The residents of Britton Falls are so honored to have highly decorated Army veteran and hero Fred Spaulding as a fellow resident and neighbor.
Fred was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in April 1940. After high school, Fred waited a year before enlisting in the Army. His parents were not veterans of the military.
Fred enlisted in June of 1958 and went to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for basic training and then to Fort Benning, Georgia, for advanced training. Once his initial enlistment ended, Fred left the Army but soon returned. In his second term, he received a deployment to Korea to serve first as part of the UN honor guard in Seoul and then as part of the newly formed 8th Army honor guard. Fred met his wife Micki in Korea.
While with the 8th Army honor guard, Fred spent a brief period in Vietnam as an advisor. Following Korea, he returned to the United States and joined the 82nd Airborne Division. He participated in the invasion and occupation of the Dominican Republic.
Fred spent nine years as an enlisted man before going to OCS (Officer Candidate School) at Fort Benning. He graduated in 1967, after which he joined the Special Forces and attended language school in Monterey, California, before joining a Special Forces group based in Okinawa. While in Okinawa, Fred took part in several missions to Vietnam.
The Vietnam War was a long, costly, and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
As an officer in Vietnam, Captain Spaulding showed his extraordinary willingness to “lead the way” when he was trusted to take charge of a chaotic Firebase (FB) Henderson that had been attacked during the night by an NVA sapper company causing multiple Killed in Action (KIA) and Wounded in Action (WIA).
The FB Henderson remained under constant mortar and heavy arms fire while Captain Spaulding, on the ground, called in effective air strikes and evacuated the wounded. He later returned under fire and recovered all of the KIA.
In 1970, Captain Spaulding was selected to plan and coordinate the battle of Firebase Ripcord in the vicinity of the A Shau Valley, I Corp, Vietnam. He was responsible for all aircraft in the Area of Operation (AO) and fire support during the battle with emphasis on the siege (1 to 23 July 70) and withdrawal of the firebase and two rifle companies in the vicinity, all while under heavy fire.
The Battle of Firebase Ripcord was a 23-day battle between elements of the US Army 101st Airborne Division and two reinforced divisions of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) that took place from 1 to 23 July 1970. It was the last major confrontation between United States ground forces and the PAVN during the Vietnam War.
During the 23-day siege, seventy-five US soldiers were killed at Ripcord.
Three Medals of Honor and six Distinguished Service Crosses were awarded to participants for actions during the operations. Fred was one of the Distinguished Service Cross recipients and the citation was given by the President of the United States.
Fred and his wife Micki have lived in Britton Falls on Bardolino Drive for several years. They are both avid golfers and love playing the game.
Distinguished Service Cross
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING Vietnam War
Division: 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)
Department of the Army, Permanent Order 159-19 (June 8, 2011)
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9,
1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain
Frederick L. Spaulding, United States Army, for gallantry and intrepidity above and
beyond the call of duty while serving as the Assistant Operating Officer, Headquarters
Company, 3d Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) during the withdrawal of Fire
Support Base RIPCORD in the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam on 23 July 1970.
Captain Spaulding, voluntarily left Camp Evans to provide direct aid to the besieged Fire
Support Base and to the two Companies awaiting extraction. He then took command of
a Scout helicopter and joined the battle to locate, mark and direct fire from all available
land and air assets against enemy positions. While taking intense fire, Captain
Spaulding directly exposed himself to enemy fire while marking enemy positions with
smoke grenades and coordinating with multiple fire teams resulting in accurate and
devastating results. Once the grenades were exhausted, Captain Spaulding and his
pilot were able to maneuver the crippled aircraft back to Camp Evans. When the pilot
refused to continue the mission, Captain Spaulding procured a second helicopter. The
second aircraft was subsequently damaged by enemy fire, as was the third helicopter
that Captain Spaulding obtained. In a fourth helicopter, Captain Spaulding returned to
the area of operations to continue the evacuation of the two besieged companies by
continuing to draw fire upon himself and the aircraft. Captain Spaulding's daring acts of
bravery and courage in the face of an overwhelming and determined enemy are in keeping
with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his
unit and the United States Army.
Fred is currently recovering from a stroke and can use all of the encouragement and well wishes that he can get. If you'd like to send a card, please address to:
12786 Bardolino Drive, Fishers, IN 46037