Attack on Quang Tri City During the Vietnam War

Attack on Quang Tri City During the Vietnam War

By James I. Marino
12/20/2006 • Vietnam

Creeping unseen into Quang Tri, the 20 elite commandos of the Communist sapper platoon struck at 0200 hours on January 31, 1968, hitting critical points throughout the city. The surprise assault was the spearpoint of a larger attack on the northernmost province of South Vietnam; North Vietnamese Army infantry was poised just outside city limits. The capture of Quang Tri City would open an avenue of attack straight through the strategically important city of Hue.

The Communist high command, as well as many in the American news media, expected the supposedly unmotivated, poorly led South Vietnamese soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam who were defending the city of Quang Tri to just melt away. Instead, the ARVN troops stayed, fought and held the city. Like the GIs at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, the South Vietnamese paratroopers became a breakwater against the Communist flood, resisting and waiting for relief. They held the fort until, as in the old American West, cavalry troopers rode to the rescue — this time with the snarl of rotor blades.

Capital of the province of the same name, Quang Tri was about 20 kilometers south of the DMZ, along the east bank of the Thach Han River. The city, which was the largest of the province, developed into a major communication and logistics center during the war. It was situated on the national coastal highway, Highway 1, squeezed between provincial roads 560 on the west and 555 on the east. The road network, north-south and east-west corridors, passed through Quang Tri. Square-shaped with a citadel, Quang Tri City stood like a miniature of Hue, the old imperial capital. More important, Quang Tri was located only 45 miles north of Hue. Quang Tri was built on the coastal plain, and thus vulnerable to attack from all directions. Despite the presence of U.S. Marine and Army units in I Corps Tactical Zone (I CTZ), the defense of the small city lay in the hands of the ARVN 1st Division.

The 1st Division had operated around Hue since the unit’s establishment. Many Americans considered it the best division in the ARVN. Like the heavy armor divisions of the U.S. Army during World War II, the ARVN 1st Division was an exception to the standard military organization. Each regiment had four battalions instead of the standard three.

Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Lam, a quality officer and a veteran, was the commanding general of I Corps. The Quang Tri province chief, Lt. Col. Nguyen Am, had formerly been commander of the ARVN 1st Infantry Regiment, which was stationed at Quang Tri. Am’s former relationship with the unit would pay dividends in the coming battle.

American advisers rated the 1st Infantry Regiment, commanded by Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu Hanh, as the weakest in the 1st Division. The U.S. 3rd Marine Division, in a report toward the end of 1967, noted that ‘Hanh had a mediocre reputation but was not incompetent.’ At the start of 1968 the 1st Infantry Regiment was participating in the Revolutionary Development program, to which Hanh had committed two battalions. These were scattered and immersed throughout numerous villages north and northwest of Quang Tri. To compensate, Lam had attached the ARVN 9th Airborne Battalion to Hanh’s command.

Activated October 1, 1965, the 9th Airborne Battalion was part of the ARVN 1st Airborne Brigade. The paratroopers were all volunteers, with nine weeks of intensive combat training at the Airborne Training Center, capped by a three-week jump school at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. The airborne troops were high-quality veterans who received better pay, rations, weapons, quarters and family benefits than the common ARVN soldier. Hanh also had additional units available for the city’s defense. A National Police Field Force company was quartered in the city proper. The 1st Regiment’s armored personnel carrier squadron was stationed inside Quang Tri, and Regional and Popular Forces were available as well.

Hanh deployed his forces to screen the city. His 2nd and 3rd battalions conducted security missions north and northwest of the city, while the 9th Airborne Battalion quartered northeast of the city in the Catholic hamlet of Tri Buu. The 1st Battalion, along with the APC squadron, guarded military installations in Quang Tri’s western suburbs. The National Police patrolled throughout the city proper. The 1st Regiment’s CP was established at La Vang, east of Highway 1.

The U.S. Marines had been operating in I CTZ since 1965. The 3rd Marine Division covered all of Quang Tri Province. With units spread along the DMZ and Highway 1, together with their commitment to pacification operations and the defense of the Khe Sanh firebase, the Marines were stretched thin. As the official Marine Corps history describes the situation: ‘The 3rd Marine Division had no men to spare for the defense of Quang Tri City, which was an ARVN responsibility. Marines deployed units out to mortar and sniper range to screen vital areas of the city.’

Just prior to Tet, General William Westmoreland took major steps to reinforce I Corps. After assessing both intelligence reports and captured enemy documents, Westmoreland believed the primary threat was in the extreme north. Associated Press reported Westmoreland’s thinking on January 17, 1968: ‘Westmoreland said he expects the next major Communist campaign in the northernmost I Corps areas, primarily in Quang Tri and Thua Thien provinces, just below the DMZ.’

Westmoreland planned to move his ‘First Team,’ the entire 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), into I Corps. The division’s 3rd Brigade was already there, attached to the 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division. The 1st Brigade, at Bong Son, received orders on January 17 to move into the Hue–Phu Bai area; on January 25, it shifted farther north into the Quang Tri area. The 2nd Brigade, meanwhile, remained committed to an operation in the Binh Dinh area, and Westmoreland attached the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division to the 1st Cavalry Division.

