American Legion Hale-Combest Post 315 Wylie, Texas was chartered in 2011 to maintain the Wylie Veterans Memorial.
The post was named for Lanny Earl Hale and Jerry Wayne Combest.
Note: Both grew up together and were best friends only living 2 or 3 houses apart. They both graduated from Wylie High the same year (1961) and both died within 6 months of each other in 1968, Republic of South Vietnam.
American Legion Post #315 Wylie, Texas
Jerry Wayne Combest
Jerry Wayne Combest was born January 17, 1943, and graduated from Wylie High School in the class of 1961. Jerry went into the Army in 1966, was trained as an infantry rifleman, and arrived in South Vietnam on March 7, 1968, at Long Binh, the huge American base near Saigon. PFC Combest was assigned to Charlie Co. 1st Mechanized Bn. 5th Inf. Reg. 25th Inf. Div., known as the ‘Bobcats’ with headquarters at Cu Chi, which was referred to by the soldiers stationed there, as ‘Hell’s Half Acre.’ On the morning of August 21, 1968, deep in a dark forest known as the Ben Cui Rubber Plantation, Charlie Company was involved in a fierce battle against an overwhelming enemy force. Waves of enemy soldiers poured out of the jungle and overran his small unit. SP4 Combest died at the age of 25 while trying to save the lives of his wounded comrades. Jerry’s name is listed on the WALL at Panel 47W, Row 16.
Medals Awarded: BRONZE STAR PURPLE HEART COMBAT INFANTRYMAN’S BADGE GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL VIETNAM CAMPAIGN RIBBON MILITARY MERIT MEDAL GALLANTRY CROSS with PALM
Citation By Direction of the President The Bronze Star Medal Presented Posthumously to Specialist Four Jerry W. Combest
For distinguishing himself by outstanding meritorious service in connection with ground operations against hostile forces in the Republic of Vietnam during the period of March 19, 1968 thru 21 August 1968. Through his untiring efforts and professional ability, he consistently obtained outstanding results. He was quick to grasp the implications of new problems with which he was faced as a result of the ever changing situations and to find ways and means to solve those problems. The energetic application of his extensive knowledge has materially contributed to the efforts of the United States mission to the Republic of Vietnam to assist that country in ridding itself of the communist threat to its freedom. His initiative, zeal, sound judgment, and devotion to duty have been in the highest tradition of the United States Army and reflect great credit on him and on the military service.
- R. Brownlee Colonel, CE Acting Chief of Staff
Lanny Earl Hale
Lanny Earl Hale was born February 4, 1943, and graduated from Wylie High School in the Class of 1961. He attended Christian College of the Southwest, and in 1967 went into the Army where at Ft. Hood, Texas, he was trained as a rifleman with 2nd Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 198th Light Infantry Brigade. In October of 1967, he arrived in Vietnam, and was based at LZ Gator, near Chu Lai on the coast of the South China Sea. On Feburary 8, 1968, in the Battle of Lo Giang, six miles south of Da Nang his unit was involved in one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war which included much hand-to-hand combat. Lanny was killed that day in an enemy mortar barrage on his position. He was 25 years old, and is buried in Wylie. His name can be found on the WALL at Panel 38E, Row 29.
Medals Awarded: BRONZE STAR PURPLE HEART COMBAT INFANTRYMAN’S BADGE VALOROUS UNIT AWARD GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL VIETNAM CAMPAIGN RIBBON MILITARY MERIT MEDAL GALLANTRY CROSS with PALM SHARPSHOOTER BADGE with RIFLE and MACHINE GUN BARS MARKSMAN BADGE with AUTOMATIC RIFLE BAR
TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously. Hale, Lanny E. US54438748 (SSN 461-66-5185) Specialist Four E4, United States Army, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade APO 96219. Award: Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device Date Action: 8 February 1968 Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Four Hale distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 8 February 1968 while serving in Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry. On that date, his company was on a combat operation in support of a Marine unit south of Da Nang. While his company was moving to the battle area, they suddenly came under intense automatic weapons, mortar, rocket, and small arms fire from an estimated battalion of North Vietnamese Regulars. During the ensuing battle, the company commander became pinned down and sustained several casualties. Specialist Hale and 12 other men of his platoon immediately began laying down a base of fire to enable the wounded members of the company to withdraw to safety. After all the wounded had been withdrawn, he quickly maneuvered back behind a dike where his platoon regrouped and formed an unyielding defensive line. Along with his fallen soldiers, Specialist Hale made a gallant stand, killing numerous enemy soldiers in extreme close quarter fighting before being mortally wounded. Through his courage and devastating fire, he contributed greatly to the successful defeat of the enemy force and an estimated 60 more enemy killed. Specialist Four Hale’s personal bravery and avid devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflected great credit upon himself, the Americal Division, and the US Army.
Authority: By direction of the President and the provisions of Executive Order 11046, August 1962.
For the Commander: Nels A. Parson Jr. Col. GS Chief of Staff