CHARLES JACKSON BRITT is honored on Panel 2W, Row 124 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
From “Never Forgotten” by Mike Lapolla (4thdivrangers.com) – Charles Britt 2ND BDE LRRP 1966-1967, K.I.A. MARCH 30TH 1972
SFC Charles Britt was a professional Soldier and one of the finest NCO’s I had ever met. I do not know the unit SFC Britt was with when he was killed but once a LRRP always a LRRP.
Charley was a Staff Sergeant in my platoon of C Company 2/8th Infantry of the 4th Division. When I formed the LRRP unit of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Division … Charley was one of the first volunteers. We had a unit of tough and seasoned soldiers. Charley was simply the finest soldier most of us had ever met. He was organized, fearless, skilled and had nerves of steel .. or no nerves at all. He was a man among men … and died too young. From an admiring officer.
Sgt. Britt was probably one of the most efficient soldiers I ever had the privilidge of serving with.ï¿½ He was not only a comrade in arms, he befriended me and eventually my immediate family. He became a part of us. My wife and children loved and respected him. Even today after almost 29 years. The vivid memory of him arising early in the morning and all the family getting up to say our good byes, as he departed for what was to be his last call to duty in defending our democratic beliefs. Sgt. Britt and I served at Fort Benning after returning from the first tour in Vietnam. This is where we became a family.
After I was discharged I stayed in the area. Sgt. Britt was often a guest overnight and on weekends. He loved the woods and was a true woodsman. He said that, as a child, the woods were his real home. Guess that is why he liked the infantry. Often the family and I would go with him to shoot his guns. He being the brave Ranger that he was, he would often catch rattlesnakes and copperheads with his bare hands. I remember once we were all out and he tried to catch a copperhead and it almost got him. However he was not deterred and got the snake. He gave the kids a scare. He commented to me on more than one occasion that we had become the family he never had. He loved to hunt. When he came home on leave after extending his first tour in Vietnam, he went to Africa to hunt. At Benning he often bagged game and would come dragging it to our place and we all feasted. When he returned to Vietnam for his second tour he wrote often. My wife had to do most of the answering, as I was busy trying to get established in civilian life after several years in the Army. In his last letter to us he stated he was coming directly to our place upon his return.
We were all happy and expected a great reunion, but five days before he was due home we got word that he had been killed in action. He had been mortally wounded in the head while trying to save a downed helicopter crew. He gave his life while trying to save those who often saved many LRRP/LRP teams from an early demise. He and the rescue team were ambushed and I do not know if any survived. This act was testimony to the life of a true soldier that Sgt. Britt truly was. My wife represented our family at the funeral in Maryland. I was unable to get away.
As a LRRP/LRP with the 2nd brigade 4th infantry division(1966-1968), Sgt. Britt gained the name; “The Legend.” His fame came from the fact, that he was able to get in, track, observe, and bring havoc on the enemy without firing a shot and still never get detected. He was an expert at ambushing with artillery. As a fellow team leader and eventually the P/Sgt. I only remember SGT Britt making contact once with the enemy. He and I were both taking teams out from the forward firebase of the 1/22nd Infantry. This was just before I became P/Sgt. He was to leave out that night. I went in the next morning to follow in an arc-light on the Cambodian border. It was a miserable night as the rain came down in buckets the whole night. Sgt. Britt left out about about 10 pm and about an hour later I hear gunfire erupt and quite as suddenly. Automatically I thought they got ambushed. But soon I heard Britt’s voice checking in with the command post. He wanted to know who else was out there. There was no one but him and the enemy so they must have been spooked and open fire. When the missions were over, we were in the tent talking and he said to me “the strangest thing happened on that mission.” I said “oh yeah, what?” He said he was on point moving through the jungle when he came face to face with an enemy soldier. He said neither raised their rifle but just stood there with water dripping off their hats looking at each other and for what ever reason they both turned and went in different directons. He said it was almost like a dream, but it was real. This was the only contact I ever heard of him making. His ability to get in and out without detection earned him the name; “The Legend.”
Charlie Britt you are are dearly missed by my family, myself , and all those who’s paths you ever graced. Rest in peace my friend and truly an American Warrior! PS: Charlie was not just a soldier but a special one. His humility, confidence, and character resounded a faithful patriot and proved to be a solid friend. He left his footprints on the hearts of all he met. Gone but not forgotten. Resting from his labors. We are trying to get his name in the Ranger Hall of Fame as one of the best. We love and miss Charlie Britt.
Britt is sadly missed. I was 12 at the time he was killed. He was due home in 1 week when my mother was notified of his death. Britt was on his second tour of duty. He had also signed up for a 3rd tour. He was written up in a magazine as a hero. An he was. I loved him like a father. I so wish he was here today. I may have been young at the time of his death but it was one of the hardest things that I ever had to deal with. He was in the Army with my father. He became a part of the family to my mother he was the brother she never had. To me he was the father I had always wanted since my own father was more interested in his own life. His first name was Charlie but we all called him Britt. Britt was a good man and would have been a great father. Too bad he didn’t live long enough to be one. Even to this day I think of Britt from time to time. He and my mother were very close. My mother passed away in January and I know Britt was there to greet her on the other side. I know one day I too will meet up with him again and when I do I will wrap my arms around him and hug him with all my might. Britt, I would just like you to know Thank You for being the man you were and for dying for our Country. You are greatly missed. Love Always Teresa