Terry August Householter
Born on Sept. 17, 1948
From CONCORDIA, KANSAS
Casualty was on June 23, 1969
in QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
Panel 22W - - Line 120
Terry Householter served in Vietnam with the 3rd Battalion,
5th Marines, Mike Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation
PIPESTONE CANYON. For his bravery under fire, he was awarded the Bronze
Star, posthumously. His name stands proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of
Honor alongside his fellow Marines.
to LCpl. Terry Householter
~From Grady Rainbow, Mike 3/5~
Corporal Terry Householter was from Concordia Kansas. He had run track
at the University of Kansas, and was coached by Jim Ryan, the famous
miler. Terry had spent several months as the Company Commander's radio
operator, (not uncommon for grunts to fill this job, MOS 2500 radiomen
were scarce), before he came to 1st platoon as my squad leader, (callsign
Mike 1 Bravo).
and I hit it off perfectly, we both had lived not that far apart, and
even listened to the same radio station growing up (KOMA in Oklahoma
City). Terry was with me the day on road security when we lost Smith
and Murphy. We were the best of friends.
Operation Pipestone Canyon, Terry could have requested to stay in the
rear, he had less than two months left in country. He didn't. Our Company
led a sweep into the Que Son Mountains chasing the NVA that had escaped
the Goi Noi Island area during the operation. I was walking point, as
usual, as we started up the riverbed toward the top of a large mountain.
Breaking through the brush, I found myself in a large open area with
huts, cooking fires and a whole lot of NVA soldiers. I opened fire on
automatic, and began charging toward the camp, the company broke through
in immediate support, and we swept the entire area quickly. That's when
we discovered we had landed in a regimental base camp, and we were now
were pinned down without re-supply or support for 14 days. We eventually
fought our way out, destroying the camp in the process. On the way down
the mountain, we encountered several ambushes, our squad had rotated
off point, and I was walking trace, (tailend charlie we called it),
for the squad with about 30 meters back to the rest of the company.
I heard heavy fire ahead, and rounds began to tear up the jungle around
my position, I took cover in a depression in the trail.
After a few minutes, I heard someone crashing through the bush toward
me, it was our platoon Corpsman carrying Terry over his shoulder. I
remember Terry was looking straight at me, and his hand was hanging
down, I saw it had been hit by a bullet, and the little finger was almost
severed. I called out to him, and told him to hang on, we would get
him out. The Corpsman shook his head, and crashed down beside me, all
he said was 'He's gone.' He had tears in his eyes. He started telling
me the front squad and two gun teams were pinned down by a cross-fire
ambush, and they were catching it hard. He said the ambush had opened
up when Terry reached for the radio handset to call the CP. The enemy
knew then he was the unit leader, and took him first.
I took my hand and tried to close Terry's eyes, it didn't work like
in the movies. Doc got up and continued down toward the company CP,
I saw that Terry had been shot several times in the back and side. I
lost it. I was carrying extra ammo for the gun teams (we all carried
extra for the crew-served weapons), so I got up and moved forward. I
can never remember being so mad in my life, my head pounded and my eyes
seemed clouded or misty. I only remember yelling and screaming as I
threw the ammo to the first gun team I found, then I started to run
forward into the jungle brush firing on automatic.
I can still see the tan uniforms in front of me, and recall using my
bayonet twice, that's about all. Someone grabbed me and yelled "It's
over, dammit!! Quit fighting and get down!" The ambush was broken.
The rest of the riflemen had gotten up when I ran past and followed
me into the brush, we killed quite a few I think. I remember several
of us threw-up afterward, either from stress or what we saw.
Terry Householter was posthumously promoted to Corporal from Lance Corporal
upon his death. For his gallant service in Viet Nam he had received
the Bronze Star Medal w/ "V" for valor, the Navy Commendation
Medal w/ "V" for valor and the Purple Heart Medal. At the
time of his death he had 29 days left to serve on his tour of duty.
I'll always miss him, a part of me died when he did, a good decent part."~Grady
(standing) and Mike 3/5 Marines
was my hero, as I was an underclassman"~Larry
remember Terry running a 9.6 timed 100-yard dash his senior year of
high school at Concordia. That time was a State of Kansas record. That
event was in 1967. Terry, to me, a freshman in high school, was a hero.
Later in the summer of 1967, I was standing outside the bowling alley
in Concordia and Terry drove up into the parking lot. He stopped to
talk to me, the underclassman, and offered, or I asked him for, a cigarette.
I really don't remember how I got that 'Winston,' and we smoked together.
This made him two times my hero. He is gone, three times my hero.
Sheldon Walle, High School Friend~
attended high school at Minneapolis, Kansas (graduated in 68') and ran
track against Terry. I never once beat him as he was amazingly fast;
I could stay with him until about the last 20 yards in the 100 and about
the last 50 in the 220 yard dash. He had a gear I never could find.
A quick story: it was 1966 at the Abilene (Kansas) Relays. Terry was
jogging past the pole vaulting pit when a pole vaulter fell short and
landed to the side of the pit. As he came down his foot landed squarely
on Terry's foot. In those days, tracks were either dirt or cinder which
required long, sharp spikes in your track shoes. At least two of the
pole vaulter's spikes went right through the top of Terry's foot. I
hate to admit it but at the time I thought, hey, maybe I can finally
take first place. Not only did Terry go ahead and run that day, he set
a state record in the 100; as memory serves me he ran a 9.7, and once
again, I came in second.
I don't know that he ever really even knew who I was other than the
guy that ended up chasing him down the track. We would speak casually
while preparing to run and he was always very cheerful and friendly.
I was quite saddened when I learned of his death. I hope to race him
again someday; even if I have to come in second. My belated condolences
and prayers to his family."
went to high school with Terry. He was a halfback, I was the fullback.
I ran the 2nd leg of the 880 relay, Terry was the anchor. Concordia
won the state track meet in 1965, 1966, and 1967, thanks to Terry. In
1967, he won the 100, the 220, and the 440. I graduated in May
1966, Terry graduated in May 1967.
I joined the Marine Corps in August 1967. Terry went to Fort Hays
State on a track scholarship. Around Christmas 1967 I ran into
Terry at the local bar. He told me that he wanted to quit college
and join the military. I told him that if he was going in to join
the Marines and be one of the best. I would give anything to change
I went to Vietnam in April 1968. Assigned to Foxtrot 2/11 105 howitzers.
Found out a few months later that Terry was in M 3/5, the company
we did most of our shooting for. The night that "Medevac
Mike" called in artillery on their own position in spring of 1969,
I fired the rounds knowing that Terry was out there.
About a month before I came home, I walked from An Hoa to Mike Company's
camp to visit Terry. When I got there the guard told me I had
just walked down a VC controlled road. We had a great visit and
planned the big beer bust (Terry favored Coors) we would have when he
I was discharged on 12 June 1969. Two weeks later, the neighbor
came over and asked if we had heard that a boy named Householter had
been killed in Vietnam. I watched them bury him in Pleasant Hill
Cemetery in Concordia, KS. I visit that grave often.
Terry, I kept the promise about the quart of Coors.
fi, ~Ken Campbell
Memorial graphic by Vic Vilionis, 7th Marines)