Copp, Thomas Elliott, GMG3

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 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class
Last Primary NEC
GMG-0000-Gunner's Mate Guns
Last Rating/NEC Group
Gunner's Mate G (Guns)
Primary Unit
1969-1970, GMG-0000, MSR-3, Mine Division 113
Service Years
1966 - 1970
GMG-Gunner's Mate G (Guns)

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Copp, Thomas Elliott, GMG3.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Northridge, CA
Last Address
Northridge, CA

Casualty Date
Feb 13, 1970
Hostile, Died
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Kien Giang (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Hollywood Hills, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
W13 005

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2014, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2014, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Abriged After Action Report
On the morning of 13 February, a PBR of RPG-54 was returning from 1-BGP when personnel sighted a Claymore mine at WS 045 794 on the north bank of the Vinh Te Canal. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) assistance was requested. The EOD team, led by LTJG Valentine, destroyed the mine in place. The EOD team reported that the mine was facing the canal and had been rigged with a monofilament line which led to a spider hole on the north bank there the mine could have been command detonated.
MINEDIV 113 units, MSR-3, and MSR-6, Units were proceeding south with MSR-3 in the lead and MSR-6 trailing behind about 75 meters. Their speed was about three knots. Then the units rounded a blind corner at VS 548 602, at approximately 1548H, they were ambushed from both banks by automatic weapons, P-40's, and recoilless rifle fire. 

Aboard MSR-3, one B-40 round hit the starboard side of the hull above the waterline, directly aft of the twin 50 caliber mount, piercing the hull and hurling shrapnel throughout the compartment.  

Some of the shrapnel continued on through the port hull and into the water. The heat of the explosion caused a fire in a clothing locker. The fire later spread to the coxswain flat before it could be controlled. One recoilless rifle round hit about two feet aft of the B-40 round and went out the other side of the boat and doubtlessly contributed to the fire and shrapnel damage.

Another B-40 round exploded on the forward compartment hatch which was dogged down. The entire surface of the hatch was destroyed although the knife edge porting remained in place dogged down.

A second recoilless rifle round hit the deck house just aft of the coxswain's stand on the starboard side. The round penetrated the deckhouse bulkhead, both bulkheads of the coxswain's flat, and fragmented pieces of shrapnel imbedded in a fold down cot mounted on the port bulkhead.

A third B-40 round, fired at the stern of the boat, hit the port 50 caliber gunner in the chest, killing GM3 Copp. The impact of the round threw the Boat Captain, who was conning, forward. He hit his head on the gauge console receiving a 3 inch gash and passed out for what he estimated to be about 15-20 seconds. However, when he fell forward, his hands were on the throttles and the forward motion of his body pushed the throttles to maximum turns, propelling the boat out of the kill zone.  He regained consciousness before the boat left mid-stream and he steered the boat clear of the kill zone
Not Specified

 Tributes from Members  
Friends and Family Remember posted by Burgdorf, Tommy (Birddog, TWS Memorial "A" Team), FC2 432
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 Duty Stations
USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7)Mine Division 113, USN River Patrol Force - Task Force 116 (TF-116)
  1967-1968, GMG-0000, USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7)
  1969-1970, GMG-0000, MSR-3, Mine Division 113
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1970 Operation Game Warden
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Vietnam Tour Dates
  Feb 13, 2013, General Photos9
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