Picture Gallery 2010
Information and messages submitted by our website visitors


[Home][Table of Contents][What's New][Picture Gallery][USMC Picture Pages ][FMFCorpsmen
][Combat Wives][Combat Histories][Memorials][Poems, Memoirs][Links][Guestbook]


(click images to enlarge)


(Sent in by Tom Lindsay, Dec. 23, 2010)

3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Reunion June 2010
Hickory Knob State Park, South Carolina

1. Troy Odom, Tom Uebel, Tom Lindsay, Dave Kurz, Ish Guardarama (made the plaque)
2. JD Murray, Randy Pelt
3. Tim Summers, Ed McCurry, Tony Goodrich
4. Dave Kurz (kneeling), Troy Odom, Stan Berry, Bill Gomez, Tom Lindsay, Ish Guardarama,
Frank Sonnema, Tom Uebel


(Sent in by Mike Alden and Tom Wiseman, Dec. 20, 2010)

M Co. 3/5 Reunion at David Johnston American Legion Post #283
Memorial Day weekend, 2010 Pickerington, Ohio
(David Johnston, M Co. 3/5 was KIA Mar. 3, 1969, see David Johnston Memorial page)

Holding flag: Jim Blankenheim and Tom Wiseman
Left to right: "Skipper" Frank Pacello, Ken McKinney,"Doc" Everett Wood, Ron Thayer, Jerry Lomax, Paul O'Connell, Les Thompson, Richard Reed, Jim Turnage, "Doc" Bob Aloisio, LT Joe Walters, Mike Alden

Tom Wiseman, Ed Browder, Paul O'Connell

Visiting David Johnston's grave site


(Sent in by C. Porter, Dec. 18, 2010)

Thomas H. C. Briggs

Thomas H.C. Briggs served with M Co. 3/5, he was Killed In Action Feb. 8, 1968 during the TET Offensive.
(See also Thomas H.C. Briggs Memorial page)


(Sent in by Fred Permenter, Dec. 4, 2010)

Here are a few of the pictures we took at the 3/5 Reunion this year in South Carolina
Semper Fi, Fred Permenter, M Co. 3/5, 3rd plt.

3rd Squad, 3rd Plt. from left:
Dennis Tylinski, The Skipper, Don Goulet, Chuck Cummings, Bob Smith, Fred Permenter, Kevin Kelly,
and Warren Wilson (Combat Photographer in 1967)

1. Don Goulet and Fred Permenter
2. Bob Matteson, Wolfgang Ludge, JD Murray, Craig Sullivan (Sully), Bill Vandegriff , Ed Combs
3. Bob Matteson, Chuck Cummings, Fred Permenter

Survivors Mike Co 3/5 on The Knoll, Sept. 4, 1967


(Sent in by Steve Lovejoy, Dec. 3, 2010)

3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Reunion, June 2010
Hickory Knob State Park, South Carolina

2nd plt. M Co. 3/5 Marines

Front: Steve Lovejoy, John Lobur, Howard Manfra, "Skipper" JD Murray
Back: Carlton Clark, Paul Gundlach, Fred Tancke, Bert Watkins

M Co. 3/5 Marines who served during Operation SWIFT, Sept. 4-12 1967


(Sent in by Fred Tancke, Dec. 2, 2010)

I have just been notified that I have been awarded the Bronze Star with combat "V" from the Dept Of Navy for actions in Vietnam on Sept. 4th, 1967. We are planning a presentation in early January (5th, 6th or 7th) here in Phoenix. My Vietnam Company Commander, Lt. Col. JD Murray will do me the honor of presenting me the medal. Arrangements are being planned through the Marine Corps at the local reserve center. However, if the facility isn't available we can have the ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial in Wesley Bolin Plaza, downtown Phx., VFW, DAV, American Legion or in the grassy area across from my house. The location is not as important as those who attend.

Many thanks and deepest gratitude to a fellow Marine and special friend, Steve Lovejoy who worked extremely hard on this award when some thought that it was nearly an impossible task. According to Betty Hill ( Marine Corps Human Resources Specialists), very rarely is a packet submitted so well prepared and complete as was the packet submitted by Steve. After 43 years it is extremely difficult if not impossible to submit pertinent eyewitness accounts and the Officers recommendations to send the award through to the next step. Ms. Hill said that only about 30 percent of those submitted ever have the sufficient info to be approved. Those who submitted written verifications and/or accounts are Lt. Col JD Murray, (Company Commander) Lt. Ed Blecksmith (Platoon Commander), Carlton Clark ("CC from DC", machine gunner) and Steve Lovejoy (radio man and grunt).

This award has a very special meaning for me and to share this with those who I served with during my time in Vietnam, especially on the 4th of Sept., gives me a great sense of honor and humility. Thanks to all who supported me in receiving this honor and especially to those who gave their lives so I may be here to receive it.

Semper Fi and deepest gratitude~Fred Tancke

(Note: We added Fred Tancke's Bronze Star citation to the page we are putting together on Operation SWIFT)


NOVEMBER 10, 2010
Happy 235th USMC Birthday!

To All our Marines, Past and Present, we salute you,
And raise our glasses today to brother Marines no longer with us.
Semper Fi...we will never forget.

LCpl. Bradley Reynolds & Debbe Reynolds
M Co. 3/5 67-68


(Sent in by Mike Alden, Nov. 10, 2010)

1st squad, 1st plt. "M" Co. 3/5
(early 1969)

Standing from L-R: Joey Freeman (Greenville, SC), Ron Christiansen (Millville, CA), Les Thompson (Orlando, FL), Richard Reed (Knoxville, IA), Mike Alden (Manly, IA), David Johnston (Pinkerting, Ohio), Simpson, and kneeling, Luther Maxwell (only known picture of Luther, unless someone else has one).To anyone not aware, Freeman, Christiansen, Thompson, and Johnston were K.I.A. on Hill 332 in March 1969. Also in rememberance K.I.A. on 332, Dennis Merryman.

This picture of members of 1st squad, 1st plt. "M" Co. 3/5 was found at a recent reunion of several M Co. 3/5 Marines, it is similar to a picture Joey Freeman's family gave Richard Reed last year, only that picture didn't have Joey in it. We were all stunned and amazed to see this picture with Joey Freeman in it, and would like to see it added to Joey's Memorial page. I pass this picture on with a sincere appreciation for the Freemans and Richard Reed for sharing. Semper FI.~Mike Alden

LCpl. Joseph Freeman Memorial page

Note: The Freeman's group picture was added to the Memorial pages of LCpl. Ronald Christianson, Sgt. Leslie Thompson, and Cpl. David Johnston.


