialist Sipperley was flying was called to support friendly ground troops which had come in contact with a large enemy force and were pinned down by automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fire. While the aircraft made treetop level passes over the battle area, Specialist Sipperley leaned outside his ship to mark the hostile positions with smoke grenades and to place suppressive fire on the enemy below. Despite intense hostile fire directed at the helicopter, Specialist Sipperley continued to provide cover fire while the friendly ground forces withdrew in preparation for airstrikes. While making a final pass over the contact area, his aircraft was hit by hostile fire, and he was fatally injured in the ensuing crash. Specialist Five Sipperley’s outstanding courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam, General Orders No. 1262 (May 24, 1969)

 

AIR MEDAL

AIR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE

SPECIALIST FIVE LORNE JAY SIPPERLEY
2 APRIL 1969
AIR CAVALRY TROOP

11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Specialist Five Sipperly distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight on 2 April 1969 while serving as an aerial observer with the Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date while on a routine reconnaissance mission, the pilot of Specialist Sipperly’s aircraft located an enemy base camp and hovered at a low level to investigate it. While Specialist Sipperly was tossing hand grenades into the bunkers and raking the area with accurate automatic weapons fire, the helicopter came under intense hostile fire, damaging the aircraft and wounding the pilot. Reacting instantly, Specialist Sipperly immediately covered the enemy position with suppressive fire, enabling the pilot to maneuver the damaged helicopter out of the contact area. Specialist Sipperly then took the controls of the aircraft and, with the pilot’s guidance, made a precautionary landing in a secluded area. After administering first aid to the wounded pilot, Specialist Sipperly established a defensive perimeter around the ship and guarded it until a medical evacuation could be made. His quick actions resulted in the recovery of the wounded pilot and the badly damaged helicopter. Specialist Five Sipperly’s courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam General Orders No. 1263 (24 May 1969)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH VALOR DEVICE

SPECIALIST FIVE LORNE JAY SIPPERLEY
25 JULY 1968
AIR CAVALRY TROOP

11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Specialist Five Sipperly distinguished himself by gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force on 25 July 1968 while serving with the Air Cavalry Troop of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date in the vicinity of Phouc Vinh, Specialist Sipperly was acting as team leader of a seven-man ambush patrol in dense jungle terrain. The team located a well-used jungle trail and Specialist Sipperly immediately positioned his men and set up claymore mines to await approaching enemy soldiers. Shortly, the point man observed five North Vietnamese Army soldiers advancing down the trail and detonated a claymore mine, instantly killing two of them and mortally wounding a third. The remaining enemy called for reinforcements and initiated an assault upon the patrol. Realizing his small force was greatly outnumbered, Specialist Sipperly radioed for an aircraft to extract them. Moments later his position was rushed, wounding him and destroying the radio. Although critically injured he continued to supply desperately needed hand grenades and ammunition to his comrades. When the patrol broke contact, he refused assistance and made his way back to the pick-up zone on his own, freeing his comrades for the task of providing suppressive fire. Specialist Five Sipperly’s courage, dedication to duty and disregard of personal safety were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam General Orders No. 523 (27 February 1969)

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