Summary

Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Branch:
Navy 1
Rank:
Hospitalman (Navy) 2
Birth:
10 Jul 1944 2
Death:
30 Oct 1965 2
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Gerald Lee Feltner 2
Birth:
10 Jul 1944 2
Male 2
Death:
30 Oct 1965 2
Cause: Other Explosive Device 2
Age at Death: 21 2
Body Recovered: Recovered 2
Casualty Date: 30 Oct 1965 2
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died 2
Residence:
Hometown: Carroll, IA 2
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Marriage:
Marital Status: Married 2
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Vietnam War 1

Branch:
Navy 1
Rank:
Hospitalman (Navy) 2
Battalion:
1st Bn 2
Company:
A Co 2
Enlistment Type:
Regular 2
Grade:
E3 2
Regiment:
1st Marines 2
Service:
Navy 2
Years Served:
2 2
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Religion:
Roman Catholic 2
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 2
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 5 2
Panel: 03E 2

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Stories

On 30 October... "Two days after the airfield attacks, the Viet Cong attempted another probe of the Marine defenses, not at the Danang base areas but against the defensive perimeter on Hill 22, south of the Thuy Loan River. There were 154 men on Hill 22, primarily from Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines.

The action began shortly after midnight on 30 October when 10 to 15 VC walked into an Alpha 1/1 squad ambush" {at the spillway on the Song Thuy Loan: 1st Platoon consisting of 3 squads, led by Cpl. Dick Goulette 1st Sqd., Cpl. Ed Sand or Sgt. Frank Gagliardo (unclear) 2nd Sqd., and Cpl. George Young 3rd Sqd. (source: Dick Goulette)} "about a kilometer south of the hill. The Marines opened fire and killed three of the enemy, but were unable to notify their company commander of the contact due to a radio failure. All was quiet for about two hours, when a larger force enveloped the Marine squad, killing three and wounding six.

Immediately afterwards, Hill 22 and a separate position two kilometers to the west manned by Mike Company, 3/4 Marines, came under mortar fire. The Mike 3/4 position suffered one Marine killed and two wounded, but direct fire from a 3rd Tank Battalion M48 tank silenced the mortar. At Hill 22, some 300-400 VC attacked the Marine positions from the northwest. Enemy troops, supported by two recoilless rifles, were able to destroy three defensive bunkers and an ONTOS and penetrated about a third of the northwestern perimeter.

The Marines rallied and were able to eject the VC, restoring the perimeter by 0330. By the time three UH-34s landed munitions and a 13-man squad from C/1/1 on the hill at 0345 the VC had withdrawn and the fighting was reduced to sporadic exchanges of fire. During their withdrawal the VC removed a considerable number of their dead and wounded, but left 47 dead and one wounded within the Alpha 1/1 perimeter.

The attacks on the ambush squad, Mike 3/4, and Hill 22 resulted in the deaths of 15 Marines and one sailor, with 45 others wounded. The American dead were

* A Co, 3rd Engineer Bn:
o Cpl Robert S. Ruch, Bethlehem, PA
o Pfc Seymour P. Sadberry, Boston, MA
o Pvt Ronald V. Bacca, Magna, UT

* A Co, 1st Bn, 1st Marines:
o Sgt Frank A. Gagliardo, Deer Park, NY *
o Sgt Marcos Hernandez, El Paso, TX
o Cpl Richard A. Cesar, Corydon, IA
o HN Gerald L. Feltner, Carroll, IA
o Cpl Philip M. Sens, Newark, OH
o Cpl Dennis Smith, Columbus, OH
o LCpl Robert P. Jordan, New York, NY
o LCpl Harold H. Schock, Mamaroneck, NY *
o LCpl Richard D. Sharp, Dayton, OH
o Pfc Richard A. Crawford, Godfrey, IL *
o Pfc Gary E. Elford, Newport, OR
o Pfc Rayes C. Flores, Abilene, TX

* H&S Co, 1st Bn, 1st Marines:
o Cpl Grant L. Clark, Pocatello, ID

LCpl Jordan and Pfc Elford were killed at the ambush site, but the identity of the third man is not known. Further, we know that one of the three men marked with an asterisk actually was the Mike 3/4 Marine killed in the mortar attack on their position - but we do not know which one."

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