Picture Gallery 2009
Information and messages submitted by our website visitors


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(click images to enlarge)


NOV. 11, 2009

Don't forget to say "Thanks" today! I thank you all and salute you!!
Semper Fi and God Bless!
Hank Oliver, H&S and India Co. 3/5


NOV. 10, 2009
234th Marine Corps Birthday

234 years of Tradition, uninterupted by progress... Semper Fi
Mike Alden, M Co. 3/5 1968-69


Happy USMC Birthday

Tomorrow say a prayer for all our troops, and I will be thinking of our Brothers that are not with us except in our hearts, your Brother Marine.

BJ Jones, M Co. 3/5 1968
Semper F


Semper Fi Marines

Happy 234th Birthday!!!
Also, Happy Veteran's Day tomorrow and THANK YOU for your service and our freedom!

Howard Haney, M Co. 3/5 1967


Happy Birthday and Happy Veterans Day!
"Doc" Tom Wood, FMF Corpsman, M Co. 3/5 1968


Happy Birthday Marines Past and Present
Semper fi and Happy Birthday
Paul O'Connell, M Co. 3/5


Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you ever wonder why this old Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman who served in combat with the Marines is a Life Member of the Marine Corps League, and the Military Order of Devil Dogs, and wears Marine Corps T-Shirts and hats... Watch the 234th Marine Corps Birthday (Nov 10) message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Sargent Major of the Marine Corps.

Happy Birthday and Semper Fi

Click Link:

Phil Stern, FMF Corpsmen, 3/5


Happy Birthday Marines
Tom Smith, India Co. 3/7 1968-69


Happy 234 Birthday Marines!

My heartfelt sincere wishes for a Happy Marine Corps Birthday!

Semper Fi
Shery & Bob Gwinn
Bush Woman & Sgt. Fury


Hey Fellow Marine Grunts, Pogues, Remington Raiders, REMF's and Navy Corpsman/Docs
Listen Up!





Conive Mike 1 Alpha radio operator for Sgt "Sully" and Williams


(Sent in by Mike Alden, Nov. 4, 2009)

Looking for Jimmy Rutledge

Jimmy Rutledge (left) and Gary Wells, M Co. 3/5

I need help in locating Jimmy Rutledge, member of "M" Co. 1st squad, 1st platoon. Jimmy was shot in the face during the battle on Hill 332. Gary Wells and Jimmy are in this picture together during the time both were in my gun team. If anyone has any information about how to contact Jimmy Rutledge, please let me know~Mike Alden

UPDATE: Jimmy Rutledge was located May 12, 2011. A special thank you to Jamie Vroman and Snuffy Jackson for their efforts here.


(Sent in by Mike Alden, Nov. 1, 2009)

Oklahoma/Texas Trip with Tom Wiseman

Tom Wiseman and I had planned a trip to visit Brad and Debbe Reynolds in Southern Oklahoma since the 3/5 Reunion in 2005. Always something or another came up and postponed it till the following year, again and again. Over time since the Reunion in '05, Tom and I have contacted B.J. Jones in Jacksonville,Texas (with the help from Brad and Debbe). Come the early months of '09, Tom and I are informed James (Kackalac) Turnage's son would be getting married in Durant, OK, about a 30-minute drive to Brad and Debbe's in Lebanon, OK. THIS is the year to head to OK. The marriage taking place, need to visit Brad and Deb and make a visit to B.J. Jones. Tom and I got to Brad and Deb's around 11:00 a.m. We were tour guided over their garden, through the fruit and nut trees. All the garden work plus canning, making jelly and jam, (YUM !!) Debbe does. I find it hard to imagine also spending so much time on their web site. Brad had a pond dug a couple years back. The pond is impressive, as it's 18 ft.deep and big enough to hold several tanks. Debbe made a wonderful dinner for us. The veggies and fruit tasted so fresh and better than what I eat in Iowa any time of the year. Then too, they came from Debbe's garden. Brad and Deb shared some items with us to show us one of the most important journey in their lives together. Their journey caught the attention of thousands of people across the United States. I do not have the liberty to say what purpose they under took, but it was one of the best they could do for certain military veterans. In a certain way, I am beyond proud towards Brad and Debbe.

