Picture Gallery 2011

Information and messages submitted by our website visitors

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(Sent in by Jim Bilyeu, Nov. 26, 2011)

Here are some pictures to add to your website. I wote on the pictures the names of the guys, at least the ones I can remember. If I made a mistake identifying anyone, and the ones that I couldn't remember, hopefully others can help. Thanks for all your support and help. God bless all veterans.~Cpl. Jim Bilyeu, 1st plt. Mike Co. 68/69, Machine Gun Squad


NOV. 10, 2011

First of all, me and Debbe would like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARINES and a big Semper-Fi. We should all remember the sacrifices all our Brother Marines have given, Past and Present.

We want to thank you all for your E-mails and contributions to our Web Site over the years, as we are still trying to tweek it so it's easier to navigate.

To 3/5 Marines, what Marine Corps Birthday sticks out in your mind? Mine was Nov.10, 1967. We just had the shit kicked out of us on 7th, 8th and 9th on Op. Essex. But on the 10th, the Corps pulled through and brought us Birthday cake and a couple of hot beers. For a few of us, the hot beer went down as fast as it came up. On that note, have a great day and walk proudly amoung your fellow vets.

Semper Fi!!
L/Cpl Brad Reynolds, Ret. & Debbe Reynolds, Semi. Ret.


Have a good day today, and tomorrow.
11-11-11 our day. We earned it! S/F~Mike Alden, M Co. 3/5


SEMPER FI...................Roger Nicholson, M Co. 3/5


To all my fellow Marines, I wish you all a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I salute you.
Dennis Tylinski (SKI), 3rd. Plt. "Mike" Co., 3rd Bn. 5th. Marine


Hope to see you all here on Memorial Day weekend~Terry Earhart, Am. Legion Post #283

I would like to take this opportunity for this proud American to thank you all for your military service.
It is an honor and my pleasure to know you all. THANK YOU ALL and to my Marines SEMPER FIDELIS…..
Grateful, Les Thompson

Thanks to all you brave Americans for keeping us free~Charlie Raby


(Sent in by Mike Alden, Nov. 1, 2011)

This picture belongs to Doc Aloisio. The one standing just off upper center right with bandolier around his waist, bush hat and glasses is Doc Dempsey. A Marine right in front of him has a M-79 pointing up towards his nose. Paul O'Connell is to the left sitting, bush hat on.The Marine almost out of the picture on the far left could possibly be Darrell Ross. Taken on L.Z. Vine. Some enemy weapons and items lay in front of the group. Doc Bob tells me may be a mix of 1st and 2nd platoon in this picture? The guys will have to figure that out. God Bless~Mike Alden

From Jim Bilyeu: Mike, I know some of them. The guy in far back right middle looks like John Ryba. The guy behind Doc Dempsey I believe is Gary Heeman and that is me to the right of the guy that is turned around talking to me. I can't see who that is. I believe the guy to the left of John Ryba is the guy that acted like he was riding his motorcycle or at least trying to start it all the time. Great picture~Jim B.


(Sent in by Mike Alden and BJ Jones, Oct. 27, 2011)

BJ's Flag raised by 3rd Battalions, 5th Marines, Camp Pendleton

Tom Wiseman had this Marine Corps flag at the 2011 Memorial Day weekend in Pickerington Ohio. All there, as many as possible signed this flag.Tom sent it to B.J. Jones. Well, here it is being raised over 3/5 headquarters in Pendelton!~Mike Alden

BJ's Letter to Tom Wiseman and Mike Alden, Sept. 1, 2011:

Just giving Y'all a heads up on what is going to take place with the flag Y'all got together and signed for me. As I was showing it to friends and telling them how proud I was of it one of my more eccentric Sgt. Army buddies jokingly said let's get it flown over a Marine Corps installation. He got another bright idea, and I told him he was NUTS! Which was like dangling a red flag in front of a bull! He got the local VVA chapter involved and one person told another and another until it has ended up in the hands of the 3/5 SGT Maj Camp Pendleton and it is totally out of control now! The SGT Maj Yagel has took the ball and is still running with it. I'm not sure what all is taking place, but so far know that there is going to be an honor guard, a rifle platoon, the battalion commander and they keep telling me there are other things in the works, but they won't tell me what.

The local VVA has had a plague made to present to the 3/5 battalion, thanking them for flying the flag and honoring me. JC Cason (the above mentioned Army Sgt.) and John Chandler (Navy Seabee, Nam 1966-68) are arriving in Ca. on Sept. 7th and the flag is supposed to be raised on the 8th. Wish I could be present.

It started out simple and is now totally out of control. I am feeling very nervous, undeserving, and want all of the 3/5 that was with me to be honored, not just me, and that is what I have conveyed to JC and he understands, and will pass the message on to the Sgt Maj, that ALL the 3/5 is to be honored. If it hadn't been for Tom and the rest of Y'all, I would still be in that rice paddy! I wish all of us could be at Pendleton to be a part of it, Y'all deserve it! JC Cason is a very good friend & brother that did his time in Nam as we did, the same year as a matter of fact. And he knows, no boundaries!

John Chandler, Navy Seabee (2nd from left)
JC Cason, K Co 75th Ranger 4th Infantry (3rd from left)

I want all the guys that was there to understand they are the reason this was able to take place, as I said in my letter to SGT Maj Yagel. Guys, the Flag was Flying for all of 3/5 there in Hell!!! I would like to once again say a Big thanks to my frend, JC Cason and John Chandler for their part!

Bruce and Brenda Jones (BJ & BJ)



(Sent in by Mike Alden, Oct. 26, 2011)

John Ryba, M Co. 3/5...Found!

Just spoke with John Ryba.You hit the nail square on the head Brad and Debbe!! Good Job!! He will be calling Flower Child a.s.a.p. They were pretty good friends in the Nam. Ryba has a pretty darn good memory. In the recent picture I sent in of L.Z Vine & Maxwell (above), it's left to right: Jim Turnage (Cackalac), Joey Freeman, and John Ryba. John has seen the picture on your site, and gave me this info. He was quite happy to visit!


(Sent in by Mike Alden, Oct. 26, 2011)

Perry Frago, M Co. 3/5 68-69...Found!

I sit here tickled pink as I just finished talking with Perry Frago, aka, Flower Child. YES ! First of all, Thank You Jamie Vroman for your devoted, and persistant manner in which you addressed this search for Perry Frago. IF it had not been for your letters you sent out, I have no doubt the search would still be ongoing. Again, Thank you Jamie ! Flower Child wants me to tell you All he says "Hi!" He is alright and will figure out a way to come to Pickerington, Ohio next year for our reunion at the David Johnston American Legion Post. Flower Child said, "I am so happy to talk with you and know MY FRIENDS have been looking for me." I have never forgot them.


(Sent in by Bill Lee, Oct. 26, 2001)

Bill Lee, Vietnam 1967-68

I was a 1371 combat engineer and spent time with both 1/5 & 3/5. My tour of duty was 9 October 67 - 29 October 68. My operations were The 68 Tet Counter Offensive, Houston 1, 2, 3, & 4, Sussex Bay, & Mameluke Thrust. For sure, I was with 3/5 after Tet, and well into the spring.

On March 29, 1968, myself and another engineer were taking turns walking point with mine detectors because of so many mines. I was relieved on point when the front element went about two minutes and they walked into a command detonated explosive device that killed three and wounded three. My replacement Tom Henry was one of the killed, and his assistant, John Knapp was peppered with holes.