(Sent in by Jim Thiel, Nov. 10, 2010)

Jim Thiel, M Co. 3/5

My name is Cpl. Jim ThieI, I was with M Co. 3/5 1968-69. I would like to share a story my grandson wrote about me and read to his classmates in school. They all had to write a story about the bravest person they ever knew. He wrote and read this story the day before the Memorial Day weekend. His name is Brayden Thiel and he's 10-years-old. I'm really proud of him to think about me, and he knows that I fought in the Vietnam War and all about the medals I had and what they stand for. I told him about the war and some of the things that happened over there, only enough to understand what we fought for and the sacrifices the soldiers, men and women, had to make so that he and the people of this country can enjoy the freedom that they have today. And hopefully that they'll never ever have to lose it because of the sacrifices they suffer today and tomorrow so we can live in peace. He's a pretty bright boy and I love him very much. This is his story:



By Brayden Thiel


(Sent in by Rick Upleger, Nov. 10, 2010)

Mike Alden, Ron Thayer, Rick Upleger, Tom Wiseman

Tom Wiseman wanted me to send you these photos - finally after 42 years, the four of us got together at Wiseman's resort in Baldwin MI. We all served in Mike Co. 3/5 in 1968 - 1969.


(Sent in by Paul Merryman, Nov. 8, 2010)

Dennis Merryman, M Co. 3/5, awarded the Bronze Star Medal, 41 yrs. later

Dennis Merryman was killed in action during Operation TAYLOR COMMON on March 5, 1969 after volunteering to help retrieve the body of a dead Marine. In the last few years, M Co. 3/5 Marines who served with Dennis have worked tirelessly to see that he was awarded, posthumously, the Bronze Star for his courageous actions. The award will be presented to the Merryman family at the David Allen Johnston American Legion Post 283 in Pickerington, Ohio, Memorial Day 2011. For more info, check out Post 283's website.

Our thanks to Paul Merryman, Dennis' brother who served in Vietnam with 3/9, and to the Merryman family for sharing the citation with us...God bless you all and Semper Fi.

See also LCpl. Dennis Merryman Memorial page


(Sent in by Chuck Cummings, Nov. 8, 2010)

Billy Moy (left) and Kevin Kelly
(picture courtesy of Chuck Cummings)

William "Billy" Moy was awarded the Silver Star for Sept. 4, 1967, the first day of Operation SWIFT. Moy was in third platoon, 3rd squad (my squad), a team leader during SWIFT and was wounded that day, but I have not seen him in 43 years despite trying. Can you update the swift website for the citations to included him. Thank you~Chuck Cummings

Silver Star Citation (Synopsis)

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to William K. Moy, III), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company M, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, FIRST Marine Division, during combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 4 September 1967.

See also: Operation SWIFT


(Sent in by Tom Klopmeyer, June 15, 2001)

My brother, James Klopmeyer, M Co. 3/5
KIA Dec. 19, 1967

James Klopmeyer

I don't have many pictures of Jimmy because he was only in Vietnam 13 or 14 days. He was a kind and gentle kid always ready to help. Jimmy, at six years old, had brain fever and polo and was not supposed to live through the night. He was forced a year more behind me, he was always the slowest, weakest and the last one to be picked to a team, but never complained and no one tried harder.

When everyone else was trying to get out of the service, myself included, he was trying to get in. You see Jimmy was actually 4-F physically unfit. He was turned down by the Army, Navy and Marines. With help from one of his friends, a Drill Sergeant, they made a deal with the Marines if he could pass their Boot Camp and gain so much weight they would let him be a Marine. Again the last to be picked, but he met their demands and became what he wanted so much. He gained almost forty pounds. I didn't recognize him when he came home. Jim wore different size shoes, his leg was three quarters of an inch smaller in diameter and his leg was also half inch shorter.

The Memorial page you did is beautiful for the other two Marines killed Dec. 19, 1967, and I would love to have Jimmy's picture there too. He would be very proud of it, just like I am. Thank you so much for your kindness and thoughtfulness, even after all these years, but it never ages in my mind. Can't wait to show my grandchildren and even my brothers and sisters. Some of them because of the age difference didn't know Jim that well.

Thank You,
Tom Klopmeyer

See also Memorial page for James Klopmeyer, John Riegel, Dean Vidler


(Sent in by James Johnston, June 14, 2001)

James E. Johnston, M Co. 3/5 in Vietnam from May 68 to the end of June 69

I served with M 3/5 in Vietnam from May 68 to the end of June 69. I went to Vietnam as an 0351. When they did away with the 3.5 rocket launcher, I became a grenadeer and carried the M-79 grenade launcher. Operations include MAMELUKE THRUST, HOUSTON IV, SUSSEX BAY, MAUI PEAK, HENDERSON HILL, TAYLOR COMMON, MUSKOGEE MEADOW, PIPESTONE CANYON, and MEAD RIVER.

Navy Achievment Citation

I saw Frank Ambrose (M Co. 3/5) when he helped dedicate our new RV park on Parris Island and it brouight back a lot of memories. I live in Port Royal SC and work on Parris Island for MCCS in Maintenance. Semper Fi~James Johnston, "JJ "

James Johnston's Navy Commendation for Sept. 3, 1968

Six M Co. 3/5 Marines and one FMF Corpsman were Killed in Action Sept. 3, 1968

Cpl. Ricky Jerome Almanza (Silver Star)
SSgt. George John Belancin
LCpl. Larry Dale Coats
Pfc. Paul Edward Hyland
Pfc. Timothy Edward Shanower
Pfc. Michael Donvian Wilson
HN "Doc" Russell L. Wright II

Rest easy Marines, we will never forget


(Sent in by Kenny McKinney, June 14, 2010)

Kenny McKinney, M Co. 3/5
60mm mortars, 1968-69

Front: John Lalotte, Jim Quinn
Back: Scott, Montgomery, McKinney, ?, Mason

I'm trying to locate Scott and Mason in the picture above, also if anyone remembers the name of the Marine next to Mason, please let me know.~Kenny McKinney


(Sent in by Hal Creel, May 16, 2010)

First Force Recon Co. 68-69, An Hoa


(Sent in by Hal Creel, May 13, 2010)

Ronny Smith, M Co. 3/5
Killed in Action May 10, 1968

I was at An Hoa with First Force Recon Co. 68-69. I had a high school very good friend with Mike 3/5 KIA May 10, 1969. His name was Ronny Smith (some people called him Smitty) from Mississippi . He was tall with black hair. I was told that he was killed somewhere at Liberty Bridge when he and another Marine hit a booby trap in their foxhole. I was wondering if you or anyone had knowledge of him and what happened. Last time I talked to him was up by 5th Marines hooches and the so called little p.x. there. He promised to write and we’d keep in touch but he never got to write. He and I played sports together, hunted and double dated sisters so I thought a lot of him. If you know anything I would appreciate very much finding out about him. I didn’t know he was KIA until I got home so I didn’t know any details. My mother knew but couldn’t bring herself to tell me till I got home. Thank you for your help. I have also had some of his relatives ask me if I could tell them anything.~Hal Creel

