CSS Tabbed Menus Css3Menu.com

Gary Ralph Schwellenbach-Barnard

Gary Ralph Schwellenbach-Barnard
Born June 15, 1948
Died December 27, 1967
Service Branch Army
Rank Corporal
Rating or Job Airborne Medic
Unit 173rd Airborne
Campaign Viet Nam
Military Citations Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross

Cpl. Gary Ralph

June 15, 1948 - Dec. 27, 1967

Gary Schwellenbach-Barnard joined the Army in August 1966. He completed airborne training and medics school and was shipped to Vietnam in September 1967.
On Dec. 27, Schwellenbach-Barnard made a helicopter assault with his unit, the 173rd Airborne, near the coastal town of Tuy Hoa, 250 miles north of Saigon.
The troops jumped off the choppers into an enemy-held landing zone where the Viet Cong were dug in and waiting. In the barrage of heavy sniper and automatic weapons fire, Schwellenbach-Barnard was immediately wounded.
But, according to an account accompanying a medal citation, “with complete disregard for his own safety he moved into the most intense area of fire” and brought fallen comrades to safety. He was wounded a second time, refuse aid, and continued to help wounded men.
Schwellenbach-Barnard received his third and fatal wound while he was trying to save the life of another man.
For his “gallantry, heroism and intrepidity” the Chico soldier received a posthumous Distinguished Service Cross. The DSC is one of the U.S. Army’s rarest medals and only awarded for “extraordinary heroism.”
Gary Schwellenbach-Barnard lived in Chico all his life and loved fishing and motorcycling.
Courtesy Chico News & Review, May 26, 1988



National Archives

Chico News & Review