Tom Henry before going to Vietnam
I had one of him and I, but I left it at The Wall in 1992
(See also, March 29, 1968 Memorial page)

I am interested in attending your 3/5 Reunion.
Semper Fi, Bill Lee


(Sent in by Tom Lindsay, Sept. 29, 2011)

Remembering Blake Aston, M Co. 3/5

Here are a couple of pictures taken at the firehouse on 9-28-11, the 41st anniversary of Blake Aston's KIA. Blake's Mom spent the day wih us at the firehouse, I try to spend time with her on this day each year. Really a special lady and a good friend.
Semper Fi, Tom

Blake Aston Memorial page

(Sent in by Ruben Salazar, July 9, 2011)

I met up with Buz Jeremenko (India 3/5), who was at this year's 3/5 Reunion in South Carolina, Great Marine! Then, Mike Mannell (India 3/5) who came to vist me from Oregon. We took my boat out to see if the lake had any fish, but there were too many to count! hehehe...

OOOOHRAAAA, Semper Fi, My Friends...RAZ


(Sent in by Mike Alden, July 9, 2011)

Semper Fi, Docs!

Appreciation plaques were awarded to FMF Corpsmen Everett Woods and Bob Alosio (RVN 1968) from M Co. 3/5 Marines gathered together Memorial Day 2011 at the David Johnston American Legion Post #283 in Pickerington, Ohio.

Capt. Pacello (Retired Lt.Col.) presenting plaque to "Doc" Everett Woods
Lt. Tom Mahlum presenting plaque to "Doc" Aloisio


(Sent in by Mike Alden, July 9, 2011)

Dennis Merryman awarded the Bronze Star, Memorial Day 2011
To the Merryman Family, I am most honored to have been a part of securing the Bronze Star for your brother, Dennis.~Mike

The Merryman family gathered together with M Co. 3/5 Marines at the David Johnston American Legion Post #283 to accept the Bronze Star Medal for Dennis Merryman, 43 yrs. overdue. Grateful thanks to these M Co. 3/5 Marines and to the Merryman's for their tireless efforts to see this award finally come through for Dennis.

1. Presentation of the Bronze Star to Paul Merryman on behalf of his brother L/Cpl. Dennis Merryman.
2. Paul O'Connell reading the Bronze Star citation for L/Cpl. Dennis Merryman.

3. Janice, Marlene, Paul, and Kelly Merryman
4. Joy and Tom Mahlum, Candice Biddlecom (Paul Merryman's granddaughter), Paul, Mike Alden, Fran (Paul's wife)

See also LCpl. Dennis Merryman Memorial page


(Sent in by Mike Alden, June 29, 2011)

These pictures came from Danny Freeman. His brother Joey sent these home before he was killed in Mar. 1969, so I believe they were taken Jan.-Feb. 1969. Maybe once these pictures are posted, someone will have a definite date.

M Co. 3/5 at LZ Vine
(This would be very close to middle of Jan. 1969, shortly after Gary Heeman was killed)

L.Z. Vine was prior to "M" Co. 3/5 arriving at Fire Support Base Maxwell. The first one is Joey Freeman (I'm 95% sure), Jim Turnage "Cackalac", and John Ryba. The one Marine in the distance alone is Perry Frago (Flower Child). The Marine in the tent I cannot remember.

The ch-46 is coming in to land on L.Z. Vine. What a mess it was when "M" Co met that objective. The first chopper in had to abort as the rotors hit the trees.The engineers had to blow the L.Z. much larger.

The ch-47 was delivering a water tank to L.Z. Maxwell when it came in from the wrong direction.That would be over the valley where the N.V.A. had a 51 A.A. set up. It received 4 rounds of 51 in its belly. The chopper instantly dropped its nose and headed down the opposite side of Maxwell, releasing the water tank and coming up the south side of Maxwell. There it sat till the crew could transfer fuel to a fuel tank that did not have a hole it it. Who is on the 50 firing off Maxwell?~Mike Alden


(Sent in by Danny Freeman, June 1, 2011)

