"Turk" Wears, Mike 3/5
I served with M Co. 3/5 as a radio operator from Sept. of 67 till
May of 68 when I was transfered to 2nd cag. returning to Dein Ban
area. People would only remember me by the name of Turk (given to
me by Lt. Tony Clements, his was Wyatt Earp for the pistol he carried).
Me (Turk) on the left, Thorny in the middle, and someone
I can't remember his name.
But I know that Face...
(Picture courtesy of Dick Wilson)
On Dec.19, 1967
Cpl. Vernon "Randy" Randolph and I were to go on an afternoon
patrol. We had gone to the mess hall, I had our sq. radio with me.
We had just sat down when I heard over the radio that 1st sq. was
under attack. We ran out to the mess towards the direction we knew
that Cpl Thormeyer's patrol was to end. We had gone about 1/2 click
when we meet Thorny and his
grenadier. They told us they had come under attack and we moved
to help them after sending Thorny to the Bn. CP.
Randy and I
moved to the open rice paddies to the east. We called and looked
for a while not seeing or hearing them. I can't remember what unit
it was, it may have been a plt I believed to be Lt. Blackledge swept
thru the area. Found Spanky (I didn't know his name till today 36
years later, John "Frankie" Riegal) John Vidler (whose
name I thought was John, but also found out today that his name
is Murray) and Jim Klopmeyer. They had been attacked and all were
dead. I had helped them be transported back to the Bn CP.
Later that night
I went to the Bn. aide station to say goodbye. The chaplain saw
me coming out of the tent where the 3 were and told me I shouldn't
go into the tent. I told him I had and I had to come to say good-bye
to them.To this day, I still think of them remembering the night
before and how Spanky always complained about being point. It was
Jim's 6th day incountry and Vidler was an old salt.
"Randy" Randolph, KIA 7 Feb. '68
and Fellow Marine
Randolph was my Best Friend of all my time on active duty. He was
my squad leader, and I was his bodyguard. We were like one person
in those days. We went everywhere together. When I had gotten there
(Vietnam), I had been in training in Hawaii, so I thought I wasn't
On my first
night patrol we sat in an ambush, and it was so dark. I had to ease
nature, so I crawled out away from the partol and went in a ditch.
When I got back Randy told me never to do that again, that they
might mistake me for a Gook and shoot me. This is my first remembrance
of Randy. A teacher as well as a friend. Months later we had a guy
killed in our base camp after he crawled back into the lines. Randy
is always on my mind. He has always been on my mind. He will never
I was not there
when Rnady was KIA I was on R&R and I didn't find out about
it till I got back from Gary Wells. He told me. He didn't mention
how it happened or when. just that Randy had his million dollar
wound and was going home. Gary said Randy was talking and laughing
about going home before him. Then they got the word that Randy died
in the hospital.
not very many names stayed in my head. I think after he was gone
I really realized that I was in a war. Before him dying, I didn't
think of death. It just happened to everyone else, and by then I
was in the CP and I didn't meet anyone really. I know I didn't get
into their lives like I did with Randy. Randy and I were only together
about 76 days. It sure seemed like longer. Not long enough.
Killed In Action March 25, 1968
first time I met Doc Johnson was in the CP Tent. My first thoughts
were, Hey this guy belongs in front of some Science class someplace.
About 5' 10" sandy hair and a mustache that had to have taken
him the better part of 23 years. Glasses topped off my first impression.
I accepted his handshake and he welcomed me into company CP group.
Kindness is not a big enough word. He helped the younger corpsman
with enthusasism. He held his classes for the aliments we may have
had, but we never heeded his warnings. I cannot recall any time
I heard him complain about anything. I remember the night I was
asked to go and indentifiy Doc. A night that will stay in my memory
forever. I may have been the last to say, "Goodbye, Old horse."
His name along with others are on my Wall. Semper Fi, Doc! Even
if you were an anchor clanker. I hope you call me friend.
Wallace B. Johnson lll, you are honored in this house.
USMC Mike 3/5 RVN 1967-1968
have a little story that I have sent out over the last few years.
The E-Mail starts with a picture of me as a recruit, then a picture
of a veteran leaning against the wall which is called Wait For Me.
The story goes: