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Born on Jan. 8, 1948
Casualty was on May 9, 1968

Panel 57E - - Line 17

Sam Cole (left), Jerry Lomax and another Mike 3/5 Marine

Pfc. Sam Cole served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation HOUSTON II. His name stands proud on Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor alongside his fellow Marines and Corpsmen. Semper fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.

Operation HOUSTON II

Never Forgotten 

Sam was really well liked by everybody. He was the kind of Marine everybody could depend on when that time came. He was with the M-60 machine gun crew of Mike 3/5. On May 7, 1968, we left on a reconnaissance mission above Lanco Bridge at Haivan Pass. We were told we weren't expecting any trouble, so just relax. We had a rough climb because the mountain was steep. 

On May 8, the "relaxation" ended with AK-47s and machine guns being fired at us. We were ambushed coming up a marked trail in the center of our column. I didn't see Sam all day. 

On May 9, in the morning, Sam came up to my thick tree where I was taking cover after being shot in the arm. Sam was okay, even though he'd been nicked by a bullet. He came up to see how I was doing. I told him I was fine even though I had lost a lot of blood. 

Sam said he was feeling a little dizzy, so he laid down on a moderate slope close to the tree. I told him to lay where I was because of the protection from the tree, and the incoming fire was more than sporadic. He said he was okay, and he lay on his back about 10 yards from where I was. He said the slope would give him protection because of the angle he was, besides the fire was from behind, not in front. 

I called out to him every so often, he never answered, and I thought he was asleep because we all had very little sleep. So many guys were being brought in from being wounded or killed from the mess around us, my mind switched to helping take care of these guys. We already had many casualties from earlier that day. 

Later, someone came up to me, and said Sam was dead. I was shocked, because he was still just 10 yards away from me. He must have been shot not long after he lay down. Today, I wish that I had checked on him sooner, or at least made him get behind that tree. Sam will be remembered always, because he was one of us. God rest his soul.~Jerry Lomax, Mike 3/5

Sam Cole and Mike 3/5 Marines two weeks before he was killed.
Sam is in the second row, on the left