Operation Meade River: Marine Search-and-Destroy Cordon of the Vietnam War

Called &#246:Dodge City&#246: by the troops because of its shoot-em-up characteristics, the area 10 miles south of Da Nang was familiar ground for the Marines. It was about five miles wide and three miles long. &#246:It was low ground,&#246: says the official Marine Corps history, &#246:criss-crossed with rivers and streams, honeycombed with caves and tunnels; each hamlet, with its bamboo and thorn hedges and its drainage ditches indistinguishable from fighting trenches, was a potential fortified position.&#246:

Dodge City had been the site of enemy engagements since the Ky Lam campaign of 1966. Many battles of the Tet, mini-Tet and Third (summer) offensives of 1968 took place in the area. The northern boundary was the La Tho River; the southern was the Ky Lam. The eastern boundary was Highway 1; the western boundary was one mile west of an old bombed-out railroad. Hill 55 was in the northwest corner; the Dien Ban district headquarters bordered its southeast corner. Route 4, also called Route 14, bisected the area from east to west.

The major battles of Operation Meade River would take place in the two-square-mile center of Dodge City. The operation was a &#246:County Fair&#246: mission, utilizing a cordon technique developed by the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. When the Marines mission shifted from defensive to offensive, it became necessary for platoons, companies or battalions to completely and simultaneously cordon off an area and search and clear inward, literally foot by foot, because the Viet Cong (VC) had infested hamlets west and south of the vital Da Nang airstrip. The technique was refined and used often by the 9th Marine Regiment, which operated off Hill 55 in early 1966. Operation Meade River would be the largest mission using the County Fair technique during the Vietnam War.

Intelligence had determined that remaining elements of the decimated VC Doc Lap Battalion, which had operated in the area against the Marines for more than three years, along with other understrength VC units and several hundred NVA (North Vietnamese Army) troops, were again massing in the area. Going northward through Dodge City were two major enemy infiltration routes used by the NVA to supply and assist the VC in the rocket belt, whose main objective had been, and continued to be, the destruction of the Da Nang airstrip. Intelligence also had information that an all-out attack against strategically located Hill 55, the 1st Marine Division headquarters on Hill 327, or the airstrip itself was imminent with this many enemy soldiers staging rapidly in the area.

On November 20, 1968, at 4 a.m., Operation Meade River commenced. The monsoons for this part of Vietnam had started in October. Temperatures were dropping, and the Marines often found the nights cold. The conditions were miserable, and the rains, averaging one inch daily, added to the misery.

The entire helicopter assets of the 1st Marine Air Wing were required to support the operation. Colonel Robert G. Lauffer, commanding officer of the 1st Marines, was designated Meade River commander. He personally supervised elements of seven Marine battalionsthe 1st Battalion, 1st Marines (1/1), the 2nd and 3rd battalions, 5th Marines (2/5 and 3/5), the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines (3/26), and battalion landing teams (BLTs) from the 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines (2/26), and 1st and 2nd battalions, 7th Marines (1/7 and 2/7). The Marines surrounded an area 24,000 meters in circumference, with fire teams no more than 15 meters apart. This initial movement of 5,000 infantrymen into a tightly established cordon would be the key to the successful completion of Meade River. Twenty-eight hundred of the 5,000 troops were helilifted; approximately 2,200 more were moved by truck and on foot from Hill 55 and other company and battalion areas from along the north bank of the La Tho River, Liberty Road (Ambush Row), Highway 1 and Route 4. With the troops in place by 8:25 a.m., the cordon snapped shut.

Just prior to landing within the cordons boundary, a Boeing-Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight carrying one of the last elements arriving, a unit from the 3/5, was hit by enemy fire; it crashed and burned, resulting in six killed and nine wounded. In addition, as a truck convoy was moving toward the cordon, a command-detonated mine exploded halfway down the line of vehicles, destroying a 5-ton truck and wounding 19 men. Immediately, prepositioned dump trucks unloaded gravel and matting. The large hole was filled, the damaged truck removed, and the remainder of the convoy continued on into the area with little delay.

At 4:30 p.m. on the 20th, a recon team was inserted 1,000 meters south of the La Tho from the base on Hill 55 and immediately west of the cordon near Liberty Road to look for fleeing bands of the enemy. The team soon encountered enemy troops and opened fire, killing eight NVA and capturing an 82mm mortar from the enemy soldiers trying to escape the cordon. The recon team, with one wounded, was extracted back to Hill 55.

Later, it was learned from captured VC that news of the impending cordon and search operation had been received the previous day, November 19. The VC who reported this information were apprehended when villagers throughout the cordon were screened and sent to the refugee relocation center at the base of Hill 55. Fortunately, few enemy knew in advance of the cordon because of a breakdown in communication between the VC political arm and the Communist military unitsa mistake that cost the enemy many lives.

The Marines were fortunate to have trapped many more of the enemy than anticipated. Found in the objective area was a sizable, well-organized and well-trained enemy force that chose to fight, utilizing solid fortifications throughout the area of operations.

Numerous small elements of larger NVA and VC units located in the cordon, however, tried to slip away. As they found in several unsuccessful attempts, trying to escape was a deadly option, due to the tight, well-coordinated cordon. Throughout the operation, the enemy soldiers tried to conceal themselves underground until sweeping forces had passed. This tactic, however, was seldom successful, since the Marines would probe foot by foot. Throughout the area of the cordon, dozens of freshly dug enemy &#246:spider holes&#246: were found. To help find these holes, the Marines used several thousand metal probes manufactured by the Force Logistics Command (FLC). They were issued to all battalions, and usually one man in the fire team had a probe. The probes were one-half-inch round and 36 to 48 inches long, with a T-shaped handle and forged points. These probes facilitated in the discovery of numerous holes and caches.

Many NVA and VC would try to break the cordon along the northern boundary of the operation area and slip into the La Tho River, which ran along the base of Hill 55. The sniper platoon based at Hill 55 and expert riflemen from numerous combat and support unitsfield artillery, anti-aircraft artillery, supply and engineersmaintained firing positions day and night. These marksmen operated mostly from various sites that reached down to the river. Besides using Starlight scopes, the FLC sent two searchlight teams to the hill, which aided the American snipers. The searchlights would scan the river and the riverbanks, leaving little escape area for panicky enemy forces. The snipers kept a number of the enemy from escaping.

The first major contact of Operation Meade River was made on November 20 by the 2/7. While the troops were moving eastward and attempting to close in on the railroad berm, they encountered a sizable enemy force in well-deployed and fortified positions in the bend of a small river in an area known as &#246:the Horseshoe.&#246: A large-scale VC and NVA force had been caught in the cordon.

On November 22, Echo Company, 2/7, tried to maneuver its way across the river into the Horseshoe, but the volume of enemy fire was too heavy, and the 2/7 resumed its previous position. The 11th Marine Artillery carried out precision destruction missions against the enemy positions during the remainder of the 22nd. On November 23, the objective area was secured. The Horseshoe contained a multibunkered complex of fighting holes and trench lines that had apparently been a battalion defensive position. Many of the bunkers had been constructed by civilians and enemy soldiers using railroad ties removed from under the remaining tracks of the Vietnam North&#249:South Railroad.

After the Horseshoe was secured by the 2/7, Delta Company, 1/1, was attached to the 2/7 to provide security for the engineers who were lifted in to blow the numerous bunkers and level the fortified positions. Many bodies were found in the bunkers in addition to a great deal of equipment and field gear and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Also uncovered were many sacks of lime and lime sprayers used by the enemy to sanitize and hasten the decomposition of dead bodies.

On November 23, the Marines had a second and brief encounter in the hamlets of La Hoa 1 and 2, where the enemy also had well-fortified positions. La Hoa village (a village consisted of several hamlets designated by numbers) appeared to be a site where the enemy consolidated its forces and equipment before moving on to better defensive positions. It was amazing that such well-fortified positions were present in and about La Hoa, since that area had been heavily patrolled by the 7th Marines from Hill 55 on a regular basis. It showed again how well the NVA and VC could conceal a position.

The 11th Marines did an outstanding job of saturating the cordoned area with artillery fire. Of the dozen artillery sites designated for this operation, five fired from Hill 55. Some 1,286 fire missions expended 27,513 howitzer rounds in support of Meade River. Eight-inch howitzers fired precision destruction missionssome called in as close as 200 meters from friendly forcesthroughout the cordon.

Delta Company, 1/1, was ordered to stay in the Horseshoe for the next two weeks to provide security for the engineers, but the 2/7 left the area on November 24, continuing its delayed movement toward the railroad berm. Troops of the 2/7 continued to meet heavy resistance all the way from the Horseshoe to the berm. As they advanced to within 200 meters of the berm, an enemy force commenced firing along their right flank from well-covered positions. This area near the berm became known as &#246:the Triangle.&#246: The 25th was spent reducing this position by artillery and ground attacks. On the 26th, the 2/7 secured the railroad berm, finding once again that heavy enemy bunkers had been constructed from railroad ties and cement. From the empty bags it was evident that the cement was part of the civic action supplies issued to area hamlets by U.S. military forces for building and self-improvement projects.

On the 25th, the 3/26 was spread out south of the cordon to screen and keep the enemy within. That day they killed a 15-man NVA unit that was making a desperate attempt to flee the cordon. Two companies of the 1/7 were assigned the same mission along the north bank of the La Tho, keeping small enemy bands within the cordon.

On November 27, elements of the 2/5 and 2/26 started a simultaneous coordinated move westward from Highway 1, probing and searching every foot of the way. Numerous fresh enemy graves were uncovered as well as a considerable amount of supplies, and the 2/26 found one cache of 180 anti-personnel &#246:Bouncing Betty&#246: mines ready to be emplaced within the area. Other finds included field gear, miscellaneous documents, tons of rice buried in the ground in urns and much more equipment. Meanwhile, Delta, 1/1, which was providing security in the Horseshoe for the engineers, continued to find scores of freshly dug graves and more equipment in that area. In addition, scuba teams searching throughout the cordon found weapons, equipment, ammunition and 122mm rockets submerged in various riverbank caves and in several 20-foot-deep bomb craters that had been collecting water since the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombings during the Tet Offensive.

The cordon diminished considerably in size as the troops inched inward. The north and south boundaries of the cordon continued to be covered by various units, which accounted for many of the kills. From 6 to 7 a.m. on the 28th, the enemy was offered an opportunity to surrender, the offer broadcast clearly and repeatedly for one hour throughout the cordon. The offer was ignored. The enemy chose to fight. An extremely heavy artillery and air bombardment commenced. In addition to the numerous heavy artillery barrages, fixed-wing gunships (AC-47s and/or AC-130s) were on station 72 hours during Meade River, firing 609,000 rounds of ammunition into enemy positions. Bell Huey helicopter gunships flew 884 firing sorties during the 20-day operation. More than 2,100 helicopter sorties moved personnel, cargo, casualties and equipment. The battleship USS New Jersey (BB-62) fired 153 of its monstrous 16-inch, 1,900-pound high-capacity and 2,700-pound armor-piercing rounds against enemy bunkers throughout the cordon. The accuracy of the firepower is demonstrated by the fact that, despite the many friendly troops in the area, there were no reported friendly fire casualties.

During the operation, a platoon of deuce-and-a-half trucks, staged on Hill 55, continuously helped supply the troops via trails, roads and paths throughout the cordon. The platoon would set up &#246:wagon trains&#246: at different areas bordering the cordon. Many of the vehicles came under fire from small, frantic enemy units trying to break the perimeter. Often, drivers were instrumental in stopping bands of enemy soldiers who were trying to escape. Heavily armed deuce-and-a-half trucks were used to patrol Ambush Row and Route 4 day and night. In addition, 10 all-terrain vehicle &#246:otters&#246: from Hill 55, which was designated an LSA (logistical support area), were used to supply the troops deep within the cordon with food and ammunition.

On December 1, the hardest fighting of the operation thus far commenced as the 3/5 encountered a large enemy bunker complex along its right flank, in what would become known as &#246:the Hook,&#246: and received devastating fire from small arms, automatic weapons, grenades and 60mm mortars within the bunker. There were many casualties. The enemy fire came from well-entrenched, reinforced bunkers, and the 3/5’s advance was temporarily halted. On December 3, even after the 11th Marine Artillery had spent most of the previous day and night conducting heavy, precision destruction missions into the Hook, the 3/5 continued taking casualties from well-entrenched enemy fire. On December 3, most of the troops of the 3/26 were moved from their screening positions along Route 4 in order to help the 3/5 in the attack against the NVA entrenched in the Hook. After repeated airstrikes with 750-pound bombs and napalm canisters, the Marines of the 3/26 fought their way into the southern portion of the Hook. By nightfall on the 4th, they had worked around to its rear area. There, the 3/26 and 3/5 called in additional air and artillery strikes very close to their own positions.

On December 5, the enemy was once again given an opportunity to surrender. This time, the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) commanders broadcast surrender-or-die messages to the enemy in the Hook. As before, the hard-core Communists chose to continue to battle. Later that day, when a final assault secured the Hook, more than 100 enemy dead were counted. Fifteen POWs were pulled out of their partially destroyed bunkers and tunnels and numerous weapons were uncovered.

