35th Infantry (Cacti) Regiment Association

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  SSG Ronald Leroy Kent    In memory of our fallen brother

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother"

1st Battalion
35th Infantry Regiment

Vietnam War

"Not For Fame or Reward
Not For Place or For Rank
But In Simple Obedience To
Duty as They Understood It"

National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SSG Ronald Leroy Kent, who died in the service of his country on January 20th, 1967 in Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Ronald was 23 years of age. He was from Page, North Dakota. Ronald is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 14E, Line 57.

The decorations earned by SSG Ronald Leroy Kent include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.

There was a KIA/MIA (Recon Plt) in Jan or Feb l967, near Bong Son. There was a Staff Sergeant, from Recon Platoon, that became MIA, I think, during a firefight. He had been missing for a few days and Company B was set up on a narrow ridge (bluff on both sides), and my Platoon had an OP out and set up on a large rock and facing down the trail that we had just come up. There were two men on the OP when one of the men opened up with a burst of fire. I took a few men and hurried down to investigate. I climbed up on the rock where the OP was set up. The men informed me that what appeared to be an American came up the trail/ridge, one of the men commanded HALT but he kept coming on and that was when he was taken under fire. I went down to where the body was and it was a PAVN Soldier, with the Staff Sergeants uniform on, complete with Helmet, M-l6 and all. I never knew whether the Staff Sergeants' body was ever recovered or not. I never knew the SSG personally, but I remember what he looked like and always wondered, if his body was ever recovered. Have you seen anything on this. Captain Edgar Nealon was Co B CO and 1SG Herbert Tinnat was Co B First Sergeant, on that day. I've looked at the KIA list and the SSG may have been Ronald Kent. As I recall, we spent several days patrolling the area in search of his body. Just thought I would mention this while I was thinking about it.

Alonzo Jones

Ronald is buried at Page Cemetery, Page, ND

(His Silver Star Citation)

General Orders 1345, Award of The Silver Star, 4th Division, 14 June 1967

For gallantry in action against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Staff Sergeant Kent was serving as a squad leader with the Reconnaissance Platoon, 1/35th Infantry, 20 January 1967, on a search and destroy mission in Binh Dinh province. Moving up a hill through heavy underbrush, the platoon made contact with an NVA force in fortified positions. In the initial moments of the engagement the point squad and a second squad were pinned-down by a devastating volume of automatic weapons and sniper fire. Staff Sergeant Kent, seeing the desperate situation of his men, unhesitatingly rushed forward, firing aggressively on the enemy. Almost instantly, he was wounded by small arms fire but continued to advance, placing successive and accurate fire upon the enemy. So fierce was his onslaught, that the enemy was forced to concentrate on Staff Sergeant Kent's personal assault, which enabled the pinned-down squads to maneuver to safety and renew the attack. Staff Sergeant Kent continued his gallant and unselfish actions until he received a fatal wound. His completely unselfish heroism allowed his men to gain the tactical advantage and subsequently annihilate the enemy positions. Staff Sergeant Kent's outstanding display of leadership, devotion to duty, and personal bravery is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.