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Old 02-21-2017, 10:17   #1
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Cpt Fred “Lightning” Wunderlich, RIP

Cpt Fred Wunderlich, RIP
American Hero,
RIP Brother,
You will be missed..

Cause: Cancer, via Agent Orange exposure

SF Association Chapter 3 regrets to inform all of the passing of one of our own, US Army Special Forces Captain Fred C. "Lightning" Wunderlich on 21 FEB 2017 in Thailand after a long battle with cancer. Fred was a genuine hero and legend in the Special Forces community, with distinguished service while assigned to MACV-SOG-CCN, 5th Special Forces Group in the Republic of Vietnam. Fred completed the Special Forces Qualification Course as an enlisted Soldier, and then later attended OCS to become an officer. He was at CCN for 2 years as a Recon Team leader and Covey Rider. He got the nickname "Lightning" after his team was knocked unconscious from a lighting strike while on a recon mission. After returning from Vietnam he was RIF'ed like many company grade officers at the time. Fred spent most of his life working as a Project Manager around the world. He had a long history with KBR building FOBs and OGA facilities in Sudan, West Africa and 7 years in Afghanistan. Fred never stopped being involved in things that mattered to the national defense of his country. He was a member of Special Forces Associaiton Chapter 3 Thailand and a 40-year Tenure Member of the Special Operations Association (SOA). Captain Wunderlich is survived by his wife and 2 daughters. His funeral will take place in Pattaya, Thailand. As soon as information is made available on services, we will update all. Rest in Peace brother. You will be sorely missed. De Oppresso Liber.

(photo of Fred in Afghanistan in 2003. He is on the left. If anyone has a Vietnam-era photo of Fred, please share. Thank you.)

Michael Taylor wrote a very nice eulogy:

Fred “Lightning” Wunderlich has been extracted from the bullshit AO Lung Cancer that he has battled in for so long. Thanks to Bru Taylor for keeping us informed toward the end of Lightning’s mission, including the final AAR. I’m glad he’s not suffering anymore, but I’m typing through tears because I ABSOLUTELY loved, admired and respected my brother.

We all remember, and have retold many times, the classic Lightning stories - how he got his nickname when a lightning strike incapacitated his whole team in the middle of the Prairie Fire AO. How he forgot if he had armed the booby-trapped Pen EE camera he had just deployed, picked it up to check and found out the hard way that he HAD armed it.

Some of you may remember that Fred and I had the only rooms at Heavy Hook that had an opening between our two rooms - and no door. During one Hook party, I noticed Lightning missing and went into my room to check on him. I stuck my head through the opening and said, “Lightning, are you OK?” A muffled voice from a larger-than-usual lump in the bed replied, “Go away - I am inserted.”

At the end of the VN War, the Army went through its normal post-war Reduction In Force (RIF) wherein so many good people were cashiered out of active duty. For officers, that meant a $10,000 separation pay - big money back then. Fred knew he would be RIFed (no college degree) and said, “Screw that - they’re not kicking me out. I’m going to RIF them!" So, he left with $0 but his pride intact.

Fred wound up with an interesting career running installations and base services in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and God knows where else. He was a long-time resident of his beloved Thailand and left behind a loving family - and more friends than anyone could count.

We have lost one of the finest recon men and good buddies ever known to man.

#7 "Lightning" has joined 3 Ed Lesesne, 4 Vince Villanueva, 10 David Robinson, 12 Don Carr and 13 "Pappy" Creel. What a great team this was - he's got lots of good teammates wherever they are.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FredWunderlich.jpg (45.9 KB, 59 views)
File Type: jpg FredWunderlich2.jpg (34.8 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg FredWunderlich3.jpg (90.7 KB, 62 views)
Go raibh tú leathuair ar Neamh sula mbeadh a fhios ag an diabhal go bhfuil tú marbh

"May you be a half hour in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead"

Last edited by JJ_BPK; 02-21-2017 at 10:43. Reason: new pic
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