Also on December 5, the 3/5 separated from the 3/26 and started a turning movement north, then commenced a sweep from west to east across the top of Dodge City. On the 6th, because of other commitments and after much heavy fighting, the 3/5 ceased to participate in Operation Meade River. However, Bravo, 1/5, which had been with the 3/5, remained at the northern boundary of Dodge City to keep what was left of the enemy confined and to search the area.

On December 6, the 3/26, having thoroughly mopped up the Hook, also moved on to positions at Dodge Citys northern boundary. The cordon remained intact, but the final, most furious battle had yet to be fought. Elements of the 2/26 and 2/5, in their careful and deliberate search of the cordons northern boundary from Highway 1, ran into a heavy concentration of enemy troops at 2:45 p.m. Those units regrouped and remained in close proximity to the last objectivethe northern bunker complexthroughout the rest of the day and on through the night, forming a blocking position to ensure that the enemy remained trapped within the cordon.

In the meantime, the 3/26 was joined by additional forces. Colonel Lauffer had attached three additional companies to the 3/26Alpha, 1/7, Hotel, 2/5 and Delta, 1/1giving them the mission of completely destroying the remaining bunkers in the Hook and then continuing a full attack into the northern bunker complex. Company E of the 2/26 was relieved of its blocking position at first light on the 7th and crossed the La Tho to join the 1/1, assigned for this assault. The 3/26 was joined by an ARVN cavalry unit, whose APCs (armored personnel carriers) were light and provided mobility for the 3/26 in the final attack. A tight line was drawn surrounding the northern bunker complex. Throughout the day the 3/26, reinforced by attached units, cautiously moved forward, literally inch by inch, maneuvering the APCs toward bunker after bunker and directing small-arms fire against the enemy. At one point, late in the day on December 8, Company I of the 3/26 moved to within 20 meters of what was thought to be the last in the series of in-depth bunker positions. But from those final hidden positions, deep within the northern bunker complexan area that had been heavily carpet-bombedcame unexpectedly accurate and deadly heavy automatic-weapons fire. Despite suffering heavy casualties, Company I silenced those machine-gun positions. The final assault was executed the next day, and a brutal fight ensued that included hand-to-hand combat against a tenacious enemy that refused to surrender. More than 300 enemy bodies were found, and this time the enemy was unable to bury its dead.

On December 9 at 6 p.m. Operation Meade River was terminated. Units were returned to their parent organizations after 20 days of vicious, intense fighting. The 1/1 took over and mopped up the northern bunker complex for two more days. During this post-Meade River period, the 1/1 found additional bodies and killed some 50 NVA who had remained in the bunkers, refusing to surrender. It also recovered numerous enemy individual and crew-served weapons. Although preliminary reports of enemy casualties varied from 1,000 to 1,500, the final count was 1,325 confirmed enemy casualties. More than 360 well-dug entrenched log, railroad-tie and cement bunkers were destroyed, and many more must have been caved in by the bombings. Of the 1,325 confirmed casualties, 1,025 were killed and 300 wounded. Only six enemy troops chose to surrender. It is estimated that 200&#249:300 more bodies went undiscovered, and many more were probably obliterated by the accurate, heavy bombardment from artillery, battleship and fixed-wing aircraft, all of this in an area measuring only three miles by five miles. But this successful operation was not without cost to the U.S. military. One hundred and eight Marines were killed and 513 were wounded.

Despite all the death and destruction wrought against the NVA and VC force in the Dodge City area, it was only a matter of weeks before squad, platoon and company firefights against NVA forces that had re-infiltrated the vital area started once again. Fierce sporadic engagements in Dodge City would continue through 1969 and 1970. The last combat patrol of the war (in August 1972, by the Army’s 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry; see the February 1991 Vietnam) would include Dodge City.


George A. Hill served in Vietnam as a Marine NCO. This article is an excerpt from his book Heart of the Third Sector.

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222 Responses

  1. Bill Gee

    I was in Operation Meade River. I notice that enemy casualties are rather precisely listed, but none of our casualties. I’d be interested in those numbers. I knew some of them.

    Reply
    • Chris Stewart

      Did you remember Joe Stewart ?? My father was there?

      Reply
      • Cpl. Sonny Butt

        I might. Was your father a machine gunner in C 1/7, and was he wounded on a truck mining?

      • bill

        Any chance you knew George Borges

    • Corinne

      Did you know Les Johnson? He was my best friend’s father and just died last week from cancer. At the memorial yesterday I noticed a newspaper clipping about him participating in this operation so I had to look it up.

      Reply
    • hill christopher

      I was in Kilo 3/26 and I was transfered out before the Meade River operation. I was transfered in from B Co. 1/7 glade you made it home because so many of us did not.

      Reply
    • John Daugherty

      One of the casualties was my 3rd cousin and my babysitter before he was drafted…PVT 1st Class Jimmie Williams killed in action Dec. 8 1968

      Reply
    • Roland

      My Grandpa Phillip Vanceltte was a MSGT during that battle in fact he gave the orders to the attiltery batteries that was a part of the Operation Meade River. he said there was somthing like 2,000 enemy kills, and no friendlies. He would of recived a bronze star but got a nam because he was not directly involed.

      Reply
    • George Hill

      Our casualties are CLEARLY listed. Please read the end of the atricle.
      Author

      Reply
  2. Rod 'Doc' Adams

    Our struggle has just become purposefully forgotten footnote in time. I was one of the casualties of Meade River on the ‘Berm’ near the river. Golf 2/7,9 Amphibious Landing Team. Thanks for the brief but informative history lesson. 40 years later I have now found out what happened out there. My memories still haunt me, less I ever forget those brave and wonderfull Marines and Sailors.
    Doc Adams HM3 USN on July 21, 2008

    Reply
  3. Paul D Nicodin

    I was there. Bill Gee was a lot of help.
    Semper Fidelis
    Nasty Nick

    Reply
    • Dennis Casey

      Did you serve in Cuba in early 1968 with Fox 2/8? If so, I served with you there. The last time I saw you was at Liberty Hill in Danang in Feb., 1969.If you are the “Nick” that I knew, it’s good to hear from you, I hope that all is well. I was On Meade River as well, Dec.7,8, and 9 were three very long days!I was with Hotel 2/5.

      Reply
      • Bill Jackson

        Dennis, What did WE do Dec. 7,8, and 9 ? I don’t remember those 3 days by date. Bill Jackson, Hotel 2/5
        bjackson98@sc.rr.com

    • Paul D Nicodin

      Yes I was in Cuba with 2/8 early 1968.Help me remember you.

      719-351-9506
      03-20-2013

      Reply
      • Dennis Casey

        I was the Battalion radio operator for the Company CO of Fox 2/8. At Camp Buckley, You, Scully, Bacon, some of the corpsmen and myself were in the same small barracks. We all used to go the “Red Dog Saloon” and drink. I saw you last at Liberty Hill in Danang in March,1969. You had dysentery and I had malaria. We talked about some of the guys we had known in Cuba. Bacon had already gotten wounded really bad and a couple others had been killed. It’s good to hear from you! Take care and be well!

      • Paul D Nicodin

        OH,Yah,been married 33years to the same gal,aint drank since Jan.25 1977.

        semper fidelis,
        Nick

  4. Bob Gangloff

    I was also there. “C” Co. 1st. Bn. 7th Marines. 2nd Plt. 1st. Squad I was wounded for my second time during this operation. Went to Japan hospital for three months. God Bless my brothers in arms and SEMPER FI…

    Reply
    • Chris Stewart

      Do you remember Joe Stewart? He was my father?

      Reply
    • hill christopher

      I was in “B” Co.1st. Bn 7th Marines 60 M.M I was transfered to Kilo Co. 26th marines when they came down from Khe Sanh. I was involved in one operation up at choo lie with the Americal Divison we lost some people when we got back to the ships I was trransfer again. God Bless my brothers in arms amd SEMPER FI

      Reply
  5. luis Galvan

    i was in meade reaver with golf 2/7. i was wia in dodge city.who ever wrote the meade river operation report for this campane d forgot to mention golf2/7.

    Reply
  6. Rudi

    There also with 3/26 transfered in from c 1/7 , 81 motars

    Reply
  7. Tom Mueller

    I was on this operation along with the rest of Bravo 1/5 We had many casualties

    Reply
      • Tom Mueller

        We will have to talk some time

      • Sgt, Kevin P. Simms(USMC)

        My name is Kevin Simms, My father is Raymond D. Simms he was a machine gunner ( 0331 ) with 3rd Bn 26 Marines M Co. Weapons Plt. He served in Vietnam in 1968 – 1969 and also in this Meade River. Is this the Marine your looking for if not he would probably know. Also do you know or remember my Dad. I would like to have him reunite with some of his brothers. In any case please call me. My home phone is 910 – 325 – 8259 and my cell is 910 – 467 – 3524. You can also E – mail me. Thank you all of you for your service you are loved and appreciated more than you know. Semper Fi
        Kevin P. Simms
        Sgt. USMC Gulf War

      • Steve Badgley

        Steve,

        I was there with Hotel Co. 2/26 Marines. I’m now an author and a publisher, contact me if you are still seeking a publisher for your book. I tried your email address and it bounced back to me.

    • Steve Badgley

      Steve,

      My email address is BadgleyPubCo@aol. Please contact me about your book.

      Reply
      • Sgt, Kevin P. Simms(USMC)

        Hi, do you know anyone in 3/26 M Co. weapons plt. My Dad is Ray Simms a Machine Gunner he spent alot of time in 3rd plt. He was in Vietnam in 1968-69. please contact me 910-325-8259 or kevin.simms22@yahoo.com
        Thanks Kevin Simms
        Semper Fi

      • chuck corsi

        i was with golf 2/26 on meaDRE RIVER ..WE WERE BLOCKING FORCE AS I RECALL …1969 ALSO ON LYNN RIVER ..BEST FRIEND WAS KEVIN SHERIDAN HE WAS WITH HOTEL COMPANY TOO ..TAKE CARE BROTHER ..
        CHUCK CORSI ..GOLF 2/26TH ..9TH MAB ..3RD PLATOON M-79 MAN FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME ..CO O WAS CAPT SEAL

    • John Alexander

      I was in Golf and H&S Co’s. (Radio operator for the S-3), 2/26, 1968-69. Did OP’s on Mead River.

      Reply
    • Bruce Cader

      I was just looking around and I saw your name
      I got to the company mid December 68 I have a great
      picture of you Graves and Lobo Sgt Marks passed away
      last year my first time in the bush was to go no Island
      to me that was the worst place in the world I was next to
      Lt Philips when he was killed by schrapnal you were a very
      squared away Marine SEMPER FIDELIS Bruce

      Reply
  8. Ray E. Adams

    I was Platoon Sgt for A 1/7. My platoon took very heavy
    casualties during Meade River. The tighter the cordon the
    tougher the resistance. On Dec. 7 we took our heaviest losses due
    to a machine gun nest in a tree line on the other side of a rice
    patty with a large number of NVA riflemen. When we finally
    made it across and into the tree line there were four NVA bodies
    but no machine gun.

    Reply
    • Tony Perez

      Ray,
      What was your platoon? Do you remember the other platoon sgt. in Alpha Co.? My church friend is Jim Seaton. Do you know him?
      Thanks,
      Tony

      Reply
      • Ray Adams

        Tony,
        I was Platoon Sgt for the 3rd platoon. I think I remember a Seaton and I may have a picture of him and I holding a red silk flag with a gold hammer and sickle on it on hill 55.

      • Tony

        Thanks Ray,
        If you can, could you please email the picture? My email is antonio.perez@cox.net. I’d like to show Jim the picture. He couldn’t recall your name when I mentioned you. The picture would help jog his memory. His doesn’t mind me asking about his Vietnam expeienses, but his memory has become cloudy. During the operation, he recalls directing machine gun fire from a rice paddy dike when a NVA sniper took out his gunner and a-gunner with two shots. He regrets not recalling their names. Jim says he later partipated in Operation Taylor Common with M/3/26. Any information is greatly appriciated.

        It’s of great interest to me reading about Marine Corp history, although I never served in the military myself. Jim recounts several times when he escaped death and didn’t know why. He now gives thanks to God and credits his wife for praying daily for him during his tour. A couple of years ago his beloved wife passed away and soon afterwards he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. Thank you for your service and sacrifice for our beloved country.
        Tony

      • bill

        Did you know George borges? He was my uncle.

    • Mike Brewer

      Not sure Ray, but I think 81 Mortars took out those NVA.

      Reply
  9. Mike Angwin

    Also there, SLF-A command group bringing in and out fresh
    radio batteries by chopper. Last op before stateside.

    Reply
  10. David Turner

    1/5 is never mentioned as being part of Meade river but I was
    wounded on Thanksgiving morning.

