VFW post planning Entrican honor

Published 6:44 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It’s been almost 40 years since Daniel D. Entrican went missingin the jungle in Vietnam, but a few local veterans aren’t sure theBrookhaven soldier has been properly respected for hissacrifice.

Billy Hughes, commander of Brookhaven’s VFW Post 2618, isplanning a ceremony to honor Entrican and officially commemoratethe local post as the Daniel D. Entrican Post. The post dropped itsformer name, the Johnson Day Post, in favor of Entrican years ago,but nothing was ever done to explain the change or honor the man,Hughes said.

“When I became the commander in January, I decided we were goingto do it. If we’re going to rename the post after someone, we needto do something to let people know it’s been done and why it’s beendone,” he said.

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Hughes wants the ceremony to take place on Tuesday, May 18, the39-year anniversary of Entrican’s status as missing in action. Buthe needs help – the VFW membership is small, and most veteransstill active are members of World War II and the Korean War. Thelocal veterans are going to need assistance from the community toput on the event.

Anyone interested in helping the VFW plan and organize a properevent for Entrican is encouraged to call Hughes at601-835-1534.

Hughes said the VFW chose Entrican because of the important parthe played in Vietnam.

Entrican began his military career in Brookhaven’s NationalGuard Unit, at the time called the 155th Infantry Regiment. Hetransferred to the U.S. Army when the Vietnam War began and trainedas a Green Beret – the Army’s elite special forces – at FortBenning, Ga.

Entrican was involved in a classified mission in Vietnam’s QuangTri Province near the border with Laos when, according to John L.Plaster’s “SOG – The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos inVietnam,” his team was overrun by the North Vietnamese Army on May17, 1971.

A letter to Entrican’s family from the Department of the Armystates the Green Beret was last seen trying to escape and evade theenemy on May 18.

“He was an elite soldier,” Hughes said. “He volunteered for allthat. No one makes you be a Green Beret.”