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Casualty was on Aug. 11, 1968
Hostile, died of wounds, GROUND CASUALTY

Panel 49W - Line 46

M Co. 3/5 60mm mortar platoon, June 1968
Top row: Lopez - Tony Ayala (KIA) - George Autobee (WIA)
Second row: Danny Armendez (WIA) - Nava
(photo courtesy of George Autobee)

Pfc. Tony John Ayala served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, M Co. He was Killed In Action Aug. 11, 1968 during the battle for Hill 310. His name stands proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor. Semper fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget

Remembering Pfc. Tony Ayala
(submitted by George Autobee)

I was point man and the first one wounded in the engagement for Hill 310 on Aug. 9, 1968. I had been ordered to take point about 10 a.m., and about noon I found a trail and followed it until a burst from an AK-47 automatic rifle hit the ground in front of me. Everything went into slow motion. The seventh round hit my right arm and sent my rifle flying into the jungle. The bullet spun me around, and I fell on my back, getting my backpack stuck on a tree stump. Next thing I knew, I was on my back, stuck like a turtle, with my feet up in the air, unable to get up or move off the trail. The tree stump broke, one of the guys grabbed my ankle, and the men dragged me back to my squad and bandaged my arm. Pfc. Rice, Pfc. Danny Armenderez and Pfc. Tony Ayala pulled me back. While they were bandaging my arm, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) threw a grenade, and we hit the ground. It was close — I came off the ground and bounced when it exploded.

We worked our way back to the platoon commander and reported what happened...The pain from the bullet wound in my arm was starting to get bad. I found a corpsman, and I was re-bandaged and given a pain medication. Next thing I heard was the thump of mortar rounds coming in. I was told to leave the area and find a medevac to Da Nang. When I was working my way to the landing zone to catch a medevac, I looked up and saw the crew was using a hoist from a chopper to medevac Pfc. Ayala. I could see him while they were pulling him up. The chopper and Tony were taking enemy fire as they pulled him out. He had been badly wounded, and he died two days later. We had shared our stories, water and food and had been on patrols and ambush together for more than 45 days.~George Autobee