SSgt. Calvin Fielder was born on October 25, 1931, and was originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He served his country in the Vietnam War as a 16-year veteran of the United States Army in 173RD AHC, 11TH CAB, 1 AVN BDE. His tour in Vietnam began on December 23, 1965. On November 19, 1968, SSgt. Fielder was killed in a helicopter crash over Tay Ninh, South Vietnam, at the age of 37. He is memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Panel 38W, Line 10. The following is a tribute to SSgt. Fielder:
Calvin worked at my parents’ little Mom & Pop grocery store when he was in high school. He used to help take care of me when I was a toddler. And he died trying to help take care of us all.
Sep 23, 2008
SSgt Fielder was flying as a passenger in a 173rd UH-1 helicopter on that fateful morning. He was going on R & R to Japan and was dressed in a Class A uniform. I was a Crew Engineer in the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company. The last time I saw him we were taking off from Lai Khe Airfield. Sergeant Fielder was boarding his aircraft to depart for a vacation. He was in 173rd’s Maintenance Platoon, thus the irony that the aircraft he was flying on suffered a mechanical failure resulting in the crash that took his life.
You were a fine man, Sergeant Fielder, my mentor, my friend and my brother-in-arms I will never forget you. May God rest your soul.
-Submitted by John C. Jackson, MSG ret, US Army