35th Infantry (Cacti) Regiment Association

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  SGT Gordon Ray Skyles    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, SGT Gordon Ray Skyles, who died in the service of his country on June 24th, 1966 in Pleiku Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Gordon was 29 years of age. He was from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Gordon is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 08E, Line 89.

The decorations earned by SGT Gordon Ray Skyles 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.

Chattanooga National Cemetery
Hamilton County
Tennessee, USA
Plot: U, 60-ES

Herb Lawson
lifelong friend
1011 Kenny Way
chattanooga, tn 37343 usa
Gordon was a great guy,father and friend.I still think of him quite often,And might I say,one hellava guitar player.

Robert (Skip) Baker
76326 klohn rd.
oakridge, or 97463 usa
A True Hero
Gordon and I were Specialists E4s in Hawaii. He was older, married with kids and a retread coming up the ranks for a 2nd time. He was promoted to Sergeant while I was being busted to private. I was fed up with the army and came close to going to Canada. I was being harassed by the whole platoon and I deserved it, but Gordon was my friend and he often intervened. With his help I turned myself around, I used to keep my surfboard under his porch. One day in Vietnam a old, over-the-hill Sergeant went out with the platoon, he had no business being there. The platoon came under heavy fire and had to withdraw, but the old sergeant was stuck. Somebody had to go get him: nobody would volunteer, so Gordon finally went out under heavy fire to get the guy. The old Sergeant made it back to safety but Gordon didn't, he deserved a Posthumous Distinguished Service Cross. Thank You Gordon, you are my Hero and my friend.

(His Silver Star Citation)

General Orders 5777, Award of The Silver Star, HHC, USARV, 22 September 1966

For gallantry in action, Sergeant Skyles distinguished himself on June 24 1966 while serving as the point man for the Reconnaissance Platoon of 1st/35th Infantry conducting a combat operation. While moving toward their objective, Sergeant Skyles' unit was ambushed by a large enemy force. Sergeant Skyles and two other comrades were immediately pinned down in an open area, thirty meters to the front of their platoon. Despite the intense enemy fire directed toward them, Sergeant Skyles crawled through the bullet swept area to the protection of a large mound of dirt to his rear. He then provided covering fire for the other two men as they began to maneuver to his covered position. One man reached Sergeant Skyles' position, but the other had his web gear entangled in a bush and was unable to extricate himself. Sergeant Skyles realized that his colleague was in great danger if he remained in this exposed position. With complete disregard for his safety, Sergeant Skyles braved the hostile fire as he ran forward and freed his beleaguered comrade, enabling him to move to a covered position. While performing this courageous act, Sergeant Skyles was mortally wounded by a burst of hostile fire. His extraordinary heroism in close combat against a numerically superior force saved the life of a fellow soldier and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.