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Posted: 2/14/2013 6:25:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 6:29:42 PM EDT by EagleArmsHBAR]
There are some that never say, "Happy Valentines Day." People tht are close to them wonder why, but they don't always open up to them. They cringe at the thought of February 14th every year as it approaches and hate it when they see other people smiling and making a big deal about it every year, for they have other thoughts and memories on their minds.

We should remember those lost on Valentines Day, 1968 in Quang Tri, South Vietnam. Those were the men of Kilo Co 3/9.

Here is a post from the virtual wall about that day:

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Route 9 ran from Dong Ha past Khe Sanh to the Laotian border and provided the only ground resupply route to Cam Lo and points west. For that reason the North Vietnamese were determined in their efforts to cut the road, while the Marines were equally determined to keep it open.
On 14 Feb 1968 Kilo 3/9's four platoons were occupying positions along Route 9 about 3 kilometers south-southwest of Ca Lu. Although they had received sporadic mortar and small arms fire on the 13th, the North Vietnamese attack on the 14th was a much more serious affair - an apparent attempt by the NVA to destroy Kilo Company in detail. At 1645 [4:45 pm] the Kilo 3/9 positions began receiving heavy .50 caliber and small arms fire followed almost immediately by mortar fire. The company commander, Captain A. K. Ward, ordered his platoons to shift their positions by a few hundred yards in hopes of disrupting the enemy fire, but by 1900 he had been seriously wounded and his executive officer killed. The attacks by fire continued through dusk. The Battalion executive officer led a platoon from India 3/9 from Ca Lu toward the Kilo 3/9 positions and a replacement for Captain Ward was flown in on a medevac helo to attempt to regroup Kilo 3/9's scattered platoons. The 1st, 2nd, and remnants of the 4th platoons joined up on Route 9, while the 3rd Platoon dug in in place. The bulk of Kilo Company joined with the relief force and arrived at the Ca Lu Combat Base at 0420 on the 15th.

The 3rd Plt held in place until daybreak, when they began to search the area for casualties and stragglers. At 1105 the 3rd Plt began movement toward Ca Lu but at 1200 they were again engaged by the NVA. The Marines established a perimeter and called for medevacs and reinforcement. India 3/9 departed Ca Lu, joining with 3rd Plt K/3/9 at 1600. At that point a medevac helo was badly shot up (3 of 4 crewmen wounded) and both the Kilo and India Company Commanders had been wounded. Rather than bringing more helos into a hot zone, the Battalion Commander determined that a move by ground was preferable. Shortly after the Kilo and India 3/9 Marines began their movement the Battalion Commander departed Ca Lu with elements of Lima 3/9 to assist. By 2130 the first elements of India 3/9 arrived at Ca Lu, and by midnight all elements of 3/9 had returned to the combat base.

Kilo 3/9 lost ten Marines and one sailor as a result of the fighting on 14-15 Feb:

  • Capt Alexander K. Ward, Annapolis, MD (DoW 02/16/1968)
  • 2ndLt William R. Reese, Abilene, TX
  • HM2 Larry Goss, Marion, IN, H&S with K/3/9
  • Cpl Lowell T. Combs, San Antonio, TX
  • Cpl Dennis K. Fleming, Orrville, OH
  • Cpl David F. Schneider, Avon, OH
  • LCpl Mark E. James, Bremen, GA (KIA 02/15/1968)
  • LCpl Jeffrey R. Wentzell, San Francisco, CA
  • PFC Frederick W. Bungartz Chippewa Falls, WI
  • Pfc Melvin L. Jones, Shreveport, LA
  • Pfc Barry L. Rigsby, Madison, IN
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:29:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:42:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:51:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:53:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EagleArmsHBAR:
There are some that never say, "Happy Valentines Day." People tht are close to them wonder why, but they don't always open up to them. They cringe at the thought of February 14th every year as it approaches and hate it when they see other people smiling and making a big deal about it every year, for they have other thoughts and memories on their minds.

We should remember those lost on Valentines Day, 1968 in Quang Tri, South Vietnam. Those were the men of Kilo Co 3/9.