Joey Freeman, Ron Thayer, Les Thompson
M Co. 3/5 Marines, 1969

Memorial Day 2011

I love this website. I lost my brother Lance Corp. Joseph Freeman on Hill 332 Operation Taylor Common. I am trying to find out more about his time in Vietnam. I just returned from a weekend with many of the Marines that were there with him and had a time I will never forget, as well as friendships that I will cherish forever. I was invited to the Memorial Day services that turned out to be a Mike 3/5 reunion of sorts as well. I went there as an outsider of sorts and left with a new family. Thanks for letting me share with you!! Thanks for all servicemen and your families for the sacrifices you have made for I do not take them lightly. Truly a blessing!!!~Danny Freeman

See also Joey Freeman Memorial page


(Sent in by Alan Cantrell, May 21, 2011)

May 21, 2011

Brad, that was the right Pete Black... I called him and we talked like it hasn't been 42 yrs. since we spoke last... I was telling him about our website and he was going to look for pics to post on it... he was glad to hear from us...I'm very grateful for the info.~Alan Cantrell


(Sent in by Mike Alden, May 20, 2011)

Awesome Week!

I want to inform you,that Jimmy Rutlege. "M" Co.1st squad 1st plt. 3/5 is located. Was shot in face on 332. Jimmy has had no contact for 42 years. Jimmy is very happy knowing he was not forgotten and doing good. Jimmy was located the 12 th of May. Today (Fri. May 20th) I talked with Luther Maxwell first time in 42 years also. Just confirmed this is our Luther from "M" Co 3/5 Luther was in my gun team for some time, (Jimmy was also). Luther has had no contact from anyone either. Both gentleman are very happy to have been contacted. This is not about me contacting them. It is about knowing Jimmy and Luther now know they were not forgetten. They want to get together with us as soon as it can be done. Without the major help from Jamie Vroman, Oliver Pettit, and Snuffy Jackson, neither Luther or Jimmy would have been located. I can not express enough to them how much I am thankful for their interest, and their motivation in locating them. I know Jimmy and Luther's life will be better now. S/F. Mike Alden

Finding M Co. 3/5 Marines
Message from Jamie Vroman

First of all, I’m not a Marine and never served in any war. I was too young, born in 1963. I’m the neighbor of M Co. 3/5 Marine Richard Upleger's daughter ‘Karen.’ When Rick and I were hunting early this year in my stand we always talked about different things. There was a conversation about the people he knew in Vietnam. There was a person named Ronnie Bellows that he said he knew and would really want to find...time went by and Rick kept talking about his lost buddies (only because I kept asking him about Vietnam). I asked Rick how hard is it to find people, he said in a somber look and voice, good luck, my wife has been looking for Ronnie for years and can’t find him. I heard Rick's Birthday was coming up in April and thought it would be great to find Ronnie for Rick as a birthday gift. I told Rick’s wife Donna I would look for Ronnie for him for his Birthday she also said she has been looking for years with no luck but if I could find him for Rick it would be Awesome!!!. Note: this is early February at this time and I thought I had plenty of time to find Ronnie; again I was really thinking about his conversations about Ronnie and just thought it would be great if I could find Ronnie for Rick. Donna was on board and I kept her updated with what I found.

I went online and searched Google and just starting asking questing like (How to find a Marine) some web sites came up so I went on them and asked for help. I put more blogs in asking for help in finding people, went on white pages.com and sites like that as well. Than the next day I had a voice mail on my phone at work from a guy named Oliver Pettit, saying he thinks he found Ronnie. I was shocked. My heart about came out of my chest, when we called, it was the wrong person, he wasn’t a Marine. When I talked to Oliver he said he found all but three people from his platoon. I kept looking, sent letters everything I could think of. I called a Marine Corps league in Texarkana and left a message looking for Ronnie, half way through the message a person named Greg picked up the phone and asked if I was looking for Bellews, I said yes, and he said he found his niece and granddaughter but they haven’t seen him in years but will keep looking. I call Oliver and he said that was good news because Ronnie has family there, we started looking that night. I think I was up to about three o’ clock looking, well after several searches, Oliver found Ronnie wife in the next town over from Texarkana but she has not heard from him in a couple years. Boy what a roll coaster ride we were on. We kept looking, Oliver finally found Ronnie and talked to Ronnie over the phone Oliver told Ronnie that we were looking for him for Rick. Ronnie owns a dinner in Texarkana now, but said he owned a trucking company some time back (which we found on line, dead end again) and when he was up in Michigan he tried looking for Rick but with no luck, Ronnie never forgot Rick.

I was so happy I left work and went over Rick’s house and asked his wife to come outside, because Rick had no idea we were looking for Ronnie. I gave Donna a piece of paper with Ronnie’s information on it and a big hug, we both had tears in our eyes. Donna said she would give the note to Rick on his birthday which was a couple of months at that time, I told her that Oliver just got off the phone with Ronnie and was expecting Rick's call. Later I heard Rick had a tear in his eye when he found out what I did for him. Rick called later to thank me and asked how did I Found Ronnie, I told him with help from Oliver a Marine I met on the internet. Then Rick said, Boy, I really want to find Costello! My old sergeant, without him I would not have made it out of Vietnam alive. I told Rick he had to be kidding after all I went through finding Ronnie. I called Oliver the next day; he said I’ll help find him, in a very chipper voice. Oliver found Costello, I guess he knew Costello, Rick was happy again, I told Rick if you know anyone else that is looking for lost Marines, I’ll look for them.

Since then Oliver and I have became good friends. Oliver gave me an Honorary Membership in Platoon 233 United States Marine Corps. Oliver told me he only did that for one other person. I’m really proud of that and have it hanging on my wall for all to see.

We have found five lost Marines all from (Mike Co.), first was Ronnie Bellows, Ronald Costello both Ricks friend, Darrel Ross (passed way in 2005) Robert C Walls, both Ron Thayer friends. Then Jimmy Rutledge, Mike Alden's friend.

1-Ronnie Bellows- started looking 2-3-2001 found 2-8-2001 (Ricks friend)
2-Ronald Costello –started looking 2-13-2011 found 2-16-2001 (Ricks friend)
3-Daryl Ross –started looking 2-16-2011 found 2-19-2011-passed away 2005 (Ron Thayer’s friend)
4-Robert Walls –started looking 2-25-2011 found 2-26-2011 (Ron Thayer’s friend)
5-Jimmy Rutledge –started looking 4-7-2011 (found with snuffs help) 5-12-2001 (Mike Alden’s friend)

I think this is my best and most rewarding hobby. I’m the type of person at believes if you can help a stranger you should. I’m blessed to know so many good Marines. I hope finding their lost friends brings joy and some closure in their life.

Jamie Vroman


(Sent in by Mike Alden, May 15, 2011)

M Co. 3/5 Marines

Right to left in picture: I do not reconize the Marine on the far left. Carmeld Torres (machinegunner 1st platoon), Dennis Merryman and Smitty. This was taken during our stand down (7, 8,and 9th Sept. 1968) in An Hoa due to foot problems from our feet being submerged in the water during typhoon Bess, Sept. 4th-6th (three full days). Look close at the Marines' feet. Notice what they are wearing on their feet. Then we left An Hoa 10 Sept. and hit the sh#t on the 11th.~Mike


(Sent in by George Phillips, May 9, 2011)

Bronze Star citations for Operations SWIFT and ESSEX

I received the Bronze Star for actions on Operation SWIFT, and had just returned to Mike Co. from 2 months on the hospital ship Repose because of a leg wound on Swift (4 Sept. '67). On 8 Nov.'67, I was shot by an AK 47 from the ridge above us, head shot. I received the Purple Heart and another Bronze Star for actions on Operation ESSEX.