    Reply
    • Tom Mueller

      I was a little disturbed at what little was written about 1/5 as well we had a whole platton decimated as I recall

      Reply
      • George Hill

        I listed all I could; many units, many actions.

  11. Dick Jackson (Jack)

    Echo 2/7, Golf 2/7 lost at least 5 men across the river on the 20th, We (Echo) walked into am ambush in pretty much the same place on the 22nd. Lost most of first platoon and weapons in 10 minutes, bad day. I was wounded on the 25th, now I’m a one-eyed Jack. Praise to all who werved and continue to serve, Semper Fi

    Reply
  12. William Prichard

    I was in Echo 2/7 also and received my second purple heart from this operation Meade River. I was 18 at the time and cannot remember many names but do remember Nasty Nick’s if he is the same guy that took a 50 caliber through both legs! I would like to contact anyone that was in Echo company 2/7 or there in general. My email is waprichard@cox.net.

    William Prichard

    Reply
  13. Nancy Menagh

    My late husband Lt. Phil Menagh was there – would be interested in talking to anyone that remembers his actions that day.

    Welcome home to all you.

    Thank you.

    Nancy Menagh

    503-635-8187

    Reply
  14. Richard Lippert

    I was on operation Meade River in 1968 as Battalion Chaplain, 2/5. The weather was terrible but the Marines as always were superb and fearless in their mission. Many days and nights were were spent by all under constant fire and battle, esp the night I was with Hotel and the NVA attempted a southern breakout through us. Hotel and battalion support decimated the enemy by
    fighting throughout the night. I had multiple worship services at the platoon level and to this day I feel blessed by given the privilege of serving with the best military unit in America. Semper Fi !!

    Reply
    • barry morgan

      i was the s-2 scout that tied 2/26 to the cordon. i met a navy chapllin lt. p j o’rourke at cp and i still carry his card. did you know him?

      Reply
    • joseph urban

      Sir , I spent the night in your tent at battallion headquarters , you gave me more clean dry socks than i could ever imagine , to this day i remember and thank you . yes , sir that was one terrible place ..Joe

      Reply
    • Nick

      I was a machine-gunner with Lima 3/26 during mead river . I was also wounded in march. Medavact to Anguia then to Da-Nang then to Guam. sent home after a long stay in Hospital .Simper-Fi to all my brave brothers , and may God Bliss all

      Reply
  15. GRUENWALD J.E. 1Rip1

    I was a Rifleman in India Co.3rd Bn.26TH Marines,3rd Plt.Meade River was a frigging meat grinder.Went 2 Hell @ came out the other side.Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue.Semper~Fidelis

    Reply
    • Kenneth Thompson

      Hi Gruenwald, I was also with I 3/26 3rd.plt I was WIA on Dec.4th the same day R.R. Ross and Pvt.Long was KIA. Do you remember these
      guys? cpl Ross was a sqd.leader.
      Do you ever talk to any of the guys that was in our plt?

      S/F
      Ken
      durell44@yahoo.com

      Reply
    • Wayne Montgomery

      As far as I can tell you guys (India, 3/26) took the brunt of the action in early December 1968. We (Charlie, 1/1) were just a few hundred feet from where you guys fought on December 6-8, 1968. We were desperate to try to help you guys, but the NVA wouldn’t let us get across that canal. My nightmare is listening to your company’s radio traffic and not being able to help. I hope more is written about Meade River and your company gets the recognition for its heroic action at the Northern Bunker Complex. Ooo Rah! and Semper Fi, India, 3/26

      Reply
      • Gruenwald J E 0311 1968 USMC

        Your a good Man Marine I was in India 3/26 as a young Rifleman on Meade River GodSpeed 2 Ya Go Easy Aye Aye Semper Fi

    • Luis Stahl

      I was with 3/26th India co. I was also there and was the first one to encounter the enemy on a routine patrol, killed four NVA and later found out that I had encountered the 4th NVA army with my team. I later returned to lead my platoon back to the area after many volies of napalm and gunfire from the offshore ships and was shot in the face with an AK47 round, my third heart and that bought me a ticket home..

      Reply
  16. mike alkire

    i was with echo battery 2/11 on hill 55 fired lots of firemission from there semperfi

    Reply
    • Dennis Casey

      Mike,
      I was with Echo Battery 2/11 also. I was with Hotel 2/5 during Meade River as the radio man for the Arty FOTeam. I spent most of my time in Nam with Hotel, in fact. Hotel 2/5 took part in the final battle at the Northern Bunker Complex. On the morning of Dec. 10th Hotel got on the choppers and flew into Hill 55. We got off the choppers at the bottom of Hill 55 and began walking up the hill. The hooches of the artillerymen were on both sides of the road/lane that we walked up. Every one of the artillerymen on both sides of the lane, stood up as we walked past.That was a moment I’ll never forget!We didn’t expect it, we were all bone tired, mentally and physically. It was a very high honor for our fellow marines to show that kind of respect!

      Reply
      • Steve Mosley

        Dennis please send me your email address or anyone else that has info or stories.
        My name is Steve and I’m writing a book on Vietnam.
        Stevemortage@comcast.net
        Thanks

    • Ken (Combat)

      Was that Hill 55 or An Hoa?
      I was an FO. (0846) From “Egg” btry 2/11 in An Hoa. Do you recall a 500lb hang bomb that hit our grunt CP (I don’t remember the CO.) in the early stages of Mead River?
      I am looking for anyone who remembers a 500 lb hang bomb that hit a CP,
      In the early stages of operation Mead River. I was an FO. (0846) From Egg Btry (Echo Btry) from An Hoa.
      I was getting a canteen of mud in the bottom of a 1,000lb bomb crater when it hit 75 meters away,
      It rattled my gourd and took some hearing-all at first, 2 Marines were sitting on its brim, one was unresponsive
      With no visible injuries staring out across the landscape, the other Marine took a fragment through his flak jacket
      & in to his chest But not a Sucking chest wound. I removed his jacket & immobilized the protruding fragment.
      I find it hard & unable to recall a lot of my passed The Nam, Childhood things like that.
      If anyone remembers this please contact me!
      fbflb@yahoo.com (360) 931 5170
      Chuck Wagon Ken
      Ken (Combat)

      Reply
      • Dennis Casey

        yes, it was Hill 55. We left the Meade River battlefield on the morning of Dec. 10th, taking sniper fire I might add, as we boarded the choppers. Earlier that morning the body choppers had come in, we loaded dead marines, stacking their bodies almost like firewood. There was row after row of dead marines!
        We flew a short distance to Hill 55. We got off the choppers at the bottom of the hill, then we walked up a narrow path to the top. That is where all the artillerymen stood up as we walked past. When we got to the top of the hill, we hopped another chopper and flew back to An Hoa.

      • Dennis Casey

        “Combat”, it just hit me who you are! You and I served together on Meade River and Taylor Common! Brintnall was our first FO, you were the scout sergeant and I was the radio man. We were with Hotel 2/5 both times. ” Scotty” was our second FO, he got wounded the first day of Taylor Common. After a few days you left Hotel and went back to the rear or somewhere else. We may have served on Muscogee Meadows as well. It’s good to know you are well, I’ve thought of you many times over the years. As I recall, you were 18 when you were in Nam , I was 19. I remembered your first name was Ken. We talked about Michelob beer one time. That was going to be the first thing you ordered when you got back to the states! It’s good to hear from you, take care and stay well! I’m very thankful that you made it through all the death and destruction! Semper Fi!

  17. Bobby "Hood" Richard

    I was on this operation along with the rest of Bravo 1/5 We had many casualties
    By Tom Mueller on Oct 18, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Tom,
    I think my Dad (Bobby “Hood” Richard) was in your squad Bravo Co, 1stSPBn, 1stMarDiv(Rein). Anyone who fought bravely with him @ Dodge City like to share > email me at: abbybates1212@yahoo.com

    Reply
  18. Russ Artuso

    I was with Hotel 2/7 . Was wounded on the 20 th of Novemeber .I will never forget the med evac chopper 1 st one crashed .Taken to NSA DA Nang, Japan then Bethesda MD.I can’t believe it’s been forty years

    Reply
    • vic brunelle H&S 27

      Russ Artuso, SEMPER FI!!! I have been looking for you for a long time! This is Vic Brunelle, formerly Cpl. Brunelle BLT 2/7 It was me that said follow me 2 seconds before you were hit. That began the worst night of my,and I am sure your life.I remember the first chopper going down. Then they said no bird until morning. I sat with you all night, you were one hurting unit!! PS you smoked all my cigs! The last I saw you we had to literally throw you into the chopper! The look on your face is burned into my brain! I allways figured you died. About 20 years ago I got a book of all the names on the wall and was overjoyed !!! YOU WERNT IN IT!!! Ihave been in the sticks of northern VT for some 38 years. I would like to hear from you. Again SEMPER FI!! vicbru12@yahoo.com

      Reply
      • Russ Artuso

        Wow blast from the past .Get hold of me brother..I owe you some cigarettes..when that chopper went down.I thought it was over.God bless that chopper pilot..Sempre Fi my bro

    • Jerry Moorehead

      Russ:
      My name is Jerry Moorehead I was doing a search on the internet when I came across your post about Operation Meade River. Your incident sounds a lot like a what happened to a man in my squad on Meade River Nov 20,1968. I was the squad leader of Hotel 2/7, 2nd platoon, 2nd squad. We were doing a flanking movement, fire team rushes, trying to help Golf Co who was pinned down. Our squad was the first squad to arrive at Golf Co position, We had been taking heavy fire all along the advance. The person from Golf Co. I made contact with was a dog handler. we were setting up defensive positions when My platoon leader arrived at our position, I was going to him to let him know the situation when I heard some shout they were hit. When I turned around I saw a Marine laying in the rice patty, I started after him and was joined by another of my men Ron Frye, When we got to the wounded man we helped him up and we took off for cover, a mound that was over to our right, we were separated from the rest of the platoon and Ron and I started working on the Wounded Marine. If it was you, I remember you were shot right above the pubic hairs and the round exited your rectum, I was thinking you were also shot thru your ankle. While we were working on you (if it was you) Ron was shot thru his arm. Shortly after we got a corpsman over to where we were not sure but I think it was Doc Klumper (we called him doc flipper). when he was ready to move you a green pop flair went up behind where the enemy was firing at us from. The fire fight stopped for a short time Doc Flipper and Ron took you across the opening and I was the last to come across the opening to the rest of the platoon with the weapons and gear. About half way across the opening all hell broke loose again and I was wounded. As I remember it the first Medevac didn’t come in until just before dusk, they were taking fire and I thought they had been shot down but the after action report said that the chopper blades hit some bamboo when it came in and took it down. A short time later a second Chopper came in and picked up all us that had been wounded. When they lifted off the door gunner opened up again, I am not sure if they were taking fire or he was just keeping the enemy heads down until we were gone. Any way it scared the hell out of me I thought we were going down again!
      If you are the same guy I would really like hear from you or to meet with you again Hotel Co. is having another reunion in San Antonio Texas in june of 2013.
      Semper-fi
      Jerry

      Reply
      • Russ Artuso

        Jerry yes I’m the guy ..please get hold of me @……. rrartuso@ aol..com

  19. George A. Hill

    I have to respond to the very first comment: I am the writer- I clearly mentioned the number of casualties in the article and in my book, ‘Heart of the Third sector’– apparently the reader must have just scanned the section I wrote on Meade river.
    That is the second complaint I have ever recieved regarding the one and only correct book on Hill 55 and op. Meade river section (long version is in my book, short version edited was in Nam magazine years back.) My other complaint was from a wannabe; he stated that no Marines were issued and used the M-14 in 1971 before the withdrawal- absolute BS! I have proof. I included the good, bad, and ugly in my book.

    I am the author of the Meade River Op. above.
    I could not list all and every unit, and their actions; I am sorry for the eliminations- I honnor all my fellow Marines. GAH

    Reply
    • Bernie mcGurgan

      Gidday George
      My name is Bernie McGurgan ex Australian Army and in 1970 I was Senior Advisor to the 1/51st ARVN Bn whose Regt HQ was on Hill 55 (Nickle Nickle in our parlance then)!
      My email address is hill55@vtown.com.au
      I have just read your book “heart of the Third Sector’ and would like very much to talk to you reference Hill 55 my home of seven months, when not on operations during 1970.
      Your email address in the book is apparently incorrect?
      Persevere
      Bernie McGurgan
      195 Redland Bay Rd
      CAPALABA QLD AUSTRALIA 4157

      Reply
    • Dennis Casey

      I remember reading in Vietnam Magazine,a few years ago, this account of Meade River. I was very glad to see something about it! I was starting to think it was just a figment of my nightmarish imagination. In your article back then, did you say that there were about 10,000 war deaths in Quang Nam province, alone? I’ve read several places that said Quang Tri province had the most battle deaths, however, in one book, “Where We Were” by Michel P. Kelley, he listed Quang Nam province as having the most battle deaths, at 8,084 and QuangTri povince at 7,532. Your number of 10,000, I believe, icluded both hostile and non-hostile deaths. Do you have any additional information about these numbers?
      I appreciate very much you telling the story of Operation Meade River.Your account of it is very interesting and means a lot to those of us who there! Thanks again!

