Pete Morales, 1967

Pete Morales, H&S 3/5  I'm Pete Morales. In 1967, I served in Vietnam with H&S Company, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines. I was the Battalion Unit Diary Clerk, and kept up the Battalion Personnel Records. I'm in search of Marines that I served with in Vietnam.  I carried a Roster in the field in Operation UNION II & PIKE with a list of all Personnel of H&S Company 3/5. 

My MOS was 0141. I had many duties, from writing the Company diary in the morning, Mail Man, Corporal of the Guard checking each bunker at night. 

When we went on Battalion operations, I was 1st Sergeant Smith's Body Guard. I carried a Company Roster with me at all times because we had to know where our men were of our H&S Company.

Semper FI! Pete Morales

Pete typing his unit diary

Pete and girlfriend Sonia just before leaving for Vietnam


Pete and Sonia Morales
 Sweethearts before Vietnam, still very much sweethearts today!

With the help of Pete's precious Unit Diary, and good buddy, Hans Haupt, Pete's efforts here have helped locate almost 50 more of our "lost" 3/5 Marines and Corpsmen, and that in about a two-week period. This is an ongoing process since there are 300 names on the list, including Corpsmen and Chaplains. Pete posted the names on his webpage, "In Search of Marines Who Served with H&S Company, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, Vietnam 1967." If anyone recognizes any of the names of the list, please let us know. Keep up the great work, Pete and Hans!

Pete has also written a very moving account of his last night with Father Vincent Capodanno, Chaplain to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, and Medal of Honor recipient, posthumously. Please read this, and say a few kind words in your heart for this very special  padre. Bless your heart for all your efforts here, Pete!~DR

My Last Evening With Father Capodanno

The evening of Sept 3, 1967, I was sorting H&S Company mail. I had mail for Comm. 1st Sgt. Smith, Commanding Officer, and for Chaplain (Father) Capodanno. I went delivering mail on Hill 63. When I got to the 1st Sgt. and Lt. Col. Tent, then I was given an order to give to Father Capodanno that the Main Group wasn't moving out the following morning because the line companies were going to meet heavy enemy resistance, and the main H&S Co. Body (called Group) was going to move out later when it was safer to make an H&S Base Camp for Supplies.

I got to Father Capodanno's Sleeping Quarters, greeted him, and gave him his mail. Told him what the Lt. Col. and 1st Sgt. asked me to tell him about H&S Co. (Group) wasn't moving out early the following morning. He said "Fine," but he did mention that his fellow Marines needed him in the time of pain, sorrow and dying. He did mention that he was getting short, he meant his tour of duty in Viet Nam was coming to an end, was going to return to CONUS (State side), but was planning to extend for six more months, and stay with his Marines that needed him so much. He said that he loved his Marines, then I wished him a good night, and returned to my Hootch to hit the sack.

The following afternoon, way after I finished daily diary, we got word at H&S Co. office tent that Father Capodanno was KIA (Killed In Action). I couldn't believe what I heard, and immediately I went to his Hootch (his tent), and he wasn't there, nor his Pack that he carried with him. Then reality hit me that the message was true.

That was one of my saddest days in Viet Nam for me. In War, you don't have time to grieve, or shed a tear. Father Capodanno died with no mass, or paying our respects, life goes on. But when you're young, and don't understand life or what people tell you, sometimes you don't understand u

May God Bless him for his Actions.

Semper FI! Pete Morales

Father Vincent Capodanno Memorial

H&S 3/5 Website

(Background by Redeye)
(H&S 3/5 emblem by Vic Vilionis)