SGT - E5 - United States Army - 11B40 - Infantryman
C Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry
25th Infantry Division
21 Years Old
July 20, 1945 to February 26, 1967
Rebecca Warren honors her cousin...
I was only 2 years old when my cousin Gary Webb was killed in Vietnam,
so I have no memories of times spent with him. What I do have is a real
knowledge of what kind of a young man my cousin was.
My older sister and 3 older brothers grew up with him here in WaKeeney,
and I have heard many stories relating to what a great cousin he was.
Everybody loved Gary, and those who knew him remember him still. My
brother Kelly named his first born after Gary.
My parents also spoke very highly of Gary, as did my Grandma Wilson who
lived next door to us. All of my aunts, uncles, and cousins did. So although
I never knew him, I know what kind of man he was and can only imagine what
he would have gone on to be and do had he lived. To me, war is
synonymous with tragedy.
Always on Memorial Day Gary's grave is decorated. It used to be done by
my Grandma Wilson with me in tow, then my parents with me helping and now
it's my honor to do it. This year I put huge white lillies, and of course the
American Flag on Gary's grave site. I wish I could put part of him in our new
Veteran's Cemetery here, as he certainly made the ultimate sacrifice that
would qualify him to rest there.
Thank you Don K. for drawing my attention to this wonderful site. Many years
ago I went to the traveling wall with paper and pencil and I took his name
home. It's in one of my Bibles.
We are blessed to live in this land of the free, because of our brave.
God Bless all of our service men and women past and present.
Don Koohns remembers his friend...
Gary was a very good friend of mine. I think about Gary yet today, and
my thoughts and memories will never go away. I was with Gary that day
on February 26th, a day I will never forget. I'm very glad I still have
pictures of Gary in a scrapbook along with a letter I received from
a family member. God Bless Gary and his family.
Obituary for Gary Alan Webb, 1967
Gary Alan Webb, the son of Clyde Webb, Jr., and Virginia Nee Wilson, was born July
20, 1945 in Hays, Kansas. He was baptized in the Christian faith in early infancy.
Gary grew up on the farm, attending the Adair Grade School and graduating from
the Trego Community High School in WaKeeney in 1963.
As a lad Gary was also active in the Ogallah 4-H Club and the Future Farmers of
America during High School, serving on the FFA Cabinet. He was a member of the
Emmanuel Lutheran Church south of Ogallah and the Bethlehem Lutheran Church
in WaKeeney, making the rite of Confirmation in Bethlehem on Pentecost, 1959.
After graduation from High School Gary went to work. Even during his school years
he had been working at the local Conoco Service Station. He also sought employment
with oil drilling companies, and worked in various oil fields near Cambridge
and McCook, Nebraska and Atwood, Kansas.
Drafted into the United States Army, he entered Ft. Leonard Wood, August 15, 1965,
for his basic training. From there he reported to Ft. Ord, California for advanced
training in light artillery and was sent briefly to Ft. Meyer, Arlington, Virginia,
to serve with the "Old Guard."
On June 27, 1966 Gary came home on extended leave with orders to report
to Ft. Ord for assignment to Vietnam. One of the pleasant memories of that leave
was a birthday dinner given in his honor in the basement of the Church. Reporting
to Ft. Ord, Gary was ordered to Vietnam, arriving in Saigon July 30. The next day
he was ordered to report to Divisional Headquarters of the 25th Infantry Division
at Cu Chi and here he was assigned to the Second Battalion, Company C, of the
famous 27th Infantry, known as the "Wolfhounds."
With his comrades Gary served in what is designated as "War Zone C" north and"Operation Junction City." Gary was a good soldier, and his
west of Saigon and popularly called "The Iron Triangle," at first on airstrip security
patrol duty and then on "search and destroy" missions. He was part of three major
operations in this area, first "Attleborough" then "Cedar Falls" and finally, since
advancement was rapid. By last September he had attained the rank of SP4 and
shortly before his death he was made Sergeant. He was killed in action by small
arms fire on February 26th
. He was 7 months and 6 days past his 21st birthday.
Announcement of Gary's death was brought to his parents Wednesday, March 1, by
Captain Hilbert B. Martin of Ft. Riley and Gary's body was brought to WaKeeney
by SP5 Earl McMurtrie, also of Ft. Riley. The community is deeply grateful to
these men for their personal, sympathetic and constant attendance upon Gary's
family during all of these trying days.
The following are the bereaved: His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Webb, Jr., of
WaKeeney; his maternal Grandmother, Mrs. Howard Wilson of WaKeeney; his
paternal Grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Webb, Sr., of Palco; his Great
Grandmother, Mrs. Stella E. Turner of Palco, and the following uncles and aunts:
Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Billy LaVon Wilson of WaKeeney;
Mr. and Mrs. Howard A. Wilson of Lyons; Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Wedermyer of
Wamego; Mr. and Mrs. James McCullough of Grinnell; Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd E.
Webb of Salina; Mr. and Mrs. Merle Johnson of Brookville; Mr. and Mrs. Donis
Eaton of Wichita; Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Dean Webb of Norton; Mr. and Mrs.
