Name: James Randall Pruett
Force: Army - Selective Service
Pay Grade: E5
Home of Record: Buchanan, MI
Birth Date: August 21, 1946
Death Date: September 26, 1968
Cause of Death: "ground casualty by gun, small arms fire, hostile";
Died in Kien Tuong at age 22
The body was recovered.
This looks like the old poker players group. Many a time you'd hear Danny Hayes say, "I'm gonna bet'em high, and tonight I'll sleep in the streets." Danny was pretty proficient at policing up any loose cash during our free time. He had a deck of cards so dog eared he would of needed a license for them back in the states.
For the record Sgt. Hicks and Sgt. Williams were severely wounded the same day Bollman, Pruett, Borczynski, Hayes and Trotter were Killed in Action.
Sgt. Deschenes was killed approximately 6 weeks later. I realize many more were wounded at that time and we'll figure it all out in time.
Left to Right - Charles Pruett, Hayes, Unknown Troop.
Pruett and Barrios were quiet troopers and weren't the types that sought any glory. They were good hands and could always be counted on to carry their fair share of the load. Jim Pruett took a lot of pictures for me. He always had my back. This is the only picture of Barrios, he was a real quiet fella.
James Randall Pruett (foreground) - James Patrick Barrios (wearing helmet)
James Pruett, Danny Hayes & I were the best of friends. Jim as he was known to us was from Kalamazoo Michigan where his family had a pig farm. Jim had plans of running the family farm when he returned home. Jim and I worked for SSGT William Hicks (now deceased) and we were in the third squad of the third platoon. Pruett always had my back no matter kinda mischief we got into. Jimmy got mad at me one time and that was because of my candid camera routine trying to catch others off guard when taking pictures. Jim was very close to his sister and when she sent him a picture of his new niece he insisted that I keep it no matter how many times I tried to give it back. Jim was a man who knew the future. I believe he had the gift of prophecy. He was the kinda of man that you could trust with your life, and I did. He was killed on 9-26-68 along with four other brave men. We used to say if I have to go I pray I die in good company. I still miss you brother and I know I'll see you again.
God Bless you Jim. Ray Heltzel
L to R - Bill, James, and Danny.