      Reply
  20. George A. Hill

    I double checked this article, AGAIN- Bill Gee (first comment) was probably a good Marine, but he scanned, not read the entire article. Part #5 has the US death and wounded numbers as clear as they can be written. Semper Fi- George Hill , author of Heart of The Third Sector/Hill 55 — 352.222.1976

    Reply
  21. Sue Anger

    My brother, Scott Lynn Smith, served at Meade River as a sniper. Our family knows nothing about his service because he refused to talk about anything when he returned home. He took his own life in 1975. Does anyone remember him?

    Reply
  22. Bill Dyer

    I remember Mead River very well. We landed on road and swepted in and we heard that one of the other companies got hit so we pulled back to the road and stayed all night. Me and Muhr shared a 2 man hole all night. Next day we moved out got to the bend in the river and set up that night in what I think was a vill. The next morning we tried to corss the river. While waiting as 2nd plt I was sitting on a paddy dike and this new guy set next to me and I told him to get the hell away from and set about 10 yards away. When 1st plt was caught in the ambush this FNG was hit in the arm bad. Never seen him again. We immidatly went into the trinch line and started firing back. We must have put out a heavy volume of fire as the firing slacked off. We lost all but 6 men of the 1st plt and most of the Co Hq Plt. I was asked to go across the river with 3 other Marines and help pull back a dead a Marine, radio and an M60. We smoked the area and the first thing I ran into was the gun, I grabed it and ran like hell back to the river. The Marine and the radio was picked up by the other 3 Marines. I remember seeing a Maring shot through the throat. He could talk but very low. I have always thought about him. We were shot to hell that day. The rest of the operation was no picnic either. Most of use was medivaced for emerison foot. I saw one Mrine from 1/7 crying because his feet were so bad. I felt sorry for him. Mine wasn’t that bad but they hurt. You couldn’t take your boots off to dry your feet. I tried once but all hell broke out and that was the last time until I got on ship to sickbay by then I could hardly walk.
    I remember seeing before I was medivaced seeing piles of bloody duce gear and weapons. That day stood out for me more than Aug 18th did.

    Reply
  23. P.F.C. HENRY MATAK

    I was with Bravo 1/5 which was attached to 3/5 at Operation Meade River. I was WIA on December 2, 1968.
    Bravo Company took severe casualties that day. When I got back to my platoon after taking small arms fire ( waiting for Medivac)
    I only saw 7 of my brothers from my platoon in the trench.
    My Medivac consisted of 3 wounded marines and 6 of my brothers in body bags. I always wonder about December 2, 1968 because that day i took a bullet in the neck and survived but a lot of my buddies didn’t..

    Reply
    • Bruce Cader

      just found this site I joined B1/5 mid December
      68 SEMPER FIDELIS Bruce Cader

      Reply
    • Bruce Cader

      just found this site I joined B1/5 mid December
      68 SEMPER FIDELIS Bruce Cader

      Reply
  24. Eugene Collett

    I participated in operation Meade River with Delta Co 1/1. We were given the name Dying Delta because of the casualties we sufered. I remember moving at night, pitch dark, couldn’t see the man in front, I fell in a B52 bomb crater and lost contact with my unit but later caught up with them the next morning. That was the most scariest time of the war for me. It seemed the NVA was all around us, and we had to fight our way out. I remember some of my squad members: John Henry Richardson, AKA Turtle, Duke, Tuffy (Samoan), Sysock, and the corpsman, Doc Adams. Can’t remember the others, most of them were WIA’s and KIA’s. Note: I tried to carry an M14 for sniper and for regular combat but it was too heavy and required too much ammo, so I went back to the M16. I do hope all the Marines I served with are doing well and that one day we will all be together again.

    Reply
  25. James R Rendon

    i to was ther as Plt Sgt my XO was Sam Vanness from Tx.City some of my brother where Bony,Rudy Wepons Plt Sgt Goodwin Daniel Davis from California a kit from El Paso Tx and many more that did not make it back.
    Hope someone out there remembers us we where there.
    cell 956-693-0138

    Reply
    • Sgt. Goody

      Hime I was in Australia on r/r .When I got back to Danang I ran into someone and the first thing I ask was did Hime get They said you made it. Idrank a beer and felt so good you made but was sad that the other bros got it.I remember when we would be in some heavy shit, you would start speaking Spanish.on the radio.I would say Hime,Hime, speak english.You told me the artillary man in the rear was from Texas,he also spoke spanish.You said Sgt Goody, think about it the gooks arnt from Texas.They dont know what we are saying. I have told that story around a lot of barbeques and beer drinking parties. You were one brave bro Hime,you never broke no matter how bad the caca was hitting the fan.God bless BRO.

      Reply
      • Karl Harrison "Porky"

        Always wondered what happened to Perkinson , Franklin TN he got hit on the chopper going in. Goody saw you in Houston at the reunion 1st Mar Div. Of course all of our other guys also would like to here from.

  26. Gary L Rowell, Lt Col USAF (Ret)

    I had been with BLT 2/7 for 2 weeks before Meade River was launched. Barely 18 and a half, I ended up at the heart of things because I had studied Vietnamese at the Defense Language Institute before being deployed to Vietnam. Consequently, although an 0311, I was made the 3.5 A gunner so I would be close to our Company commander (Fox Co., 2/7). To this day, almost 41 years later, I can still remember the incredible stillness and quiet before all hell broke loose. I also remember being posted on watch in a foxhole on top of the railway berm, watching white tracers arc toward my position, and thinking of the three crates of 3.5 rockets, each containing three rockets, located by the foxhole. I was so concerned they would be hit and explode. Finally, I remember the bodybags, and helping load them on helicopters to be flown back to the USS Tripoli (LPH-10), where they were placed in the meat locker for storage. I also remember Armed Forces Radio talking about “light casualties” in Vietnam that week.

    My compliments to George Hill for writing this superb article. I just ordered his book. And my deepest and warmest regards to all who served there; especially those who did not return.

    Private First Class during Meade River

    Reply
  27. Robert Strout

    I was also on Operation Meade River with BLT Golf Co. 2/7. I remember this paticular Operation (not that i don’t remember all the others) but i only had about a month before i was to go back to the States. My tour was about over. I got shot in the neck afew months earlier on Operaion Allen Brook, so i was a little nervous. i remember, how much the enemy wanted to get through our lines as we had them cordoned off. it was a visiouse few days. I remember when the F4 Phantom came right over my position to make a bombing run. It scared the hell out of me, because you didn’t even know it was comming until it was right over you with it’s glowing engine. All i can say, that i was with a great bunch of guys, and i still think of all the guys that never came back. They will never be forgotten. SEMPER FI

    Reply
  28. james r rendon

    I to was there as Plt Sgt with Bravo 1/5 my XO was Sam Vanness from Tx.City some of my brother where Bony,Rudy Wepons Plt Sgt Goodwin Daniel Davis from California a kit from El Paso Tx and many more that did not make it back.
    Hope someone out there remembers us we where there.
    Danang PhuLoc Phu Bia Cag>units north of Da Nang to Hue City
    Hoi An Ben Qua Liberty Bridge and someother forsaken places the train tunnel
    cell 956-693-0138

    Reply
    • Sgt. Goody

      Hime remember when we were way up in the canope and it was wet and cool.My sister had sent me some rum in a clorox bottle, I opened it and took a swig and handed it to you add you looked at me like I had just stole your ham and mothers, she didn,t wash it out good and it had some clorox tast.We drank it anyway. The next day we ask Doc Dave Dodson if the clorox would hurt us and he said no it would kill the worms. Then he ask for a swig. It wasnt that funny then, but I have told that story many times and every time I tell it my biker bros they laugh their buts off. I think of Jose Sanches every time I go for a ride. He wanted to buy a Bike when we got back and we were going to go to sterges together. Did you ever find Guelarmo Cantu from Mission Texas,we called him Mamo, he had a tatoo on his arm Mamo and meme his girlfriend. Also Pete Gonzalez from Waco somewhere,he was out machinegunner. Over and Out Bro.

      Reply
  29. Cpl Mike McLeod

    I was with BLT 226/1st Marines/Whiskey Battery

    I worked resupply and transport out of Camp Booker and maintained Base Camp Security.

    I was blew in to a roll of RAZOR WIRE AND CREASED BY SMALL ARMS FIRE ONE NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1968. WOULD NOT LET DOC GRASSI MAKE A REPORT AND I TURNED DOWN PURPER HEART. MAYBE I SHOULD NOT HAVE…..

    SEMPER FI,

    Reply
  30. Cpl Mike McLeod

    Does anyone of you Marines remember being on the USS Daluth(sp) and going south in a Monsoon?

    Cpl Mike McLeod
    Motor T chief
    Blt/226
    Whiskey Battery

    Reply
    • Steve Badgley

      Mike, I was on that ship that went through the typhoon. I thought it was the USS Dubuque although we were on the Duluth also so I may be wrong. I was with Hotel 2/26. I had a terrible infection in my ankle and fortunately did not make the beginning of the op into the DMZ. I rejoined my platoon just after the mortar attack at Margo. I ended up riding that sucker to the Philippines and we were struck by a typhoon. What a ride! I never want to go through that again! Everybody on that ship was so seasick. I had to tie myself into the rack. If you tried to stand, the rolling of the ship would throw you down or you would slip and fall in the puke all over the deck. Doc Badgley (Goofy Grape)

      Reply
  31. Jerry Gupton

    Thanks to all you who served in the Marines and especially those involved in the Meade River Operation.

    I lost a very special first cousin, Cpl Connard Darrell Mallory. He was with I Co, 3rd Bn, 26th Marines and was killed on December 8th along with 15 other brave Marines as part of this operation.

    I would like to talk with J.E. and any others who might have known Darrell during that time.

    Thanks again and welcome home. I was Army in “Little America” Cam Rahn Bay 71-72 24th Trans.

    Reply
    • J.E.Gruenwald

      Jerry I knew your Cousin,He was 1 Helluva good Marine;since this is a Business computer I can’t go into 2 many details

      Reply
      • Ken Thompson

        Hi Gruenwald, We where in the same plt. together India co 3/26 3rd.plt.
        just wanted to say hello ,and welcome home marine.

      • Steve Moss

        J. E . hopefully you can tell me anything about a friend of mine who also was killed on 8 Dec 68 Nick Gonzales was his name and I never knew that Nick was even in the Corps . until I got called into my staging unit COs office and he said he had been killed . I escorted his body home from Dover to our hometown in Pontiac ,Mi. Myself , I served w/Hq battery 4/11 in DaNang 8 months and then another 8 at An Hoa w/ Mike battery 4/11 . Semper Fi all you brothers !

    • Bob Ekdahl

      Hi Jerry,
      I’m responding for my good friend David Wicklund. He has no computer access, but was in weapons platoon, India 3/26 during Operation Meade River and has information about Cpl Mallory he would like to share with you. If you see this and respond to me, I can put you in touch with him.

      Reply
  32. James "woody" Watwood

    I was a grunt in Delta 1-1-1. Dodge city was our area. I remember the “Truss”, a favorate location for gook snipers. Many times Artillary had to be used to rid ourselves of these snipers. If it weren’t snipers, it was bobby traps. I lost 2 friends on the same day less than 3 min. apart. Both stepped on bobby trapped 105 artillary shells. Both lived….if you want to call it that. They lost there legs as well as other body parts . If I remember correctly the black guy was named Williams, the white guy was named Leech or lynch.

    God I hated Dodge city. The night I got wounded was the most horrible day of my life. I just wanted to die. At least 3 times we were pinned down in rice patties by snipers. Everytime someone got hit,we had to carry their gear. my shoulers were bleeding from the weight. Water was everywhere from the weeks of rain. impossible to find anything dry.

    We were told to dig in. I was one of the few who did. My hole filled with water while I dug. I had passed out in the mud outside my hole. The gooks had thought my position was the C P due to it,s slight elevation and a careless light cigerette and proceeded to walk mortors in on me and my squad. The last one fired was the one that got me in the shoulder as I lay on the prone position to scared to run. The ARVN solder who I had been paired up with was not so lucky. He tried to run as the last one hit. He died before our medivac chopper reached the Da Nang hospital. I will never, ever, forget Dodge City.

    Reply
  33. James "woody" Watwood

    George,

    Thanks a million for this professionally written article. I am sure when I read your book , I’ll be equally impressed with your work.

    Though I would never wish “dodge city” on anyone, I must say, it has been a real treat to read this article and the comments from others who were there and can relate and understand. It makes me feel less alone to know others experienced similar things in this sorry little piece of real estate called, “dodge city”. I lost a piece of my innocence, a piece of my soul, in that ugly little god forsaken place, and after reading the posted comments, I can see I am not the only one. Semper Fi, ,bless you for being there, and welcome home.