Note: Thanks to Paul O'Connell,1st plt. M Co. 3/5, for writing his remembrance of what happened on May 10, 1969...see Memorial pages for Pfc. Ronny Smith and Pfc. Herbert Murphy ~Brad and Debbe Reynolds


(Sent in by Gilbert Hernandez, May 13, 2010)

Looking for BLT 3/5 Marines

My name is Gilbert Hernandez, I served with Mike 3/5 in 1966. I was an orginal member from its conception in California to its deployment on the USS PRINCETON. I was WIA in December 1966. I was on all the operations including Hastings. I have a wealth of memories and would like to share them with my fellow marines. I am retired due to my wound, hope to hear from you.

Note: Email us for Gilbert Hernandez's contact info.~Brad and Debbe Reynolds


(Sent in by Curtis Eidson, Apr. 29, 2010)

Remembering Curtis Batten, M Co. 3/5

It is with sad hearts that we have to pass the word that Curtis Batten passed away this evening about 7PM. Curtis has been struggling to keep his life for several months now but has lost the struggle. I believe that he is now at the Main Gates standing tall among our friends that have gone before. I don't know any details as yet but I do know that Jerry Lomax is going to handle the 3/5 wreath for us. If you can help with this please send the monies direct to Jerry. Be safe my friends, Curtis Eidson, India Co. 3/5

Curtis Batten, 1968

(See also Curtis Batten Picture page)


Curtis Batten Memorial (PDF Format)
(courtesy of Danny Batten)


Remembrances and emails sent in by family and friends of Curtis Batten

Semper Fidelis

We already miss a good friend and comrade.
Frank Pacello, "The Skipper
Apr. 29, 2010

Frank Pacello and Curtis Batten
(picture courtesy of Jerry Lomax)

He will be missed

Thanks to all the men of Mike 3/5. Curtis loved each of you and thought a lot about you guys as brothers which you were. Thank you for all the words, calls, letter and most of all visit when he was in the hospital.

Semper Fi, Pops
Danny Batten
Apr. 30, 2010

Semper Fi

Curtis, I would like to say it was an honor to have served with you and to have you as my brother. We arrived in Nam and Mike Co. the same day and became bloodbrothers on Shelbyville, through TET and Haivan Pass (Hill 1192), to Mamaluke Thrust and countless others. We shared our C-Rats, stories of home and much more. I will greatly miss you, but your memory will never fade from my thoughts. Curtis, I salute you and we will meet again I'm sure.

L/Cpl. Brad Reynolds
M Co. 3/5 Sept. 67/June 68
Apr. 30, 2010

Front, left to right: Jim Blankenheim, Doc Tom Wood, Jerry Lomax
Back, left to right: Frank Pacello, Art Diabo, Curtis Batten, Rock Giambrocco, Dan Hignight, Brad Reynolds
(picture courtesy of Brad Reynolds)


Curtis Batten Pictures
(pictures courtesy of Jerry Lomax, May 1, 2010)

1. Joe Smith, Jim Blankenheim, Joe Walters, Ken McKinney, Doc Wood, Curtis Batten, Frank Pacello
2. Joe Smith, Jerry Lomax, Frank Pacello, Ken McKinney, Doc Wood, Curtis Batten
3. Doc Wood, Curtis Batten, Jerry Lomax and grandson, Ethan, Ken McKinney
4. Curtis Batten, Jerry Lomax, Ken McKinney


(Submitted by Raymond Backstrom, Apr. 26, 2010)

Marine Corps Vietnam Collection
(Command Chronologies, Operations Files and other records)

I am hoping to get word out of this web site offering free easy access to the Marine Corps Vietnam Collection. 12,000 documents, 1,000,000 pages. You will be accessing what is probably the most complete set of records on the US Marine Corps in Vietnam. As of right now, I am still building and repairing the pages you will be using, but I believe they are about 95% complete. What you will find here are the records that were digitized by the Gray Research Center at the Marine Corps University at Quantico Virginia, and hosted by Texas Tech Universities Virtual Vietnam Archive...For anyone wishing to truly find out what the Marines of Vietnam experienced, and accomplished, you will find truly endless days of reading. In time I hope to add maps, (also from the Virutal Vietnam Archive) that have been converted to GeoPDF format. This will allow the reader to access these maps, and read the coordinates referenced in the documents as the curser moves across the PDF file. - Happy reading - Ray Backstrom - MSgt USMC (Retired)


For information on the battle of Iwo Jima, go to http://www.iwojimahistory.com
Coming soon: recordsofwar.com


(Submitted by Curtis Eidson, Apr. 20, 2010)

3rd Battalon, 5th Marines Reunion
June 3-6, 2010

I wanted to drop a note and let you know that all is in order and all is set for our gathering in a few weeks. As far as I know only a few loose ends have to be pulled in and then all will be complete. There are always loose ends to control right up to the beginning. All is well though and all is right on track.

Skipper Murray has the T-shirts being made and I should have the covers the first of next week. I am looking forward to seeing what Skipper has done with the shirts. Mr. Jurney has the golf tournament set and will be telling you about the rules during our welcoming on Thursday evening. Karen has the KIA walk material ready and that is something very special to all of us. Ski II has the skeet shoot lined up and several have said they would bring some extra 12 and 20 gauge guns to use. This is going to be interesting. Ski will explain the rules of this also on Thursday evening.

The Salisbury family is getting excited about being with us and looking forward to meeting all of us. This is a great family and we are honored to have them with us.

If anyone needs directions please let me know so I can help you out with that. Hickory Knob is kinda set away from everything (which is to our liking) but really easy to get to from any direction.

Quite a few of y'all have not sent in your $50 registration which was due the first of the month. Please send this in when you can. It costs money to do what we do. Thank you.

Remember, if you can, bring something unique from your home state for our raffle. I know there are things that are common in all states but also know that most all of us have something very unique that can only be gotten locally. This is a way for sharing your part of the country with another person in a special way. Put some thought into it and see what you can come up with.

Remember, try to be on location as early as you can on the 3rd so you don't miss anything. The rooms may not be ready when you arrive but that will not be much of a bother. Many of us will be there if there is something you need. We have a good time and the location is open for us to welcome each of you as you come in. Brenda and Skipper Murray will be ready to begin giving out your stuff early that morning.

