Steve Howsmon
(picture courtesy of Brad Reynolds)

Steve Howsmon, Mike 3/5  I served with Mike 3/5 from Nov. '67 to June '68. I was with Weapons (Rockets). My MOS was 0351/0311.  I was WIA in TET. 3 purple hearts.  A friend told me about the Mike 3/5 site, and I thought I would investigate. I was looking up 2 friends of mine who were killed. They were Ron Markel and Forrest Bartram. I came across Brad Reynolds' name, and it just hit me. The picture he posted of the Marine sitting on the cot is me (pictured above). I was in Rockets with him. I was totally blown away when I saw it. I recognized Marines he posted, but couldn't remember the names.

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I also remember the picture of Brad (above) sitting on the cot with the 3.5 next to him and the .45 in hand. I think I took that picture. It's been 34 years. Semper fi, STEVE 

(click pictures to enlarge)

Approx. Dec. 1967-May 1968

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2. Marine on left is Me, Brad Reynolds, William C. Mitchell and Ron Markel, Notes on back of picture read: Taken in Phu Bai in May I think. Starting from the right is Ron Markel; he got killed May 18 on hill 1192.  Next is Mitchell.  Heís in Japan here with me. Next is Reynolds. He got a big chunk torn out of his rear end.  Heís in the states now.

3. Iím the tall guy without a shirt and wearing a hat in the back. The Marine with the cigarette is Townsend. And the Marine with the towel around his neck is Tkots. Rock Giambrocco has the bandaged arm. Notes on back of the picture read: The funny looking guy with the towel is Tkots. Heís always clowning around. Heís awaiting orders too.

4. Unknown location. The Marine on the left lying down is my squad leader in rockets, Victor Sosa from Puerto Rico. Iím the other guy.

5. Starting from the left is: Bobby Williams, Brad Reynolds, unknown Marine with elbow bandage. Next unknown, Townsend, Victor Sosa, unknown. Notes on back of picture read: Here are all my buddies. Everyone here has 3 hearts except one guy.  See Sosa (second from the right). We just got done tearing down our tents, so we could move them elsewhere.

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1. Unknown location. The short Marine with the goofy face is Tkots. The marine 2nd row back 2nd guy is Townsend. Canít remember the others' names although they all look familiar. Notes on back of picture read: More buddies. You can see by the wet utilities that you sweat a lot just standing there.

2.Vietnamese on trail, canít remember what the operation might have been. 

3. Steve Howsmon (with tattoo of Mouse on arm) on the left. Marine down in the bunker holding the board was in my rocket squad (canít remember his name) this was at Truoi. I have no idea who the 2nd guy was handing off the board. Notes on back of picture read: Hereís what it looked like when our bunker roof caved in. Thatís my rack under that wood box.

4. Notes on back of picture read: I took this picture from that 70 ft. tower. You can see the Marines down there swimming naked. The Sea Bees built that new bridge.

5. Black & White Dog w/my camera case. This is a stray dog that I became attached to. I named the dog MICHELLE sheís pulling the strap to my camera case with the camera in the case. This was taken around Truoi Bridge. Notes on back of picture read: Thatís Michelle (she had a sad ending).

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1. This is me on radio duty. My right leg is laying over one of the tools of my trade. My parents sent the am/fm radio setting above the military radio.

2. Canít remember the significance of this picture. No story.

3. This is me in the forefront as other Marine gets a haircut. Unknown location. Donít remember who the two Marines are.

4. The Marine with his back to us is Pfc. Mitchell. The only other Marine I remember is the one with his shirt off facing the camera behind the Marine with his hands over his knees, he was with Guns. Canít remember his name. Location unknown.

5. This is me taking a nap. Unknown location.

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1. Picture too far away to tell who was in the picture. But I believe Brad Reynolds is the second one in next to the Marine with the red beret. Heís not wearing a shirt.

2. This was taken at Truoi Bridge on Hwy 1. Notes on back of picture read: Iím standing on top of our bunker after we finally finished putting a top on it. 

3. Unknown Marines having a haircut. Location also unknown.

4. This is me looking into the camera. Notes on back of picture read: The guy on the right is Bobby Williams. Heís in my rocket squad and he got shot in the left forearm when I told him to cover me so I could move on closer down the hill.  Heís a real nice guy and I sure miss him.  Heís still in Nam.

5. Iím the guy with the short sleeves. The Marine on the left was in my rocket squad, but I canít remember his name.

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1. This is me (see the mouse tattoo on right arm) unknown location. 