Bronze Star Citation, Operation SWIFT
Bronze Star Citation, Operation ESSEX


(Sent in by Alan Cantrell, May 9, 2011)

Looking for Pete Black and Bernard Shinkman, M Co. 3/5 67-68

I served with Mike Co. from Dec 67 to Jan 69. I wound up in third plt. for most of the time, I carried Lt. Moore's radio. Does anyone have any info on Pete Black or Bernard Shinkman? I would truly like to get in touch with them. Any help appreciated. Does anyone else remember the rock apes at old French Fort near Danang right after Tet?

*FOUND PETE BLACK May 21, 2011


(Sent in by Steve Jacklin, Jan. 19, 2011)

M Co. 3/5, 3rd plt., 1970-71

I was in 3rd platoon, an 0311 newbee (less than a month in country) humping about 15 yards behind Dan Bennett when he exploded (he was my squad leader). As you know, Doc Kempel got blown away trying to get to Bennett. Amongst the chaos and carnage, as typical of all Marines, my training took over and I began to help with LZ security and medevacing the team.
And again, typical of what happens with 18-19 year-old Marines, I went about my job of looking for bad guys and put the event out of my mind. I stayed with 3rd platoon humping a radio as platoon, later, company radio operator until 3/5 left country in April 71, then I transferred to 2/1 and came home with them in July 71. I lost track of most of the guys from in country. I'm sure your website has made contact with many more. Didn't give a whole lot of thought to my 12 months in "bush" until I visited the Viet Nam Memorial in 1982. Seeing Cpl. Bennett and Doc Kempel on the wall swelled up a visceral moment with a clarity in my mind fogged over with time. I had to put that tsunami of emotion on paper.

"Bill of Sale" is off my last CD, STEVE JACKLIN, A STORYTELLERS JOURNEY. It is a result of that place in time, moment in my mind and cathartic relief. Able to put into words that moment, up until than, resided in defilade, camouflage by machismo and rationalization. (Note: I’m heading back into the recording studio this spring working a project that’s entirely focused on Viet Nam and War. It’ll have track like “Barbarella, The Telegram, Viet Nam Blues and Where the Hell is My Parade”).


Hearts turned to stone.... black granite names to share
Thousands enshrined…. solemn fanfare
Angled tombstones… souls put to rest
In a timely order they are finally blessed

**Weep calmly now..... relieve your pain
Then tip your half empty glass of ale
Sleep calmly now…. knowing their names
Have been….. the bill of sale

I see your face ... engraved on the wall
My eyes explode… as I feel you fall
A memory repressed… brought back from the dead
To finally realize… the tears that were bled

**Weep calmly now relieve your pain
Then tip your half empty glass of ale
Sleep calmly now…. knowing their names
Have been….. the bill of sale

Great website, and keep up the good work
Semper Fi
Steve Jacklin


(Sent in by Brad and Debbe Reynolds, Jan. 18, 2010)

LCpl. Everett Daniel Seed, M Co. 3/5 Oct. 68-Oct. 69

Arizona Territory 8 Sept. 1969
Left to right: Everett Seed, Joe Ambs, David Wiebenga, Bob Clevenger, Barry Mitchell, Dan Vest

(picture courtesy of Barry Mitchell)

On Nov. 16, 2011, we received an email from Bobbi Metheny who was looking for any information about her father, LCpl. Everett Daniel Seed who served with M Co. 3/5 in 68-69. He passed away in 1975 when she was only 2, and she had no pictures of him, or any information about him until she recently received his military records. In the last 2 months, she has "found" Marines who knew her dad well, and provided her with pictures and information she'd been fervently seeking. Bobbi's story has touched our hearts, and we thank the Marines who have responded to her, especially George Autobee and Barry Mitchell for their pictures and remembrances. It is an honor to share the Memorial page we are putting together for our brother Marine, LCpl. Everett Daniel Seed. We pray it will bring a measure of comfort to Bobbi and her family, and to all who knew and loved him. We look forward to adding to it as more information comes in. Semper Fi, Brother Marine...we will never forget.~Brad and Debbe Reynolds