Remember, we have a welcoming at 5PM on that Thursday (3rd) to introduce our special guest and let everyone know what is about to happen. Be sure to be at this welcoming. That just about brings you up on all I know so all I can say is bring it on and enjoy a good time with friends.

(for more info, see Curtis and Brenda's 3/5 Reunion website http://www.usmcvietvet.org/)


(Submitted by Frank Pacello, Apr. 8, 2010)

2010 DAV Winter Sports Clinic
Mar. 28-Apr. 2

1. Myself and Dennis Pohl (Corpsman in Nam) at Snowmass, CO with the DAV Winter Sports Clinic
2. Bobby Barrera (left) is the DAV National Commander this year. He was with C/1/7 in Nam. Great Guy
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki is on my right

3. Myself, Bobby Barrera, Dennis Pohl

Sprint was the first sponsor 24 years ago as I was the one who made the decision for Sprint to sponsor.
My Company has also been a sponsor since I retired from Sprint in 2002. Great event.
You can check it out on the web here: http://www1.va.gov/vetevent/wsc/2010/default.cfm

SF, Frank Pacello
The Skipper


(Sent in by Terry Earhart, Apr. 3, 2010)

David Johnston Memorial Post 283 Memorial Day Weekend
May 29-31

GREETINGS! We at the David Johnston Memorial Post 283 of the American Legion are excited to once again have the honor of welcoming MIKE 3/5 to our...YOUR post for Memorial Day weekend. Below is information that may be helpful to you in planning your trip to Pickerington Ohio (there is also information available at our website www.alpost283.org).

We have blocked rooms at three area motels...many of you are familiar w/ the Country Inn & Suites....we also have rooms available at the Best Western & the Holiday Inn Express (see detail below). The Ladies Auxiliary has plans in place to make sure that you are well fed during your time w/ us...they are also working on deals with area restaurants (more detail upon arrival). For those arriving on Friday, the Honor Guard Steak Nite will be held 1800-2000h....it's the best damn steak in Pickerington and as you know...the HG does not accept M 3/5 currency on steak nite! Should any of you have any special needs with which we can assist, please let us know.. As before, we will have some great live music throughout the weekend. A member of M 3/5 has recently purchased several memorial bricks for fallen brothers....they will be available for you to place in the Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day schedule of events will be:

Breakfast at the post 0700 (open to all M 3/5 members and family)
Violet Cemetery 0830 - Honor Guard ceremonies.
March to Victory Park - 0900 (w/ DI Blankenheim)
Glen Rest Cemetery - 1100 graveside services for Dave,
followed by Dustin Derga LIMA CO 3/25 KIA 8 MAY 2005 Ubaydi Iraq
Memorial Day Ceremonies - 1300 Post

A complete schedule of events for the weekend will be sent late April.

Country Inn & Suites
2806 Taylor Road
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
614-861-8888, 800-456-4000
STD ROOM: $69.00
SUITE: $79.00

Please mention MIKE 3/5 American Legion 283 when booking

13300 State Rt 256
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
(614) 575-9900
STD ROOM: $89.00

1899 Winderly Lane
Pickerington, OH 43147
(614) 860-9804
STD ROOM: $69.00

Hope to see many of you this Memorial Day....Semper Fi.

(See also: Cpl. David Allen Johnston Memorial page)


(Sent in by Rosalie T. Turner, Mar. 25, 2010)


My husband wasn't in 3/5, but served in Vietnam in 1967-'68 in the 1st LAAM Battalion. My brother also served in Vietnam, and my son served as a Marine in Iraq. As a writer, I've wanted to tell the story of the service wife during those turbulent times of the Vietnam Era. Finally, my novel SISTERS OF VALOR, came out recently - launched at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire, NM. The emotions & experiences of the four service wives in the book are really universal for any service wife, but they also remind us of the extra difficulties we faced then - the protests so personal against the service men & their families, only having letters for contact, plus being on the cusp of the women's lib movement. What a time! I wrote the book to give voice to the service wife. You can check out my website at www.sistersofvalor.com. SISTERS OF VALOR has been endorsed by Mrs. Colin Powell, other service wives and Vietnam Vets. It has been chosen as the armywifenetwork October Book Club choice. Besides being dedicated to all service wives, especially those of the Vietnam Era, it is in memory of Major Cornelius (Corky) Ram, USMC - 2/5 - who was killed in Vietnam Jan 10, 1971. I'd be glad to answer any questions. Thanks for your consideration - & especially for all you do through your website.~Rosalie Turner


(Sent in by Kandice Biddlecome, Mar. 23, 2010)

My Grandpa and my uncle were in the Vietnam war. Paul Merryman (M Co. 3/9), and Dennis Merryman (M Co. 3/5). They will never be forgotten by our family and especially from me. My grandpa is my hero. He is the best. My uncle Dennis, very sadly died. He will never be forrgoten, he was a great soldier and so was my grandpa!~Kandice Biddlecome

See also LCpl. Dennis Merryman Memorial page


(Sent in by LeAnn Pearson Capener, Mar. 23, 2010)

LCpl. Bruce Fuller Pearson, Lima Co. 3/5
Killed In Action June 9, 1969

Thank you. Great website in so many ways. My sister told me to check out the page on our uncle, Bruce Fuller Pearson. Uncle Bruce left a legacy of faith and duty imprinted on fourteen nieces and nephews who never knew him.~LeAnn Pearson Capener

See also LCpl. Bruce Fuller Pearson Memorial page


(Sent in by Ron Barry, Mar. 15, 2010)

Dennie Peterson

Remembering Dennie Peterson

Thanks for this website. I went through OCS and The Basic School (TBS) with Dennie Peterson and knew him well. He truly was a good and honorable man. I remember him as unselfish and intelligent - someone who always knew exactly what to do in every situation, someone whose companionship everyone valued. Thanks for keeping Dennie's memory alive. Semper Fi~Ron Barry

2Lt. Dennie Peterson served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, India Company.
He was Killed In Action Sept. 6, 1967 on Operation SWIFT.
For his extraordinary bravery, 2Lt. Dennie Peterson was awarded the Navy Cross, posthumously.

