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Born on Nov. 20, 1946
Casualty was on Sept. 4, 1967

Panel 25E - - Line 109

LCpl. Albert Santos served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. He was Killed In Action during Operation SWIFT. His name stands proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor. Semper Fidelis, Brother Marine. We will never forget.

Operation SWIFT

One of my heroes

It's 39 years since Operation Swift began on Sept 4, 1967. Two Marine Companies sent into the Queson Valley of Vietnam to rescue two other Marine Companies surrounded by the 2nd NVA Division. Santos was one of seventeen Marines and Sailors of my company who were killed that day. Albert fought and died not only for his country, but for his buddies in M Co. 3/5.

Each of us who fought that day thinks of those who gave their life for us as courageous heroes knowing we are alive today because of them. We have always thought of our comrades but most of us were unable to talk to anyone about Vietnam. Combat is unexplainable-- We have ensured Albert and those others will alway be remembered not only by us, but by future generations through a memorial at the Memorial Walkway at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA. Semper Fi~ JD Murray

Remembering LCpl. Al Santos

During the summer of 1967, 3/5's CP was on Hill 20-something, somewhere between Tam Ky and DaNang. This was before we all moved to Thang Bien which was just several miles south of Da Nang. During that period, when 3/5 wasn't in the field, you all supported the perimeter for four 155 Howitzers of Whiskey Battery 2/11. It was during this period I met LCpl. Al Santos. We spent a lot of time just talking. During one of our earlier conversations, I discovered he knew and had been a partner of one of my best friends, a kid that grew up across the hall from me in the same apartment building on Chicago's westside. My intent is to share those few memories about Al, that I can recall. Perhaps in the future someone else can add to this.

Al joined the Corps in '64. He spent some time in Hawaii, prior to shipping out for his first Nam tour. Yes, Al was one of those privileged few who had two tours. He spent his first tour in 2/4 with a good friend of mine, John Daley. After that tour, Al returned to Camp Pendleton and was assigned to MCB. He and John spent several months in the MPs, often working the main gate or the brig. I believe in September of '66 Al was blessed with orders back to Nam. I'm not sure if he spent the earlier part of this 2nd tour with 3/5. However, he was with Mike 3/5 from May '67 until his death.

We use to talk a lot about back home nothing more specific then "I can't wait to get the hell out of here-type stuff," and about our antics when on liberty etc. He was just a regular guy like the rest of us.

The last time we spoke, in late August, we were anxious about going home. We both had about 30 days left on our tour. We were going to be home the first week in October. Al was killed on Operation SWIFT, 4 Sept '67, three weeks before he was to go home for good after two tours.

Sgt. Mike Hayes
Fox & Whiskey 2/11

(John Daley died in 1972 as a civilian. The result of Nam injuries)