LCpl. Everett Daniel Seed Memorial page


(Sent in by Lief Ericson, Jan. 13, 2011)

Close Call for FMF Corpsman Michael Ing, M Co. 3/5, Operation UNION II
Stars & Stripes news article, June 1967

Note: If anyone has contact info for "Doc" Ing, please let us know..."Doc" Dave Magnenant is looking for him


(Sent in by Ruben A. Salazar, Jan. 11, 2011)

Ruben Salazar

Me in Ha Noi, North Viet-Nam. this last summer. I was saluting all the brothers of 3/5, the U.S. Marine Corps, and all the people of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, past and present, who served, and are serving this great country. And Ho Chi Minh, can kiss my ass! ;-) OOOOHRAAAA!

Two week's after I got back from Viet-Nam, I was asked to present the Viet-Nam Cross of Gallantry Ribbon with Palm Cluster, at the 93rd birthday, of the Fiftth Marine Regimental Flag Ceremony at Fifth Marine Head Quarters, Camp San Mateo, Camp Pendleton, California.

1. Honored Family - Their son had just been killed in Afghanistan two week's before this Ceremony.
2. Me with the Cross of Gallantry Ribbon, the guy on my left is a Colonel, from Viet-Nam, the guy next to me on my right is a flame thrower from Guadual-Canal Word War II, the next man over was from Korea.
3. Ribbon souvenir -the old ribbon, that I got to bring home as a keepsake, cool! ;)
4. These bells were all over Viet-Nam, but this one came from Hoi-An. I had just spent a week there, as my base of operations, going to An-Hoa, Da Nang, Hill-55, China Beach, etc... It was given to the 5th Marine's Regimental Commanding Officer, back in 1968, when I was over there fighting with 3/5.

I must admit, I did fine, until I stood to face the audiance, and then I got all choked up with tear's filling my eye's thinking of our fallen brother's on the Wall of Honor, back in Georgia (3/5 Reunion), and the men I had served with who had died in combat. Not to mention my dad, and other brave men who had served this great country. My heart and pride went out to all them, too! I was truly humbled, let me tell you. And all this forty-two years after I had joined the Marines and gone to Viet-Nam as an 18-year-old kid! ;-)

Ruben Salazar, aka RAZ

India Co. 3/5


(Sent in by Gregory Long, Jan. 10, 2011)

3/7 India Company

Just wanted to say hello. I am a devil dog from India 3/7. I was in from 1997 to 2001. I am living in Rolla, Missouri working as a deputy sheriff now. I would love to have any information from any Devil Dog’s from India 3/7. My personal email is glongusmc308@yahoo.com feel free to post my email and I would love to hear from any other Devil Dog’s or their family no matter when they served. I look forward to making friends with some of my fellow brothers.

CPL Gregory E. Long


(Sent in by Martin Windham, Jan. 10, 2011)

Martin Windham, Vietnam 1970

It is really nice to connect with Marines I served with in Vietnam over 40 years ago. I just put things behind me for most of those years and I have recently gotten very interested in making contact with all of you I served with over there. I was with Lima 3/7 on Ross until it stood down and then with Mike 3/5 on Ross until it stood down. I was then sent to 3/1 around Marble Mountain near Danang.

"B" squad, 3rd Platoon, M Co. 3/5
Left to Right: L/Cpl Morgan, Michigan; PFC Kranko, Canada; PFC Courtney, Mississippi;
L/Cpl Barry Howard, Hershey, Pa; L/Cpl Martin Windham, Reynolds, Ga; Pvt Gunnels, SC

I served with Barry Howard from Hershey, PA in 1970 in Mike 3/5. We were both 0311's. Barry and I were good friends. I would like to find out how he is doing. We were both in the 3rd platoon and Dana Shreve was the platoon commander at the time and Sgt. Cotton was the platoon sgt. I remember that Dana Shreve got Malaria (as a lot of us did) and was medevaced, but I can't remember if he came back to us after that or not. I remember Sgt. Cotton served as Platoon Commander in his absence for a period of time.

