SSG Louis “Lou” Payne, Sr. was killed on 9 January 1971. SSG Payne was assigned to the 184th Ordnance Battalion (Ammunition), Explosive Ordnance Disposal Section, 6th Ordnance Battalion, 45th General Support Group, Army Support Command Qui Nhon, United States Army, Vietnam, Qui Nhon, Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam. The United States/Army of the Republic of Vietnam (US/521st ARVN) Ammunition Storage Point at Qui Nhon, had been blown up by a Viet Cong 82mm mortar attack at 0200 hours, 7 January 1971. In the initial explosion five Korean civilian truck drivers had been killed, and nine Koreans and eight Americans were wounded. Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel were called in to clean up the unexploded ordnance. On 9 January, U.S. EOD personnel were assigned to clean up Area “C.” It is believed that at 1120 hours on Pad C-17, SFC Aaron P. Moore dropped a 40mm High Explosive grenade. The detonation occurred 12 to 18 inches in front of SFC Moore. SSG Payne received fatal fragmentation wounds to the chest that punctured his heart and died from his wounds at the hospital emergency room at 1230 hours. Other Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel that were injured from the explosion: From the 184th Ordnance Battalion (Ammunition) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Section SFC Otis D. Howard received multiple frag wounds in his neck and right arm, SP5 Douglas R. “Doug” Teener receive minor frag wound to his neck, SP4 Paul D. Dunkerley received frag wounds to his nose and a broken left wrist, and SP4 Benjamin G. McWilliams received minor frag wound to his neck. From the 191st Ordnance Battalion (Ammunition) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Section SFC Aaron P. Moore received multiple frag wounds in his jaw, left hand, stomach, and a broken right leg and arm and SP5 Arnold E. Collier received minor frag wound to the shoulder. From the 44th Ordnance Detachment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), SP5 Douglas F. “Doug” Ward received frag wounds to his left eye, which he lost. Military Assistance Command Vietnam advisor to Army of the Republic of Vietnam (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) SFC George Warren received multiple frag wounds in his chin and right side of his abdomen). The wounded were transported the 67thEvacuation Hospital at Qui Nhon. SP5 Arnold E. Collier and SP4 Benjamin G. McWilliams were treated and released. The remaining injured were admitted to the hospital. SSG Payne was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal.
*This bio was researched and authored by SGM Mike R.Vining, USA (Retired). Please send any additional information and/or corrections to the author of this bio by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The EOD Warrior Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of the information in bio.