The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC Stanley Gray Toler, who died in the service of his country on September 2nd, 1966 in Pleiku Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Friendly Fire. At the time of his death Stanley was 19 years of age. He was from Ernul, North Carolina. Stanley is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 10E, Line 62.
The decorations earned by PFC Stanley Gray Toler include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, 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.
I am Stanley Toler's sister. I have attached a picture of him in his
uniform (He was very proud of his uniform). Please include any of the
following as you see fit. Thank you.
Stanley is buried in High Bridge Cemetery in Caton, a tiny community of Ernul, NC. His picture is on his tombstone. His mother (Melba-age 80) and Father (Aubrey-Age 83) still live in Caton along with much extended family. He has one sister, Gay Lewis who lives in Caton and one brother,Joshua Toler, who lives in New Bern, NC. One sister, Rose Toler passed away August, 2002 and is buried beside Stanley.
My memories of my brother tend to be from a happier time, when we were kids, playing in the woods with cousins, gathering firewood, playing with family pets, etc. I guess the memories of later years are too hard to deal with. I remember at age 15 having a hard time dealing with the term "friendly fire". I still do. Stanley was 4 1/2 years older than me and was a great older brother. He kidded me a lot but I loved it. I often wonder how different our family would be if he was still here. He was a fun-loving guy so I know it would involve lots of laughter. Stanley, we miss you.
I was attached to the RECON Plt. as a Forward Observer. We had just made contact with VC and we shot and killed 2 of them. We had walked up on an outpost and the 2 we killed must have been going to replace the 2 on the outpost. It was over very fast. We waited because we thought the unit that they we protecting would come and engage us. After about 30-45 minutes nothing happen, I had called in some mortar fire but nothing. The Plt Sgt had called back to our HQ and they said for us to stay in place and they would drop another unit behind where we thought they were located as a blocking force and then we could move in. But we would have to spend the night there because it would be the next morning before they could get the unit in place. We had captured a rice bearer about an hour before we made contact and he said that there was a very large unit operating in that area. We we only about 35 so we waited. Stan and I went forward of our line to drag off the two bodies so that if their friends came they would not know our position. We had just dragged the second body off the trail when we came under fire, Stan was hit in the side I had to hold him because he was trying to fall back to our line but that is where the fire was coming from. I found out later one of our guys had fallen asleep and when he woke up he heard us out front and opened up. Stan was alive when we put him on the med-vac but the pilot radioed me and told me he did not make it. So he was killed by our own unit, but we had been in a fire fight that led up to his death. I have never forgotten Stan even though I had just met him and I have always felt that this was my fault because you see it was my idea to remove the bodies. Kenny Ballew, email@example.com.
He was the son of Mr and Mrs Aubrey A Toler, Route #1, Box 166, Ernul, NC.