Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Marine Corps 1
Private First Class 1
20 Apr 1947 1
21 Apr 1967 1

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Rudolph Steven Galiana 1
20 Apr 1947 1
Male 1
21 Apr 1967 1
Cause: Gun, Small Arms Fire 1
Age at Death: 20 1
Body Recovered: Recovered 1
Casualty Date: 21 Apr 1967 1
Casualty Location: Binh Son (1) 1
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died 1
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA 1
Marital Status: Single 1

Vietnam War 1

Marine Corps 1
Private First Class 1
3rd Bn 1
I Co 1
Enlistment Type:
Regular 1
E2 1
Major Command:
1st Mar Div 1
1st Marines 1
Marine Corps 1
Machine Gunner (USMC) 1
Years Served:
0 1
Roman Catholic 1
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 1
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 57 1
Panel: 18E 1

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PFC Galiana was a machine-gunner with I Co., 3/1 Marines. He was killed in action the day after he turned 20 years old. In April 1967 Fox Company, 2nd Bn, 1st Marines manned an outpost on a hill at Nui Loc Son in the Que Son Valley, running daily (and nightly) patrols to deny the valley below to the enemy. On 21 Apr 1967, most of the company set out on a daylight patrol that took them into the village of Binh Son. As the Marines approached across the rice paddies they were ambushed by a dug-in VC Main Force battalion that enjoyed a clear line of fire across level land with little cover ... Fox 2/1 had run into a hornet's nest. Fourteen Marines were killed and 18 others wounded early in the fight, which continued until other elements of the 1st Marines and the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, arrived and flanked the VC from their fortifications. By the time Fox 2/1 was relieved they had lost 29 men. India and Mike Companies, 3/1, lost 14 more, including Pfc Galiana. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously. The citation reads: The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Rudolph S. Galiana (2297083), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Gunner in the machine-gun section, Second Platoon, Company I, Third Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), during operations in the Republic of Vietnam. On 21 April 1967, two companies of the Third Battalion, First Marines were helilifted into the Que Son Valley in the vicinity of Nui Loc Son to reinforce an infantry company that was heavily engaged by a numerically superior enemy force estimated to be of battalion size. The enemy was well-entrenched and delivered highly effective small-arms and mortar fire against the relieving companies. In the ensuing battle, Private First Class Galiana's machine-gun team was positioned to gain fire superiority over the enemy positions that held his platoon's advance to a standstill. Immediately after engaging the enemy his machine-gun team was caught in a cross fire and heavily engaged for the next several minutes. During this time the ammunition supply for the gun became critically low. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Private First Class Galiana stood up in the middle of the cross fire that had already killed or wounded several members of his team and ran from man to man collecting ammunition from the dead and wounded. After he had collected all the ammunition, he ran back to the gun position and passed it to the gunner. As he did so, he was fatally wounded by enemy machine-gun fire. His outstanding courage, daring initiative and valiant fighting spirit were an inspiration to all who observed him, and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country. The engagement initiated Operation UNION, a massive effort to clear the VC from the Que Son area - but an effort which had to be repeated throughout the war.

Thank you Marine for your service to this great nation and to our Corps....


Standing here in front of the Wall
silently reading your name
solemnly I thank you one and all
Each of you different, yet the same

The list seems forever endless
but I remember your faces
you made the supreme sacrifice, I confess
as I walk slowly with measured paces

Each one of you answered the call
willingly or not, you gave your lives
Rest easy, my Brothers - heroes all
The Nation still survives

"War drew us from our homeland

In the sunlit springtime of our youth.

Those who did not come back alive remain

in perpetual springtime -- forever young --

And a part of them is with us always."

--- Author Unknown ---

God Bless  You

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