NVA flag that we got out of a base camp cave somewhere in the Que Son mountains.
It still has the tag on it that allowed me to bring it home.

I would love to hear from any of the Marines I served with.
Semper Fi,
L/Cpl. Martin Windham, M Co, 3/5, 1970


(Sent in by Lief Ericson, Jan. 10, 2011)

Lief Ericson, 1st Engineer Bn.
Bn. Area, Danang

I arrived incountry on March 18,1967 at Danang on Continental Airlines from Okinawa.Transfered to 1st Engineer Bn at Chu Lai, assigned to B company 3rd platoon; B company in direct support of 5th Marine Regiment; 1st plt to 1/5, 2nd plt to 2/5, 3rd plt to 3/5. Incountry at hills 29, 39, 54, 63 as well as Chu Lai, Tam Ky, Da Nang, Gia Le (Phu Bai ).

Was on operations Union, Union II, Adair, Calhoun, Swift, and I thought Cochise but am awaiting records from nav-personnel in St. Louis to confirm. Last op was Dec. 67 ( no name ) with Lima Co. Was then transfered to B Co headquarters as driver at Da Nang, then to Gia Le to finish out tour. Rotated back to CONUS April 1968.

Lief Ericson
Tam Ky, just after Operation UNION, May 1968

Photo taken on Hill 63

(Pictured Left to Right)
Lief Ericson-
WIA Operation SWIFT
L/Cpl. E.G. Hilling,
my teammate on every operation and most every road sweep, from Jermyn, PA.
Sgt. Pat Pennock,
on his 2nd tour extension, 19 months into a 25-month tour.
A dead ringer for a young Errol Flynn (Errol Flynn's son, Sean, MIA April 1970, Cambodia).
Cpl. Ed "Popski" Polaskis-WIA Operation CALHOUN, medevaced to japan after being shot through both legs by an AK-47, Rehabilitated and sent back to 1st Engineers to finish his tour.
L/Cpl. Everett-Note he is wearing sneakers from having trench foot, pretty common affliction as your feet were wet from crossing rivers, streams and rice paddies.

At the time photo was taken we were in the process of setting up the base camp.
As you can see, the decking for the tent has been laid down and the sand bag walls are about half built.

Air Strikes off Hill 63

"I'd be safe and warm if I were in L.A
California Dreaming, on such a Winter's Day"-10 months left In-Country

"Engineer Up!"

"He Aint Heavy, He's My Brother" This is an article from the "Stars and Stripes," Hilling and myself were paired up the Summer of '67 with India and Mike Companies, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. I rotated back to the States about a month before he did. We hooked up at Camp Lejeune where we were both assigned to 8th Engineers. When I first saw him at Lejeune he had a scar that ran from one side of his forehead to the other. 13 months in Nam, not a scratch. A week after getting home he went through the windshield of his buddy's car. Hilling was maybe 5' '7" and looked and walked like a penguin, but he was absolutely fearless. He was right beside me the 4th of Sept. in the Que Son, Busting caps, Killing Japs.

Cpl. Banes from Gulfport, Miss.
Lief and Banes' "house" while running patrols with 3/5
Taken at outpost top of Hill 63, 25 miles south of Danang

Lief Ericson, Hill 63
Taken just before Operation SWIFT, Sept. 1967

Award of Purple Heart Medal for Sept. 4, 1967, Operation SWIFT
I turned 19 on Sept. 14, 1967, ten days after being WIA. On the 4th I wouldn't have bet on seeing 19.~Lief Ericson

1967 News Articles about Operation SWIFT

"The Gang"
Tom Leisure, Lief Ericson, "Hippie" Byrd, "Loser" Owens
Taken just before my tour ended-April 1968




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