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Born on Sept. 2, 1948
Casualty was on May 9, 1968

Panel 57E - - Line 34

Randy Sterns, M Co. 3/5
May 1968

(Picture courtesy of "Doc" Everett Wood)

Pfc. Randolph Sterns served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company. He was Killed In Action during Operation HOUSTON II. His name stands proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor. Semper fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.

Operation HOUSTON II

A brave, good Marine

My name is Rocco E. Giambrocco. I served with Randy Sterns in the Vietnam War. We were in "M" Company 3rd Btn. 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. I was with Randy when he died on May 9, 1968 on Hill 1192. His death has haunted me for many years. We lost a lot of good boys that day, and the few that followed.

What has haunted me the most about Randy is that he could have been saved. His wound was to his upper thigh and he was attended by 'Doc' Bowman - before he himself was killed on the same day. The wound was treated and bandaged by "Doc."

Our problem was 'location'. We were on the side of Hill 1192, and there was no way to get the wounded out safely, no way to drop supplies or men, no way to rescue us. So many died. Randy eventually passed very quietly, and in no pain because of medication administered by "Doc". If we could have gotten choppers in to us in time, Randy would have made it, so would many others. The choppers that tried took wounded out according to severity of injury. My chopper was shot down as we tried to fly out.

I remember Randy well, and we talked a lot to one another in those horrible days. We both knew our chances, and for me it all worked out. I have thought of him often over the years - and have said a prayer for him every May 9.

This year, on May 13, 2002, I will ride to The Wall on my Harley and say "Good Bye" to Randy and the others - and try to put this all behind me.

I want the family of Randy to know that after he was wounded, he continued to fight until the point when he died. He was a brave and good Marine. God Bless him, his memory, and his family.~Rock

Randolph J. Sterns' gravesite in Pensacola, Florida
(picture courtesy of Frank Clark)


I never knew a "kid" so happy to get into the Corps as Randy was, even though the war was raging at the time he enlisted. His brother (and Father, I think) were former active duty Marines and Randy wanted to continue the tradition. Sad memories? The boy was doing what he wanted to do! His letters were never "I made a mistake," or "Can't wait to get the hell outta here!" His were "what a good job" we're doing over here (and that was before our soldiers were chastised for being in country! ~Charles Williams


Good friend and admirer

Thinking of you often, especially this Memoral Day.
Doug Williams
Sunday, May 26, 2002