Colonel Donald V. Rattan commanded the 1st Air Cav’s 1st Brigade. Since the perceived threat in the province focused on the border regions, he did not receive the mission to secure the city. Rattan was in constant communication with the American provincial adviser, Robert Brewer, who helped coordinate the actions of the South Vietnamese and American units as well as the Civil Operations and Rural Development Support program.

Rattan positioned his battalions south and west of Quang Tri City. The 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry (1-8), covered Fire Base Area 101, west of Quang Tri. The 5th Battalion, 502nd Infantry (5-502), from the 101st Airborne Division, covered Landing Zone Betty, about three miles southwest of Quang Tri, while 1-12 and 1-5 cavalry were left a free hand to maneuver against any enemy forces. As the American and Vietnamese units went about the business of pacification, search-and-destroy missions and the improvement of their logistical base, some 21,000 NVA troops in nine regiments were deployed to strike the small city at Tet.

General Vo Nguyen Giap, North Vietnam’s defense minister and architect of the Tet Offensive, had been preparing for the campaign since the summer of 1967. Giap’s goal was the capture of Hue as the linchpin of the ambitious, war-winning offensive. Like Antwerp in Adolf Hitler’s 1944 Ardennes offensive, Hue was both a political and military target. The direct land route to Hue stretched along the coastal plains on Highway 1. Like Bastogne, Quang Tri was a crucial transportation hub, which had to be taken to facilitate the Communist offensive. Its capture would open an avenue for the B-9 Front, a corps-size force just north of the DMZ, to advance down the coast along Highway 1 to capture Hue.

The plan to overrun Quang Tri called for a joint operation by the NVA and Viet Cong. A platoon from the NVA 10th Sapper Battalion would infiltrate the city at night and hit key spots, just before the main attack by four battalions of the 812th Regiment of the NVA 324B Division, and the VC 814th Battalion. The 324B Division, consisting mainly of volunteers from the south, was rated by American intelligence as one of the NVA’s best units.

Sappers were the elite force of the NVA. It was sapper units that had led the 1954 assault on Dien Bien Phu. Sapper platoons attached to infantry battalions had the mission of clearing obstacles and leading attacks on built-up positions. Trainees in these battalions received as much as three months of special training at a base near Son Tay, North Vietnam, or on the job with their units in the south. Trained to move in complete silence, a sapper unit was an assault engineer force designed to oppose a greater force. Typically, such a unit consisted of a security element, an assault element, a fire support element and a reserve.

The NVA 812th Regiment’s four battalions, K-4, K-5, K-6 and K-8 (detached from the NVA 90th Regiment), consisted of three infantry companies of 130 men each. Along with signal, reconnaissance and heavy weapons support companies, the regiment totaled about 2,600 troops for the assault. The 600-man VC 814th Battalion would strike from the northeast, while the K-4 Battalion would hit from the east and K-6 Battalion from the southeast. The K-8 Battalion screened in the northwest and K-5 Battalion remained as the reserve in the southeast, with the heavy weapons company.

The unexpected insertion of the 1st Cavalry Division into I Corps during January did not cause the NVA to alter their plans. Committed to the all-out assault throughout I Corps, Giap took the gamble. The capture of Quang Tri, with its road network and one of only two large airfields in the province, was essential for the offensive to be able to drive deep into South Vietnam. Throughout January, NVA and VC units meticulously infiltrated close to the cities and towns they would attack. The NVA 812th Regiment first infiltrated into the hamlets and countryside around Quang Tri City, and then sent thousands of ‘local people’ to the city.

This indicator did not go unnoticed by the ARVN. On January 28, General Lam flew to Quang Tri and consulted with Lt. Col. Am. They decided to place the city in a state of emergency and impose martial law. Colonel Am also provided weapons to various cadres and government civil servants. The two officers then waited and watched for the strike they sensed lurking just out of sight.

When the 20 NVA sappers struck Quang Tri on the morning of January 31, they destroyed communications lines and attacked critical points. They intended to create an even bigger advantage for the simultaneous surprise attack of the 812th Regiment. But due to rain, swollen streams and unfamiliarity with the terrain, the K-4 Battalion did not launch its assault until 0420. During the two-hour gap, the South Vietnamese concentrated on the sappers. Local police isolated the sapper platoon and, after a nasty firefight, captured the few remaining survivors. With the elimination of the sappers, Hanh ordered the regular ARVN units to stand-to for the expected assault.

At 0420, rocket and mortar attacks hit bases inside and outside the city. The 812th Regiment attacked along multiple axes. The K-4 Battalion advanced along four routes to penetrate the city and seize key objectives, including the left gate of the city wall, the province section headquarters, the artillery unit compound and the city prison. The K-6 Battalion, advancing between Highway 1 and the railroad, struck the ARVN compound at the La Vang base just south of the city. The VC 814th Battalion struck from the northeast through the small village of Tri Buu. The two remaining battalions, K-5 and K-8, screened southeast and northwest of the city respectively, to ambush and prevent anticipated allied ground reinforcements from interfering.

