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Born on Apr. 14, 1950
Casualty was on Aug. 19, 1969

Panel 19W - - Line 68

Pvt. Francisco Gonzalez, Jr. served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Lima Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation DURHAM PEAK. His name stands proudly on the Lima 3/5 Wall of Honor. Semper fi, Brother Marine, we will never forget.

The Day Speedy Died

Speedy came to my squad from recon, he did his time in the bush and was a good Marine well liked and easy to be with. Had an article in Leatherneck which mentions him when he was with recon and descirbed the duties they had.

 Lima 3/5 was on patrol in Arizona Territory, and we had just returned to the company position from an active ambush in which we killed an NVA officer. The ambush started out as a patrol, then we were to select a ambush site. During our patrol phase, our pointman Pvt. Hamm spotted a large group of NVA milling about, and in the process of dropping their packs. I called in a fire mission on them, and was satisfied with the results. We heard a lot of excitement and pulled back to our night time ambush site.

Around 2100, an NVA walked up the trail we were covering, tripping the ambush. We ended up killing him, but we could hear movement all around us. The company called in a gunship (Spooky), and he fired all around us after dropping flares. The area around our squad was alive with movement, and we were on alert all night.

The next morning, we returned to the company position and cleaned our weapons and sacked out. Later the word came down to get into our foxholes due to outgoing mortar fire. I got the guys going, but a rocket hit directly in front of them. I was slightly wounded, but the others had taken the full force of the rocket. More rocket then mortar fire rained down on the company causing numerous casualties.

Speedy was hit real bad, but insisted we help the others first. My radioman Richard Sauls and Edwards survived their wounds, the others didn't. I was medevaced the next day and eventually spent two months in the hospital in Japan. I never knew Speedy never made it until I returned to my unit. I have the memory of Speedy as a happy kid who was serious at his job and earned the trust and respect of his peers.

James Haneya
Squad Leader


My Father, My Hero, My Friend

My Pops was KIA in Vietnam. He was in the Marines 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. My Father did his time in the bush. His name was Francisco Gonzalez, Jr. His nickname was Speedy when he was with Lima 3/5, he was fast. I was really young, but I remember what he looks like. He had a beautiful smile, and a good heart. I remember what he was like, he was a very dear and loving person. I was named after my Father. I take after him. I am his only daughter, child he had.

I miss my Father very dearly. I did not know him real well like I would love to but, I know he was the best, not only as a father, but also a true Marine. My Father will always be in my heart along with the others who I care for dearly, as well as the mothers, and fathers, uncles, daughters, and the ones who made it through.

Dad, I miss you so much, and as for your brothers who fought with you, may you rest in peace and the ones that lived... God bless you all. For the families who lost their loved ones, I know we miss them but think about it they did it for their country, and now they are in better hands. Hold your head up, they are watching you just like my Dad is watching me...

I will continue to keep looking for information on my father or find pictures letters or something, I am not giving up. Thank you for reading this, semper fi hoorah....

Frances George