|Birth: ||Feb. 16, 1947, USA|
|Death: ||Feb. 13, 1972, Vietnam|
Capt. Luther M. Lasater, III, 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Brigade, 9th Cavalry Regiment, F Troop, Pilot OH-6A Scout Helicopter. Killed in Action on 13 February 1972 near Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. Born on 16 February 1947, he was from Garland, Texas. His tour in Vietnam began on 21 November 1971.
Capt. Lasater was recommended for the Medal of Honor for the action which cost him his life. The narrative for the action reads as follows: "On the afternoon of 13 February 1972, Company 'B', 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, made contact with a force of undetermined size in a bunker complex, and requested that a Hunter-Killer team be sent to their assistance.
The weather was clear and sunny and the terrain was thin, single canopy jungle with low, dense bamboo thickets and gently rolling hills. The enemy morale was high and they were protecting their positions by firing at all aircraft and personnel entering the area.
When the Hunter-Killer team arrived on station, the mission commander coordinated with the ground unit and made rocket runs in his AH-1G to suppress the area. Then the OH-6A Scout aircraft, piloted by CPT Luther M. Lasater, entered the contact area at treetop level to mark the enemy positions for the AH-1G to destroy. CPT Lasater flew through the area several times, each time taking heavy small arms and machine gun fire, before he was satisfied that he could put out an accurate mark. He then put out a white phosphorous grenade to mark the enemy positions for the Cobra, which made rocket runs as CPT Lasater moved away.
At this time, an aerial field artillery section arrived on station fully armed and CPT Lasater, despite the heavy volume of enemy ground to air fire, offered to re-mark the enemy positions so their rockets would be of the most benefit to the ground unit. CPT Lasater entered the area and immediately became the target of the enemy gunners, who were able to hit his aircraft, shooting out his main generator. CPT Lasater, however, was not satisfied with his mark and returned to put another grenade on the location. On this pass, CPT Lasater's aircraft was critically hit by enemy fire and crashed between the enemy and friendly ground unit.
SP4 Keith A. Delahoy, CPT Lasater's gunner, was able to escape the aircraft and made an attempt to rescue CPT Lasater. At that time, however, the aircraft exploded, burning SP4 Delahoy painfully and killing CPT Lasater.
Because CPT Lasater's actions diverted enemy fire, the command and control element of the company in contact was able to disengage from an untenable location where it was pinned down by enemy fire. The company command element thus obtained a superior command and control position from which to successfully direct the remaining battle.
The facts contained in the proposed citation and this narrative have been substantiated by the statements of eyewitnesses."
Capt. Lasater's Medal of Honor recommendation was downgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross. He also received a posthumous Bronze Star and Air Medal.
He was 24 years old. married and is buried at Resland Cemetery, Richardson, Texas, Space 3, Lot 37, Block P, Field of Honor.
Information provided by Ed Maier
Luther McKindree Lasater (1924 - 2007)
U.S. Army - Vietnam. Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.
Note: Killed in Action, Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, Helicopter Pilot, Air Ambulance Company, 1st Calvary Division. Located on Panel 02W, Line 106, Vietnam War Memorial, Washington DC.
Restland Memorial Park
Plot: Field of Honor
Maintained by: Shari
Originally Created by: EJ Brown
Record added: Nov 17, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9914509