The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC Eugene Naylor, who died in the service of his country on October 22nd, 1967 in Quang Tin Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Eugene was 21 years of age. He was from Lancaster, Kentucky. Eugene is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 28E, Line 51.
The decorations earned by PFC Eugene Naylor 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.
(The following was supplied by Eugene's then-fiancee Joyce D...firstname.lastname@example.org Joyce also graciously supplied his picture and Silver Star citation.)
I called him Gene. We were planning to be married after he returned from Vietnam. Gene was a country boy with the greenest eyes I have ever seen. He loved riding motorcycles and was always singing and joking around. Actually he was a pretty good singer , He had a dream of going to the Police Academy and becoming a KY State Trooper when he got back to the "world".
He loved his family, especially his Mom. Gene was her pride and joy. His death nearly killed her. His Mom and Dad are both now deceased.
Gene was drafted in 1966 and did his basic training at Fort Knox , then was sent to Fort Polk, LA from Jan. through April 1967. When he came home from Ft. Polk his favorite word was " Outstanding ", also came home with a song about "In Her Hair She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" , a song they sang while marching, if I remember right. I used to know all the words to it.
I took him to the airport in Louisville on May 18,1967 to catch a flight to Oakland and then on to Vietnam. We went back to the same airport in Oct. to meet the plane carrying his body. I can still close my eyes and see that wooden box with his name and serial number on it. So sad. Not like today when you see the flag covered coffins .
If anyone remembers Gene, I would love to hear from you. email email@example.com
General Orders Number 4026, HHC, 4th Infantry Division, 21 November 1967
AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. On 22 October 1967, Private First Class Naylor distinguished himself while serving as a Rifleman in Company E, 1st Battalion 35th Infantry, operating near Tu Can. Private First Class Naylor's platoon was crossing an open rice paddy when it began receiving intense automatic weapons fire and was pinned down. The point man was wounded in the first volley and fell far in front of the rest of the platoon. Seeing the plight of his wounded comrade, Private First Class Naylor left his covered position and began crawling toward him. He had reached the wounded man and was pulling him back across the paddy when he too was hit by enemy fire. Then the enemy launched an assault with grenades. Turning back attempts to extricate him from his exposed position, he took the enemy under fire and began inflicting an increasing number of casualties on their advancing forces. His steady and accurate fire thwarted the enemy attack and enabled his platoon to withdraw to better positions. Private First Class Naylor was mortally wounded as enemy soldiers overran his position. His selfless and unflinching gallantry are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Eugene is buried in the Lancaster Cemetery in Lancaster, KY. . Lancaster is located in central KY about 30 miles southwest of Lexington. Take Exit 60?? (Rt 150 west/northwest) off of I-75 (near Pine Hill, KY). Go northwest on Rt 150 for about 25 miles to Stanford. Turn right (north) on Rt 27 in Stanford and go about 9 miles to Lancaster. It is a small town and anyone should be able to direct you to the cemetery.