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Operation SWIFT M Co. 3/5 Reunion and Memorial
3-5 September 2007

It was an awesome reunion in Oceanside, California for M Co. 3/5 Marines who served together 40 years ago on Operation SWIFT. Many of the Marines had not seen each other since the battle. There were hugs and tears of joy when they saw Marines who had been badly wounded and survived. Operation SWIFT was a fierce battle that began Sept. 4, 1967 and ended Sept. 15, 1967 leaving 20 from M Co 3/5 killed, 17 of them on the first day. On Sept. 4, 2007, M Co. 3/5 Marines who came together for the reunion gathered at the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Memorial Park in Camp Pendleton to honor their brothers-in-arms who were killed on Operation SWIFT. The Memorial was a fulfillment of promises made to their fallen brothers that they would never let them be forgotten. Grateful thanks to JD Murray, Chuck Goebel and Jack Swan for all their efforts putting this SWIFT Reunion/Memorial together. We've been receiving a lot of picturesand comments from the Marines who gathered and will post them as time and space allow.~Brad and Deb

"The gathering was one of the electric moments of my life. I never thought that we could ever muster in one place so many heros from the Sept. 4th battle. Semper Fi"~JD Murray


Submitted by Frank Jurney

"The SWIFT Memorial was a unique situation where we reunited a small group of Marines that had spent 11 days in September 1967 in the Que Son Valley under extreme hostile environment- the bond that was created is remarkable- to honor our fallen and share the special moments. I want to thank our company commander Skipper JD Murray for his dedication and training that was instrumental in getting us home. Semper fi," Frank Jurney

1. Frank Jurney
2. Roger Nicholson, Frank Jurney, Chuck Cummings, Kevin Kelly
3. Steve and Nancy Cottrell
4. John Bowers, JD Murray

1. Chuck Cummings, Kevin Kelly, Craig Sullivan
2. Ed Combs, Lynwood Scott
3. JD and Beth Murray

Bill Vandegriff's Pipe Ceremony

3/5 Memorial Park, Sept. 4, 2007


Submitted by Chuck Goebel

"I have great mixed emotions about the 4 September Reunion, all good! Skipper (JD Murray) had mentioned several years before that he wanted to make this happen so that we could remember our own in our own special way. We certainly didn't know where a lot of folks were at that time and I'm sure that it was as much an honor for all that worked on making it happen as it was for me to try to do the little that I could. I found it a special honor to be able to be in the same breathing space with all of the remarkable Marines and Navy personnel and their families that I served with that day. After the career that I have had in all with the Marines in Viet Nam, the police department, our race cars, my family and all the wonderul people that I have been honored to know, I will readily admit that one of the most magic times of my life was to be able to break bread with you all again. You are all my heros and you will be forever...Semper Fidelis.~Christy and Chuck Goebel


Submitted by Ron Pizano

1. Fighting 5th sign at Camp Pendleton
2. JD Murray and Craig Sullivan speaking at the Memorial
3 . Chuck Goebel, Roger Nicholson, Bill Vandegriff

1. Elliott "Recon" Rubenfeld and Tony "Short Round" Martinez
2. Bill Vandegriff, Bill Grissinger, Lynwood Scott
3. Kevin Kelly, Bev Haney, John Bowers, Pilar Cummings, Merry Kelly, Susan Combs

1. Rob Whitlow, "Bird Dog" on SWIFT
2. Larry Nunez, 2nd plt. (speaking)

2nd platoon M Co.
Keith Rounseville, Carlton Clark, JD Murray, Ron Pizano, Tony Martinez, Bert Watkins, Larry Nunez

3/5 Memorial Park, Sept. 4, 2007


Swift Reunion: 4 Sep. 2007
Submitted by Steve Lovejoy

I was somewhat apprehensive as I was driving the 350 miles south to San Clemente, Ca. for the commemoration of Operation Swift, 40 years ago, Sept. 4, 1967. Of course the 4th was the most talked about, but other events also happened during the rest of the operation. I wasn't too sure how things would go, but when I arrived and met my long-time friend, John Lobur and his lovely wife Jan, my fears quickly disappeared. John and I had spent many a day surviving in Vietnam, and it had been 31 years since we had last seen each other. It was as if we had just been separated for a short time! We went up to Chuck Goebel's mom's home, in Lake Forrest for a back yard barbecue. Chuck, his mom, and wife Christy, Capt. J.D. Murray, Jack Swan, and others, not to mention USMC personnel at Camp Pendleton went beyond the call to organize and manage this reunion. A big thanks to all!