As the Germans had done during the Battle of the Bulge, the VC attempted to use subterfuge at Quang Tri. Wearing ARVN paratrooper uniforms, VC elements approached the ARVN 9th Airborne Battalion at Tri Buu. The ruse failed when a sharp-eyed ARVN sentry observed that the impostors were wearing sandals instead of government-issue jungle boots. The ARVN paratroopers opened fire, and fierce hand-to-hand fighting ensued. While the VC pressed their attack, the paratroopers gradually withdrew to just outside Tri Buu and re-formed their lines. The 814th Battalion never reached the city limits. Lieutenant General William Pearson later reported, ‘The South Vietnamese airborne decisively engaged the VC and halted the advance.’

East of Quang Tri, the K-4 and K-6 battalions rushed the city walls. They encountered withering fire from the defenders, but the Communists moved forward. As the NVA continued to exert great pressure, the ARVN troops fought for every foot of ground. The 1st Regiment’s 1st Battalion maintained its resistance, as Hanh committed his armored personnel carrier squadron. As the APCs laid down fire support, the ARVN troops gave ground grudgingly. Heavy fighting went on throughout the morning along the city’s edge.

Sheer numbers and effective fire support from their heavy weapons enabled the NVA to edge into the city, as the ARVN 1st Battalion slowly fell back toward the sector headquarters. By noon the outcome of the battle still hung in the balance. The South Vietnamese held on by their fingernails. Communist pressure continually increased. If the NVA committed their other battalions, the defenders would be overwhelmed. The South Vietnamese needed reinforcements as soon as possible, and the only available force was the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Brigade.

Robert Brewer, the Quang Tri senior provincial adviser, choppered into LZ Betty shortly after noon on January 31 to confer with Colonel Rattan at his brigade command post. Brewer urgently requested American units, telling Rattan: ‘The situation is desperate. One enemy battalion has infiltrated inside the ARVN lines. The enemy is reinforcing from the east and has established fire support positions on the east and south fringe of the city.’

Rattan contacted Maj. Gen. John Tolson, commanding general of 1st Cavalry Division, and requested authority to reorient his brigade and attack east of Quang Tri City. The Communists, anticipating such a move, had been rocketing and mortaring LZ Betty since dawn to pin down part of the brigade.

Tolson was the perfect officer to make a decision on how to deploy the relatively new resource of air mobility. Commander of 1st Air Cav since April 1, 1967, Tolson had been the commandant of the U.S. Army Aviation School in 1965 and 1966. He was a West Point graduate of the Class of 1937 and also a veteran of combat jumps in New Guinea, Corregidor and the Philippines during World War II. He had long been on the cutting edge of airmobility development. But the 1st Brigade was limited in maneuver battalions and could engage only one area. It had to be the right point. Tolson immediately approved the request. ‘I agreed with [Rattan’s] assessment,’ he later wrote. ‘I trusted his judgment implicitly.’

Rattan learned from Brewer the most probable enemy location and infiltration routes. Brewer indicated that enemy troops were northeast, east and southeast, and Rattan selected LZs adjacent to the Communist forces. As General Tolson later noted, ‘The LZs were selected for the purpose of reducing the enemy’s reinforcement capability by blocking his avenues of approach and to eliminate his fire support capability by landing in his support areas.’

Meanwhile, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam in Saigon reacted slowly to the initial Communist attacks. It fell to local commanders and individual soldiers to take action in their immediate locations to affect the outcome of the fighting. Working swiftly and efficiently, Rattan’s staff put together a plan and called up the lift assets. Within two hours after the alert, the first slicks touched down almost on top of the NVA battalions.

Like George S. Patton in the Ardennes turning the Third Army 90 degrees in just three days, Rattan redirected his 1st Brigade 180 degrees in just two hours. The 1st Brigade had only two available battalions: 1-12 Cavalry and 1-5 Cavalry. The 1-8 Cavalry was fogged in on its mountaintop base, and the 1-502 Infantry was defending the brigade base. Vaulting over the enemy blocking forces, the two cavalry battalions landed in five locations in the Communist rear. Rattan designated Lt. Col. Daniel French’s 1-12 to land east around the village of Thon An Thai and positioned Lt. Col. Robert Runkle’s 1-5 southeast of Quang Tri City. Priority for lift went to the 1-12. Rattan also asked for, and received, additional divisional air support assets in the form of 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, including aerial rocket artillery.

As the American preparations continued, the ARVN infantry and paratroopers refused to yield. Their relief would come from above. Alerted at 1345, the first skytrooper set foot on the objective LZ at 1555. B/1-12 air assaulted into LZs east of the city. A few minutes later, intense fire met C/1-12 as it came into the hot LZs defended by an enemy company. The battalion’s assault bracketed the heavy weapons supporting the NVA battalion, and the cavalry troopers overran them. The enemy battalion, now wedged between the 1-12 and ARVN 1st Regiment, fought back.

Right behind the 12th Cavalry, the 1-5 landed two companies southeast of Quang Tri, near the village of Thong Thuong Xa, right on top of the K-6 Battalion. As one of the troopers remembered the action: ‘We air assaulted southeast of Quang Tri. We were in the rear of an NVA battalion. The entire company was airmobiled onto one side of Highway 1. We went forward and ran into elements of the 812th NVA Regiment. Along with supporting helicopter gunships, we quickly destroyed this fighting unit.’