(See also, 2Lt. Dennie Peterson Memorial page)

India Co. 3/5 had 28 Marines and 2 FMF Corpsmen Killed In Action on Operation SWIFT Sept. 4-12, 1967

2LT Dennie D. Peterson, 9/6/67~Navy Cross
SSgt. Richard B. Jackson, 9/6/67
Cpl. William R. France, 9/6/67
Cp.l Dale A. Gunnell, 9/6/67
LCpl. Harold S. Bern, 9/6/67
LCpl. Richard W. Crawford, 9/6/67
LCpl. Sam T. Curiel, 9/6/67
LCpl. Patrick Herron, 9/6/67
LCpl. Joseph S. Hume, 9/6/67
LCpl. Reginald A. Jordan, 9/6/67
LCpl. Michael L. Langerio, 9/6/67
LCpl. Cecil R. Moorman, 9/6/67
LCpl. George S. Spak, 9/6/67
LCpl. Gregory L. Yeager, 9/6/67
Pfc. Robert D. Evans, 9/6/67
Pfc. Jerry H. Heizer, 9/6/67
Pfc. Gary E. Hibbard, 9/6/67
Pfc. James B. Miller, 9/6/67
Pfc. James T. Pepper, 9/6/67
Pfc. Lewis H. Proudfoot, 9/6/67
Pfc. Jerry C. Royal, 9/6/67
Pfc. Robert W. Swafford, 9/6/67
Pfc. Frank L. Swinford, 9/6/67
Pfc. Jerry L. Thomas, 9/6/67
Pfc. Ralph P. Villegas, 9/6/67
Pfc. Robert C. Wallace, 9/6/67
LCpl. James A. Jones, 9/7/67
Cpl. Thomas F. Shanks, 9/12/67

Navy Corpsmen Killed In Action with India Co. 3/5 on SWIFT:
HN James C. O'Reilly, 9/4/67
HM3 James S. Cazares, 9/8/67

Rest Easy Marines...we will never forget


(Sent in by Raul Vicente, Jr., Mar. 13, 2010)

I'm originally from New York, but have lived in New Jersey since the month before I joined the Corps. Every now and then I get nostalgic and look on the net for things that have to do with "The Nam". I found your site quite by accident, but, I must commend you on the job you have done. The site is really very good. I served with India 3/5 from Dec 10, 1967 to around March 3rd. I had just come from up North at Yankee Station/Quang-Tri where I was with Hotel 2/1. I took part in the tail-end of Operation Medina. After India 3/5 I was transfered to Bravo 1/27. I was on Operation Auburn and Alamo.

Charles Townsend (far right) and India 3/5 Marines
(picture courtesy of Ric Lee, I/3/5)

After arriving at your site I saw the name Townsend among your Memorials and when I clicked on it you had a picture (above) of Townsend with three other Marines. The guy in the forefront of that picture is Me. I was a few feet away from Townsend when he got shot. Charlie had just opened up on us and we were all running toward a paddy about a couple of hundred feet in front of us. Myself and a Corpsman helped him and then I went on up to the paddy where everyone was at and began helping to lay down suppressing fire to stop the bullets that Charlie was throwing at us. I thought Townsend had lived. I am sorry to hear that he died. I was also a few feet away from Peterson when he tried to go through the gate. My nickname was Zulu. I was only with the Company for three months so I doubt if anyone will remember me, but I was one of "Duckworth's Raiders". When I got to B 1/27 I walked with them for a few months and then I got shot twice on Operation Allen Brook; It was June 5th.~Semper Fi, Raul Vicente, Jr.

See also Pfc. Charles Townsend Memorial page


(Sent in by James R. McElroy, Jr., Mar. 12, 2010)

James R. McElroy, Jr. Silver Star Citation for May 12-13 1971

I found the original of my second Silver Star award, but it had been framed. A framer took it out of the frame and made some copies for me. This copy was made in Vietnam. It must have been made on the first experimental copier!~ Skipper Mac, "The Judge"

(McElroy was also awarded the Silver Star for Operation UNION, May 13, 1967, posted on Ed McCurry's Mike 3/5 website)

James R. McElroy, Jr.

James R. McElroy, Jr. served with "M" Co. 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines from 15 Dec 66 to 24 June 67. Participated in Operations SPOIL, DESOTO, UNION (hospitalized 13-21 May 67), UNION II, and ADAIR (until transferred to 2nd Combined Action Group, III MAF). Had an additional tour as an advisor to VN Marine Corps from 9 Dec 70 to 1 Dec 71. 


(Sent in by Dylan Lee Bailey, Mar. 11, 2010)

My Uncle, Craig Nelson Ward, M Co. 3/5
Killed In Action
Nov. 28, 1970

M Co. 3/5 Marines, Craig Ward (right)
(Picure courtesy of Carlos Delgado, M/3/5)

I came across this page searching for my uncle who had died in Vietnam in 1970. I never met him, as I'm only 21 years old. I've only seen 1 or 2 pictures of him in my lifetime. I stumbled across one picture on your website and I immediately knew it was him, Craig Nelson Ward. I want to thank you for his memorial on your website. As most of my family is gone now, I don't really know much about the kind of person he was. It saddens me because I never got the chance to meet him, always described as a wonderful person. I think about him everyday, as though he's guiding me through my life. Sort of like a guardian angel. Again, thank you so much for the pictures.~Dylan Lee Bailey

See also LCPL. CRAIG NELSON WARD Memorial page


(Sent in by Steve Brodsky, Mar. 7, 2010)

FMF Corpsmen
I stumbled across your web site and thought that I would add something regarding corpsmen:

It was when I was with Mike 3/1 in 1967 - we had been been in the bush for about 4 weeks chasing bad guys near the border of Laos. At the beginning of the operation we got a replacement who was a CPL - can't remember his name. Shortly after we stopped for some chopper resupply and rest, he announced "1st squad - saddle up". He was taking out a patrol. As we gathered our gear he walked up, pointing to me and ordered, " you... take point." . I grabbed my M16, stood up, and told him, "OK - but I'm the corpsman". Embarrassed, he said , "sorry Doc - I thought you were one of us." Almost to the man came the reply from the platoon - "he is". Best complement I was ever paid!

Steve "Doc" Brodsky
Lima/Mike 3/1 67-68


(Sent in by Clifford Henry, Feb. 22, 2010)

Gary Lee Heeman

PFC Gary Lee Heeman, my brother, was KIA 15 January 1969 while a member of Company MIKE Co. 3rd BN 5th Marines during Operation Taylor Common. I have been searching for a long time for anyone who knew him and can share his experiences with me. I'd love to find photos and maybe reconnect with his wife, Shirley, who I lost contact with over 41 years ago. I hope to attend the 2010 3/5 Reunion.

Clifford L. (Heeman) Henry

Pfc. Gary Lee Heeman Memorial page


(Sent in by Glenn Kittleson, Feb. 19. 2010)

Glenn Kittleson, 1968-69

I arrived in Nam December '68, M Co. 3/5 1st platoon. The operations I remember were Liberty Bridge, Operation Taylor Common, and Operation Durham Peak. Had a medical issue so I spent two months in the rear, but had bunker watch every night which we got hit a lot, actually felt safer in the bush.

