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Born on June 29, 1949
Casualty was on Mar. 5, 1969

Panel 30W - - Line 48

Dennis Gary Merryman
(picture courtesy of his brother, Paul Merryman)

LCpl. Dennis Merryman served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation TAYLOR COMMON, and awarded the Bronze Star, posthumously, on Sept 28, 2010. His name stands proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor alongside the Marines he fought and died with. Semper fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.

(Click images to enlarge)

M/3/5 Marines, Dennis Merryman is on the left
(pictures courtesy of Paul Merryman)

I would like to hear from anyone who served with my brother, Dennis.
Semper Fi,
Paul Merryman, M Co. 3/9

Dennis Merryman home on leave after Basic Training

Dennis Merryman, M Co. 3/5


Dennis Merryman awarded the Bronze Star, Memorial Day 2011

The Merryman family gathered together with M Co. 3/5 Marines at the David Johnston American Legion Post #283 to accept the Bronze Star Medal for Dennis Merryman, 43 yrs. overdue. Grateful thanks to these M Co. 3/5 Marines and to the Merryman's for their tireless efforts to see this award finally come through for Dennis.

Pictures of the award ceremony sent in by Mike Alden
To the Merryman Family, I am most honored to have been a part of securing the Bronze Star for your brother, Dennis.~Mike Alden

1. Presentation of the Bronze Star to Paul Merryman on behalf of his brother L/Cpl. Dennis Merryman.
2. Paul O'Connell reading the Bronze Star citation for L/Cpl. Dennis Merryman.

3. Janice, Marlene, Paul, and Kelly Merryman
4. Joy and Tom Mahlum, Candice Biddlecom (Paul Merryman's granddaughter), Paul, Mike Alden, Fran (Paul's wife)

Dennis Merryman's Bronze Star Citation


One of the finest Marines our company had

You came up to me and asked for my bush hat. You said to me, "I need one to go 'up there' with." I gave you my bush hat. I also told you to bring it back to me. You uttered something to me and left. I did not care about that bush hat. I wanted you to come back. You went back to the point of contact, to recover Christianson. You went above and beyond the call of duty in my mind, you knowing that recovering Christianson from in front of an enemy bunker was high stakes. You paid the highest price, Dennis. We Marines were speechless when the word came down that we lost you . We couldn't believe it. Dennis, you were one of the finest our company had. My words can not describe the honor I have for you. You remain in my heart and thoughts forever. I will never let go .....May God bless and comfort you forever. Respectfully, Michael Alden

Pictures of M Co. 3/5 Marines Dennis sent home from Vietnam before he was killed


Letter from Ed Browder written to Dennis Merryman's brother, Paul, May 2003

Paul, Wow. Just seeing the name Merryman sent chills down my spine tonight. Never having met your brother I cannot tell you too much about his death or about him as a person or Marine, but I can never forget his name nor Christianson nor Thompson who were also recovered with your brother.

I was a First Force Recon platoon commander at the time, and my platoon just happened to be the ones who were able to get the bodies out. It took a month to retrieve them because the times that we were sent in prior, we were shot out of the LZ. The place was a hot spot...even a month later, we were ambushed by a few NVA/VC types hanging out in that bunker complex. Paul O'Connell was one of Tom Mahlum's Marines, and was on Parker Pen Relay during Hill 332. If he did not know your brother, I can guarantee you that he knows someone who did.

Five of those troops retrieved the bodies off Hill 332. That is a very young Ed Browder in the right rear with the "butter bar' on the cover. Three troops from M Co. 3/5 went with us, Capt. Burns, CO; Lankalais; and another whose name escapes me now.

The chopper that took us to Hill 332 for the body recovery

My troops and 3 of M Co's troops, including Capt. Burns on the ladder. The first ladder insert in Marine Corps history. What I can tell you about the recovery was even a month later, after Agent Orange was dropped to defoliate the area and CS crystals were used to "flood" the area with gas (we went in on a ladder insert...with gas masks on), the bodies of all 3 were found about 5 feet apart, intact, no mutilation (which surprised me at the time), and weapons there too including an M-79 with a bag full of HE rounds. Now that really surprized me.

I am sure that the other guys can give you the information that you seek. I am glad that you found the M/3/5 site and will be able to find out about your brother. This much I can tell you...if he was in either Tom or Jim's platoon, he was led by 2 of the best!! I trusted them with my life 35 years ago ...would do the same today. Ditto for Paul O'Connell. I cannot say better of any man. The troops he served with while young, were also the tops. Hell, we were all young. Good luck. And let me know if I can help in any way. Semper Fidelis,
Ed Browder

M Co. 3/5 Marines, 1969
Kneeling (L to R) Capt. Burns, Lt. Ted Lewis
Standing (L to R) Lt. Ed Browder, Lt. Jim Treadwell


Letter written by Mike McFerrin to Dennis Merryman's brother, Paul Merryman, former M/3/9 Marine, May 2003

Paul, your brother volunteered, along with his platoon sergeant, to try to get the body of a dead Marine back from in front of a fortified enemy position up in the mountains (5th Marines operated out of the combat base at An Hoa at the time, about 30 miles south of Danang). I did not meet your brother until some few minutes before he went out on the attempt.

Really eerie looking at these photos of Dennis Merryman for the first time. I probably only saw him six or seven times in brief flashes amongst other unidentifiable Marines while I was there. That's what I remember thinking when he walked up to Thompson and I while we were talking just before their deaths. I also for some reason thought he was relatively new in the bush, but he wasn't.But I only had to look at these pictures for a couple of seconds before his face and that final incident came together in my mind. That IS the guy.

The problem with the "good memory" that I have is that it is not selective. I remember almost EVERYTHING when I remember. I remember the frustration that I was feeling in trying to talk Thompson out of this attempt, and then a bit of shock as I realized that Dennis had also volunteered to go out there with him.

In a few brief seconds after Merryman walked away, my feelings were mixed since I wanted neither to go under the circumstances, but realized that with both out there it might allow at least one of them to survive. It was unclear as to exactly what was going to happen that day, but it was the third straight day of round-the-clock combat up there and my sixth sense was functioning very well. I KNEW that it was going to be a bad day. I have attached my description of the circumstances that was written for his platoon sergeant, Sgt. Leslie Thompson's family~Mike Out