The surprised NVA used machine guns, mortars and recoilless rifles against the Americans. The 1st Brigade’s scout helicopters directed aerial rocket artillery fire and called in additional fire from divisional artillery. As the American firepower pounded the enemy forces, it created pandemonium in the K-6 Battalion’s rear.

Struck from above by gunships and artillery, and wedged between the ARVN and the Americans, the K-6 Battalion was shattered as an effective fighting unit. By landing directly on top of the NVA units attacking the city, the cavalry units cut off the support those units were providing to, and receiving from, the Communist infantry inside the city. Relief was on the way. The ARVN defenders knew it as they redoubled their efforts to hold on.

B Company, 1-5, but attached to 1-12, arrived in a relatively calm LZ northeast of Tri Buu. The ARVN airborne troops ‘were in pretty good contact, but holding their own,’ remembered Captain Michael Nawrosky, the company commander. ‘Our company’s position remained quiet for the most part. On two occasions enemy soldiers retreating from Quang Tri and Tri Buu skirted our perimeter. In both cases, we engaged with mortar, M-79s, and machine guns, but had negative assessment that night.’

Allied units blocked the 814th Battalion from striking the LZs from the north or from reaching the city. According to 1st Brigade’s war diary, ‘It was obvious that the NVA were completely unfamiliar with air cavalry techniques of warfare.’

The fighting continued into the afternoon. It was a close-quarter, nasty engagement. The Communist units began to buckle, and the commander of the 812th Regiment made a crucial decision. Instead of committing the K-5 and K-8 Battalions, he decided to withdraw. Around 1900 hours the NVA along the east wall of the city broke contact, leaving behind 29 dead.

North Vietnamese soldiers who had reached the city during the morning now tried to get away among the crowds of civilian refugees. Nawrosky recalled his company discovering two who had ‘donned civilian clothing over their uniforms, thrown away their rifles, and tried to slip through our lines.’ They were caught and taken prisoner.

The shattered, demoralized NVA soldiers now tried to withdraw south to reach the protection of the K-5 Battalion. The airmobile assault had crushed the Communist attack and relieved the ARVN defenders. By nightfall the enemy attempted to escape north and south of the town in small elements. The cavalry troopers pressed the attack throughout the night, and into the morning.

By noon of February 1, the ARVN 1st Regiment finished clearing all the NVA stragglers from Quang Tri, while the 1st Brigade pursued the remnants of 812th Regiment into the hills. The brigade expanded in ever-increasing concentric circles around the city. Rattan was now able to commit the 5-502 Infantry. When he did, A Company hit the jackpot: It found an NVA contingent holed up in a cathedral south of the city. A firefight ensued, and Rattan committed D Company, 1-12, to gain numerical superiority. The engagement resulted in 76 Communists killed. Meanwhile, the ARVN airborne troops, with support from U.S. fixed-wing aircraft, retook Tri Buu on February 1. Rattan continued the pursuit during the first 10 days of February. When the operation concluded, the ARVN 9th Airborne Battalion and the American units were shifted to the fighting at Hue. Communist losses at Quang Tri amounted to 86 captured and 914 dead, of which 553 were killed by ARVN forces. General Earl Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, later commented that ‘it was touch and go’ — but Quang Tri was saved.

The swift intervention of the 1st Cavalry Division had prevented Hanoi from achieving one of its major objectives for the Tet Offensive — the capture of a provincial capital and a transportation hub that would have allowed the Communists to commit their mobile reserves deeper into the countryside. In the process, their overall offensive timetable in I Corps was completely disrupted.

The reasons for the allied victory included the tenacious defense of Quang Tri City by the ARVN forces, the accurate evaluation of the tactical situation by Rattan and Brewer and the airmobile capabilities of the 1st Cavalry Division. The South Vietnamese performed above expectations. As Maj. Gen. Phillip Davidson, Westmoreland’s J-2, evaluated the South Vietnamese afterward: ‘The ARVN troops did not surrender or defect, and the South Vietnamese people refused to join the enemy even in towns where the Communist held temporary sway.’

The ARVN performance had been absolutely crucial. In this, the unexpected and tenacious resistance of the poorly regarded, outnumbered ARVN 1st Regiment was the center of gravity that formed the base for commitment of U.S. airmobile forces. Rattan’s quick but correct assessment of the situation was also a key factor. The air cavalry’s vastly superior mobility had introduced a new factor to warfare. Although it was deployed in the north by Westmoreland only weeks before the outbreak of Tet, the outcome might have been different if the 1st Cavalry Division had been a conventional infantry or mechanized unit. As at Bastogne, where American armored columns provided the relief to a besieged town, so too did the helicopters of the 1st Cavalry Division provide the relief at Quang Tri during Tet.


This article was written by James Marino and originally published in the February 2007 issue of Vietnam Magazine. For more great articles be sure to subscribe to Vietnam Magazine today.

