|Birth: ||Aug. 17, 1930|
South Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Mar. 31, 1971, Laos|
In Loving Memory ...... MSGT. James Salley, Jr..
*** Master Sergeant Salley was a member of Advisory Team 22, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. On March 31, 1971, he was taken prisoner after fire support base Number 6 on Hill 1001, Kontum Province, South Vietnam was overrun by the 66th North Vietnamese Regiment. He died in captivity. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.
You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in your family and those who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!
JAMES SALLEY, JR. - Army - MSGT - E8
Date of Birth Aug 17, 1930
From: COLUMBIA, SC
Marital Status: Married - Rosanna O. Salley and two Sons, from Columbia, South Carolina. Parents: Father, James Salley, Sr. and Mother, , from Columbia, South Carolina.
***** James Salley
United States Census, 1940
Name: James Salley
Titles and Terms: Jr
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Ward 1, Columbia, School District 1 Columbia, Richland, South Carolina, United States
Marital Status: Single
Relationship to Head of Household: Son
Birthplace: South Carolina
Birth Year (Estimated): 1931
Last Place of Residence: Same Place
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
James Salley Head M 32 South Carolina
Pearletta Salley Wife F 33 South Carolina
Violet Salley Daughter F 11 South Carolina
James Salley Son M 9 South Carolina
Otis Salley Son M 3 South Carolina
Reevia Pinecker Sister-in-law F 17 South Carolina
MSGT - E8 - Army - Regular
His tour began on Mar 31, 1971
Casualty was on Jul 15, 1971
In KONTUM, SOUTH VIETNAM
Hostile, died captured, GROUND CASUALTY
GUN, SMALL ARMS FIRE
Body was not recovered
Panel 04W - Line 97
Other Personnel In Incident: Philip B. Terrill (missing)
On 31 March 1971, then SFC James Salley, Jr., was an advisor assigned to Advisory Team 22, Military Assistance Command ,Vietnam (MACV) and SP4 Philip B. Terrill was a rifleman assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 92nd Artillery.
Both men were stationed at FOB 6 as part of an integrated observation support team.
The NVA determined that FOB 6 had to be annihilated in order to protect their infiltration route into this region of South Vietnam. By 0530 hours on 31 March, FOB 6 came under siege by elements of the 66th NVA Regiment.
During the fierce battle that ensued, the vastly outnumbered American and Allied forces were overrun. SFC Salley and the surviving members of Advisory Team 22 attempted to escape and evade through a dry streambed.
The team ran into two NVA ambushes, and SFC Salley was separated from the rest of the team during the firefights. The remainder of the team was able to break contact and eventually reach safety.
During the search operation, the bodies of American and ARVN soldiers were recovered and transported to the US mortuary at Dak To for identification. However, no trace of SP4 Terrill or SFC Salley could be found in or around the camp.
At the time the formal search was terminated, Philip Terrill and James Salley were listed Missing in Action.
Nothing was heard of or from either American until early April 1971 when both the National Liberation Radio and Radio Hanoi broadcasts referring to the battle for FOB 6 and the capture of an unspecified number of Americans.
A Quan Doi Nhan Dan newspaper article appeared in July 1972 that also referenced this battle and the capture of American advisors followed those two broadcasts. While no names were provided in the broadcasts, military intelligence believed the reports correlated to James Salley and Philip Terrill.
Based on the intelligence evaluation of the information presented in the communist broadcasts and article, the US Army upgraded both Philip Terrill's and James Salley's status from Missing in Action to Prisoner of War.
No additional information was provided until 27 January 1973 when the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG), better known as the Viet Cong, released a list containing the names of American POWs whom they reported died while under their control. The PRG list included SFC Salley as having Died in Captivity, but made no mention of SP4 Terrill. Ironically, at the same time the VC acknowledged that James Salley died while under their control, they refused to return his remains in spite of the fact they acknowledged holding him prisoner.
After Operation Homecoming, additional information was forthcoming from returned POWs.
According to information provided during their debriefings, including firsthand information provided by SSgt. David Allwine, US Army, and second-hand information from several others, James Salley had been uninjured when captured. David Allwine, who had been captured nearly a month earlier on 4 March 1971, and James Salley were held together in an unknown prison camp location when SFC Salley became ill with malaria and dysentery.
Guards took him to the camp's doctor who treated the American by giving him 5 injections. Shortly thereafter, James Salley was returned to the hut.
Almost immediately SFC Salley passed out. The guards removed him from the hut and David Allwine never saw him again.
David Allwine was assigned to the burial detail. While the guards told him that he was to bury James Salley, he could not verify that because the body was already in the grave and partially covered with dirt. He did see a portion of the man's skin, which was that of a Negro, but did not see his face.
David Allwine never saw Philip Terrill in captivity. However, before his death, SFC Salley told David Allwine that SP4 Terrill had been wounded prior to capture. He also reported that Philip Terrill died of his wounds while being moved to the POW camp and was buried along the trail.
James Salley died under the direct control of the NVA and Philip Terrill reportedly also died under their direct control.
The Walk to Heaven
I first met James in April of 1971. He was limping a little as he was escorted down the trail. He caught a glimpse of me sitting in a cage made of bamboo. He smiled at me as he passed by. Immediately his escorts hit him with a rifle butt but he still managed to turn around and give me a thumbs up sign as if to say everything is alright now. He was 12 years my senior and when he was put into the cage with me his maturity offered me a sense of calm I had not felt since the time I had been captured. They (our captors) tried to play us against each other but he was an American and would not succumb to their demands. He spoke of his family often and was always so proud of them. His mind was always strong and he vowed never to give up his resolve to get back home. Our captors could not break us down whether we were together or separated. His loyalty to his family and his country never wavered. Just before his 41st birthday, we were tied together with commo wire and started a trek that would challenge our very lives. Many times our captors threatened to kill us if we did not continue the walk. James' mind was strong but his body (weak from lack of food) gave out. His prayers to God were answered on the night of the 15th day of the walk up north. God took him from this earth while he lay asleep.
Friday, May 5, 2000
Note: Looking for hometown location of his Memorial Headstone.
Plot: Courts of the Missing
GPS (lat/lon): 21.3136, -157.84703
Created by: Eddieb
Record added: Dec 22, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102461926