Byron Hill
Doing laundry in WP can obtained from F/2/11

Byron Hill, H&S and M/3/5, 67-68 Served as Forward Observer with Mighty Mike from March through September 1967. Then served with 3/5 Hdqtrs. until January 1968.

Was proud to serve with Captain McElroy; Gunny Denny Dinota and a bunch of other great Marines during Operation UNION; UNION II; COCHISE; SWIFT; and several smaller operations. Received the Silver Star for actions in UNION. Semper fi, Byron

The following operations are listed in my OQR (Service Record Book):
1) Foxtrot X-Ray in support of US Army special forces at Tien Phouc RVN
2) Operation UNION – 23 Apr 67- 17 May 67
3) Operation UNION II- 26 May 67 – 6 Jun 67
4) Operation ADAIR – 15 Jun 67-24 Jun 67
5) Operation CALHOUN – 25 Jun 67 – 1 Jul 67
6) Operation PIKE – 1 Aug 67 – 3 Aug 67
7) Operation COCHISE – 11 Aug 67 – 26 Aug 67
8) Operation YAZOO – 27 Aug 67 – 5 Sep 67


"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as an Artillery Forward Observer with Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. 

 On 13 May 1967, during Operation UNION, the defensive positions of Company M came under intense enemy small arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire.  Unhesitatingly exposing himself to heavy enemy fire, First Lieutenant HILL maneuvered to an exposed vantage point to adjust artillery fire against the enemy's positions and remained in this unprotected position for over two hours, skillfully directing and adjusting supporting arms fire until the enemy fire was silenced. 

 Upon learning that the platoon commander, platoon sergeant and guide of the Second Platoon had been seriously wounded, he assumed command of the unit and moved across 200 meters of fire swept terrain to the platoon's location.  Demonstrating exceptional leadership and tactical ability, First Lieutenant HILL reorganized the unit, encouraged his men and aggressively led the platoon. 

 Later in the afternoon, he was recalled to the command post where he immediately coordinated and supervised the planning of night defensive fires for the company's position. In the early morning hours 14 May 1967, the enemy launched an intense machine gun and mortar attack, closely followed by a coordinated infantry assault against the company's position. With complete disregard for his own safety, he moved to an exposed vantage point and for over two hours, calmly directed artillery fire on the hostile force, often within ninety meters of the company's lines.  

As the attack subsided, First Lieutenant HILL relentlessly pursued the fleeing enemy with intense supporting arms fire.  In large measure due to his determined efforts and superior professional ability, Company M accounted for over 150 enemy confirmed killed.  By his steadfast courage, exceptional professionalism and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant HILL was an inspiration to all who served with him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.



My wife Janet & I kissing goodbye at MCAS El Toro 3/21/67

Outside our tent on Hill 65
 Hill 65 was the base camp we established at the end of Operation UNION

Preparing my hole next to a tent somewhere in the Que Son Valley

Some mortar fins which the bad guys had tossed at us on one of the operations

Filling sand bags

Giving fire commands to 105 MM Howitzers of F/2/11 in support of 3/5


105MM Howitzers of F/2/11 firing in support of 3/5

Me as C.O. of F/2/11 with X.O. Lt. Joe Stenger

Taking “ Bio Break” on Hill 65 between Operation UNION and UNION II

Left: Byron with Cpl. Spears, my driver from F/2/11
Right: Capt (?) Commo of 3/5 during Operation UNION and UNION II

1st Sergeant Cauffman of F/2/11

The “Top” loved to tell the Marines of F/2/11 “How the cow eats the cabbage”! He was a great 1st Sgt. for the Marines of F/2/11, and as the C.O. I depended on him for input and trusted him completely. He was seriously wounded in the arm shortly before he was due to rotate home, but he survived.


A female French journalist and her photographer who traveled with 3/5 for several days on Operation UNION II

Using shower facilities at Hill 65 between Operation UNION and UNION II

“My Haystack”

It was located near the Ville of Que Son and was a source of comfort and inspiration for me.

Christmas Day, 1967

On Christmas Day 1967, the villagers came to the F/2/11 position at Fort Bravo, just south of DaNang and presented this flower arrangement to the men of F/2/11. Even though it looked like “funeral flowers” to us we did appreciate the gesture, especially when it didn’t blow up.


Group of Vietnamese “DiDi’ing” through DaNang as we headed North during the 1968 Tet Offensive

View of Hai Van Pass North of DaNang

As F/2/11 was headed north to Phu Bai during Tet in 1968, so that we could continue to support 3/5.

Left: Girls of a Philippine band that was sponsored by the USO
Right: USO Hostess at the show

Swimming in the South China Sea

F/2/11 was assigned a firing position just off the beach when things cooled down after the 1968 Tet Offensive.

H&S and M/3/5 website

Operation DESOTO

Operation UNION and UNION II

Operation COCHISE

Operation SWIFT

(Background by Redeye)