Name: Clifford F Macomber Jr
Rank: Sergeant / Specialist Five
Pay Grade: E5
Home of Record: Cotulla, TX
Birth Date: November 28, 1943
Death Date: May 10, 1970
Cause of Death: ground casualty multiple fragmentation wounds hostile;
Died in Cambodia at age 26
The body was recovered.
Left to Right - John Lonsdale - Cliff Macomber - Miller. Picture submitted courtesy of John Bayer.
Sergeant Clifford Macomber of Cotulla, Texas was killed in the same fight as Morgan Weed, felled by the same explosion, which sent a tiny sliver of metal through his flak jacket and one of his lungs into his heart. He died unconscious with his head cradled in the crook of my arm as Doc Miller tried desperately to save his ebbing life. Cliff joined our company at Fire Base Chamberlain, fresh out of NCO School at Ft Benning, where he was an honor graduate. Initially assigned as a squad leader in the 2d Platoon, he impressed me instantly with his rare combination of good humor and no-nonsense professionalism. He wove parachute cord into a long sling for his rifle, put grenade pull rings in the band of his camouflage cover, wrote his hometown on the cover, and grew a really scraggly Pancho villa moustache, but all those typical GI marks of individualism hid neither his good cheer nor his solid competence as a leader. On a twilight airmobile insertion in the Plain of Reeds, Cliff's squad became surrounded by an NVA platoon. Rather than going to ground, they counterattacked, punched a hole in the enemy cordon and fought off several enemy attempts to penetrate the hasty perimeter they formed at nightfall. Only one squad member was wounded, but stayed in the fight all night. When SFC Bill Kitch was promoted and became my First Sergeant, we moved young Cliff up as Platoon Sergeant, a position calling for an NCO of many years of experience. Cliff rose to the occasion and proved himself the equal of men many years his senior. At Chantrea and Tnaot, Cliff's men responded instantly to his booming voice rising over the din of a fight. He seemed to be everywhere, moving a machinegun up on the left, organizing an assault on the right, laying covering fire for the same assault. When we returned to Vietnam, I ordered Cliff's posthumous promotion to Staff Sergeant and wrote the citation for his Silver Star. As I finished writing the letter to his family, tears streamed down my face uncontrollably. We had all lost a friend and our nation had lost one of its best sons.
|Comment||[Kathy Ford to Robert Stewart]|
Cliff Macomber was my second cousin. Although I was only in Junior High when he died, I remember that time very well. I want to thank you for posting that picture on his page. I have never seen a picture of him from that time.
I have visited the wall and have a rubbing of his name, and have visited that web site before, but had never seen the links for comments and pictures. I was watching We Were Soldiers tonight and inspired to see that site again when I saw your picture.
I have a step-son who is a medic in the 82nd Airborne who just returned from Iraq in February, and a brother serving a deployment in Kosovo. I thank God every day for all of our troops, and when we welcome them home, I regret that you men were not welcomed home with the respect, dignity, and thanks you all deserved.
I try to take every opportunity to tell our Viet Nam era veterans how much I appreciate their sacrifices and service. Thank you. God bless you and your family.
West Des Moines, Iowa