Steve Walker / Haygood 1st Platoon, Mike 3/5 in front of DaNang USO

Steve Walker/Haygood, Mike 3/5 My name is Steve Haygood, although I was named Steve Walker when I served in the Marines. I was a member of 1st Plt. Mike 3/5 for almost 8 months, ending when I got hit on Operation ESSEX Nov. 7, 1967. This was in Antenna Valley, and I was radio operator.

We walked into an ambush about 2-3 days out on the operation. The gooks sprung it too soon, and only caught 1st platoon. We had a new boot 2nd Lt. incountry 8 days, and he got killed and our plt. grenadier. Bill Little also got killed. Myself and a guy named Nicholson from Detroit was wounded also. 

I was on incountry R&R during the national elections in Sept of 1967. I was saddled up waiting on choppers with everyone else to go out on Operation SWIFT. Sgt. Sullivan told me to drop my gear and hand over extra ammo, etc. and to report to Bn. to go on incountry R&R. A bunch of us were quarantined to Mag16 airstrip while elections went on. That day was the 1st day of SWIFT, and the NVA & VC were hitting everywhere. 

 Late that day, volunteers were recruited to go on medivacs to DMZ and elsewhere. I went on a Ch-34 to Phu-Bai. Phu-Bai perimeter was 800 meters across. They took over 800 rocket, artillery and mortar rounds in 3 hours. VMH 22(?) had 23 Ch-34 choppers up there, they were all lost. The enemy attack set off the ammo dump, and the ammo dump set off the fuel dump (several big black bladders).

When we got there, the only things left standing were barbwire stakes. No bunkers, no wire, no artillery pieces, choppers, or transport was left serviceable. Horrible burn cases everywhere. By nightfall, we had made 2 medi-vac trips. The next day the base quarantine was lifted, and the entire tarmac at MAG16 probably had 300 bodies and wounded laid out on the asphalt. All the hospital ships, Yokuska, Japan, and Subic Bay were already filled and everyone else was awaiting transport back to the U.S. I was lucky in missing the 1st days of SWIFT, but those few days were bad everywhere. I was also on UNION, UNION II, ADAIR, CALHOUN, PIKE, COCHISE, and SHELBYVILLE.  

(click to enlarge)

Sea Tiger article of Operation UNION courtesy of Frank Jurney, M/3/5

walkerarticle.jpg (304693 bytes)

(click to enlarge)

News article about Operation ESSEX 

Steve Walker at top, Platoon Sgt. Clyde Sullivan's radio operator. "Conive Mike 1 Alpha." Doc Griggs 2nd from top. Ralph Asura at bottom, and Cpl. Phillips from Buffalo, New York.  Other man with glasses in middle was another "Doc" that I can't remember his name. Anyone remember his name?

walkerville2.jpg (21290 bytes) walkerville3.jpg (22551 bytes) walkerville.jpg (20589 bytes)
(click to enlarge)

Heading south on Highway 1

walkerville4.jpg (21382 bytes)
(click to enlarge)
DaNang River

 Taken from a military truck, crossing on (at that time) the world's longest pontoon bridge. Over a mile long.


Bill Little KIA Nov. 7, '67 on Operation Essex
(picture courtesy of Nick Nicholson M/3/5)

walkerletter.jpg (177436 bytes)

(click to enlarge)

Letter to Bill Little's sister

We had a big Welcome Home March in May 1988 here in Houston. One of the "Traveling Walls" was here. I found Bill Little's sister in Illinois and wrote to her and spoke several times on the phone. I was looking at Bill when he got hit. I was the last person he saw. He got hit in the chest with a bad sucking chest wound. I got hit about 20 seconds later. We were medi vacced together along with Roger Nicholson. Bill died at the Bn. Aid Station.

Bill Little Memorial

Mike 3/5 website

Operation UNION and UNION II

Operation COCHISE

Operation SWIFT


Operation ESSEX

(Background by Redeye)