always interesting to see the difference between
the actually General Order Citation and when a book
comes out with a different version, especially when
itís written by the same man, Lt Gen Moore (Ret).
Galloway wrote a piece for the
UPI right after the battle. He said Plumley
was burned across his arms and hands and was being
put in for the Medal of Honor. A day later the
newspaper for Plumley's hometown took the story
The General Order in December
of 1965 states this;
The command-post was being
savagely attacked by an unknown number of Viet Cong,
Hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire was
coursing steadily and relentlessly into the forward
command post and aid station area which was
approximately 150 meters from the line of contact.
At approximately 0500 hours at
the height of the savage attack, a flare, still
burning landed in an open box of fragmentation hand
grenades in the pile of small, arms, mortar, and
other ammunition less than ten meters-from the
battalion command group.
Sergeant Major Plumley,
voluntarily and unhesitatingly rose up in the face
of intense small arms, and automatic weapons fire,
dashed to the burning flare, lifting it with his
bare hands out of the box of grenades and threw it.
He then extinguished the flare with his feet as well
as other small fires which it had ignited around the
In the book it they have it
coming to earth with an unopened parachute. They
also have him then throwing it into an open field.
Instead of just using the citation they have to make
it look much more interesting. Saying that it was
an unopened parachute couldnít have been true
either. If the parachute doesnít open the flare
wouldnít light up then.
If the flare was lit the temperature would be 4,000
degrees and would have burned his hands and feet to
cinders. A flare light would have been in the area
of 4 million candle power. It would have blinded
Plumley as well.
Also in the We Were Soldiers
Once book published in 1992 saw CSM Plumley stamped
out the fire around the ammunition boxes when the
napalm landed right by it. You canít stomp out
napalm; it would have melted his boots on the spot
and his feet and legs.
Officers often time inflate an
award. These three version are a perfect example of reality versus
the fantasy. Galloway's 1965 UPI article
wasn't even close to reality.
June 26, 2016
(updated April 30, 2017)