Mike Alden, Brad Reynolds, Tom Wiseman

Brad and Debbe have a lot of copperheads (and other poisonous snakes) in their neck of the woods. We did not encounter any while on our "look around and enjoy" tour (Thank God!). But time went fast. We did get a few pictures with Debbe and Brad at their home. The visit was short, super fun, and will last a life time in memory. (Shortly after Tom and I arrived home, Brad informs us, Debbe picked up the fire pit lid, and under it was a BIG copperhead. AAAHHHHH!!) We said our goodbyes and plan to visit again soon. I gotta go down to cook Brad a turtle this coming summer. If anyone has not had turtle, you don't know what you are missing. Snapper!!

Tom Wiseman, Debbe Reynolds, Mike Alden

Tom and I made the wedding. Kackalac didn't think we were actually comming till we walked in the door. Beautiful wedding..... On to B.J.'s Sunday. Tension was high for Tom as we closed in on B.J.'s position. Tom helped carry B.J. out of the kill zone on Sept 11th '68. Tom had talked with B.J. only a couple times recently prior to this get together.(just about 41 years passed). Now here we are driving down B.J.'s driveway. We were met on the patio. If Christmas were to come early for a person, it just arrived for B.J. A good hug and hand shake was given and a "Damm!!" B.J has maintained himself exceptionally through his life, considering he is paralized from the hips down. B.J. has a wife of 33 years that has taken care of him to the best possible.(Brenda Jones, together they call each other B.J.) Brenda informed Tom and I,"My daddy was a Marine, my grandaddy was a Marine, I know how to handle these Marines." B.J. meeting Tom and I, Tom especially, was a wonderful blessing. I talked to B.J. before we made the trip. B.J. was nervous. Tom was nervous. It turned out to be a wonderful reunion for Tom and B.J.

Mike Alden, Bruce "BJ" Jones, Tom Wiseman

I look back at the trip Wiseman and I took to visit Brad and Debbe, B.J and B.J.These folks are such warm-hearted, loving, caring people. Debbe and Brenda are angels, they just don't know it yet. Brad and B.J., if the two of them could ride Harleys, I think both of them would be on the road again, together a lot ~Mike Alden

P.S. Kackalack's son DID get hiched by the way. Tom and I gave the bride and groom a card with a baby diaper pin enclosed, said to "think about it."


(Sent in by Fred Permenter, Sept. 20, 2009)

Fred Permenter and "Home"

I served with M Co 3/5 3rd Platoon from May 1967 until Oct. 22, 1967, when I was hit by AK fire in the hip and sent back to the World. I have pictures that I would like to share, there are a lot of names and faces I don't remember, unfortunately only a couple I do know. I was on the Knoll during Operation Swift.

I came out of the COLD, when my Wife, Raean, found your Web Site, which is FANTASTIC ! I have since gotten in touch with Bob Matteson and J.D. Murray. Just last night I got in touch with my good Buddy, Dexter Pratchard after all these years. We both vowed to be at the next 3/5 Reunion in June.

Fred Permenter's pictures
(if anyone recognizes the unidentified Marines, please let us know)

1. Fred Permenter-Hill 63
2. 3rd Plt. on Hill 63, Dexter Pratchard on RT in back row; can't remember the others' names
3. Dexter Pratchard, Fred Permenter-Watch the top of my head, Dex!
4. Unknown and Dexter Pratchard, Hill 63

1. Bridge Duty-Left to Right: John Riegel, Dexter Pratchard, Gook?, ?
(note: John Riegel was Killed in Action Dec. 19, 1967, see John Riegel Memorial page)
2. Patrol coming in-Bridge Duty before SWIFT
3 and 4. Unknown Marine from 3rd plt.