142 Responses to Attack on Quang Tri City During the Vietnam War

  1. says:

    Thanks for a well written article. My friend Mike Nawrosky was proud of what he did. Unfortunately,he was wounded April 6,1968 in Vietnam and died of his wounds July 1968 at Walter Reed. Such a short life, like so many others who never made it back. These articles keeps history alive and the memory of these men and women.

  2. matthew says:

    My brother was killed in Quan Tri In Nov Of 1967………..Life goes on but the time stands still.

    • J.O'Neal says:

      My cousin was killed in Quang Tri september 1968. He was with the 5th air cav. He was killed by a sniper. I volunteered after highschool and was in country 1970 -71. I was with the air cav in central highlands.

    • Clyde Sims says:


  3. Keith Askin says:

    A small correction. It was the 1st/502nd of the 101st Airborne, not the 5th/502nd. There never was a 5th Bn.

    July 2001 I traveled up Hwy 1 from Hue to Dong Ha and I believe I found the remains of the Cathedral that the 1st 502 found all the NVA in. Although well shot up, the upper floor still stands and you can see it was constructed like a bank vault. 18″ to 24″ of concrete and 1″ diameter steal re bar very close together. A direct hit in the floor above made a hole part way through, exposing the strength of the construction.

    Keith Askin C Co 1/502nd 1968

    PS Our 3rd Platoon landed on the American Embassy as they were still back South when Tet 68 started.

  4. J. LAMBERT says:

    My brother was killed April 8, 1968 at Khe Sanh. Private 1st Class Randall Carl Phelps. He was a combat engineer with the 3rd Marine Div.

  5. Jim Franklin says:

    I was stationed In Quang Tri 12/69-70 and always thought the river was called Quang Tri River.
    My unit, 14th Combat Engineers, had the tower and several bunkers to man: and man!
    Great Article.

  6. David Thomas says:

    I am a student at James W. Robinson Secondary High School in Fairfax, Va. I am doing research on a Vietnam veteran for my high school’s final exam in english, the research will be sehnt off to the University of Texas for their compilitation of Veteran’s history.

    “My” soldier is Francis “Duke” Cortor Jr. and he was killed while recovering the remains of 3 soldiers in the 5th Infantry Division who were killed by enemy mortar fire just southwest of “Hill 158”

  7. carolejoan says:

    Keeping history alive is served well in this forum. Honoring veterans is a historical element of all countries since before the Roman Empire. During the Vietnam War the battle for Khe Sahn will always be one of the most infamous of battles. America stands grateful to these soldiers that have laid down their lives for the sake of freedom. America- you are loved by all those who have given up their lives for country, by all the families who still miss their loved ones.

  8. charles w coates says:

    i was at quang tri between 1968-1969. 588th sig co. I CONTROLED the communication center there. when to do ha aand say a complete day room blowed up. I NOW remeber that day to this day.ptsd..

    • Debbie Camuso says:

      Hi Charles,
      My Name Is Debbie, Im trying to find anyone who may have served with my husband Thomas Camuso Jr. (sargent); from barrington Rhode Island. He recently passed on June 2nd and we are looking for old combat buddies he may served with. His service records showed he was apart of the 588th regimen and was Team Chief. He talked of some time he expierenced, but as most vets many memories were not memorable. Just trying to make a conections somewhere. Thanks for your time and service.

      • James Mercer says:

        Dear Deborah,

        I did not serve in the military with Tommy. I was lucky enough to spend most of my enlistment in Japan. However, I did grow up with him in West Barrington. I only heard of his passing a couple of weeks ago. I sent a tribute on-line but was not sure if it was forwarded to his family, as those memorial books “close” after 30 days or so. I was looking for an address where I could send a condolence card to his family when I found this site. I could tell you a few things of his childhood but that on-line obituary was pretty extensive. It did not exaggerate about his many good points. I can only add that he was a great guy and a great friend. He was taken long before his time but you and your daughters were lucky to have him for the time you did. Be assured your loss is shared by everyone who knew him. The only thing I can possibly furnish about his military service is that (I heard) he was the Barrington resident most highly decorated for action in Vietnam. So he must have been a great soldier also. Again, deepest condolences to you and your children.

      • Haley Camuso says:

        To James Mercer: Thank you for your kind words about my dad. Im Haley, Thomas and Debbies youngest daughter and I would love to hear more about my dad. My email is Please contact me!

  9. David Sciacchitano says:

    The article is incorrect is stating that the 1st ARVN Reg’t was poorly regarded. It was, along with the 2nd and 3rd Regiments, 1st ARVN Division, were among the very best ARVN regiments during the war. The 1st Division was probably the best regular Division in the Vietnamese Army, being equalled only by such units as the ARVN Airborne Division, Marines, and Rangers.

  10. Gregg Walker says:

    My cousin, Kenneth Russell Joyner was killed at quang tri probably in late March 1968. His body came home on April 4th 1968 the same day MLK was killed.

