In this episode the story featured in Episode 611 will be revisited. Recently a follow up story in military.com titled: Army to Keep Infantry Icon’s Awards Unchanged Despite ‘Discrepancies’ submitted by Matthew Cox tells about the results of a request by military history researcher, Brian Siddall, to have the headstone of CSM Basil Plumley altered.
CSM Plumley served with then LTC Hal Moore during the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam. In that battle, the first between large scale forces in the War, LTC Moore’s unit, the 1st of the 7th Cav with 450 soldiers fought against a force of 4000 NVA troops at LZ X-Ray. The actions of the Americans in that battle inspired a book written in 1992 titled: “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young,” co-authored by Joseph L. Galloway and retired Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore. The book was later made into a movie .
In the like named movie, LTC Moore was portrayed by none other than Mel Gibson and CSM Plumley was played by Sam Elliott. The movie elevated the CSM to celebrity status.
Everything seems wonderful for CSM Plumley who recently passed away from cancer on Oct. 10, 2012 at the age of 92. Unfortunately research by Siddall indicated the CSM may have made claims about his military service that were not true. He felt compelled to request that Plumley’s headstone at Fort Benning, Georgia be corrected. That request kicked of a review by Army Human Resources Command.
In Cox’s article it was reported that Lt. Col. Janet Herrick, a spokeswoman for HRC announced: “Based on the facts available, U.S. Army Human Resources Command has determined there is no substantial evidence that any of CSM (R) Basil Plumley’s awards or decorations are in error. Absent this evidence, U.S. Army Human Resources Command is not authorized to alter or amend CSM (R) Plumley’s military records.”
Listen to the podcast and see if you agree with the findings and recommendations of Brian Siddall.