1. Myself and two others, Baring, and Fox is what he called himself (would be neat to get full names?)
2. Myself and ? (can't remember this Marine's name)
(Note: If anyone remembers the names of these Marines, please let us know)

An Hoa, 1969

I truly remember Durham Peak climbing the mountains, we had so much gear that when we were ready to board the helicopter it took two other marines to help you up from the sitting post ion. We were dropped off halfway up the mountain, and I can remember getting ready to jump out, and was grabbed from behind by a crew chef from the helicopter who told me to wait till the copter got closer in. Good thing because after taking a better look after getting out I more than likely would have fallen all the way to the bottom, and never found.

The worst part was the copter could only bring us halfway up the mountain, so as we climbed the mountain we had to hold onto small skinny trees on the mountain slopes, and as you grabbed them they started to come loose from the ground, and you would continuously look behind to see who might be the one to have the tree give way to them, it was very scary.

The most bizarre thing of the operation was that once we got to the top we could hardly believe our eyes, the enemy had anti-aircraft guns, and many heavy supplies on top. I will never understand how we barely got up the hill, yet the enemy had items on the top of the mountain that looked almost impossible without a helicopter dropping them off.

The other memories were looking down the mountain.The planes flew way below where we were, and we were up in the clouds, plus it was cold at night, and guess what? Of all things I lost my poncho liner, in which I was actually freezing in the Nam at night up there. Then came the good news that we were pulling out after being up there for a while, we started destroying some of our supplies, including throwing our hot sauce bottles for the C-rations against the rocks. Soon after doing all this, the return to move out was canceled!!!

Best Regards, Glenn Kittleson


(Sent in by George Autobee, Feb. 17, 2010)


Note: The following is an excerpt from George Autobee's article REMEBRANCES, published Nov. 11, 2008 in the Washington Times. The full article is available for download in PDF form here http://www.combatwife.net/autobeearticle.pdf

M Co. 3/5 60mm paltoon, Christmas 1968

Front, kneeling: "Smokey" Robinson, George Autobee
Behind them: Cpl. Mayes, "Cartoon", Stewart (blond), Marine behind Stewart (unidentified)
Standing: Unidentified, LCpl. DeBose, Cpl. Hill, Richard Montgomery, Unidentified, Everett Daniel Seed (far right)

I was trained on the 80mm and 60mm mortars and prepared for Vietnam in April and May 1968. We deployed to Vietnam and arrived in Da Nang on June 21, 1968...We were attached to Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, located at An Hoa. We did our initial two weeks in Phu Bai... I was first assigned as the point for 2nd platoon. Our first action in the field was on Operation Mameluke Thrust in Quang Nam province... During my 10-month tour in Mike Company, I saw more than 19 Marines as KIAs and more than 50 as WIAs...

Top row: Lopez - Tony Ayala (KIA) - George Autobee (WIA)
Second row: Danny Armendez (WIA) - Nava
(photo taken June 1968)

I was point man and the first one wounded in the engagement for Hill 310 on Aug. 9, 1968. I had been ordered to take point about 10 a.m., and about noon I found a trail and followed it - big mistake - until a burst from an AK-47 automatic rifle hit the ground in front of me. Everything went into slow motion. The seventh round hit my right arm and sent my rifle flying into the jungle. The bullet spun me around, and I fell on my back, getting my backpack stuck on a tree stump. Next thing I knew, I was on my back, stuck like a turtle, with my feet up in the air, unable to get up or move off the trail. It was that point in life when you know it is over and you think, "Is this how it ends?" Wow, what a rush. But guess what? I lucked out big time. The tree stump broke, one of the guys grabbed my ankle, and the men dragged me back to my squad and bandaged my arm. Pfc. Rice, Pfc. Danny Armenderez and Pfc. Tony Ayala pulled me back. While they were bandaging my arm, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) threw a grenade, and we hit the ground. It was close — I came off the ground and bounced when it exploded. We worked our way back to the platoon commander and reported what happened...

Well, my job was over for the time being - I had found the NVA and was wounded without a weapon. The pain from the bullet wound in my arm was starting to get bad. I found a corpsman, and I was re-bandaged and given a pain medication. Next thing I heard was the thump of mortar rounds coming in. I was told to leave the area and find a medevac to Da Nang. When I was working my way to the landing zone to catch a medevac, I looked up and saw the crew was using a hoist from a chopper to medevac Pfc. Ayala. I could see him while they were pulling him up. The chopper and Tony were taking enemy fire as they pulled him out. He had been badly wounded, and he died two days later. We had shared our stories, water and food and had been on patrols and ambush together for more than 45 days...

On Sept. 11, 1968, my old platoon, 2nd Platoon, again had the honor of taking point — and walked into an ambush. I counted at least eight KIAs and more than 20 WIAs. I helped take care of Pfc. Armenderez. He had been shot and had a chest wound. I found him doing OK in California when I was discharged. Other than the time in March 1969, when we were cut off for five days and had eight KIAs, this was the worst hit Mike Company took during my tour of duty, which was 10 months. Pfc. Rice was the only one left in 2nd Platoon with whom I had served...

In March 1969, I had just returned from Da Nang. While there I noted that all the streets were empty. I landed at the firebase, and that night we were hit with mortars. The next few days, again we were hit with mortars. One of the mortar rounds hit right next to our bunker. It was very close. Of all the combat in which I was involved during my tour in Vietnam, what happened on this mission - Operation Taylor Common - was the most dangerous, and we suffered the most casualties of all the missions we carried out. Operation Taylor Common resulted in 500 NVA dead and huge quantities of captured arms and stores. The Marines lost 183 killed in action and another 1,487 wounded. They had driven the NVA out of the area, for then. As soon as the operation ended, the NVA returned in force once again...

