Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Army 1
Sergeant 1
20 May 1949 1
07 May 1970 1

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Michael John Orwig 1
20 May 1949 1
Male 1
07 May 1970 1
Cause: Multiple Fragmentation Wounds 1
Age at Death: 20 1
Body Recovered: Recovered 1
Casualty Date: 07 May 1970 1
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died 1
Hometown: Whittier, CA 1
Marital Status: Single 1

Vietnam War 1

Army 1
Sergeant 1
1st Bn 1
D Co 1
Enlistment Type:
Selective Service 1
+ E4 1
Major Command:
25th Inf Div 1
5th Infantry 1
Army 1
Armor Intelligence Specialist (ARMY) 1
Tour Start Date:
07 Nov 1969 1
Roman Catholic 1
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 1
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 126 1
Panel: 11W 1

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Shannon Lawson  Lawson
9617 svl box, Victorville CA 92395 United States
The letter I found
I found this letter at your aunt's house: Mike was one of the wittiest men I've ever met. He was our dupper (M-79) man and brother he was good. He was our 'Super Dooper'. He was my friend! We arrived in Cameron Bay on the same flight and were assigned along with K.Zwack and Woods(woody) to the 1/5 CRIP. 25th inf. div. Mike was killed on night ambush. Mike was on rear security with Ken(M-60) gunner and it was so dark the Dinks were walking right past them into the inside of there ambush. If they moved their ammo would jingle and betray the position and Mike with a dooper that was totally useless at close range. Do they lay there motionless and allow the bad guys to walk up behind their unsuspecting friends? Or do they open up and compromise their own safety but warning their buddies. Mike just stood up and charged with a single dupper, that won't explode at close range. It is written that no greater love has no man that he lay down his life for his friend. Way to go Mikey and on behalf of you friends THANKS SP4J. Lamp!/5th CRIP 25th. inf.
Sep 26, 2010   Barbara  Hill
Hamilton ON Canada
Michael, I never knew you personally but I have come to know about you from your friend, Ken Zwach who served in CRIP (HHC 1st Bn 5th) with my beloved Joe Ojeda. He has often told me what a great person you were and about your brave actions while you were on that last patrol. I know he misses his friend very much. He often mentions you in email messages. You are a hero to those who knew you and those who served with you. Rest in peace soldier.
Dec 12, 2007   Annette Deveaux
No relation - saw grave as a child
11240 Brandywine Lake Way Boynton Beach Fl 33437 USA
I know you not, But will remember you always!
As a young girl of 13 I strolled the grave yard where my grandfather was being laid to rest only to come across a grave of a young soldier who had died in Vietnam. It was the first time the impact of the war had touched my soul so deeply and to this day (over 30 years ago) I still remember his name. I am traveling to Washington this week and I vowed one day I would find Michael's name and pay my respects. The day has finally arrived and I've never been so excited. Without knowing who he is, Michael has touched my heart forever and started a patriotism within me that will last a lifetime. As in my poem, Nation in Pain, this is for you Michael. "For the soldiers who toil for our freedom and cause, Ignoring the hurt, the hunger and the loss, Of so many who've died their souls lost in vain, Forever a wounded nation, Forever a nation in pain."
May 8, 2007   terry pendergast
personal friend during high school
10948 golden hills drive
yucaipa,ca 92399 Usa
remembering mike.
To the family and friends of Mike Orwig. to this day I remember Mike very well and think of him often. We were high school friends at St. Paul's in Santa Fe Springs, Ca. We rode the school bus together and later car pooled to St. Paul's. I lost track of Mike after graduation in 1967, but heard he was drafted in to the Army. Later I heard he was killed in Vietnam but never knew the details nor was able to confirm until today (5/31/99). I remember his humor and enjoyed his companionship those four years. I also recall the photo of Mike in his Army uniform that his mother showed me one day. She was very proud of him. But I especially remember that Mike served his country when alot of his friends were trying to evade the draft and the war. It was a very difficult and turbulent period for alot of us. He won't be forgotten.
Monday, May 31, 1999   Grateful American
Fellow Californian
American Hero
Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. Rest well brave soldier. You are not forgotten.
Friday, May 07, 2004   R. Masters
Honoring you on your birthday. Thank you, Hero. You are not forgotten.
Monday, May 20, 2002   Denis McDonough
Fellow Bobcat

I just wanted you to know, you are not forgotten. You are loved and missed. My prayers to you and your family If anyone knows this brave soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Would you please contact Randy@Bobcat.WS so we can honor Michael by having his picture placed on his former unit the 1/5 Mech website memorial page and on the Wall.
Monday, August 09, 2004    Los Angeles County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway A portion of Sepulveda Boulevard/State Highway Route 1 in El Segundo near Los Angeles International Airport has been dedicated to the residents of Los Angeles County who served in Vietnam. This section of highway is now designated the Los Angeles County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. Adopted by the California State Legislature in 2000, the highway honors the more than 350,000 California veterans who served in the Vietnam War, including the 5,822 killed or missing in action. Los Angeles County has the largest number of Vietnam veterans in California and 1,857 of its residents were killed or missing in action during that war. This memorial corridor provides a fitting and proper way for the residents of Los Angeles County to express their gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices these Vietnam veterans have made for their country Email:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010   All gave some. Some gave ALL I remember you as such an easy going guy. I will always your friendly smile and attitude. Thank you for everything I am able to enjoy in this lifetime, that your ultimate sacrifice made possible. Rest in Peace my friend. Posted by: Richard Frank Franco SPHS '67
Relationship: We were high school classmates
Thursday, May 1, 2008   Never Forgotten FOREVER REMEMBERED

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."

Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.

We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:

Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.

From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers Posted by: Bill Nelson
Relationship: NamVet 2/502 Inf 101 Abn 69-70
Monday, March 20, 2006   A Proud Soldier I served with Mike in the CRIP platoon of the 1/5 (mech) 25th Infantry Division beginning about November 20th 1969. He was a wonderful friend and even though it is thirty two years later, he is constantly in my thoughts. I remember that he was proud to be a soldier in a cause that many in the nation were beginning to question. He was always upbeat and added immensely to the morale of our unit. Mike was very intelligent and I loved the discussions that we had in our group. He willingly gave up his life in a country 12,000 miles away from home fighting for someone else's freedom. I am always humbled by that kind of sacrifice. Mike, I am proud to have been a friend. Posted by: Ken Zwach

Relationship: We served together
Thursday, October 25, 2001   The truth of an unsung hero! Mike was one of the wittiest men I've ever met. He was our dupper(M-79) man and brother was he good. He was our "Super Dooper". He was my friend! We arrived in Camron Bay on the same flight and were assigned along with K. ZWACK and Woods(Woody) to the 1/5th. Crip(Combined Recon and Intel Platoon) 25th. Inf. Div.
Although, in retrospect I now think it would have been more appropriately called the 1/5th. night ambush platoon. Mike was killed while on night ambush and although I was not there that night I talked to Woody about it and he said that Mike was on rear security with Ken(M-60) gunner and that it was so dark the Dinks were walking right past them into the inside of the ambush. This is an ugly situation at best. Here was poor Ken on rear security that if he moved his M-60 ammo would jingle and betray his position and mike(y) with a dooper that is totally useless at close range. My God! What a dilema for such young men to have been confronted with. What do they do? Should they lay there motionless and allow the bad guys to walk up behind there unsuspecting friends catching them totally off guard. Or do they "open up" seriously compromising there own safety but at least warning their buddies of the impending threat. If you ever knew either one of these guys you would also know they had no choice. They did the only thing they were capable of doing. They opened up!!! I was told that Mike just stood up and charged them with his single shot dupper(a dupper round will not explode at close range). It is written that no greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friends. Way to go Mike(y)! and on behalf of your buddies THANKS! SP 4 J. Lamp !/5th. CRIP 25th. INF Posted by: Jon P. Lamp

Relationship: Friend
Wednesday, July 21, 1999

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