During the barbecue, I was interested to discover what had happened to several of my fellow Marines. I will give one example: After being on an all night ambush, with (I believe 6 men), we were fired upon by an AC47 gunship. At least one was KIA on one side of me and one WIA on the other, each being about 3-4 feet from me. I never knew what happened to the wounded Marine until Larry Nunez spoke of his being wounded during Swift by friendly fire. I spoke with Larry and we agreed that it was the AC47 gunship incident! Finally, after 40 years, I knew who it was that had been wounded and what had happened to him after he was medi-vaced. I also discovered the names of the others. Wayne Carnell lost his life and Raines was the 2nd WIA. Of course, those who did not survive Swift were the ones most honored, but we also celebrated the survivors and were grateful to learn of their lives since, even though at least some of us have suffered greatly either physically, mentally, or both, we were able to embrace each other and give thanks.

To sum up, I believe most, if not all of us that were there at the reunion, realize how important we are to each other. We were in battle(s) and now, since we have shared experiences, a bond is created that those who have not gone through this, will never know. Whether we have told others over the years or not, I think getting together allows us to realize that we will always be in each others' prayers and thoughts. I also discovered that by talking with each other we can piece together memories of actions that may have not been complete. Consequently, we owe each other debts of gratitude for what we did in Vietnam and appreciation for each other now. I guess what this all adds up to is that we all are heroes to each other! (P.S. Sorry, I do not remember Raines' first name).~Respectively submitted by: Steve Lovejoy

Father Capodanno (MOH) chapel at Camp Pendleton

1. John Lobur, Steve Lovejoy
2. Carlton Clark, John Lobur
3. John Lobur, Bert Watkins, Larry Nunez, Elliott Rubenfeld

2nd plt. M Co. 3/5
Front: Larry Nunez, Elliott Rubenfeld, Bert Watkins, Keith Rounseville, Carlton Clark
Back: John Lobur, Steve Lovejoy, Ron Pizano

SWIFT Memorial at 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Memorial Park
September 4, 2007


Submitted by Brad Reynolds

1. Chuck Chummings, John Bowers, Howard Haney, Jack Swan, Lynwood Scott, Brad Reynolds
2. Jack Swan, 1st plt. point man
3. Howard Haney and "Swanie" with NVA flag from JD Murray
"Skipper" Murray relaxing (Swanie's boonie hat)
5. Lynwood Scott and Bill Grissinger with new tattoos (ask Scotty about "Juanita")

Cook-out at Chuck Goebel's Mom's home, Sept. 3
1. Swanie with Lasa and Ken Fields
2. Sully, Bill Grissinger, Scotty
3. Ken Fields, Larry Nunez, Carlton Clark
4. Steve Lovejoy

Lunch at the Officer's Club, Camp Pendleton, Sept. 6

Jack Swan with Lima 3/5 Marines who were shipping out for Iraq in a few days


M Co. 3/5 Marines Killed In Action on Operation SWIFT
(Click on names to view individual Memorial pages)

LCpl. Jack Albert Berry, LCpl. Stephen Cornell, Pfc. Dennis Fisher, LCpl. Thomas Fisher-Navy Cross, Pfc. Tony Gabaldon, LCpl. Andrew Giordano, LCpl. Richard Guerrero, Pfc. Raymond Hengels, Pfc. James Calvin McKenzie, Pfc. Charles Frederick Martin, Pfc. Gene Mortensen, Sgt. Lawrence David Peters-MOH, Cpl. William Young, LCpl. Albert Willard Santos, Pfc. Steven James Wright, Pfc. William Franklin Miller, Pfc. Talmadge Carnell.

Navy Personnel Also Killed In Action on Operation SWIFT
(Click on names to view individual Memorial pages)

Lt. Vincent Capodanno-MOH
HN "Doc" Armando Leal-Navy Cross
HN David Clayton Phelps

Semper Fi, Brother Marines...we will never forget


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