|Birth: ||Oct. 29, 1949|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Feb. 28, 1970|
Bin Thang, Vietnam
Cpl James Price DeVaney, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Goldsboro, NC.
Corporal James Price DeVaney was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Army Selective Service and a Draftee, CPL DeVaney served our country until February 28th, 1970 in Binh Duong, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was married. It was reported that James died when the ammunition truck he was riding in ran over a mine. His body was recovered. CPL DeVaney is on panel 13W, line 068 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for less than a year.
On February 28, 1970 the lead APC of a resupply convoy headed to Dau Tieng from the battalion forward base detonated a mine. The APC was completely destroyed and seven men from HHC were killed: CPL James P. DeVaney, Goldsboro, NC was one of those killed.
I will never forget that day. It happened in the Michelin Rubber Plantation. Two Scout Platoon tracks were in-route to Dau Tang for resupply and to drop off soldiers who were returning to the 'world' after completing their 1 year tour, and a couple of others who were going on R&R (one was in route to Hawaii to meet his wife). The 113's were on the dirt road (I had warned the Scout Platoon Leader at a meeting the week before this incident that his men were driving on the roads (this was a no-no because the roads were heavily mined) and tell his men to stop it (I commanded B Company, and my men knew I would court-martial their ass if they drove on the roads in the Michelin).
My Company was conducting platoon size sweeps of various section of the plantation. I was sitting with my CP (mortars, medics) near an intersection, when we hear a explosion and I see black smoke and a piece of metal fly into the sky above the rubber trees - about a half click from my position. I knew immediately that someone hit a mine. I checked with my three platoons and everyone said they were OK. I then contacted Battalion HQ and asked if any of the other 5th Mech. units were in my area and had hit a mine. They said no one reported hitting one, and I said that someone did and who ever it was, was hurt badly. Then a voice came on the Battalion net, and said that the lead track hit a mine. Asked if anyone was hurt, the voice said no one. I knew this had to be wrong. I told the Battalion that I would check it out and ordered my three platoons to the area and conduct a sweep.
I then went to the area and saw only one track (a scout track), and about 100 yards in front of the track, a huge hole in the road - maybe 4 or 5 ft. deep. The track had been damaged - a piece of metal had hit their engine compartment and destroyed the tracks power pack. There were two soldiers on the track, both in shock! I asked one of the soldiers about the other track, and he said its gone! I radioed Bn. and told them a scout platoon track hit a mine. THE TRACK THAT HIT THE MINE (later to find out it was a booby trapped 500 lb bomb) WAS COMPLETELY VAPORIZED!!!! The only part of the track found was a tangled piece of 3/4 belly plate armor that was crumpled up like a piece of aluminum foil. Battalion called for the 25ID Graves Registration people to come and determine how many of our soldiers were on the track, and my men went out to pick up the pieces of body parts. I will never forget that ponchos were laid out on the dirt road and as my men brought in pieces of flesh (the larges piece was a hand - severed from the wrist), they would look at the piece brought in and lay them on various ponchos. When we completed our search for body parts, the graves registration people had seven ponchos lined up on the dirt road, and 7 small piles of flesh, They declared that there were 7 soldiers killed. James DeVaney was one of them.
I figured out that since we carried shape charges and large amounts of C4, that when the bomb went off, it created another explosion - internally and completely disintegrated the track. The bomb had to be command detonated! I am sure I personally, and my soldiers too, would have killed the SOB, if we had captured him. One thing - the soldiers died instantly!
One week later, not too far from where his incident happened, my Company got attacked(the 6 March firefight caught on tape and can be listened too on our web site) and we kicked the NVA's ass. To me, it was kind of a revenge for those who were killed that day! RLaubecher.
He was the son of James E. DeVaney and Rosa McKinney Speas. He was the husband of Regina Margaret Gray DeVaney of Stanville Ky. He has two brothers Billy Devaney of Wichita Kansas and Gene Speas of Goldsboro.
He served with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, "Bobcats", 25th Infantry Division, "Tropic Lightning", USARV.
He was awarded The Combat Infantryman's Badge(CIB), The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal.
Rosa B McKinney Speas (1921 - 2006)
Bluff Creek Cemetery
Created by: Tom Reece
Record added: Jan 20, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17603367