    For those who didn’t make it home goes my deepest respect and a sorrow that goes all the way to the bone. There is an old saying that goes like this, “If it doesn’t kill you, you learn from it, it makes you a better person”. I have found this to be a lie. I have seen courage, valor, nobility, and honor, from those I served with I have seen these saintly qualities among those I have known. I see these qualities against a backdrop of a country called Vietnam , a country undeserving of the sacrifice of those with saintly qualities. In my tour of Vietnam I could not find a single instance (and I tried) anywhere of anything in that country worth a single American life. I cannot reconcile in my mind the quality of life given to a more worthless, and undeserving, cause as was Vietnam. What a foolish waste of resources.

    So, here I am, Vietnam didn’t kill me. So, I got to ask you, what have I learned that is supposed to make me a better person?

    NOTHING, that’s what!

    Reply
  34. Cpl Mike McLeod

    To James “Woody” Watwood,
    I to struggled with Vietnam and was it worth it. I do believe if were allowed to go north and settle it, 2 million south vietnamese would not have been murdered by the north. I know our b-52’s had the north closed down several times and we could walked in and took over. It would have been hard but we could have ended it.Vietnam was a stepping stone to bring down the communist countries and free people. To little to late but we did not fight for nothing brother, don’t ever forget we fought hard and the cowards back home made it impossible to win. Be safe Woody and forever hold your head up.

    Cpl Mike McLeod
    USMC
    Blt 2-26, 1st marines, 12th Div.
    Whiskey Battery
    I-corps

    Reply
  35. Lawrence Hogue

    I was platoon radio man with 3/5 Lima company. I remember Operation Meade River because on 1 December I was hit by a sniper. My god friend Clarence Love was killed on that Operation. I remember it weel because I picked him up and he hd been hit by RPG in the head. I went after another wounded Marine when I got hit. I had to crawl about 250 meters under fire to get to him but he was not there and that was when I was hit. Lt. Carl Schultz my platoon commander was hit with RPG that day as well adn we both medvac to Da. Nang. I lost contact with him. He was fine soldier and a great leader. We lost a good Marines on this OPeration but we inflicted a sever blow to the enemy. As I set in my office today, I think we all did superb job in Vietnam. To all my fellow brothers in arms I say job well done. As for me I will never forget the sacrificies made by all at Meade River.

    Semper Fi,

    Lawrence L. Hogue

    Reply
  36. Randolph Macias Jr.

    I have read all the comments by the gentlemen that served in this particular mission called Meade River, and although my father did not talk about the specifics of what he did, it was enough to torture him mentally after he came home until his death a few years ago. I admired him for enlisting instead of being drafted. I discovered that he was in Operation Meade River, and I was trying to get a feel for what he went through by reading this article, I know I will never be able to truly know, because I wasn’t there. When I told him I was going to join the Army he conveyed to me his worry about my going to war in Desert Storm, and although I finished my term of enlistment without being deployed, all the time I spent in Fort Carson was training for that very purpose, and I would like to say “Thank you to all the Veterans that made it back, and of course I remember the fallen vets that didn’t make it back.” My father and I share the same name he was senior, and I was Junior. If anyone remembers serving with him, I would appreciate any corrospondence via my email. – randmeister@hotmail.com thanks, RMJ.

    Reply
  37. Bruce H King

    I am one of the marines,that ran Bull-dozer for this oper.there was 3 marnies and 3 army guys,we just went out an dropped every thing that grow,we wast a assinged to ARvnig unit,one nite got the s*** kicked out of us. THANK God i am still hear to tell about ,I had to dig hole and burie those deep vet-cong

    Reply
  38. nick

    Nick from 2nd plt. E2/7 Looking for Fisher, good Marine. How about the 2 shitbirds Green and Clark, Hiding in a hole somewhere I am sure.

    Reply
  39. F. Gesualdo

    I was also with Delta 1/1. Operation Meade River was my first operation in Vietnam. It is hard to believe that it was 41 years ago. Words cannot discribe what happpened those 2 plus weeks in Dodge City. If you weren’t there you could never understand what we all went through. Semper Fi to all of us that were there.

    Reply
  40. nick

    Merry Christmas to all the Marines who survived Mead River and thier tour in the NAM.

    Semper Fidelis,
    Nick

    Reply
  41. e. behnke

    ok, so i was on the meade river operation. i don’t know if i was lucky; i was shot on 22Nov68… I was the Blt. radio operator with Lt. Obrien D 1/1.
    i got shot in the daytime and i got out late at night. they kept shooting a the choppers.
    OB got hit later as well as D1/1 company radio man “nicky”
    i recently read a book about meade river…..12 radio operators were killed within hours of the operation…i was lucky, i was only shoot through the face and shoulder.
    i’ll never forget Walter L. Burke a “very very young” black marine who was trying to save me and he was shot through the forehead trying to pull me out of harms way. never never forget him. killed 22Nov68…he had just got over there a month before…..just a BNG…so sorry.

    Reply
    • Larry Brown

      Are you going to the 1/1 reunion this August in DC? I was on Meade River with Delta Co when you got hit.

      Reply
  42. Down the AfPak Rabbit Hole « PakPatriot

    […] on the strategically meaningless village of Marjah, which is itself a perfect re-enactment of Operation Meade River in 1968. But the callous cynicism of this war, which we described here in early December, and the […]

    Reply
  43. Larry Brown

    I got in country on Oct 5, 1968. Then we went on Operation Meade River. I was with Delta Co. 1/1 1st Plt , 1st Sqd. The second time Delta Co went across the river to sweep the area 2nd Plt was point the 1st Plt and 3rd was tail end charlie. This is the best I can recall, you know time takes its toll on the memory, anyway, I remember we walked into an ambush and 2nd Plt got hit hard. We set up a 360 for 2nd to pull back to. I just happened onto this site and saw Ed Behnke’s name. I wondered all these years if he made it out. I recall we were pinned down most of the day and all that night of Nov. 22. The coprman stayed with “Benky” most of the time the best I can recall and had him on his hands and knees so the blood from his neck wound would not strangle him. I recall Doc would tell him to caugh then breathe, that went on all night. Me and another marine was to try and get who I thought was the 2nd Plt radioman on a medivac chopper later that night, we didn’t make it. To Hot LZ. Now I see you made it Binky. Semper Fi

    Reply
    • Cpl Mike McLEod

      I was with Blt 2/26 4 duce battery whiskey. We came down from Dong Ha and went in on Operation Meade River – Dodge City! I was mostly in Quang Tri Province where about 8 to 10,000 lives were lost.

      Reply
  44. Wayne Montgomery

    Was with Charlie 1/1 along the canal that ran perpendicular to the railroad burm. We sat along that canal for about 30 days waiting for the sweeping forces (5th Marines and 26th Marines). We couldn’t see beyond the bamboo and vines on the other side of the canal, but we could hear the NVA talking and digging that Northern Bunker Complex. When the Marines from 3/26 reached the bunker complex the shit hit the fan right across the canal from us. To help those Marines we tried to swim the canal but came under fire. So about 15 guys from our platoon ran down the canal until they got to a place where they could ford the canal. They came up on the other side opposite us and came under heavy fire (including 51mm machine guns). Word went out to pull back with dead and wounded for an air strike. Well the fly boys worked out until dark then artillery and mortars worked out all night. The next day we were sent over to get a body count. Some previous Marine unit had started two piles of body parts, but ultimately gave up. I personally saw the remains of nearly 200 NVA soldiers. Me and two other guys were assigned to go through the bushes directly opposite the our positions before the battle and we found about five NVA soldiers who had tried to escape ground zero. They were shredded by shrapnel. We also recoverd some Marine bodies that had been buried by a fallen brick wall.

    The trench and bunker complex was in the bushes around an open field. When we got there the water in the field was red from blood and filled with helmets, flack jackets, cartridge belts, packs, etc.

    Few histories of the Vietnam war mention this operation. I just don’t understand why. When you look at the number of KIAs and WIAs on both sides and the amount of ordnance expended, it should be up there with the other MAJOR opeations of the war.

    Wayne Montgomery, Charlie 1/1

    Reply
  45. Roger O'Brien

    I was at meade river with echo company 2/26. Is there a book or a video about operation meade river. If so please let me know. You would think there would be considering it was the largest helicopter assualt in Marine Corps History. Thank You.

    Reply
  46. Jason R. Wigg

    My father participated in this operation as well, although he has never specifically mentioned it. In recently discussing some information I found about him online, my father simply said “yes,” he was in Meade River. He was a Dog Handler from the 3d MP Battalion and attached to Charley Co., 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. My father’s name is Jerry R. Wigg. His dog’s name was “Spade” and he was wounded on December 17 or 18, 1968 (after the conclusion of Meade River). He was awarded the silver star and is mentioned in the online history of Charley Co. and in the Charley Co. list of individual awards on the Suicide Charlie website. If any of you knew my father and/or served with him in Vietnam (on hill 55?) I would very much like to hear from you. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ernie Benck

      My freind’s son was killed in Dodge City just below Hill 55 on Nov 6, 1968 2 weeks before Meade River started. Bill Camp. He was with the 3/7. I wonder if your Dad was on Hill 55 then and if he knew Bill. Thanks, Ernie

      Reply
      • Jason R. Wigg

        Mr. Benck: Thank you for your reply – I will ask my father about Mr. Camp when I next speak with him. If he remembers anything, I will be sure to let you know.

    • Jason R. Wigg

      It is with profound sadness that I announce the death of my father, Jerry R. Wigg, yesterday, April 17, 2014. For those of you that may have known or served with him, he was one hell man and one hell of a proud Marine. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

      Semper Fi,
      JRW

      Reply
  47. Mike Medina

    My Brother Richard Medina Served with Lima 3/26 Marine. I would be interested in talking with anyone that knew him. He was very damaged at Meade river. He say only he and one other walked out from his entire squad. I have researched all his battles and Meade river seems to be the source of his trama.

    Mike
    Mdstaxman@yahoo.com

    Reply
  48. tom warner

    TO THE PERSON ASKING ABOUT SOUTH IN A TYPHOON. YES, I WAS ON A LST FROM DA NANG TO THE PHILLIPINES. ALSO I WAS WITH 2/26 AS PART OF THE BLOCKING FORCE .MY FOX HOLE WAS IN THE SIDE OF A CEMETERY MOUND IN THE ANKLE DEEP PADDIES. REMEMBERING MY MOUND HAS HAUNTED ME FOR YEARS.IF ANYONE OUT THERE HAS A PICTURE OR PICTURES I WOULD BE VERY GRATE FULL IF YOU COU E-MAIL ME COPIES. TOM WARNER

    Reply
  49. Barry Smith

    I am the historian for Fox 2/7 USMC and would like to talk to anyone from Fox who was on Operation Meade River. 1-505-235-4282 or email F27huns@aol.com

    Reply
  50. vic brunelle H&S 27

    my name is vic brunelle.i recieved my second purple heart on nov 24 while on mead river. i would very much like to contact russ artuso. im the guy who said follow me 3 seconds before he was wounded. it was the worst night of my life and im sure his too i sat with him all night waiting for his medivac the first chopper crashed and it was a long night waitting for another last time i saw russ we literaly threw him in the chopper and he did not look at all well if someone can tell him i would like to talk i would be very grateful thanks and semper fi vic brunelle

    Reply
    • Mike Brewer

      I was with 81 Mortars on Meader River. Off Hill 10 and 55. Do have any idea who the Gunny or Top was for H&S 81’s… MIke Brewer 760-550-8083

      Reply
  51. Pat Lisi

    I was a lance corporal fire team leader with Echo 2/5 during Operation Meade River. I had been in country for 3 months and 1 week when we took our positions as a blocking force. When the Recon guys were inserted we were not told, and all of a sudden my fire team was looking across a creek at them. Thankfully, no one paniced and the Recon folks slipped into the brush.

    It was a long and hairy operation. There was an air strike one day that included napalm; the pilots came in from behind us and dropped the cannisters ‘danger close’. I watched as they tumbled overhead from behind our lines and into the enemy perhaps a hundred meters to our front.

    I matured a lot on Meade River which made the rest of my tour better in a way; experience is the best teacher, and this OP paved the way for many more to come. I served my entire tour with but one Purple Heart!

    Keep the faith you guys, and be glad that you’re upright after all these years. Semper Fi

    Sgt. PLisi

    Reply
  52. George Parson

    I was 0331 machine gunner with charley 1/7. It was a turkey shoot. I have relived meade river a thousand times.

    Reply
    • Sonny Butt

      Hey brother! I’m sorry I lost contact with you. I have tried looking. I don’t know what I kin post here, but I live in Gaithersburg,Md. I don’t think you are still in Louisa. If you can’t find me, post where yer’ at. I want to talk to ya, sumba gun.