  11. Bill Morgan says:

    This is all very interesting. I was in the Ghost Battalion put together from volunteers from existing sea bees serving in Viet Nam at the time. We were with Marines who stood watches and we began the construction of the runway at Quang Tri. We lived in sand bags with poncho covers to keep the rain out, which never stopped. there was nothing when we arrived. No wire just marines and the river which was too dangerous to go into.we took baths in our helmets. I was greasing equipment trying to keep everything from breakdowns, so you can imagine what we looked like. One day a helicopter landed and out jumped an officer with beer and the promise of meddles for all, even the seabees, like that happened.
    Two weeks after we got back we sat on the runway of Mag 16 for a week trying to get a flight to Khesanh. We couldn’t catch a flight north for the number of bodies and wounded being brought out of Quang Tri.God bless. Thanks for listening

    • Leah says:

      My uncle was Billy Ray Morgan. I don’t know much about his service, but I do know he a very decorated soldier and the things you are talking about sound like some of what he shared. Did you know him then?

    • Guin Foust says:

      I was with MCB10 in 1967-68. When we arrived in Quang Tri to resume the work that the the Ghost Battelion had begun, I was present present they lowered the Ghost Battelion flag and raised our MCB10 flag. We continued living in tents and built better units for the Marines. Thank you for your service and so glad we both made it home.

  12. Jeffrey Mayo says:

    My cousin SSGT E6 Richard Lee Sarvis 5Th Infantry Division Mechanized was killed on February 22,1971 in Quang Tri. I don’t know what battle if there was one that he died in.If anybody has any information on what happened I would like to know. I saw on TV that he was shot by a sniper. I would just like to know the truth about what went on for my own personal reasons.Thanks.

    • John says:

      Jefferey, Found your comments asking about what was happening in QT where your cousin was killed. Didn’t know him but I was with th 1/5th Mech at that time and can probably answer questions about the battle of Lam Son 719.

    • Walt Hurdley says:

      Jeffrey,my wifes friend,Edward Francis Downey Jr.was killed on 2/21/1971 in Quang Tri and is also looking for any information about his death,he was in C CO 3BN 187th Infantry,101st Airborn .Anyone who may have known him or was there during that time may contact us please.

      • Gene Jenkins says:

        Walt,I was in Quang Tri on that date, I was with the A co.7th eng bn. on the east side of Quang Tri combat Base. Around that time I remember a bunker being over run on the west side of the base and three were killed, I’m wondering if this might have been Edward Francis Downey Jr. It was the only time that I heard of anyone being killed on the base.
        If so, Jeffery’s comment above about his cousin may have been one of the others.
        I hope this helps to bring so closure. God bless them all.

    • Gene Jenkins says:

      Jeffery, I was in Quang Tri on that date, I was with the A co.7th eng bn. on the east side of Quang Tri combat Base. Around that time I remember a bunker being over run on the west side of the base and three were killed, I’m wondering if this might have been your cousin. It was the only time that I heard of anyone being killed on the base.
      If so, Walt Hurdley comment below about Edward Francis Downey Jr. may have been one of the others.
      I hope this helps to bring so closure. God bless them all.

  13. Bernie Laguna says:

    I was in Vietnam, 3rd Marine Div., 3rd Recon Bn. from Aug. 1968-Feb. 1969 as a Squad Leader. I was also in a Combined Action Group also known as a Combined Action Platoon from March, 1969 to Aug. 1969 stationed in a hamlet called Nhu Le in Quang Tri Providence. I volunteered to live in that village supporting my fellow Marines who were attacked almost every night before I got there. That is why the call for volunteers. Two Marine squads and a platoon ARVNs to protect the village that was 50% VC. Sporadic firefights.

    Not enough is written or understood about the CAG’s effect on the war. Not one village was taken over by the VC where a CAG unit was stationed. The villagers, both farmers and VC (we could not tell the difference) benefited from Medical attention.

    It is a shame that it was not more widely used. We made a difference. I only hope that these lessons are applied to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Billy Collins says:


      Thanks for your reply. You are correct not enough was said about the CAG Units in Vietnam. I was a member of a CAG unit, just south of Quang Tri city, during the TET Offensive, and we fought off plenty of V.C. and NVA during my time in this CAG Unit. I can remember every night when a night patrol went out, you could look at your watch and predict when they would come in contact with enemy forces. Again, I was in a CAG Unit we called “Romeo-One,” just South of Quang- Tri, approx 2-4 miles. I am writing a book called “No Hereos’ Here,” which is dedicated to these young Marines of Romeo-One, because as you said there was not enough said about these CAG Units and the role they played in Vietnam war. They performed heroic acts on a daily basis just to survive and never received just recognition for their war efforts. Again thanks for your comments.

      • Bernie Laguna says:

        Billy, I was stationed in Nhu Le Hamlet, outside Quang Tri City. Your are right about the night patrols. I just hope that the villagers that were friendly to us, survived after we left. I have been away dealing with PTSD, that I am not afaid to admit. My heart goes out to the Irag and Afgan troops. Much good luck with your book. To bad that the Marine Higher Ups could not convince the Army Brass of our effectiveness. The Army brass was stead fast on WWII tactics, what a shame.
        Sempre Fi

  14. Phil Cortor says:

    David Thomas (May 22, 2009) “Duke” Cortor was my brother. I would be extremely interested in your research for your “final Exam”. Feel free to contact me at, I certainly hope that you earned an excellent grade.

