The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Joe Henry Furch, who died in the service of his country on November 27th, 1967 in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Joe was 21 years of age. He was from Phoenix, Arizona. Joe is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 30E, Line 96.
The decorations earned by SP4 Joe Henry Furch include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star with V, 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.
Services with military honors for SP4 Joe Henry Furch, 21, will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Union Baptist Church, 2849 E. Chipman.
SP4 Furch was killed in action Nov. 27 while serving with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. He joined the Army in October 1966. He had been awarded the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge.
SP4 Furch was born in Carpenterla, Calif., and brought to Phoenix as an infant. He attended Percy Julian and Phoenix Union High Schools and Phoenix College. He played football and basketball.
Survivors include his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George T. Furch, 2704 Roeser; five brothers, David of Phoenix, Howard and Carl, both of Fresno, Calif.; Lewis of Leavenworth, Kan.; and Paul in the service in Germany; five sisters, Mrs. Dolly Rice of Berkeley, Calif.; Mrs. Ivy Lee Mason of El Mirage; Mrs. Clara Mae Smith and Mrs. Ruth Jackson, both of Phoenix; and Mrs. Delores Graves of Los Angeles.
Friends may call until service time at Webber and Sons Mortuary, 1641 E. Jefferson. Burial with military rites by Luke AFB personnel will be in Greenwood Cemetery.
The Crowd, Still Cheers
Joe Furch was well known, as an athlete in Phoenix, before the city, became a metropolis. He possessed, an easy, going manner and the fluid, movement and demeanor, of a natural. Joe, on a quiet, night deep in the solitude, of the desert, if you listen, carefully, you can, still hear, the crowd, cheer and Joe, they cheer, for you.
(His BSV Citation)
General Orders 40, Award Of The Bronze Star Medal For Heroism, 4th Division, 2 January 1968
For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Four Furch distinguished himself while serving as a Rifleman in A, 1/35th Infantry. On 27 November 1967, Company A was on a search and destroy operation when it made contact with a reinforced enemy rifle company, well-concealed in a complex of bunkers and fortified trenches. Specialist Four Furch, acting as Pointman when the company crossed a rice paddy, immediately began laying down an intense base of fire and assaulted the enemy position to his immediate front. Hurling a grenade, he effectively neutralized the emplacement. Then with complete disregard for his own safety, he removed his rucksack and ran through the heavy barrage of rounds to move wounded individuals who were lying exposed in the rice paddies. As he reached the last man after moving the other casualties, he was mortally wounded by hostile fire. Specialist Four Furch's courage, professionalism as an Infantryman, and self-sacrificing devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
(His ARCOM for Heroism Citation)
General Orders 4335, Award Of The Army Commendation Medal For Heroism, 4th Division, 13 December 1967
For heroism in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force. Private First Class Furch distinguished himself while serving as a Rifleman with A, 1/35th Infantry. On 22 May 1967, Company A was conducting a search and destroy operation near Dien Troung when it was suddenly fired on while approaching a village. The well-entrenched enemy force, estimated to be of battalion-size, succeeded in isolating several members of the company before they could reach cover. Because of their imminent danger from enemy fire, Private First Class Furch and the other members of his squad were directed to attempt a rescue. When the enemy began concentrating fire against the rescuers, the order was cancelled; but Private First Class Furch, with assistance from other squad members, voluntarily continued the rescue attempt. Moving through open areas, he reached one of the isolated men and led him safely to a position where he could receive necessary medical aid. Private First Class Furch's personal bravery and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.