      Reply
    • Cpl. Sonny Butt

      Hey, brother. Go to marzone.com, it is the 7th Marines site. Go to Ist Bn. – Go to Mail Call, Look me up, Clarence, “Sonny” Butt. C’mon, you little mf’er, I loved you the most. You were one of my “mentors”, I strived to be “as good as you” on the machine-gun. I think I did too! hahaha But that’s fine, you taught me alot. You were also the most fun to be around. You taught me to love Country Music. You should see me now, hahaha

      You need to go to marzone.com anyway, and any other 7th Marines that sees this post. We are your true peers, hahaha And I love you, Baby-san, Young-un, George, or whatever you yer’ stuck wif’.

      Reply
      • Chris Stewart

        DoesJoe Stewart ring a bell He was my father believed to be 1/7

  53. Ed Kenney

    Golf 2/7 was one of the first units to make contact in Meade River. On the first day we helo’ed in along the road south of Hill 55 ??? (7th Marines Regimental HQ) and by the end of the first day we had some where around 8 men killed, most were in 3rd Platoon and were trying to cross a creek /pond and climb a berm when we got hit. There were some very brave actions but we were not able to get our dead casualties out that day. Over the next several days the other side of the creek (about 50 yds away) was bombed and took 8 inch from Da Nang. I remembered watching the 250 lbs bombs coming of the racks of one F-4 with the retards poping out several hundred yards behind us as he flew over head. It was like we could reach up and touch them as the glided only a few feet above our heads. Those were some very good pilots. Several other rifle companies tried to take the postion over the next few days from different directions. All were unsuccessful and suffered heavy casualties. Finally it became Golf’s turn again. We attacked expecting the worst and found they had taken off and pulled out during the previous night. I believe the spot we were at was called the Hook because of the shape of the creek and pond, maybe not. The rest of the Op was relatively quiet for us other than getting shot at by ARVN artillery a couple of times. We could hear some pretty heavy fighting on the other side of the cordon.

    Reply
  54. Lonnie Bartmess L/CPL

    I was in mead river with 1/5.Largest helicopter assallt in marine corps history.I was the blooper man at the time.My nick name was cowboy.Shit hit the fan nonstop for two weeks.I lasted until Jan.21,69 on another operation further west.A miss guided artillary round wiped out most of Kilo Co.I was only wounded.Safely medivaced out,dischared 6 mo. later due to disabilitys.10 were kias and 8 wia.I wrote a song called Over There.It will be playing on ECMA radio stations starting in March2011.Its dedicated to all the guys who fought in Viet Nam.semper fi

    Reply
  55. Herbert E. Ralph, Cpl.

    I was at Meade River Golf Co.2/26th Marines 1st Plt. As far as none of our men being killed by friendly fire, I personally know of 2 and not sure if the third one lived. They were on an LP ( Listening Post ) when @ about 1am a short round hit within a few feet from them. A 5inch piece riped into the 1st two killing them instantly and came to rest in the back of the 3rd man. The squid did what he could, but even he knew, we all knew, those of us who tried to help them that he didn’t stand a snowball chance in hell of making it. I can’t remember their names, hell I can’t remember who my 1st Lt. was but you get him and me together and I can prove my claim.

    Reply
    • Rich Clifford

      Cpl. Ralph: First, let me introduce myself. I am a Braintree, Massachusetts Police Officer with 33 years of service.
      One of my first partners on the job in 1978 was Richard Sanderson. Sandy graduated in 1968 from Braintree High School and served in the Marine Corps from 1967 to 1969. Sandy had served with Golf Company,Second Battalion of the Twenty Sixth Marine Regiment for nearly his entire enlistment. He subsequently was appointed a police officer in May of 1969. In 1991, Sandy was promoted to Sergeant and he retired in 2003. Sadly, Sandy passed away on Friday, March 4th, 2011, from complications of pneumonia. I spent many nights on patrol with Sandy and have always considered him a gentleman and friend. I always felt secure knowing Sandy was with me and that he would always do the right thing, regardless of the situation. He was very proud of his service with the Marines but was never boastfull. We talked many times on the midnight shift and he would mention Vietnam. He related many stories and I can recall him referencing Meade River. I don’t know if you remember him, but I was hoping you could contact me. Sandy was 18 when he enlisted, about 5-9 with blonde hair and blue eyes. We are preparing a eulogy which will be delivered tomorrow, March 8th, 2011. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and most importantly for your service to our country. Rich

      Reply
    • Virgil Bland Jr.

      Hi, My uncle was DJ Bland, i dont know what rank he was at that point but if anyone knows anything about him he was F 2/26. Or if anyone knows my Father Virgil Dale Bland would have been around Sgt.

      Reply
  56. Artie Treska

    I was there on Meade River as well. I was an 0351 with 3/26. I remember being pinned down on Thanksgiving Day near a railroad berm We had walked into a huge clearing and took lots of sniper fire from a treeline to our left. We had a RR berm on our right and the river ahead of us. That took a while and We got some great chopper help to cut down our casualties. I remember a CH 46 starting down to bring us a hot Turkey Day Dinner. The pilot refused to land. LZ was too hot. I remember shivering in the mud,hugging a RR berm and watching dinner fly away. It was a bummer. Semper-Fi!!

    Reply
  57. Rich Tahan

    I was with Hotel 2/5 out of An Hoa and we were choppered into Loc Binh just south -west of Hill 55 where the 7th Marines were. We were used as a Blocking Force for 1/7 and the ROC Marines pushing through the area and destroying everything in sight. We got some also, catching many NVA trying to evade the Marines pushing through Quan Dai Loc and Quan Diem-Ban areas. I was Medivac’d to Danang with jungle rot and spent 30 days at Freedom Hill. Semper Fi

    Reply
    • Bill Jackson

      Rich, I remember you I think. Didn’t you carry a gun , and didn’t you also serve with emptyhead (Mixon) before Nam? I was in 2/5 also on this op.

      Reply
  58. BEV GOOD

    I was a friend of William C. Wirick, India Co of the 3/26. Billy was KIA at Meade River on Dec. 8, 1968. He received the Navy Cross posthumously for his action on that day. I’ve read everything I can find about this battle, and I continue to search for additional details, especially about Billy. Information and leads are appreciated.

    Reply
    • Mitch Holmes

      Here is a contact for William C. “BO BAD” Wirick:

      call 310-699-3463, or look up (La tho river vietnam) on the internet and click on Meade River 1968 [Archive) for comments about this individual. Good luck!!

      Reply
    • Cpl Paul L Graves Retired

      Hello Bev. I was the last person to talk to Bill before he died. The last thing Bill did on this earth was to save my life.

      Reply
      • Richard Tannenbaum

        I met Bo in college and we became close friends. I would be very grateful if you would get in touch, share whatever you’re able to tell me. I have a two year old son and someday I want him to know as much as possible about Bo, the man he’s named after.

    • LCpl Donald Hooper(hoop)

      I served with him though we had no friends in ‘nam. we had good times and bad. I have photos and was there with him at the time of his death. India co.3-26 weapons platoon. I was the mortar man,squad leader,and so was he.

      Reply
      • Richard Tannenbaum

        I met Bo in college and became close friends. We ran a little wild, he got in some trouble and wound up in Viet Nam. I would be very grateful if you would get in touch, share the photos and whatever you’re able to tell me.
        I have a two year old son and someday I want him to know as much as possible about Bo, the man he’s named after.

      • Bob Ekdahl

        Hi Don,
        I’m responding for David Wicklund, who doesn’t have computer access.
        He was in weapons platoon, India 3/26 during Operation Meade River and would like to hear from you. If you see this and respond to me, I can put you in touch with him.

    • Bob Ekdahl

      Hi Bev,
      I’m responding for David Wicklund, who doesn’t have computer access.
      He was in weapons platoon, India 3/26 during Operation Meade River and has information concerning Cpl. Wirick he would like to share with you. If you see this and respond to me, I can put you in touch with him.

      Reply
      • Richard Tannenbaum

        Bob Ekdahl, I was a good friend of Bill Wirick and would very much like to know whatever information David Wiklund is willing to share. Please let me know what I need to do to contact him or be contacted by him. Thanks, Richard Tannenbaum

      • Bob Ekdahl

        Richard,
        Send me a PM on the Armchair General forum at the top of this page. I’m registered as 74Bob.

  59. GARY CLACK

    I was with fox 2/7 and we started the op walking from hill 55 to our objective, the nation r/r track, it was to take about 2 hours but we were stopp at a creek and it took over a week before we got to the old rail road track. Our mission was to be a blocking force. while on the old nation r/r a loud spearker was heard and the voice was a american coming from the NVA side. The voice was that of PFC GARWOOD A POW. HE WAS STATING SIDING WIHT THE NVA.

    Reply
    • Nick Kosturos

      Gary, I was with Kilo 3/26 on Meade River; we had an incident with a

      traitor, years later found out about Garwood; am curious to hear how

      you knew of him. S/F Nick

      Reply
  60. Mitch Holmes

    To all of you that survived during taht devestating and horrible time in the mix of the Vietnam War, God truly blessed you with the breath of life, after being sourrounded with so much death and destruction. Each and every one of you are heros in the eyes of us who served but did not make the trip to (HELL). I am a former Marine who served with the 1/8 and 3/8 1969-1972. I am honored and humbled by the events you all haved endured and have had the opportunity to convey to those of us that are in awe of your greatful service. Never forget those that were left behind and those that sacraficed their lives for the cause.
    God bless you all, (SEMPER FI).
    (mitchell.r.holmes@us.army.mil)

    Reply
  61. Bill Jackson

    2/5 Derek Moye from Canada fired a blooker round one night.We heard what sounded like water running. It was dinks running through our lines trying to sneak out. That blooker round hit one right squarely in the back. Beautiful sight at the time. Moye’s nickname was HAWK.

    Reply
  62. L/Cpl Neil Adams

    I was the first casualty of Meade river and I was with Golf Company 2/26 marines. We were along route 1 as a blocking force and the Gooks tried to bread out of the cordon at night and I was hit in the knee. I would like to contact other Marines (Combat Engineers) that were with the BLT 26th Marines. Lt Ashcroft was the C.O. of our company. After reading what every one went through during that operation I was almost glad that I got it early and missed the heavy stuff!

    Neil

    Reply
  63. Gary Bolin

    Did 5 tours. was Navy E-5. Would travel to Dodge City south of Danang in 69 to visit friend Doc Epperson. Use to have a bunch of pics of the big Dodge City sign. Got caught in a couple of bad fire fights down there. and was there one night when the compound got hit hard. My heart really went out to all those good Marines and their heroic eforts. I left to serve in a place called the U-Min forrest . In late 71 went on evac convoys for Cauviet/DongHa. Camp Eagle was abandoned and looked like a Goast town.

    Reply
  64. Cpl Mike McLEod

    If you were stationed at the Rock Pile between May of 1968 and November 1968 let me know. Our Motor T Unit with Blt 2/26 Whiskey Battery ran convoys for re-supply during that time.

    Reply
  65. Al Gautschi

    I was on Meade River, 2 Bravo,2nd Plt. Saw Jackson comment, tried the e-mail, came back no such. Every body from Hotel Company, contact me ASAP.

    Semper FI to all Marines

    Reply
  66. christopher hill

    My name is christopher Hill, I was transfered into kelo.3/26 when they came down from khe Sanh from bravo.1/7. I was with them when when they went on aflot and went up to choo-lie for the operation with the americal division. I was transfered again when we came back to the ships. I was in another unit around hill 55 when meade river jump off. I heard that kelo. 3/26 lost half there people on that operation. I would lijke to hear from any body from that unit or any body eles who was in that operation.
    email hillchristopher19@yahoo.com

    Reply
  67. Sgt, Kevin P. Simms(USMC)

    My name is Kevin Simms, I am a Retired Disabled Veteran. I am a Marine (0352) who served in combat in The Gulf War. My father is Raymond D. Simms, He is a Marine Vietnam Vet. A( 0331) machine gunner with 3rd Bn 26th Mar. M Co. Weapons Plt. I am looking for anyone who served with him. I am very proud of my Father and all of you,Vietnam Vet’s. My Dad is a very Good man who really never talked about the War much except to me when I came home from Desert Storm. I would like to reunite him with his fellow brother’s also a Marine with the last name of Washington who probably saved my Dad’s life dragging him to safety when he was wounded by a female VC with an RPG. Please e-mail me at kevin.simms22@yahoo.com or call me 910-325-8259 Thank all of you Vietnam Vet’s for serving but also you made sure me and my fellow Vet’s of The Gulf War came home with the reseption that our Country gave us. Our Country will alway’s owe a Dept of kindness and gratitude for all of you Vienam Vet’s you guy’s are the exception and the standerd by wich all American’s especilly service men and woman should live by. Thank You and God Bless.

    Reply
    • Susan Turner

      Could not have said it any better! TY for YOUR service too Marine.

      Reply
  68. L. Chamberlain

    I served as a hospital corpsman with Lima 3/5 at Meade River. I
    wounded morning of 1 Dec. I remember all those brave young
    men that day one, of them dragged me to the LZ. for med evac
    . Not a day goes by that I’m not thinking of that time and all that it
    was to so many of us there.

