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Born on Feb. 26, 1949
Casualty was on May 16, 1968

Panel 61E - - Line 6

Forrest La Wayne Bartram
(picture courtesy of his sister, Brenda Carrington)

Pfc. Forrest Bartram served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company. His name stands proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor. Semper fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.

Forrest La Wayne Bartram
(picture courtesy of Brad Reynolds)

Rocket Accident

Forrest Bartram was 19 years old, only 2 months in Nam. On May 16, 1968, we were kicking back waiting for the next operation. I wasn't too far from Forrest when a huge explosion occurred. When me and several other Marines arrived, he was already dead. Several of us Marines tried to revive him , but he was gone. Apparently, he was cleaning the 3/5 rocket launcher when it went off. Most of the time we carried a round in the tube. The back blast is what killed him. This is one of the memories I will never forget. I always remembered his name, and thought one day I would like to meet his parents and explain what happened. So sad.

Semper fi,
Steve Howsmon
Mike 3/5/Wpns/Rockets

Pfc. Forrest Bartram 
(picture courtesy of Brad Reynolds)

It was my rocket launcher he was cleaning. I've never forgotten.~Brad Reynolds

M Co. 3/5 Weapons Plt.
(picture courtesy of Tom Hoying)

Front: Forrest Bartram, Tom Briggs, Frank Ambrose, Bob Montgomery
Back: Unidentified, Richard Hipp, Unidentified, Brad Reynolds, Tom Hoying, Ken Fields, Unidentified
(If anyone recognizes the unidentified Marines, please let us known)

M Co. 3/5 Rocket Team
(Picture and caption courtesy of Steve Howsmon, M/3/5)

Front row, the Marine holding the 3.5 rocket launcher is Ron Markel, the middle crouching down is Forrest La Wayne Bartram. The Marine right holding the rocket launcher is Vic Sosa. Back row left is Steve Howsmon, middle is unknown, and last is I believe is Lance Cpl. Hoying. Notes on back of picture read:  The Marine crouched down holding a rocket is dead. His name was Bartram. He was here only a month. The Marine on the right holding the tube is Vic Sosa. He’s my squad leader, and he’s the one who wrote Marion a letter.

Mike 3/5 Weapons Platoon/Rockets
Forrest Bartram (sitting, far right)
(picture courtesy of Steve Howsmon)

To a Good Marine

I was already in the hospital in Okinawa when I heard that you had been killed in an accident on May 16, 1968. I thought, "what a shame" after what you had just gone through. It turned out that the battle at Hai Van Pass, Hill 1192, when "Mike" Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, ran into an unexpected huge NVA Base Camp on May 8, 1968, in Thua Thien Province is finally coming out in the open, after being hushed for over 32 years. This mess lasted for over 5 days, and you made it through that okay, only to be killed in an accident. 

You were a real good friend of mine, and my cohort on the 3.5 rocket launcher. My heart sank when I found out, and more than one tear came to my eyes. You were a good Marine, and I'll never forget your friendship. Rest in peace, buddy. You are not forgotten.~Jerry Lomax

Operation HOUSTON II (NVA Base Camp)

(3/5 Memorial graphic by Vic Vilionis, 7th Marines)