George Autobee's article REMEBRANCES, published Nov. 11, 2008 in the Washington Times.
The full article is available for download in PDF form here http://www.combatwife.net/autobeearticle.pdf


(Sent in by Mary Jane Miller Keene, Feb. 16, 2010)

My brother, William Franklin Miller

I am not a combat wife, I am the sister of a Marine PFC who was killed in Operation Swift Sept 7,1967. My brother's name was William Franklin Miller. He went by the name of Frank. My son discovered your website in March and after doing some searching he found someone had set up a memorial site to Frank. He then came to me and asked if I wanted to know more about how Frank had died. I said yes and he gave me a stack of papers he had copied from your site. Because of that I contacted two of the men who had left messages on the memorial site. One was Don Goulet who was his fire team leader and the other was Dennis Tylinski who was on the "Knoll" with him when he was killed. Dennis and I have been sending emails back and forth and recently I was privileged to meet him and his wife. You see, he had wanted to go to Frank's grave and say the good bye he hadn't got to say that day almost 41 years ago. It had bothered him and now I think he has found the peace he was looking for. I hope he did. I went to the grave site with him and then let him and his wife stay there alone so he could say his peace. He later that afternoon met my parents and answered some of dad's questions the best he could. He talked so much about your website and how helpful you have been to him. I also want to just THANK YOU for the website. I found information and pictures that I did not even know existed. God Bless you for all the work you have done. I guess I should tell you Frank was a member of Mike Company 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division he was in the 3rd platoon. Dennis and Frank were in the same squad. Don Goulet put me in touch with J.D. Murray who was the commanding officer during that battle. Lt. Murray sent me a memorial shirt that he had given to the men at last years reunion at Camp Pendleton on the 40th anniversar y of the battle. It made me feel so good to know that Frank had not been forgotten.

God bless you!!!
Mary Jane Miller Keene
(See also Pfc. William Franklin Miller Memorial page)


(Sent in by Diane Jones, Feb. 16, 2010)

My brother, Walter Holt Jones II, Corpsman

All I knew of my Brother's death in Vietnam December 14th, 1966 is that he was killed by an incendiary bomb when he went running back to get a radio. Your website helped to me to finally understand what happened in those early morning hours of December 14th, and I am so grateful to you for that. On the page it lists all the men who died that day and they say one marine is unidentified I believe that to be my brother Walter Holt Jones II, corpsman, could you please include his name on your roster of brave young men who died that day, He was a selfless sweet good person who was dearly loved by his family and friends. Thank you, his sister Diane

(See VC ATTACK ON HILL 71, Dec. 14, 1966)


(Sent in by Otto Lehrack, Feb. 15, 2010)

Road of 10,000 Pains: The Destruction of the 2nd NVA Division by the Marines, 1967

My new book, Road of 10,000 Pains: The Destruction of the 2nd NVA Division by the Marines, 1967 will be available in April. It covers the operations in the Que Son Valley from April to November 1967 and operations Union I, Union II, Cochise, Adair, Swift and Essex. This has been an on and off project of mine for about six years. During this time I have lived in three states and two foreign countries and have lost the contact data for some of the Marines and Corpsmen that I interviewed.

The cover price is $30 but it is now available on Amazon for pre order for $19.80 plus shipping which is about the price that I have to pay for them. If you wish to order them from me, I will autograph and send them to you for $25 each. This includes the cost to me, including shipping from the press, the discount price of the book, the padded envelope and the cost of shipping to you. I will send you as many copies as you would like. I would like to get as many of them done at one time as a convenience to me so try to order as many as you need all at once. If you cannot do so, I will accommodate late orders into the foreseeable future.

Here is an excerpt from the book from Operation Swift:

“The NVA came at Murray’s men in a whirlwind of violence—hard on the heels of mortars that mushroomed across the knoll throwing hot, sharp steel in every direction; within the lanes marked by the tracers of Soviet-made machine guns and small arms that chain-sawed every bush, sapling and blade of grass to stubble; the NVA soldiers came by the score, in platoon formation, firing from the hip; they came in squads, firing and maneuvering their three man fire teams; they came singly, men orphaned by the Marines’ return fire but still on their feet and attacking; they came at the Marines in a flood, like water from a burst dam, flowing around the strong positions, threatening to carry away the weak and then trying to come together on the far side; attempting to isolate and surround small clumps of resistance. They nearly succeeded. Had it not been for the outstanding courage of the individual Marine and their close air support, the entire company would most likely have been butchered on the knoll.”

Semper fi,
Otto Lehrack



(Sent in by Don Houser, Feb. 1, 2010)

Old War Stories
Rembrances by Don Houser

Gunnery Sergeant Don Houser and wife, Marilyn

I had 2 tours in Vietnam - both as a SSgt. My first tour was with 3/26 and also 2/9, 3/5 was my second tour. I made Gunny Sgt. shortly after coming home from 3/5.

Don Houser and two other Marines
The photo was on the 195th Marine Corps birthday

I was the platoon Sergeant / Platoon Commander of the 2nd Platoon with M/3/5. I first arrived with M Company on May 5, 1970. I stayed in that position until 3/5 stood down and departed Vietnam. This was about February 19, 1971 (at about 1945 / 7:45 PM - pick one). At least that's the time I got on a FREEDOM BIRD and came back to CONS. In reality 3/5 itself probably ceased operations a few days before that. I know because I was there! Thanks to President Richard Nixon.

Some of these old memories bring with them a certain amount of stress. That goes with the territory.

On August 27, 1970 two of my men were killed by booby traps. Cpl. Daniel Murphy Bennett and HM-3 Michael R Kempel. Both these men were of exceptional quality and their loss caused tremendous pain in the heart of all who knew them. Each of them tripped separate bobby traps. Cpl. Bennett hit the first one. While coming to the aid of Cpl. Bennett, Corpsmen HM-3 Kempel tripped the second booby trap. As a result of these two booby traps both of these men died shortly after the explosions. Contrary to some stories there wasn't any fire fight of rifles, machine guns or grenades, or other such combat actions. They were killed outright by the explosions of the booby traps. (See also Michael Kempel Memorial page and Daniel Bennett Memorial page).

July 29, 1970 Vietnam time...Near the AN HOA vicinity

Our company was operating near the An Hoa area. July 1970. Our platoon was operating in an area of brush and such growth and there was a small, very small, river flowing off one of the hill side. We ran platoon size patrols up this mountain side along the river a few times. We could see that there was VC activity along this river but could not make contact with any of them. After a few such patrols I decided to modify our approach to this area were it was obvious that they were somewhere near by. A few days later I led 2 squads on a miserable route through elephant grass going up the far side of this mountain stream area. Of course it was a hot miserable trip up that mountain. As we neared the top of this overgrown mountain we came across some well used trails. We had found a route the VC were using regularly. We followed the trail for a couple hundred yards and soon we were back into tall elephant grass. We stopped for a break. One of the corpsmen grabbed me by my flack jacket and said "Look Staff" as he pointed to an area near that river. There in the distance - maybe 150 yards away - were some VC and what looked like NVA in uniform standing near some huge boulders right by the water's edge. One of my machine gunners reacted and said he could take them out from where we were. I told everyone to just be on guard and continue with their break. Then I radioed in a spot report and told the CO of our situation. I told him I was taking the squads down to the Blue Line, (river). He said OKAY. So we proceeded down toward the river. We entered the river a few hundred yards up stream of where the VC / NVA were located. To tell the truth I wasn't really certain of our location along the river. The maps we had 'SUCKED'. So we started moving slowly down the river from small to larger boulders. There were some pools of water maybe 3 feet deep in the river area.

