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CPL. PETER ANTHONY SCHRADER
Born on November 26, 1946
From University City, MO
Casualty was on November 9, 1967
 in South Vietnam, Quang Nam

 Panel 29E--Row 62

Pete Schrader is with the e-tool, Jack Swan (shirt on), Thomas Fisher (front right), Melendez (left)
Picture courtesy
of Roger "Nick" Nicholson, Mike 3/5.

Cpl. Peter Schrader served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation ESSEX and was awarded the Silver Star, posthumously. His name stands proud on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor alongside the Marines he fought and died with.

Operation ESSEX

My Best Friend in Viet Nam

My name is Jack Swan. I walked point for 1st platoon, Mike Co. 3/5, 1st Mar Div, 1967 from May 26th (Operation UNION I, till my 3rd wound on Dec. 12, '67. Pete Schrader was the radio man for 1st Plt. and had been incountry about 2 months before I got there. Pete Schrader was in Viet Nam - My Best Friend. I remember many great stories about him and a young woman named MiLing who followed our company wherever they sent us to be with Pete. When I told her of his death on Nov. 9th, her heart was broken. I never saw her again. I'm a hard core ole Marine sitting at my computer with tears foggin up my eyes and recalling the finest man I had the pleasure of meeting in that hell hole.

Before I started typing, I sat with pen in hand and wrote down my memories of Pete. They flowed out as if it were this morning's memories. So much to tell, the caricatures he drew, how he could take a $5 guitar and make it sound like a $3,000 Martin or Gibson. MiLing always had a new guitar with new strings for him when we returned from an operation. The operations would last from 15 to 28 days and when Mike Co. returned to the rear with the gear we always got stuck with perimeter watch with morning patrols (1st PLT), than night ambushes (1st PLT), and Pete was on every one of them with us. We NEVER stayed in the rear more than 3 days, then they sent Mike Co. back out on a new operation. That didn't bother Pete and I. We felt alive in the bush. We laughed hard in the bush. We made some crazy bets, he and I, when the local yokels would snipe at us. Everyone in 1st Plt. thought we were crazy. Our care-less attitude towards fear helped them survive the day. I could go on and on about Pete Schrader. My sense of humor did not die the day Pete did. I witnessed his death. To this day I celebrate every day he drew breath.~Semper Fi, Jack Swan

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL posthumously to :

CORPORAL PETER A. SCHRADER

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

  For service as set forth in the following

 CITATION:

 For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Radio Operator with Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 November 1967. 

During Operation ESSEX, in Quang Nam Province, Corporal Schraderís platoon came under heavy fire from a North Vietnamese Army force which mortally wounded the platoon commander and pinned down the remainder of the unit in a rice paddy. Quickly assessing the situation, Corporal Schrader radioed the company command group for instructions and deployed his men. With complete disregard for his own safety, he exposed himself to the hostile fire as he maneuvered his men out of the rice paddy and led them to friendly positions. 

Resuming its mission, the following day, the platoon was once again taken under devastating enemy mortar and small arms fire while moving across a rice paddy. The newly assigned platoon commander was mortally wounded and Corporal Schrader assumed command and positioned his weapons to provide suppressive fire as he directed his men to cover.

Despite a painful wound, he courageously directed his men toward the company perimeter and maintained communications. While exposing himself to the intense enemy fire to gain better communication, he was mortally wounded.

By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Corporal Schrader was instrumental in saving his men from further injury or possible death thereby upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

For the President,

PAUL R. IGNATIUS
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY  

He was my best buddy
Steve "Bigfoot" Walker/ Haygood, Mike 3/5

In  Nick's picture (top of the page) of the Marines digging the foxhole in the red dirt, the guy with the e-tool is Pete Schrader. He always turned up the bill on his cover (hat). He and I were in transient barracks (Army's 1st Americal Division) in Chu -Lai together while waiting for our orders that ultimately took us to Mike Company. 

He became my best buddy, we joined 1st platoon Mike Co. at the same time on the same truck. He became 1st platoon radio operator, and I was 1st platoon sergeant's (Sullivan's). He was "Mike One" and I was "Mike One Alpha". He was killed the day after I was wounded on ESSEX.

In the summer of '68,  I bumped into a guy named Ralph Ashura (sp?). We were in the same rocket team one time, and he was literally behind me when I got hit. He told me about the big Battalion-sized U-shaped ambush that the NVA had sprung on Mike Co., and that it turned into a running, all day battle. He told me that Kretsinger and Jones both died on the next day. 

Nov. 8, I heard that Kretsinger stepped on a booby-trapped 105mm arty shell. Maybe Jonsey, but I think it was Kretsinger.  I was told also that Pete Schrader (he was my best friend) got caught when our line was advancing, and then had to pull back, but he got caught (he was radio operator) in the open and didn't make it back. Ashura told me that on the morning of the 9th of November that he helped carry Pete's body. I was told this by Ashura just a few days before he was to be discharged.  We bumped into each other near the Mainside Flag Pole at Camp LeJeune about June or July of 1968.

Semper Fi
Steve "Bigfoot" Walker/ Haygood
Conive Mike One Alpha
1st Plt. Mike 3/5
Mar-Nov 1967 

A Friend

I only met "Pete" when I was in college in Cape Girardeau, MO while a rooming with Pete's friend Dan Corkery of U-City, MO. He was one heck of a guy and I've missed him ever since meeting him. He was one-of-a-kind and a super dude! Sleep in peace my friend and Dan and I will join you and we'll share another laugh or two!~Warren Arends

I HAVE VISITED THE WALL IN WASHINGTON AND FOUND PETE'S NAME AND WEPT OPENLY FOR ALL THE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES FROM OUR MISGUIDED YOUTH. PETE WAS ONE OF THE MOST TALENTED AND FUNNIEST PERSONS TO EVER GRACE THIS PLANET. I REMEMBER HOWLING AT SOME OF THE OUTRAGEOUS STORIES HE INVENTED IN HIS MIND. HE WOULD KEEP US LAUGHING IN CLASS DURING BREAKS AND RAINED OUT RECESSES WHEN THE NUNS WOULD LEAVE US ALONE.

I REMEMBER THE DAY PETE LEFT FOR THE MARINES AS IT WAS WITHIN DAYS OF MY OWN ENLISTMENT IN THE ARMY. LITTLE DID I KNOW, IT WOULD BE THE LAST TIME WE'D SEE ONE ANOTHER. IF ANY OF PETE'S BUDDIES WISH TO SPEND SOME TIME SHARING STORIES, PLEASE GIVE THEM MY ADDRESS.~CHRIS MALONE