    Reply
  69. Kim Ruell-Kraft

    My father served with 3-26 Kilo. He was WIA on Nov 27,1968 during Meade River. His name is David Ruell, I was wondering if anyone remembers him? And thank you all so much for your sacrifices and dedication! I admire you all so very much. Thank you!

    Reply
  70. Larry Schupe

    I was with H&S Company 1/7. I was a radio operator for the Battalion CO. I remember on Thanksgiven day, we were getting ready to move to the southwest corner of the pushing wall when choppers came in with the turkey dinners and we were just grabbing anything we could grab of the tables. It is sure great to here about the op.

    Reply
    • Mike Brewer

      Larry, were you on Hill 10? Email me or call. 760-550-8083 “micbrewerusmc@aol.com” Thanks, Mike

      Reply
  71. Russ Lefebvre

    I was a Corpsman with 3rd platoon Delta Company 1/1. I remember Operation Meade River well because you couldn’t take a step anywhere it seemed without hitting a booby trap. I treated several Marines who had stepped on them…… tying of bleeders and trying to keep them from going into shock. Like most of you over the years I have paid a high personal price for my time in country. However I would do it all over again. It was the definning moment in my life as I’m sure it was in yours. To all my Brothers I say “Semper Fi”.

    Reply
    • Bob Remillard

      To Russ Lefebvre, and all of my brothers I say SEMPER FI. Much too long since I’ve heard from you. Crazy days and long nights. I was really surprised to hear your name, I am suffering from that condition I call CRS ,can’t remember shit , but I do remember you. We were buds then , and I’m sure we still are. Hope this gets to you sorry to say I am still a novice.Take care, I saw your name and comment about Meade River, and you were so right on. Bye for now…Bob

      Reply
  72. Mike Brewer

    I was with 1/7 Marines on Hill 10. 81 Mortarman on Meade River. Will never in all my living days forget humping that friggin 81 Tube! Became an instant radioman on Meade too when the Lt’s radio man was shot. Where are all the mortar guys here? So few of us. I go to Bravo and Delta Company 1/7 Reunions. Also 4 of the Battalion gatherings. I am astounded that we are still filling in the blanks. Does anyone know who the H&S Gunny was on Hill 10 Nov 68- March 69?

    Reply
  73. Dan Johnston

    Good to hear from all these old Marines. I was with 3/26 H&S Co.
    9th MAB Out of DaNang 1969 line Company’s were at Hi von Pass,
    hill 190, esso plant, Namo Bridge, Seems like a long time ago until
    reading this and all the Comments and you start to remember like it was yesterday Anyway wanted to say Hi to all my bros from the Nam the Best people you could ever met Good luck and Health Semper Fi

    Reply
  74. Gruenwald J.E.

    Nobody ever asked what good I did just how many Gooks I killed? Just got Married in 2001 to a Beautiful Lady I went to High School with.If not 4 Her I would have Self Destructed! On this day many moons ago on Meade River I/3/26 I put what was left of Two members of My Squad in a Poncho.In the evening of My Memories I always go back! Semper Fidelis and too All the Brave Marines that gave it All,It will be a Grand Reunion someday India 3 Charles out~~~

    Reply
  75. jim shotsberger

    HERBERT RALPH IN THE SQ.WE USE TO CALL YOU RALPH MY NAME IS JIM SHOTSBERGER I WAS YOUR SQ. LEADER YOU CAN GET ME AT jshots21@yahoo.com

    Reply
  76. Russ Artuso

    Wow yes I was that guy ! I was trying to get a laaw to some guys…the 50 gunner opened up because we were taking incoming rounds I got to Da Nang with second degree burns all over me. I remember a sgt pushing me up a hil..Please keep in touch you can help me piece what happened
    Thank buddy and
    Semper Fi

    Reply
  77. russ artuso

    4/14/2013 at 5:52 am

    Wow yes I was that guy ! I was trying to get a laaw to some guys…the 50 gunner opened up because we were taking incoming rounds I got to Da Nang with second degree burns all over me. I remember a sgt pushing me up a hil..Please keep in touch you can help me piece what happened
    Thank buddy and
    Semper Fi

    Reply
  78. Steve "Doc" Badgley

    I was with Hotel 2/26 at Meade River. I just published a great book by Dick Jackson who was with the 7th Marines. The title of this book is Dark Days for White Knights. Dick was badly wounded at Meade River and came home minus an eye. This is an awesome book and I strongly recommend it to anyone who was involved with Operation Meade River. You can preview it at this link:

    http://badgleypublishingcompany.com/DarkDaysforWhiteKnights.html

    Copy the link and paste it in your browser.

    Reply
  79. Russ Artuso

    Hey Vic …yep I made it thanks to you and my other brothers.. I owe you guys my life it’s been a long tough haul but reading from you and other Marines about that friggin operation..the fact that they sent in the second chopper after the first one crashed makes me proud I’ m a Marine. I can’t really put into words how it really was …..like some nightmare…thanks again Vic and all the other guys for saving my life…Semper Fi

    Reply
  80. Russ Artuso

    hey Jerry the corpsmans name was Pope He just e- mailed me and I lost his e- mail ..Hope he see’s this and writes back

    Reply
  81. John Alexander

    I was an Radio Operator on this operation, 2/26 H&S – S-3 Operations. Was assigned to a O.P. on some hill with an S-2 and his Kit Carson’s. We were camoed up and dug in on watch when we were hit from the front (all rounds missed me but hit the S-2). I was jumping to my \hole\ a few feet away, but but something told me not to go in…..and I stepped over it and found a small depression and ducked in, returning fire. The Kit Carson’s watching the back side of the hill came around to my aid and saved the day.

    Wondering what or why I did not jump in my fox hole, I went over to look in. I found a partially buried (from sloughed dirt), a slimy looking thing. I called a \Kit Carson\ over to see if he knew what it was. He got very excited and repeated: \Buku Toi!\, Buku Toi!\ I found out it was a \pit viper\ that had fell in my hole.

    Another day in the bush….another day closer to going back to the world! And when I did get back, it was a whole different kind of hell. I went onto college and was hated and despised and eventually I had to drop out…..

    Reply
  82. Scott Bell

    I joined H&S 3/26 as FNG late Nov of ’68. Technically I was part of \Meade River.\ But I spent my entire time during the Op at the Rock Crusher of Hill 327. First time I heard bullets fly was Operation Bold Mariner.
    Later I became Co. 28 with Mike, 3/26. There until I rotated in Dec. ’69.

    Reply
  83. Joe Penna

    I was on operation Meade river with 2/26. It was my first operation in country and as I recall a friend of mine named O’brien (his first operation also) was sent to echo company and I was sent to golf company. I didn’t see him again until the operation was over. He had a horrific experience describing how he was pinned down for several hours and the marines he was with were killed. He was clearly shaken from his experience and in need of medical attention. I’ve often wondered how he was doing, but had no way of making contact. If you are the same O’brien I hope all is well with you.

    Reply
  84. George Hill

    Marine, I wrote the article and I could not mention every unit involved- I also have found a few editing mistakes that Vietnam magazine did and never asked my approval.

    I also want the very few that have made a complaint (not you) that I wrote one more article for Vietnam and it was an absolute abortion. I seriously complained and they , several issues later made an really weak retraction. They informed me that my disk had been ‘contaminated’.
    I also found out that between my two stories and just prior to my Meade River article that the Fine major editor, Col Harry summers had died.
    The magazine was never the same- famed Nam war correspondent Joe Galloway informed me that after Col. Summers died that the whole Nam editorial staff was changed and that to save money, the magazine hired mostly young graduates from Journal schools- I NEVER read a Vietnam Magazine again.

    I wrote clearly a well received book, not a BS book about 8 years back- ‘Heart of the 3rd sector-Hill 55.’

    Hope all is well. I can’t write everyone but I noticed that you write. George Hill–us4.66mc4.70@gmail.com

    Reply
  85. George Hill

    In my article, I clearly wrote that 108 Marines were KIA and 513 were WIA.
    It is in the next to last paragraph of above article. I could not include every unit and every action- I did my best. Vietnam , under Col Summers did very little editing. I include a condensed version in my book,’Heart of the Third Sector/ Hill-55′
    I submitted the article several years before the magazine printed the story. It was what is called ‘in the vault’ and went on the internet apparently in 2006.I never read this version ‘of Cordon’
    I submitted one other story and it was after Col Summers died and man, it was butchered. I was told that the submitted disk had been ‘contaminated’ and they took it on to dd what they believed was correct inf- I received a very shot retraction somewhat a couple of issues later; I did tell them not to ever put it on the internet- I lost all interest in that and any additional Nam factual writings. My book was n excellent,no BS, ear collecting, self exalting hero stuff. Gen Simmons , a Nam 55 Vet and former (now deceased) long time Civilian in Charge of the USMC historical div.,and famed War correspondent Joe Galloway ( only civilian to win Bronze star w/combat V both recommended my book.This article,and the last entry on this list ought to suffice for info on Meade River. Thanks, George, us4.66mc4.70@gmail.com

    Reply
  86. Bob Lewis

    My brother Jimmy Lewis PFC CO Hotel 5th Marines 1st Marine Division was killed on December 7th 1968 in Quang Nam. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Would love to talk with anyone who knew him. God Bless everyone of you guys, you’re all so brave. It breaks my heart to read your stories. Thank you Bob Lewis

    Reply
  87. Dennis Casey

    George,
    I agree with you. I was a subscriber to Vietnam Magazine for several years and really looked forward to each copy. After Colonel Summers died I noticed a big change in the magazine. Many of the articles seemed slanted against the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Veteran. I dropped my subscription with a feeling that a very good magazine had been corrupted. Thank you for your article about Meade River. As one of the previous commenter has acknowledged, very little has been written about this operation. By all accounts, Meade River was one of the bigger battles of the war. One would think more would be written about it. Thanks again for your work!

    Reply
    • George Hill

      Dennis Casey, THANKS for your words.
      I just ran across your comment.
      I have had SOME closure after writing sporadically for 15 years and distributing my (self puvlished) book (about 700 copies.)
      Yea, I haven’t and am not gonna read Vietnam again- Col Summers was the last REAL editor.
      Hope all is well with you and yours.
      Semper Fi– George Hill

      Reply
  88. warren ellis

    Help! Served in Nam as a machine gunner in 68-69 was taken out of country for some type of injury. I presently am disabled from Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia. I have very little memory of service. If you remember me contact me on facebook. Thanks Warren Ellis

    Reply
  89. Frank Santen

    Howdy Mike, I was the battalion ammo tech for 2/26. I was at the old French fort on the highway right next to the bridge. There were 81’s there and some guys from combined action platoon. There was also a tower with a .50 in it. The first bridge had been blown up. I ‘m pretty sure sure Lt. Arndt was in command. We took some sniper fire there one night. The mortar guys had illum up so fast and every Marine was at his position so fast I think that’s why they didn’t attack us. Col. Sparks and most of 2/26 were south of us in the paddies and would never have been able to help. One of my jobs was to make sure the col. got the booze for his Martinis. I used to ride out to the paddies on the Otter with the Sgt.Major holding the booze. He warned me about dropping it no matter what. Did you know Dean Schaeffer from 81’s. We were good friends. I was also at LZ Margo. I thought us \Pogues\ were supposed to be in the rear! When they took us to Okinawa in 1969 for rehab, I was on the 46 with Lt. Arndt. I was also attached to Fox Co. and Golf Co. I delivered mortar rounds to you guys. My nickname was Flashbang or just Flash for short. Glad to see you made it home Brother, and yes, you should have taken the Heart. You earned it Bro! I hope you remember some of this. Take Care Mike. Semper Fi. Cpl. Frank Santen

    Reply
    • Capt. Terrence Arndt

      Frank, thanks for taking good care of us.
      I am still around and in touch with some of our Fox Company members. Email, tdarndt@yahoo.com

      SF

      Terry

      Reply
  90. Larry Schupe

    I was in that operation to. I was Batt Comm Chief with 1/7 Hotel Co. How about Opderation Mamaluke Thrust,Anybody remember that one?

    Reply
  91. Scott Appleman

    Hey Jack and all you guys from India 3/26. I still can not stand the damn mosquitos. That article is not correct. Remember Aschion and Hersfield (spelling is not correct) but they were hit by friendly fire. Aschion’s as killed and Hersfield had half of the back of his leg blowen away. I can still see Cpl. Ross’s blood squirt from his neck every time his heart beat. That last sweep we did after the ARAN’s made that pass and it was all clear. Bull Shit! Weapons platoon wiped out and the squad I was in next to them were all hit except me for some unknown reason. We had to wait for Puff before anyone came out to help me move the wounded back per Capt.Hoover. I will never get over those nightmares. We sent our time in hell, I will see you guys in Heaven.