1. Fred Permenter on patrol looking at "empty" spider hole
2. Dexter Pratchard with 3.5
3. Fred Permenter on patrol
4. Fred's bunker on Bridge Duty with unknown Marine
5. Fred Permenter with c-rations

1. Fred Permenter
2. Unknown Marine on patrol

3. Fred Permenter and "future VC"
4. Fred Permenter-Hill 63
5. Fred Permenter after Vietnam on manuevers in Virgin Islands


(Sent in by Don Houser, Sept. 11, 2009)


I've had several people send me emails reminding me of displaying our flag on 9 - 11. The flag you see behind me is out in my front yard every day. It is a constant reminder to those who pass my home that I'm proud to be a United States Citizen. This includes 9 - 11 victims and all the military and civilians who have given their lives, their good health in the battles for this country of ours. I've know a few of these United States Citizens personally. Right there beside us in these battles are our countries allies. I know Ben and Margie of Canada who's son Jeffery was there in the military doing his duty. Jeffery lost his life while in the armed forces of Canada. Ben and Margie told me personally of their son. There are no easy answers. I've respect for them all.

Don Houser
USMC Retired


(Sent in by Bruce "BJ" Jones, Sept. 10, 2009)

3-11 SEPTEMBER 1968
Quang Nam Province - South Vietnam

MY Brothers, I wanted to let you all know, that all of you are in my heart and on my mind. As we near the 41st anniversary of a terrible day, I am thinking of both the ones that gave their all that day and you. Deb & Brad, I can't tell how much, your web page has meant to me, through your page I was able to find and get to know again brothers that I thought I had lost long years ago. Thank you !!!!

Tom, Joe, Mike and Mike,& Brad, My Brothers what can I say, but I love you guys, and S/F. For 30 plus years I wondered if any one was out there that knew what I was feeling. It seems like over night there you were, and I was no longer alone. It is a wondrous feeling knowing you have Brother Marines standing beside you. With God's gift ( MY Wife Brenda,) and You My brothers, I can make it through. It was an honor to serve with you then, and I would be proud to do so any time.


(Sent in by Mike McFerrin, Sept. 9, 2009)

41 Years

This Friday is September 11. Besides being the date of the attack on our country it has been in the institutional memory of Mike Company for 41 years. On that date in 1968, Mike Company endured another terrible day in the Arizona Territory in Vietnam.

Mr. (then Lieutenant) Walters and the platoon that he led were caught in an open rice paddy by the deadly accurate fire of the NVA troops set in just a few meters away. There were many heroes that day.

For all of those who wound up surviving and from me personally as an involved witness, I salute two of the major heroes that are still with us...

Joe Walters who, after the initial volley delivered by the NVA, was able to accurately define what had happened and secure assistance even as he was being hit by enemy fire.

"BJ" Jones who went out in that rice paddy with the very first rescue group to save fellow Marines and received severe wounds in the process.

Thanks to Ed McCurry and Brad and Deb Reynolds with their websites, we have been able to find and say, "Thanks," to such men who not only saved fellow Marines directly but, even after they were no longer physically present, inspired countless similar acts by other Marines.

I am very proud to have served with you.



(Sent in by Bill Nicholson, Sept. 10, 2009)

Bill Nicholson, M Co. 3/5 1967

I am Bill Nicholson, served from April-November 1967 as a 0331 Machine gunner with Mike Company 3rd battalion, 5th Marines. Awarded a purple heart on 11 September 1967 and gold star in lieu 2nd purple heart on 8 November 1967. I was transported to Japan in late November 1967 and then sent to Philadelphia Naval Hospital in December 1967, discharged in May 1968 from the Marine Barracks in Whibley Island, WA.

Front left to right: Bob Matteson; Bill Nicholson
Rear left to right: MAC?; Richard Duncan KIA 11-8-1967 (Operation ESSEX, Navy Cross); Ralph Ausura; Ken Fields

(names sent in by Bill Nicholson and Ken Fields)

If anyone recognizes the Marines in these pictures, please email us


(Sent in by J. Graham, Sept. 1, 2009)

