Thank you Marine for your services 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
Last Known Activity
During the summer of 1966 the North Vietnamese Army's 324B Division had infiltrated south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with the clear intention of setting up a major presence in northern Quang Tri Province. The NVA 341st Division was positioned within and north of the DMZ and prepared to support the 324B Division and/or exploit opportunities arising from the 324B's operations. CG 3rd MAF, the senior US commander in northern South Vietnam, initiated Operation HASTINGS, aimed at discouraging the 324B Division and forcing it back into the DMZ (at the time, US forces could not enter into the DMZ - it was an NVA sanctuary). Heavy fighting continued through July 1966, particularly around the "Rockpile" between Khe Sanh and Camp Carroll. HASTINGS ended, and a series of recon-in-force operations - termed Operation PRAIRIE - began on 03 August 1966. Operation DECKHOUSE IV was conducted by the 7th Fleet's Special Landing Force Bravo (Battalion Landing Team 1/26) as an adjunct to Operation PRAIRIE. BLT 1/26's area was about 8 miles NE of Dong Ha, and began with an amphibious landing and a heliborne landing some six miles inland west of Highway 1. BLT 1/26's Recon Group (1st Plt, 3rd Force Recon Co and 1st Plt, A Co, 5th Recon Bn) was detached from BLT 1/26 and attached directly to Commander, Landing Force, for operations as directed. The Force Recon Marines were held in reserve while 1st Plt A/5th Recon was inserted for recon operations. At about 1330 15 Sep 1966, there was a meeting engagement between the recon platoon and an NVA company. The contact developed into a vicious fight during which only artillery and air support prevented the NVA from overrunning the outnumbered recon platoon. Two hours after the first shot was fired the platoon was extracted by helicopter, having suffered the loss of their Platoon Leader (1stLt Walter J. Spainhour, Lenoir, NC, Silver Star), six wounded, and one missing in action - Pfc Douglas R. Mowbray of Peekskill, New York. The 1/26 Command Chronology for 17 September 1966, two days later, contains the following: "At 0740H the Force Recon platoon was inserted at YD282748 to conduct surveillance of the beach area. As Company A continued sweeping through the area in the vicinity of YD173652 ... Indications were that the NVA's were hastily retreating to the north. At 0925H Company A found the body of the Recon Marine MIA under a bush. His wounds had been bandaged by the NVA but he had died from loss of blood." "After Action Report for Operation DECKHOUSE IV/PRAIRIE", Encl (1) to BLT 1/26 ltr Serial 003B269 dtd 26 Sep 1966 That contact was the first in what became ten days of heavy fighting for BLT 1/26's Marines and sailors. Although DECKHOUSE IV officially ended on the 18th, BLT 1/26 stayed in support of PRAIRIE until the 25th. The operation claimed at least 200 NVA killed at a cost of 37 Marines and sailors killed in action and another 167 wounded. The other 35 men killed during DECKHOUSE IV were * A Co, 5th Tank Bn: o LCpl Estill L. Childers, Slater, MO * W Btry, 3rd Bn, 12th Marines: o Pfc Charles E. Stokes, Santa Ana, CA * A Co, 1st Bn, 26th Marines: o 1stLt Glenn E. Insprucker, Glendale, CA o LCpl Dennis K. Eaker, Duboistown, PA o Pfc Richard S. Bates, Nutley, NJ o Pfc Nicholson Brown, Washington, DC o Pfc Sherman L. Ivey, Cleveland, OH o Pfc Ronald Mc Cracken, Elmsford, NY o Pfc Edward Ramos, Clyde, TX * B Co, 1st Bn, 26th Marines: o Cpl James R. Griffin, Plymouth, FL o Cpl Olin R. Thrush, Lockport, NY o HN Gollie L. Grant, Old Fort, NC (Navy Cross) o Pfc Joseph D. McNulty, Roxbury, MA o Pfc Jimmy R. Waldrep, Logan, AL * C Co, 1st Bn, 26th Marines: o LCpl Jack E. Crouch, Mount Vernon, IL (Silver Star) o LCpl Carlton Griffin, Putney, GA o LCpl James L. Pettiford, Clairton, PA o Pfc Garry D. Davis, Elizabethtown, IL o Pfc Joseph A. Friel, West Roxbury, MA (Silver Star) o Pfc John H. Fulcher, Arlington, VA o Pvt Thomas J. Kane, Dorchester, MA * D Co, 1st Bn, 26th Marines: o 1stLt Gerald D. Geoghegan, Verona, NJ o Cpl Stephen P. Miller, Philadelphia, PA o LCpl Micky J. Johns, Levittown, NY o Pfc Bruce B. Backeberg, Helena, MT (Silver Star) o Pfc David R. Beattie, Neptune, NJ o Pfc Elmer L. Boatman, Wayland, MO o Pfc Ronald C. Dexter, Milbank, SD o Pfc Herschel P. Helm, Coffeeville, MS o Pfc Thomas C. Jonozzo, Bedford, OH o Pfc Danny R. Rundle, Whittier, CA o Pfc Florentino J. Santana, Elgin, IL * H&S Co, 1st Bn, 26th Marines: o 1stLt Dennis D. Bradley, Marysville, WA o Sgt John F. Sewell, Severn, MD o HM3 John O. Oquendo, Campbell, OH