February 15, 1968 — Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam
Charles William Eglin was playing poker with a few other Marines at B Battery, 2nd LAAM Battalion. One of the players, last name of Washington, was insulted by 'racial' remarks made by Lcpl Eglin, and went to his area and picked up a letter opener that he had purchased in the local village. These letter openers were popular - they were shaped like a little samuri sword, with a long slender blade. Washington went back to the card game - there were more words - and he stuck Eglin in the chest with the letter opener, cutting an aorta.
I had Sergeant of the Guard that very sad night, and I remember sitting in the Duty Office (an APC that was buried) with Washington under arrest. The MPs took Washington away in the morning. We never heard of his Courts Martial or what happened to him.
I had little contact with Lcpl Eglin, but I remember him as a young cocky fellow, like so many of us then, from New York. The other Marines in the card game would have restrained Washington if they had even thought he was dangerous. Washington's record was clean to that point, and I don't believe they felt Eglin was threatened until it happened.
Texas Tech University has declassified accounts of this and other incidents in 2nd LAAM in Viet Nam at this website:
On the left of this page, scroll down to "2nd LAAM Battalion", click on that and go to "Feb 1968".