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Help finding information about SPC Clarence Novak

Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:55 pm
by OwenA
My name is Owen Anderson and I am a high school student in Austin, Texas. My English class is reading The Things They Carried, and is now beginning a project memorializing servicemen whose names are on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. We are commemorating lost servicemen, and I received Specialist Clarence Novak.

Through my research I found this website and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share any information or photos you have of SPC Novak that I can include in my memorial to make my tribute more personal. I tried contacting David Magaha who I saw posted a comment on SPC Novak's KIA page (http://6thofthe31st.com/index.php?r=kia%2Fview&id=126), however the email account was not active.

If anyone would like to see similar projects to the one I'm working on and where my memorial will eventually be posted, please visit http://virtualvietnam.eanesisd.net/. Also, please feel free to contact my teacher, Hunter Leeves at hleeves@eanesisd.net
Thank you for your time and for your help.

Re: Help finding information about SPC Clarence Novak

Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:37 pm
by Niner Alpha
Did you checkout the Coffelt data base? That's the best source of basic recorded information about any KIA.
http://www.coffeltdatabase.org

I noticed one sad but common thing. After he was killed he was awarded... posthumously.... a Bronze Star for merit and an Air Medal. On the orders was another listing from the 6/31st from Alpha Company. The Alpha Company guy died outside of Chu Chi at about the same time from what was more of a tragic accident involving two men and not combat. What is sad to me is that the 9th Division was matter of course to issue a couple of medals at death for the sake of the next of kin that they likely wouldn't have issued if the soldier had lived. The Air Medal, if he had lived would have probably been awarded because of an actual number of combat insertions by air. They owed him that one. The Bronze Star may never have been awarded him in a whole tour if he hadn't died. The 9th, unlike some other divisions, was stingy in handing out Bronze star medals for "meritorious achievement" to live enlisted men. Bronze Stars awarded in the 9th were usually with a V for valor and presented to an enlisted man for something he had done in particular to earn it. On the other hand, the meritorious Bronze Star was often handed out to Captains at the end of a tour....and, as in this case, unfortunate KIA's. It was really a step up at-a-boy from what soldiers called the "Green Weenie"...the Army Commendation Medal.

Re: Help finding information about SPC Clarence Novak

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:09 am
by OwenA
Thanks for the information! I think I understand the meanings behind the awards much better now. And thanks for linking to the database it will help a lot.

Re: Help finding information about SPC Clarence Novak

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:25 am
by Niner Alpha
Take a look at our "Roster" that can be linked from the front page of the site. Put B in the company slot and hit enter. That will show you all the Bravo guys that have signed the guestbook over the years. The actual dates in country are screwed up because of a programming era. But.. if you see 1970 next to a name that person was in Bravo at least some of 1970. Hit the information icon next to any of their names and there should be an email address. Some of these guys go back a long time signing the guestbook...where the information comes from... so their emails may be out of date. We may be able to give you an updated email address....see email sent you by Jerry White who is our keeper of the actual Roster. That Roster is much larger than what you see on this site.

Re: Help finding information about SPC Clarence Novak

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:20 pm
by OwenA
Thanks!
I tried contacting Jerry White to see if I can get a a current email for David Magaha. I'll keep looking through the Roster to find more people I could contact.