    Reply
  92. Kenneth Thompson

    Hey Appleman, I was in I co 3/26 plt guide i was beside cpl.Ross the day he got hit on Dec4th 1968. Later that day i got hit taking that war correspondent that had been wounded to the LZ.
    Also Hersfield and I was in the same fighting hole when we started taking friendly free from the Navy ships, I was useing his P38 that was on with his dog tags when he was hit medavac out without them .i brougt his dogtags home and had them over 30 years, a few years back i found his address in California and mailed them to him.
    Like to hear from you Scott
    S/F Thompson from Texas

    Reply
  93. Dennis Casey

    Thanks George! Good luck with your book and best wishes , in general. Your article here has had a lot of comments from the men who served on Meade River. It has been very healing and helpful for many who were there. We’re very appreciative! Semper Fi!

    Dennis Casey

    Reply
  94. Frank Santen

    Thanks for taking time to write Sir. I was , and am still, very proud to have served with you guys. I rotated right after we got to Okinawa. I came back in August of 1969. I was attached to Fox Co. for quite a while after that. Capt. Stoltz was Co then. I was with you at Cobb Bridge, Tugboat and Hill 190. There wasn’t much for an ammo tech to do so, I was assigned to 1st Plt. 3rd Squad, led by Jimmy Slater. I filled in as M-79 man and rifleman. I went to school at Western Illinois University after I got out in 1971. I ran into two guys from Fox Co. there, Freddy McCoy and Bob Hall, also Jack Horner from Echo Co. (small world). I finished my second tour as driver for Capt. Rennaud from Echo Co. after he took over S-4. I remember you as a good officer and a good man. Being with 2/26 is the one thing I am most proud of in my life. I’m glad you made it home and, I hope life has, and is treating you well. Sincerely, Frank Santen

    Reply
    • Captain Terry Arndt

      Frank, heck, I am still waiting for the booze. I am still in touch with then Captain Stolz. Major Lynch, S-3 reached MGEN and is still on the net.

      If you send me an email (see above), I will send you some info on Bold Mariner, Hill 190 and the claw. I was the S-2 or XO of Golf at the time of 190.

      Thanks for the kind comments about 2/26. We did 10 operations during my tour and the name, Nomads, was appropriate for the battalion.

      SF Terry Arndt

      Reply
    • Frank Santen

      Hi Bill, I’m sorry, I don’t remember your Uncle. I went from one company to the next during my time there. I was mostly with H&S Co. and Fox Co. Your Uncle and I almost certainly were at the same places, I was there a long time. Good luck finding someone who knew him. Sincerely, Frank Santen

      Reply
  95. bill

    Did you know George Borges?Any chance you knew George Borges?

    Reply
  96. Ed kenney

    G 2/7 was on Mamaluke Thrust… But I don’t remember much about it. I was on 15 ops with golf .. I remember many details but it’s hard to remember which operation they occurred in.

    Reply
  97. Gruenwald J E AKA Jody

    Yo Cowboy \Thompson\ You the Same JarHead that came to Hospital in DaNang 2 see Me before they medivacted me back 2 the World? Gruenwald JE AKA.Jody 0311 India 3 Charles 1968

    Reply
  98. Tim Toine

    I was a Crew Chief with HMM-165 (CH-46’s) flying off the USS Tripoli. We flew on Meade River from day one. I think it was 2/7 that was the BLT we flew in that first day. My chopper took four hits flying along the La Tho river that day. 165 flew many missions on that operation. My e-mail is tmtimages@aol.com if anyone who remembers the 46’s flying into Mead River would contact me.

    Reply
  99. Ed kenney

    G 2/7 flew in off the Tripoli. Landed on the Road south of Hill 55. Had helo medevacs that same afternoon. We were part of Special Landing Force B. (SLF Bravo)

    Reply
  100. George Hill

    Hi, I read Scott Appleman’s comments- I would like to know where the article is ‘NOT CORRECT’ I lcould not list every unit and every action- I listed many and gave a pretty accurate overall review. I only had one other complaint other than Scott Applemans. I hqve had many appreciative replies. One complainer said I failed to list the Marine casualty numbers and on ly listed NVA- man, I wrote that he must havbe just scanned the article and then complained- man I CLEARLY listed the number of Marine WIA and KIA’s- clearly- Again, I stand by this article and my book- As I earlier wrote Vietnam magqzine BUTCHERED a future article after Col Summer’s died and I have nothing to do since with Vietnam magazine but this article is/was the first and only thorough (as can be) regarding the largest Search and Cordon operation of the war. GAH

    Reply
  101. Tim Toine

    Thanks for replying Ed kenny. Flew many missions on that operation.

    Reply
  102. Grunt

    I have a lot of photos and documents from that time, Mostly 1/1 Delta Co 1969.

    Reply
  103. Grunt

    George Hill, I’ve got a picture of a Grunt and his M-14, so yea, that BS.

    Reply
  104. Gruenwald J E 0311 1968 USMC

    Yepper had alot them Rifles in India 3/26…S/Sgt Karl Taylor humped that BadBoy the Whole OP it had that Gernade sticking outta the Barrel…Thought @ 1st it was a Funny Looking Bayonet HaHa but the Gooks didn’t think So ’cause He was the only Medal of Honor Recepient… On that Meat Grinder of an Op…GodBless Ya S/Sgt T I told All My GrandKids about You Marine…How You held My Hand while awaiting that Medivac Bird & the Last thing You ever Said 2 Me…Your The Best PFC in The Whole USMC don’t ever 4Get That Son…GodBless All You Marines & Family Of Go Easy Semper Fi

    Reply
  105. Tim Toine

    Talk about fate: I arrived in country days before TET and sent to Hue Phu-Bai where I flew out of during TET. My last major operation was Meade River. With three weeks left on my tour I was shot down and wounded on an Emergency Resupply in Dodge City. The same Dodge City where we flew on Meade River just weeks before. \Just one good deal after another\…’gotta’ love the Corps’….

    Reply
  106. BD

    Question,

    Where was Operation Pipestone Canyon in relation to Dodge City/Meade River?

    I’m just trying to make sense of this map in front of me and operations my father participated in.

    It appears to be a large \AMBUSHED\ marked near Dodge City around Duc Ky,Quang Dong, just North of Dodge City and North of \Happy VAlley Land of the N.V.A\ Was wondering if this Ambush was a search and destroy mission or Operation Pipestone Canyon.

    Ya’ll seem to have a lot of knowledge from your experiences there, so please pardon my ignorance in advance.

    Reply
    • Wayne Montgomery

      BD: Operation Pipestone Canyon covered the exact same territory as Operation Meade River, only nine months later in the summer of 1969. I participated in both. Here are the differences. Meade River took place during the Monsoon season. Dodge City was mostly covered by water (a few inches to several feet). Due to the rain and water, Dodge was lush (though not really a jungle). It had once been heavily populated, but all the Vietnamese people had been evacuated a couple of years before Meade River. All the former rice paddies were wide open fields with grass about knee or thigh high. All the former villages were clumps of bamboo trees and bushes. Also, in 1968 it was HEAVILY populated by NVA and Viet Cong. As you notice in the other comments, many Marines sustained bullet wounds. Whereas in 1969, the number of bad guys was substantially less and the biggest threat to Marines was booby-traps (and there were many booby-trap incidents on Operation Pipestone Canyon). In 1969 my unit (Charlie 1/1) swept over the location of the so-called “Northern Bunker Complex” and we found the bones of all those NVA soldiers that had been killed nine months earlier. Several of the guys in my squad have pictures taken holding skulls. The main difference between Meade River and Pipestone Canyon is that Dodge City had been defoliated with Agent Orange. In our photos you can clearly see how all the bamboo trees and bushes had died in 1969 (strangely the grass remained). My platoon had no casualties on Meade River, but we lost 4 Marines and two wounded on Pipestone Canyon. Wayne

      Reply
      • BD

        Thank you for that clarification Sir !!

        , I have alot of pictures of those rice paddies you speak of and even the grass with (can’t remember what they are called or the exact method of their cause of injury ) —but they appeared as blades of grass —but had posion on them?

        Also, I have quite a few pictures of a Marine named \Montgomery\ !!
        Out of curiiosity, are you white or black? You dont have to answer if you don’t wish but thought it would be quite the coincidence if it were you, ha.

        Thank you again, not just for the info but for your service over there

        *Sorry for posted this comment twice–I created a new post vs REPLYING the first time.

        .

  107. Mike McLeod

    Hey Steve,

    Yes! The Duluth was a big ship and they used to open up the well deck and fill it with Sea Water for swim call. Sea Sick? Man I was Sea Sick for 4 days! We boarded the Duluth from the Qua Viet River and the long ride out in heavy seas made me real sick. Do you remember a Corpsman named Doc Grassi? He watched my back and I watched his.

    Reply
  108. Mike McLeod

    Hi Frank, sorry it took so long to get back to you. Yes, I do remember Col. Sparks and Dean Schaeffer. I did not get to know Dean because I only met him a couple of times. Yes! I was so happy to land back in the world and touch the ground. Still here and alive and kicking. Never forgot and never will forget. Keep living my friend!

    Cpl Mike McLeod

    Reply
  109. John Alexander (Cpl - 2/26)

    I was Col Sparks S-3 radio operator, along with many other Battalion Commanders that came, (getting their combat ribbons). They pulled me out of Golf Co into H&S, then over to the S-3’s. I also controlled his field maps and gathered field intel for them (S-3). I ran paymasters which were choppered from the LPH’s, then guided them (point) and another grunt rear, to the field companies (since I knew all the positions). Most officers I worked with were 90 day wonders. Guiding some in the bush, I would have them to take their lapel bars or turn their collars over, and they would ask me: \Why\? I also had some \tunnel rat\ duty which was the worst experience I will ever endure.

    Reply
  110. Grant Williams

    I just read your comments in the article on Operation Meade. Did you know Steve Neas? He was in Hotel 2/5, and was KIA on 8 Dec. He was a friend of mine in high school. If you remember, I would like to know what happened.
    gb_williams@bellsouth.net

    Reply
  111. Randy Mink

    Pat,
    My brother, Gary Mink, was also in Echo 2/5 during operation Henderson, Meade River, and Hill 100. I’ve been looking for a copy of your book My Time in Hell and can’t find one. If it’s still available please let me know where I can get a copy. My email is randymink59@yahoo.com

    Thank you for your service and welcome home,
    Randy Mink

    Reply
  112. Steve Morris

    Only ‘B’ company 1/5 was part of Operation Meade River. I was the TAC radio operator with Meyers. We were part of the third air wave going in and took several casualties before the chopper sat on the ground.

    Reply
  113. Steve Morris

    Only ‘B’ company 1/5 was part of Operation Meade River. I was the TAC radio operator with Meyers. We were part of the third air wave going in and took several casualties before the chopper sat on the ground.

    Call sign was Millbrook14B.

    Semper Fi

    Reply
  114. Garlan Nobles

    I was with HML-167,UH1E gunships stationed at Marble Mountain.I was a door gunner. We flew some brass and the heavy, a Sergeant Major around that area before the operation started. We had lunch at Hill-10. We also flew a guy that had a gadget that could pick up ground movements. We also flew several sorties during the operation. I also saw a couple of 46s crash and burn.We would reload at Hill-55. we got hit several times and we went down. We were picked up by a 46. Never had a clue what was really going on down on the ground. Now I know. Semper Fi

    Reply
  115. Jerry Gupton

    Thanks Bob, Please contact me at Jtgupton at yahoo dot com or let me know how to contact you

    Reply
  116. Jerry Gupton

    Thanks Bob Please let me know how to contact you

    Reply
  117. Pfc. James white

    I was with 3/5 at Meade River.Lima December 2

    Reply
  118. Gruenwald J E 0311 1968 USMC

    Welcome Home & GodBless each & Everyone of Ya Semper Fi that

    Reply
  119. BD

    Thank you for that clarification Sir !!

    , I have alot of pictures of those rice paddies you speak of and even the grass with (can’t remember what they are called or the exact method of their cause of injury ) —but they appeared as blades of grass —but had posion on them?

    Also, I have quite a few pictures of a Marine named \Montgomery\ !!
    Out of curiiosity, are you white or black? You dont have to answer if you don’t wish but thought it would be quite the coincidence if it were you, ha.

    Thank you again, not just for the info but for your service over there.

    Reply
  120. John Alexander

    Did you know SSgt Roland? S-2 scout with 2/26. I was with him, dug in and camouflaged on some hill overlooking this valley with a river running east to west, for movement. Kit Carson’s were covering our backside. I got sprayed with small arms fire from the front, which started on my right, crossed my torso, and onto my left, where I glanced and saw him get hit, rolling backward. He had a couple of weeks left his \tour\. The rounds came so close to my left and right shoulders, I thought I had been hit (from the concussion0. I started jumping and diving for my foxhole, when I heard this command to not jump into your hole!\ I immediately thought it was my dad, but he was in the \World.\ I planted my feet under me, nearly tripping and jumped over it, and headed for a gully farther over. After all the commotion, and getting him medavaced, I went back to the hole I had dug, and saw a pit viper waiting for me. I suppose it ws one of those \Two Step\, since a \Kit Carson\ indicated to me it was \Buku Bad!\

    Reply
  121. Cpl Larry Brown

    Interesting time, Meade River. Lost some good Marines.

    Reply

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