2. I think this was a fishing village. Note kid in the dark clothes smoking. And the other up front with the ďThumbs-UpĒ.

3. Iím the one with the mustache. Canít remember where this was taken. Notes on back of picture read: Starting from left is Cpl. Long, heís in the states now, and next is Evans. I donít know what happened to him.

4. This is me. Unknown location. Notes on the back of picture read: Not much to do here, I was still waiting for orders, and I was bored.

5. Unknown location. The Marine in the lower front of picture facing the camera is Bobby Williams.

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1. Notes on back of picture read: The guy on the left is Townsend. Heís waiting orders just like me.  The guy on the right is Jones.  Heís back in the rear because heís got bad ears caused by a concussion grenade.  Heís in rockets, too.  Taken at Phu Bai.

2. Unknown location.

3. I believe this is Phu Bai. Me with 3.5 rocket launcher. The flak jacket I got from an Army personnel that was wounded, also another Mike 3/5 Marine got a .45 pistol from the same Army personnel and later accidentally shot his knee cap off. He had to be medivaced out at night.

4. The Marine on left is Brad Reynolds, the other two I canít remember.

5. Front row, the Marine holding the 3.5 rocket launcher is Ron Markel, the middle crouching down is Forrest La Wayne Bartram. The Marine right holding the rocket launcher is Victor Sosa. Back row left is Steve Howsmon, middle is unknown, and last is I believe is L Cpl. Hoying. Notes on back of picture read:  The Marine crouched down holding a rocket is dead. His name was Bartram. He was here only a month. The Marine on the right holding the tube is Vic Sosa. Heís my squad leader, and heís the one who wrote Marion a letter. By the way, that flag isnít a VC flag, itís just a southern Rebel flag. Itís more or less a joke.

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1. This is me in front of the weapons hootch, Phu Bai I believe. Notes on back of picture read: this was taken right after I got back from the hospital. As you can see, thereís only a band-aid on my head.

2. The Marine on the left is Ron Markel, he was in rockets and KIA in May 68 during Operation HOUSTON II (Hill 1192). The Marine in the middle is Victor Sosa, my rocket squad leader, and me on the end.

3. Me lying on a coat in our hootch. The Rebel flag hanging over my head had some significance, but I canít remember just what it was. The ďJim BowieĒ knife above me was sent to me by my parents. I always carried it with me on operations. I guess I figured I needed it in case I got into hand-to-hand combat. Thank God I never had to use it.

4. I believe this is in Phu Bai in our hootch, The Marine on the left is me, the Marine in the middle is Frank Henderson, on the end is Ron Markel. Notes on back of picture read: This is a new building we got around February to sleep in. Itís an old sergeants quarters. The fellow on the right is Ron Markel, the fellow in the middle is Frank Henderson.

5. The Marine in the back sitting on the rock with his back to the camera is Brad Reynolds (heís just below the Marine standing up without a shirt).

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1. I believe this was in Phu Bai at our hooch. The Marine on the left is Cpl. Pratchard and the Marine on the right is Frank Henderson. Notes on back of picture read: The guy on the left is Pratchard. Heís my section leader. Heís a corporal and heís got 2 months left over here.

2. Unknown location. This is me, Steve Howsmon. Note the rebel flag above. Notes on back of picture read: Thatís the M-60 machine gun sign.  The drew it themselves.

3. This is me, Steve Howsmon. Notes on back of picture read: Iím standing on top of an old French trestle (the rails are gone).

4. Picture taken at Truoi Bridge. Notes on back of picture read: How do you like those clouds? It rained that day, too.  The mountains to the right of the picture and in the background is Freedom Hill or Hill 327. This is where Bob Hope had his Xmas show.

5. This is at Truoi bridge. The Marine on the left standing was in our rocket squad, but I canít remember his name. And the Marine bent over, I believe, is Brad Reynolds. Notes on back of picture read: Weíre cleaning up our demolished bunker. Believe me that was a job pulling those sandbags out and building a new roof.

6. Notes on back of picture read: This is looking down the old French train bridge. The gooks blew it up when the French were here.  Itís real interesting.

LCpl. Ronald Markel Memorial page

Pfc. Forrest La Wayne Bartram Memorial page

Operation ESSEX

Operation AUBURN

Operation HOUSTON

Operation HOUSTON II

Operation MAMELUKE THRUST

Mike 3/5 website

(Background by Redeye)