Golf Co. 2/5, Operation ESSEX Nov. 1967

I recently came across your website on Operation ESSEX in Noverber of 1967. I served with the 1st Platoon of Golf Company, 2/5. We humped from the combat base at Nong Son to arrive in the Valley by mid morning to support Hotel 2/5 in their assault on the fortified village. Hotel had choppered in the morning of the 6th and were already engaged.
I noticed on the Operation ESSEX page there were two listings for casualties from 2/5, those being LCpl. Anderson from Hotel and LCpl. Tooke from Golf. I can't speak for Hotel's losses, but from the pile of bodies accumulated inside our night defensive perimeter, they were considerable. I can fill in some omissions concerning Golf, 1st Platoon. John Tooke was killed inside the defensive perimeter during the night after the assault on the village. On the previous evening of the 6th, 1st platoon pushed into the fortified positions surrounding the village and Pfc. Lucky Jenkins, Cpl. Clarence Walter Scott and Pvt. Dale Shumbarger were all killed. There were many wounded in action during those first 24 hours of ESSEX, including both of 1st platoon's corpsman, and since I was one of the wounded evacuated, I can't testify to any losses after Novermer 7th. I do remember hearing a report about ESSEX on Armed Forces Radio after my second surgery in the Philippines describing U.S. casualties as "light". Your site lead me to the declassified, 2/5 After Action Report the Corps filed on ESSEX, also interesting reading. I appreciate your efforts here. Thanks much. Semper Fi. ~J.Graham

(Note: Pfc. Jenkins, Cpl. Clarence Walter Scott and Pvt. Dale Shumbarger are now listed with 2/5 KIAs are our Operation ESSEX information page~thanks to J. Graham, Golf Co. 2/5).

See also Operation ESSEX


(Sent in by Rick Uplegger, Apr. 26, 2009)

Upleger, Thayer Reunion

L: Ron Thayer, Rick Upleger
R: Rick, Donna, Becky, Ron

Feb. 22, 2009 Ron Thayer and myself finally got together after 40 years. He is actually the first Marine whom I have talked to or seen since the Vietnam War. It was a really great reunion after 40 long years; just felt so good to see him and talk to him! We met at the Rain Forest Cafe in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The other picture is of us and our wives, Donna and Becky.


(Sent in by Leo Sanders, Feb. 4, 2009)

M Co. 3/5 1968-69

I served with Mike 3/5 as a Forward Observer, from Aug. '68 to Sept. '69, then rotated back to the world. Most of the pictures are of me. The one with the Vietnamese guy is me and a Kit Carson scout for the company. In the picture on the paddy dike, I'm on the left, it was in May '69 I think, we were providing protection so the villagers outside of An Hoa could vote. The pic outside of the tent is me also, taken my 2nd or 3rd day in country. Not sure about the guys in the other pics, just some that I had the honor to serve with. The others were during Operation Durham Peak, and taken along the old railroad bridge.


(Sent in by Joseph R. Cruz, Feb. 1, 2009)

Col. Stan Davis, 5th Marines Commander, 1967

My son sent me this web page asking if this was Grandpa. I told him yes. Dad was killed in an automobile accident on Dec. 7, 1999. He was more than a father-in-law to me. He was a great man.~Joseph R. Cruz CSM, USA RETIRED

(See also "Operation COCHISE"...Information photocopied from "U.S. Marines in Vietnam - Fighting the North Vietnamese 1967" by Major Gary L, Telfer, USMC, Lieutenant Colonel Lane Rogers USMC and V. Keith Fleming, Jr. One of the "U.S. Marines in Vietnam Operational History" Series)


(Sent in by Ron Thayer, Jan. 23, 2009)

Gary Hisle (left) and Ron Thayer, Christmas 1969
Gary Hisle was Killed In Action, May 23, 1969
(See also Gary Hisle Memorial page)


(Sent in by JD Murray, Jan. 16, 2009)

3/5 Reunion 2009 at Hickory Knob State Park in South Carolina
June 4 - June 7, 2009

Our 3/5 Reunion will be held at Hickory Knob State Park, S. Carolina this year. To support this event, I have made 17"x12" laminated maps of 3/5's coordinates during Operations HASTINGS, UNION I and UNION II, and SWIFT. The maps are $40 each, $30 to support the Reunion ($10 my cost). The maps are courtesy of Rich Hodory, Frank Jurney and Col. Esslinger with information I compiled from HQMC After Action Reports, CD#49 (I will also have AAR CDs available for $5).