  15. Edward Villanueva says:

    My brother, Alfred J. Villanueva was killed in Quang Tri Vietnam. H e was in Marines 3rd battalion, I believe. “Freddie died in February 29th 1969, I would appreciate any information. Thanks, Edward Villanueva in Forth Worth, Texas.

    • Timothy Sturm says:

      Here’s a website that includes your brother’s name, ribbons he earned and how he died. ( gunshot/small arms fire ) I don’t know if this will show up as a link or if you’ll have to copy and paste this to your web browser to see the information. Your brother’s name will appear alphabetically. Here’s the lin: ( copy and paste into web browser )
      Tim Sturm, former SGT. USAF – Carswell Air Force Base, Ft. Worth
      ( I live in Rochester, New York…was stationed at Carswell AFB.

  16. Fernando Quiles says:

    My name is Fernando Quiles I was in the 1/12 1st Cavalry Division Company A , July 68-69. Would like to contact anyone who was there
    during that time.

  17. paul schneider says:

    I just read this article and found it very informative. My uncle was killed 2/14/1968 in the Qaung Tri Province but see no mention of K company, 3rd Batallion, his unit. Is there more information or can some one direct me to where I can get more information on his company? Thanks. Please visit to see where a freind, family, or loved one is located on the memorial.

  18. Dennis D. Smith says:

    I just found this site. I was in Quang Tri with the Kit Carson Scouts in 1969 until June 1970,5th Div. I was the guy who assigned the scout their units for all of the area around the DMZ. I had my hot meals at the MacV in Quang Tri city. I was at Camp Red Devil from June 69 til Oct 69 HQ then to the Kit Carson Scouts. I worked with the KCS when the 3rd Marines left for home. You may contact me email

  19. Howard Woodard says:

    While stationed at a FACP on Quang Tri Combat Base Dec 1969 thru Mar 1970 we were located next to a Ranger group. Foggy memories say it was Company C 75th Rangers but I can find no reference to validate that.

    Does anyone know for sure what Ranger unit this would have been?

    Thanks in advance.

    Howard “Woody” Woodard

  20. Kathleen Smaldone says:

    My brother PFC Stephen Brennan died July 15, 1969 info below: Does anyone have any information regarding his deathor remember serving with him? Our family never got the “real” story on how he died. Please contact me
    Service: Army (Selective Service)
    Grade at loss: E3
    Rank: Private First Class
    ID No: 048422876
    MOS: 11B10 Infantryman
    LenSvc: Less than one year
    Unit: C CO, 1ST BN, 11TH INF RGT, 5 INF DIV

    Start Tour: Sunday, 06/22/1969
    Cas Date: Tuesday, 07/15/1969

    Location: Quang Tri, South Vietnam
    Type: Non-hostile, Died Of Other Causes
    Reason: Other Accident – Ground Casualty

    • Sarah Emmert says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Just read your post…My bro-in-law was killed there on 6/18/69 he was in 61st INF 1st bn. We never got the same story twice…often wondered…hope you find answers…

  21. Barry Hall says:

    My name is Barry Hall and I was at Quan Tri attached to the 63rd Maintenance Battllion between Sept. 1971 thur 1972. The platoon leader was, Gerald Mckenzie.
    I am ill and need to find information to validate my tour in Vietnam.
    If anyone remembers me or was in my battalion, please contact me.

    Thank you,

    Barry Hall

  22. Barry Hall says:

    My email is

    Barry Hall

  23. HUGH T. MCQUADE says:

    Hi Barry I was with the 63 rd in Quang Tri at the same time you were. I was a radio teletype operator. I am sorry but I do not remember you. I hope you get well.



  24. gianina dixon says:

    im a part of this project we try and find pictures and infomation about soilders who died for us at vietnam. the man im trying to find a picture for is named thomas r. pearson jr. he was 2nd Lt. he was wounded january 20th fighting at Quang tri. i keep hitting dead ends in my research for some reason i dont just want to give up if you have any information please contact me at

    thank you

  25. Carl L Moore says:


    My unit’s Base Camp was at Dong Ha, I knew the priest at the
    Cathedral at Dong Ha City… was on the west edge of the city, on QL9. I was a Field Artillery Target Acquisition Specialist…workin most
    of my time on and out of Outposts A-2, Noth out of Dong Ha on QL1 just below the DMZ and just north of Gio Linh/Doc Mieu.
    It was then( 02APRIL,1969 – 20OCT,1970) a vietnamese Army outpost, elements of the … 2/1st, 1st Div Infantry, &th Armor, and three Vietnamese 105 howitzers…

    I agree with David-

    “The article is incorrect is stating that the 1st ARVN Reg’t was poorly regarded. It was, along with the 2nd and 3rd Regiments, 1st ARVN Division, were among the very best ARVN regiments during the war. The 1st Division was probably the best regular Division in the Vietnamese Army, being equalled only by such units as the ARVN Airborne Division, Marines, and Rangers.