Here is a post from the virtual wall about that day:

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Route 9 ran from Dong Ha past Khe Sanh to the Laotian border and provided the only ground resupply route to Cam Lo and points west. For that reason the North Vietnamese were determined in their efforts to cut the road, while the Marines were equally determined to keep it open.
On 14 Feb 1968 Kilo 3/9's four platoons were occupying positions along Route 9 about 3 kilometers south-southwest of Ca Lu. Although they had received sporadic mortar and small arms fire on the 13th, the North Vietnamese attack on the 14th was a much more serious affair - an apparent attempt by the NVA to destroy Kilo Company in detail. At 1645 [4:45 pm] the Kilo 3/9 positions began receiving heavy .50 caliber and small arms fire followed almost immediately by mortar fire. The company commander, Captain A. K. Ward, ordered his platoons to shift their positions by a few hundred yards in hopes of disrupting the enemy fire, but by 1900 he had been seriously wounded and his executive officer killed. The attacks by fire continued through dusk. The Battalion executive officer led a platoon from India 3/9 from Ca Lu toward the Kilo 3/9 positions and a replacement for Captain Ward was flown in on a medevac helo to attempt to regroup Kilo 3/9's scattered platoons. The 1st, 2nd, and remnants of the 4th platoons joined up on Route 9, while the 3rd Platoon dug in in place. The bulk of Kilo Company joined with the relief force and arrived at the Ca Lu Combat Base at 0420 on the 15th.

The 3rd Plt held in place until daybreak, when they began to search the area for casualties and stragglers. At 1105 the 3rd Plt began movement toward Ca Lu but at 1200 they were again engaged by the NVA. The Marines established a perimeter and called for medevacs and reinforcement. India 3/9 departed Ca Lu, joining with 3rd Plt K/3/9 at 1600. At that point a medevac helo was badly shot up (3 of 4 crewmen wounded) and both the Kilo and India Company Commanders had been wounded. Rather than bringing more helos into a hot zone, the Battalion Commander determined that a move by ground was preferable. Shortly after the Kilo and India 3/9 Marines began their movement the Battalion Commander departed Ca Lu with elements of Lima 3/9 to assist. By 2130 the first elements of India 3/9 arrived at Ca Lu, and by midnight all elements of 3/9 had returned to the combat base.

Kilo 3/9 lost ten Marines and one sailor as a result of the fighting on 14-15 Feb:

  • Capt Alexander K. Ward, Annapolis, MD (DoW 02/16/1968)
  • 2ndLt William R. Reese, Abilene, TX
  • HM2 Larry Goss, Marion, IN, H&S with K/3/9
  • Cpl Lowell T. Combs, San Antonio, TX
  • Cpl Dennis K. Fleming, Orrville, OH
  • Cpl David F. Schneider, Avon, OH
  • LCpl Mark E. James, Bremen, GA (KIA 02/15/1968)
  • LCpl Jeffrey R. Wentzell, San Francisco, CA
  • PFC Frederick W. Bungartz Chippewa Falls, WI
  • Pfc Melvin L. Jones, Shreveport, LA
  • Pfc Barry L. Rigsby, Madison, IN


Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:58:15 PM EDT
RIP Brothers

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:59:45 PM EDT
Hard to believe it has been so long...
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 8:48:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 8:51:40 PM EDT
HM2 Larry Gross is from my hometown. Never even knew that.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 4:31:43 AM EDT
One last bump.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 4:46:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 4:51:19 AM EDT



ban Valentine's Day, it's for the Veterans.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 4:59:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dubBinSEA:


Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:04:07 AM EDT
Don't rain on my parade! God help them!
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:21:07 AM EDT
OP Thank you. We, Marines, always mourn our fallen Brothers. We never leave a Brother on the field of battle. And I appreciate your post. But most of us enlisted because our country was at war. It was how my generation was raised. Country calls we answer. My cousin, Marines, fell over there. I miss him but I'm proud he didn't shirk his duties. Dying for our country isn't what we strive for but we know what we signed up for. We had a saying in Viet Nam - Big units run into big shit, little units get whiped out. That and - War is hell, but combat is a mother fucker.
Don't be sad. Be proud that they answered the call, knew the consequences and did their duty. For themselves, their Brother Marines, and for a nation that may or may not understand.
And having been there too - I'm sure we gave more than we got.

Semper fi
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 6:47:11 AM EDT
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