Also, Col Esslinger, CO, 3/5 Dec66-Jun67 gave me an NVA Flag found during UNION I and given to him by a 3/5er just before Col. Esslinger was wounded on UNION II. I will frame it with appropriate verbage identifying the importance of it and draw the winner at this year's Reunion. Col. Esslinger will sign an appropriate card to be included with the flag. It will be $5 per raffle ticket, 100% of monies to go into a fund to support those 3/5ers who need help in attending our Reunion. Send money to me--I will assign raffle ticket numbers and pass thru email or send to buyers. Tickets will go into basket--winning ticket to be drawn in June09 at the Reunion. Winner does not have to be at the Reunion. I will send framed Flag and the framed picture of the 5th Marines PUC Presentation for UNION I and UNION II to them after the Reunion. This is a world class treasure, a one-of-a-kind from Col Esslinger!!!~JD Murray, Rugman21@aol.com

NVA Battle Flag found during Operation UNION

(See also Operation UNION and UNION II, and 5th Marines PUC)


(Sent in by Mike Alden, Jan. 8, 2009)

Cpl. Richard Upleger, 2nd platoon M Co. 3/5
May 1968-February 1969

All of the pictures are of me except the two pictures on the far right. The Marine with the bullets around his neck, Sgt. Costello; been looking for him, but have not found him yet. He was my squad leader when I arrived in Mike Company. The other is Lieutenant Ferri (spelling??). I have not been able to find him either; both were good men. I don't remember the names of the other guys in the pictures with me.~Cpl. Rick Upleger (If anyone recognizes the unidentified Marines, please let us know).


(Sent in by Gary Harris, Jan. 3, 2009)

Looking for info about my brother, Pfc. Kenneth Ward Harris, KIA Nov. 9, 1967

This picture was taken in the Philippines in late September-early October 1967 just after Ken was wounded during Operation SWIFT (Sept. 4) and put on the Repose (hospital ship). He is the third one from the left.

According to the address of his letters, Ken was in M Co. 1st platoon during Operation SWIFT in Sept. 1967, (he was wounded on Sept. 4), but went back to the field prior to Operation ESSEX. Ken was KIA during ESSEX on 11-9-67…..maybe someone will remember him, we sure have…..I really appreciate your time and effort in the OUR MARINES website dedicated to the men of the 3/5. … Gary

See also Pfc. Kenneth Harris Memorial page


(Sent in by Joe Smith, Jan. 2, 2009)

Unidentified M Co. 3/5 Marines
March-August 1968

It was my belief that all my pictures from Nam were lost or destroyed until my sister found some and sent them to me. Please look at the pictures attached and see if you recognize anyone. They all look familiar to me but I can't put a name to any of them. Semper Fi ~Joe Smith


(Sent in by Wendy Fendt, Jan. 1, 2009)

Vietnam War Hero, Richard Seng, M Co. 3/5

Rich Seng, who was killed on May 8, 1968, was from my hometown of Allentown, PA. A mutual friend had gotten us in contact with one another, and we were exchanging letters at the time of his death. I was devastated when I saw his photo and obituary in the newspaper. I just returned a few days ago from Allentown where I had the chance to put flowers on the grave of this brave young man whose sacrifice I will never forget. It was a very emotional experience for me. If anyone knew Rich personally, I would love to hear about my hero. God bless all of you who have served to preserve the freedom of our wonderful country -- you are all heroes in my book!! ~Wendy J. Fendt

See also Pfc. Richard Seng Memorial page


(Sent in by Mark Love, Jan. 1, 2009)

HM2 Wallace B. Johnson III, M Co. 3/5 Corpsman

HM2 Wallace B. Johnson III was my uncle he died when I was 2 so I don't rember him , but this page has helped me to know him. My mom (his sister) is the last member of the Johnson family, anyone that could please send anything about him, or any story you may have. Thank you~Mark Love and Lynn Love (Johnson).

See also HM2 Wallace Johnson III Memorial page



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