Searching for Vietnam veteran’s photo

About five years ago, I became involved in trying to help my husband Oliver locate veterans he had served with during his 12-month tour in Vietnam during 1968-69. I initially began searching only for his platoon buddies. I searched the Internet for names and addresses, made phone call after phone call, and mailed letters to some of the addresses I found.

As a result, I have located all of his platoon buddies except four. Later, I started receiving messages and calls from other Vietnam veterans asking my help so they could locate their comrades. These efforts have resulted in the location of 213 veterans who served in Alpha Company, 5th/46th 198th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam from 1968-71. Although 58 of these veterans have passed away since they returned from Vietnam, many of those who are still alive have been joining together for annual reunions to renew their friendships from their times of service together from almost 50 years ago.

Recently, Janna Hoehn from Hawaii contacted me seeking my help to locate a picture of a veteran that was killed-in-action in Vietnam who was from Bladen County. Janna is the founder of the Never Forgotten Wall of Faces to find a picture of every veteran listed on the Vietnam Veterans Wall in Washington, D.C.

Specialist 4 David Smith II was killed on June 23, 1968. He was born on Dec. 26, 1947, in Elizabethtown. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. David Smith of 4232 Westminster Ave. in Philadelphia, Pa. Information I located on the Internet shows he was the husband of Mrs. Annie Hill Smith, Route 2, Box 224, Elizabethtown. Final interment was in Mount Olive Cemeteries in Bladen County.

He served with Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.

Hopefully, some of David’s family or friends will be able to provide me a picture that will be added to all the other pictures of our veterans listed on The Wall. Maybe someone has an old high school yearbook containing a school picture. Or possibly someone can put me in contact with David’s family who will have a picture to add to the collection.

If you can help, please contact me by phone at 910-862-9461 or email me at

Ellen Gause

White Lake