Jack Vestal of Omaha, Nebraska. There are also 36 cousins.
Gary was also an honorary member of the VFW and American Legion local Posts.
His Comrades, his classmates in school, his fellow members in church, and our entire
community morn in gratitude and thanksgiving to Almighty God for the sacrifice of
his life in behalf of the safety of our country and homeland!
Pastor Hirsch conducted funeral services last Thursday afternoon in BethlehemAmerican Legion
Lutheran Church. Miss Arla Kay Michaelis, Fort Hays State College student,
was organist and Mr. Gerald Armbruster of WaKeeney was the soloist. Military
services at gravesite were by the WaKeeney Posts of the
VFW, under the direction of Mr. John Dice and the Rev. Rex Harmon, Post
Chaplain. Interment was in the WaKeeney Cemetery.
The following poem was written by Virginia Webb, mother of Sergeant
Gary Alan Webb, for Neva Mussemann on February 4, 1944, when she had
received word that her son, Bill Mussemann, had been killed
in a plane crash in Casablanca.
A Mother's Thoughts
Today I learned he won't be home,
He gave his life across the foam,
In service of his country dear,
To keep it free for those so near.
The sadness now is hard to take,
The heartaches seem to find no break.
But time heals pain; and by God's grace,
I pray that there will be small space,
That harbors hurt and lonely hours,
If God Will – He has those powers.
Life must go on. He'd want it so,
For that's the way he lived, you know.
His dreams are through. Ours are not gone,
He died that dreams may still live on,
So we must not betray his trust,
Live on, fight on, do this we must.
My loved one's gone and yet I find,
No bitterness, but rather peace of mind.
The following pictures and story were from the
WaKeeney Newspaper, Circa August 1967
AWARD CEREMONY-Col. David L. Jones, left, commanding officer,
108th Artillery Group, Ft. Riley, Kansas, presents The Silver Star Award
and The Bronze Star Award to Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Webb, Jr., of WaKeeney,
at a recent chapel service in WaKeeney. The awards were made
posthumously to their son, Sgt. Gary A. Webb, who was killed in action
while serving with the 25th Infantry Division, Vietnam. - (U.S. Army Photo).
Awards Presented To Parents Of
Wakeeney Man Killed In Vietnam
The Silver Star Award and The Bronze Star Award were given this
past month to the parents of the late Sgt. Gary Alan Webb of WaKeeney,
killed in action February 26th near Saigon, Vietnam, while serving with
the 25th Infantry Division.
The awards were accepted by the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Webb,
Jr., of WaKeeney, at a July 30th chapel service held in Bethlehem
Lutheran Church in WaKeeney, Rev. Edwin J. Hirsch, pastor.
The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Webb, Sgt. Webb was also holder of
The Purple Heart.
The Silver Star is the third highest and The Bronze Star is the
fourth highest awards this nation bestows on its military personnel who
The citation accompanying The Silver Star Award for gallantry
in action stated: "Sgt. Webb distinguished himself by heroic
actions on February 26, 1967, near Ben Dong Vo, Republic of
Vietnam. Sgt. Webb's squad was the leading element of a search
and destroy operation in dense jungle undergrowth when they came
under heavy fire from the well concealed fortification.
"The initial enemy burst inflicted wounds upon several of Sgt. Webb's
men. Disregarding his own personal safety, Sgt. Webb rushed
through the enemy fire lanes to the aid of his stricken companions.
Attempting to provide covering fire and retrieve a machine gun which
was about to fall into enemy hands, Sgt. Webb received wounds
from small arms fire which later proved to be fatal.
"Though seriously wounded, Sgt. Webb continued to return fire
into the enemy position and to lend encouragement to his fellow
soldiers. Though severely weakened by his wounds, Sgt. Webb
succeeded in removing himself from the enemy ambush site,
rather than have his companions expose themselves to the intense
fire in an effort to aid him.
"Sgt. Webb's actions were an inspiration to the men who served with
him, especially those men who survived as a result of his
unselfishness. Sgt. Webb's personal courage is in keeping with the
finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit
upon himself, his unit and the U.S. Army."
The Bronze Star Award citation to Sgt. Webb reads:
"For outstanding meritorious service during the period July
1966 to February 1967, in connection with ground operations
against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Through
his untiring efforts and professional ability, he consistently
obtained outstanding results. He was quick to grasp the
implications of new problems with which he was faced as a result of
the ever changing situation inherent in a counterinsurgency
operation. The energetic application of his extensive knowledge has
materially contributed to the overall effort of the U.S. in
"He was a motivating example to all with whom he came in contact.
His devotion to duty, loyalty, and meticulous attention to detail are
in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army, and reflect
great credit upon himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division, and the
Sgt. Webb was born July 20, 1945. He attended Trego County schools
and graduated from Trego Community High School in 1963.
He entered military service August 16, 1965, and left for Vietnam
July 29, 1966. He was promoted to Sergeant January 27, 1967.
Word of Sgt. Webb's death reached his parents March 1 by Captain
Hilbert B. Martin of Norton. The Military attendant with the body
arrived later. The soldier hero was laid to rest in the WaKeeney
Cemetery following military services.
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