The VC / NVA had selected a nice area to hang out at. We were moving slowly when the word came from the rear that there were a couple of gooks on our trail behind us. I passed the word back to kill them. Apparently these gooks behind us must have turned off. They just disappeared. A few minutes later the VC / NVA we had spotted were still hanging out by the huge boulders. That's when our troops started firing. When they started firing I was waist deep in water and my radio man, PFC JD Sandlin, was a few yards behind me. I thought- CRAP - of all places to be - out in waist deep water - just looking for another place to move to. The rifle fire from my troops was not being returned by the VC / NVA. We'd surprised them completely and they were on the run. We surrounded and searched the area of the boulders. One VC was down in a hole under a huge boulder. He looked to be dead. One of my troopers got down in the hole and started pulling this guy out. We heard a 'pop' as he was puled out of the hole. Since he was being pulled out by the head - his neck broke -. For sure he was now dead. All the other gook troopers had scattered and could not be found. I'm sure we scared the crap out of all of them. After all they were enjoying their time by the river on a warn sunny afternoon. Some of my troops searched down in the hole and brought out bags of rice and other notebooks and stuff. I did see a revolver come out of that hole - but somehow it didn't show up in the final inventory of captured stuff. I had the dead gook placed up on top of a huge boulder. A bright colored air panel was attached on his chest. It was late in the afternoon and we had to get back to our platoon base camp.

Soon it was on the verge of getting dark and we were navigating along the rivers edge back to our base camp. I was thinking, 'It's getting to dark to see our route back'. The company Commander came up on the radio and told me had aircraft standing by to drop illumination for us. That illumination worked perfect. None of my troops twisted an ankle or broke a leg getting over those boulders. We called the illumination from the aircraft 'Basket Ball'. They did make out a lot of light. The next day when we got back to our platoon base camp I had an air strike standing by. As the jet pilot passed over the target I gave him a description of the target. MARK-MARK-MARK to the pilot and he had the target in sight. He made two different 500 pounder drops. With the first drop there was a secondary explosion about 100 yards from the main target. So there were some explosives hidden nearby that we hadn't found. The bomb blast did find them. With the second 500 pounder many of the boulders were rearranged. It was a nice sight. I hope there were some of the VC / NVA friends hiding near by. Hopefully some of them were killed also.

A couple days later we went back up that small river just looking for more of what we could find. On the way up we did find an ammo box of 30 cal machine gun ammo. The box looked to be in good shape. I had thought that we might be ambushed. We weren't. Whoever was there had gone away. We found nothing of the dead guy on the boulder. I'm not sure it was even the same boulder. All the terrain had been rearranged. The vegetation was missing and some boulders were shattered. We could not locate where the hole in the ground was.

July 31, 1970 In the surrounding area of An Hoa. This is one night time med-evac I'm certain of

Night activities are squad size patrols sent out to set up ambush sites along commonly used trails in hopes of catching some VC while their in route to doing what ever their plans might be. Sometimes it works but most of the time it doesn't produce anything. What it amount to is the troops are active all day and then they are sent out on NIGHT ACTIVITIES. Most troopers can tell you it really sucks. Fatigue is the biggest enemy. But that was part of the war. When night activities did work it usually was over in a few minutes. In my platoon the Navy Corpsmen packed a rifle and stood watch just like the Marines. I believe the Navy Corpsmen always did more than their share. Good troopers those Navy Corpsmen.

On 7/31/1970 I planned the night activities for my platoon. Two activities were sent out. The first group to go out were the ones who had to travel the furthest. Maybe 800 yards away. After they had departed the second night activity would leave on their route about 15 minutes later. They would go on a slightly different route so as not to be near the first group that went out. The squad leader of each activity was in charge totally of his men as to where they set their ambush. Night activities normally depart the platoon perimeter just as dark is starting to happen. The first Night Activity was led by Cpl. NJ Gilchrist. He took his squad out to their position. The second activity moved out and walked into the vicinity of the first activity. Unknown to either activity, they had crossed paths. There was a burst of rifles firing for a short time before they realized they were firing at their own men. PFC Sandlin was shot in the hip. All firing came to a stop. The situation was evaluated, a spot report went in to the CO. Priority went to the med-evacuation of PFC Sandlin. It didn't take long and aircraft were dropping night illumination as a CH 46 Chopper came in for the med-evac. Sandlin was out of there and on his way to medical care.

PFC Sandlin, though severely shot by an M-16 rifle, did live through all this. I did see PFC Sandlin at the Balboa Navy Hospital, San Diego, Ca several months later. I had contracted hepatitis myself while in Vietnam and spent a few months in the same hospital as PFC Sandlin. I was assigned to Marine Liaison at the hospital while I was waiting for a discharge from the hospital. One of my Liaison duties was to go to Marine patients in the hospital and see if there was anything I could do to help them. I was in for a surprise when I found PFC Sandlin there in bed all bandaged up from the gun shot in his hip. I talked to him for a bit and then I was on my way. A couple days later my orders came through to leave the hospital and go to my duty station. I haven't seen Sandlin since that time. I often wonder how he came out of it all.

Like many of us Marines there are stories to tell...Bless those who didn't come home alive, and may God help those who were severely wounded. And still there are Marines currently on battlefields. SOS

Semper Fi Marines
First Sergeant DJ Houser
Retired in Dec. 1978


(Sent in by Bill Raley, Jan. 15, 2010)

I just found these pics of me when I was on LZ Vulture, 1970. The one below is in Arizona Territory.

GotSome--Want SomeMore~Bill Raley


(sent in by John Lobur, Jan. 1, 2010)

Hai Van Pass, late April/early May 1968

I've just found this photo of me from just before I got my orders for home. We visited this very spot during our 2009 trip to Vietnam. I think JD Murray or Steve Lovejoy have pictures of this old French pillbox/fort at one of the bends in the road Hwy 1 north of DaNang.~John Lobur


(Sent in by George Filyaw, Jan. 15, 2010)

5th Marines Snipers Website

With the help of my nephew we are starting the site again.
5th Marine Snipers
Purple Heart Project

Semper Fi
Cpl. George R. Filyaw
5th Marine Scout Sniper Wounded May 26, 1967 Union ll




[Home][Table of Contents][What's New][Picture Gallery][USMC Picture Pages ][FMFCorpsmen
][Combat Wives][Combat Histories][Memorials][Poems, Memoirs][Links][Guestbook]