The Official Version
This was the version told in Jaime's citation for the Silver Star. It
was the only version of the events told to Jaime's Family.
The Way It Happened
Jaime's family was unaware of these details for 26 years. Finally
learning the truth brought closure to many nagging doubts they held for years.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Headquarters, U S Army/Vietnam/MACV Support
APO San Francisco 96375
19 August 1972
AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
TC 439. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.
PACHECO, JAIME SPECIALIST FOUR U.S. Army, Company H (Ranger), 75th
Infantry, 3d Brigade (Separate), 1st Cavalry Division, APO 96490
Awarded: Silver Star
Date of action: 25 May 1972
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Authority: By direction of the President, under the provisions of
the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.
For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations
involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Specialist Four
Pacheco distinguished himself on 25 May 1972 while serving as medic on a Ranger Team which
was on a reconnaissance mission in Tan Uyen Province, Republic of Vietnam. Specialist
Pacheco walked as rear scout for a four man point reconnaissance element when the element
discovered an enemy bunker complex. As the first three men of the element exhausted their
first magazines, Specialist Pacheco immediately recognized the danger caused by the lull
in firing and rushed the bunkers firing his own weapon and throwing fragmentation
grenades. As the team withdrew from the bunker complex, he remained in his position and
continued to throw a total of twelve fragmentation grenades, covering the team's
withdrawal. By holding the enemy at bay his fellow soldiers were able to escape without
injury. When he attempted to rejoin his team, he was hit by enemy fire which wounded him
fatally. His actions gave the team the precious time they needed to reach safety.
Specialist Pacheco's gallantry in action and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life,
were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great
credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
HAROLD H. DUNWOODY
Brigadier General, US Army
Acting Chief of Staff
A TRUE COPY
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Company H (Ranger) 75th Infantry (Airborne)
Task Force "Garry Owen" Provinscial
1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
5 July 1972
Mr. C. Doug Sterner
SP/4 Jaime Pacheco was killed in action on 25 May 1972, while serving as
Team medic for Ranger Team 76 which was on a reconnaissance mission
approximately 10 kilometers north of fire support base Spudis. Walking in
the position of rear scout, SP/4 Pacheco accompanied a point reconnaissance
element which walked into a bunker complex. As the lead element made contact
and expended its initial magazine, a dangerous lull in fireing (sic) ensued.
Realizing the danger, SP/4 Pacheco rushed forward and covered the withdrawal
of the point reconnaissance by fireing (sic) his own weapon and throwing
12-15 fragmentation grenades. (Because this action allowed the entire
element to withdraw unharmed and because it showed great valor with little
concern for his own safety SP/4 Pacheco has been submitted for a Silver
Star). Once contact had been broken, the point reconnaissance returned to
the rest of the team, and the Team Leader requested a pink team and a
section of Max gunships. The Team Leader worked out the pink team's Cobra
first, expending all of its ordinance on the complex. Next the Max section
worked on the complex. On the 11th or 12th run the minigun on one of the
Cobras malfunctioned and fired 6 rounds which landed in and around the small
Ranger perimeter. One round struck Pacheco in the back and exited through
the chest region, causing a sucking chest wound. The Team Leader told the
pink team commander he needed to get him out as soon as possible, while the
team members stopped his sucking chest wound with a five quart canteen. Two
members of the team carried him to the nearest semblance of an LZ, and the
pink team's low bird came in, taking several blade strikes in the process.
Although he was barely alive when placed on the low bird, he expired while
on the chopper and was dead when it landed at Spudis.
The company felt a great loss upon Pacheco's death. He was a deeply
religious man and so well liked that it seems so cruel that he should die in such a fluke.
A memorial service was held in his honor and each member of the command gave him his last
salute. I can honestly say that he is one of the few in this world who had no enemies.
I thank you on behalf of all Rangers for the stories you wrote about
us, and assure you that many copies of the Garry Owen were sent home to friends and
relatives. If I can be of further assistance, do not hesitate to contact me.
JOHN A. FENILI
A TRUE COPY