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Born on Sept. 24, 1948
Casualty was on May 20, 1968

Panel 64E - - Line 8

Daryl La Don Stith

Cpl. Daryl La Don Stith served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Lima Company. He was Killed In Action on Operation ALLENBROOK. Semper Fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.


Semper Fidelis, my Friend

It's been over 30 years since you left, Daryl, but you've been with me all this time. Although we only spent a few months together in Viet Nam, I got to know you well as we shared our memories of the past, and our hopes and dreams for the future. You know that I met your mom and dad while on R&R in Hawaii, and then the rest of your family and Becky when I returned. They were all you said they would be. I still see your parents, and I know that they miss you terribly.

Although the years have dulled my memory, I still remember the good times and the bad ones we spent together. I remember the rock ape we 'captured' in the jungle and how our squad adopted it as sort of a mascot and how it became attached to you. That monkey must have thought you were its mother because it would screech if you got out of its sight. I remember how it would sit on your pack while we were on patrol and how it would eat our C-Rations (it loved the peaches) and how it would grab your hair when you were sleeping and wake you up.

I remember when our platoon was assigned convoy security duty, the time we got ambushed and during that ambush how you had the squad 'confiscate' a case of whiskey from an Army truck destined for an officer's club I'm sure. When we got to Phu Bai, we proceeded to get very drunk, and boy do I remember the incredible hangover the next morning as we boarded the trucks. The whole squad was sick.

But most of all Daryl, I remember that morning on May 20, 1968 during Operation Allenbrook on Go Noi Island. We woke up to another hot day and before we shoved off, you had me carry the radio. Our platoon walked point for the company, and we hadn't gone far when we got pinned down and started to take heavy casualties. I remember you asking for volunteers to flank them from the side. I volunteered without hesitation (I think that I was just looking for an excuse to dump that heavy radio on someone else). Two of us followed you around our lines, through some thick bamboo and up a small hill where we could see the NVA soldiers attacking our platoon. You started firing with your M-79 grenade launcher, and that's when you got hit. That moment will haunt me forever, Daryl. We did pull back, called in air strikes and pushed on. My last remembrance of you was your boots sticking out from under the poncho that we covered you with - I don't know why I remember your worn out boots, but I do. I stared at those boots, and couldn't believe you were gone.

Daryl, you were a brave man, a good Marine NCO and a natural leader. I learned a lot from you about leadership and how to take care of your men, and I tried to follow your example throughout my career in the Corps. The legacy of the Marine Corps is what it is because of men like you.

I've had a good life, Daryl. My wife (you'd like her) and I have raised a daughter and a son, and both are married now - I even have a grandson. My son also became a Marine, and he reminds me of you, Daryl - the same sense of humor and loyalty to his friends and fellow Marines. Through you, I have also been blessed with your family.

Daryl, I will never forget you. You gave your life so that others could live. You are my hero, and I salute you. 

Semper Fidelis,  
MGySgt Mark Limpic, USMCR (ret)