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Branch of Service: Army

Rank: Staff Sargent, Airborn qualified

Service years: 1967-1969

Honors: Purple Heart, Special Medal of Honor

Glen Rock: Lived on Gramercy, Glen Rock

     Frank Moorman was born in 1948 to Dorothy and Vernon Moorman; he was the second youngest of 11 children. Vernon Moorman was a town council member of the City of Clifton.  After the passing of his father and his expulsion from Newark Academy, Frank Moorman moved to Glen Rock with his older sister Dorothy Meyers who had 4 children of her own and took in foster children. Moorman attended Glen Rock High School, graduating in 1967. Right out of high school, Moorman volunteered for the Army.

     Chu Pa Mountain (Hill 1485) in Pleiku Province, RVN, is located about ten miles west of Plei Mrong, and twenty-one miles southwest of Kontum City. Used by the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong as a staging area, Chu Pa was subjected to an assault on January 21-23, 1969 by Alpha and Delta Companies of the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry. The Battalion's Executive Officer, MAJ Jerry P. Laird, accompanied Alpha Company. The assault was bitterly opposed from the beginning, with Delta 1/35 losing two men on January 21st. On the 22nd, as Alpha attempted a link-up with Delta, MAJ Laird and one of his radiomen, SP4 Douglas Ross, were among a group of soldiers pinned down about 40 meters outside of the Delta perimeter. Under heavy small arms and grenade attacks, the group was forced to seek cover in caves where the survivors spent the night. Alpha Company lost three men, Delta two, and both MAJ Laird and SP4 Ross were killed. On the morning of the 23rd, searchers located those men whose bodies had not been recovered on the 22nd except for SP4 Ross, who could not be found. Although the Battalion avoided any further deaths on the ground, a UH-1H medevac helicopter (66-16217) from the 283rd Medical Detachment, was hit by a B-40 rocket-propelled grenade while about 50' above the ground, crashed, and burned, killing four aircrewmen and three previously wounded soldiers. The lost crew included aircraft commander WO1 Arvid O. Silverberg Jr., pilot WO1 Sylvester Davis, crew chief PFC Robert R. Sloppye, and medic SFC William R. Henderson; the passengers were SP4 Edward Smith Jr., SSG Robert L. Luster, and SSG Frank D. Moorman. While slinging out the wounded at high hover, the aircrew of the medivac was warned by another flight crew (Blackjack 24) that it would be safer to drop down into a hover hole that had been created in the canopy. The medivac did not respond, and soon after Blackjack 24 witnessed helplessly as the aircraft exploded in a large orange ball of fire and fell with someone on the sling. On January 27th, seven bodies were recovered from the burned-out UH-1H wreckage, but only four could be identified at the time.


     The bodies of SGT. William R. Henderson, SP4 Frank D. Moorman, and PFC Robert L. Luster. from the medivac were identified in 1976  but their remains could not be separated. They were interred in Arlington National Cemetary in a communal grave. 

Born: 1948, Clifton, New Jersey

Died: 1969 Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam

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