    By David Sciacchitano on Jun 20, 2009 at 4:50 pm ”

    The ARVN 1st Div Inf received four FOUR US PRESIDENTIAL !
    CITATIONS FROR VALOR IN COMBAT ! …I servied with the most highly declorated man in that division….at A-2
    I considered them my brothers… 2/1st ARVN
    my hat is off to David Sciacchitano, Thank You David, for standing up for these true heros.

    Also to be thought well of is the STD/SMS Commando Families…
    One Director of which also served as Chief of Staff ARVN 1st Division
    FWRD CP at Dong Ha…Hoa Van Pham.

    I was US Arny but knew a lot of Marines….
    My hat is also off to; Bernie Laguna on Sep 11, 2009 at 4:01 am

    Best Wishes to all that keep our brothers in thier hearts,
    Best Regards To All,
    Carl ( Ma) in this case Ma means Ghost
    Song Ben

  26. Rick Sneden says:

    I’m a former !st cav Trooper served with A 1/8 cav we worked out of LZ sharon , and many others in the Quang Tri AO. from March 1968 till we went south in NOV. I’m trying to locate imfo on Cav LZ locations , As in map Loactions

    • rick kidd says:

      i was there in may 68 was assigned to e company but attached to headquarters company my name is rick kidd. do you remember lz white after we moved south to tay ninh and then phuc vinh anyway its good to see other 1/8 guys in here and take care of yourself, seems there are less of us every year.

  27. Joe Thomas says:

    Hello Red Devils, my brother CLYDE THOMAS, served with
    CLYDE IS KILLED 15 MARCH 1971 near Quan Tri…
    I served with the BIG RED ONE at Lai Khe 1968-1969

    • Calvin Whistin says:

      My father passed away in 2000. His name is Jimmie L. Whistin he served with the BIG RED ONE, I think he was also in Lai Khe 1968-1969. Im trying to find out about his time in Vietnam any information would be greatly appreciated…. my e-mail address is

      Calvin Whistin

  28. sgt.awde hatfield says:

    i and several others from my unit ,to inlude lt.curry,wer sent to quan-tri combat base to support the forces there.we were a pol attachment from the 240th qm in qui-nhon.we refueled at various places and managed the pol depot.i was the pol storage yard forman.i spent many nights on my bunker and watched the horizon as tracers filled the nights darkness.i shed many tears on that bunker knowing that my fellow brothers that i ate with that day were out there.god,have mercy an them and god bless america. sgt. wade hatfield

  29. S.Craig Wassmuth says:

    old tears became old tales, thank God!
    friends from Columbus, Ohio were lost ther and later when coming home, still …being “in country” was what made a lasting impression on an 18 year old man, now 60.

  30. Jerome Hires says:

    I was with Team-19 in Quang Tri when the NVA;s invaded across the DMZ, on 30 March 1972. Team-19 was plucked out about a month later, flown to DaNang. Would like to hear from anybody during that time

    • Daniel Reguin says:

      My name is Daniel Reguin I was with Team 19 from july 71 to june 72 I worked with Major Brown in the Pheonix Program. I lived right across from the mess hall. Do you remember the floods we had in Dec of 71.Lived in the only hooch that was on stilts. Remeber having to pull guard duty in the towers. Do you remember A guy named Erny Furr. Or another guy named Carl Ragsdale.. I still have my DD Form 1040 that says all of my TA 50 field gear was lost due to the over loading of helicopters when we had to evacuate from the Citadel. Hope to hear from you. E Mail If I remember right you where a Generater mechanic.

  31. James M. Frazier says:

    I was with the 75th support battalion, 1st bde. 5th Inf Div. at Camp Red Devil near Quang Tri in 1969-1970. I was assigned to the replacement detachment (Repo-Depo) mostly driving truck with supplies and troops to and from the airstrip in my “deuce & a half”. I saw good things and bad, had some good times and bad but they’re all gettin’ kinda foggy now.

    • joseph stanislaw says:

      I’ve got a buddy who was with you named eddy powers and pictures on my facebook of him at the steam bath on longbinh depot, contact me please, You would have known him as he always wanted to get back to longbinh to marry this girl at the steam bath named cookie. Thanks

      • James Michael Frazier says:

        Hey Joseph
        I probably did know Eddie but I don’t remember names very well. I was never in Longbinh though. I spent my entire deployment in Quang Tri.

  32. Harry Burback says:

    I was at LZ Sharon Feb 68 till Nov 68. At that time our unit moved down to Phu Bai. I was with the 6th Bat / 33rd Arty. Headquarters Battery. I was a Spec 5 in the Survey Section. I left country in Feb 69.
    Would like to hear from anyone who might have been at LZ Sharon at that time.
    Thank all of you for your sacrifice who were in Nam.
    Welcome Home!

  33. Ricky D. says:

    Looking for any info on Marine Glenn Burleigh Rao, a casualty on Feb. 26, 1969 in Quang Tri Province. Glenn was a neighbor of mine and died when I was 10 years old. Any information about the event that day, what particular battle was taking place, or those who knew Glenn would be greatly appreciated. I have this unrelenting urge for information and can’t put this to rest. Glenn’s parents have since passed and he was an only child.

  34. Michael Tulloch says:

    Remembering KIA in Quang Tri
    Anthony Joseph Spirito, Jr
    Private First Class
    United States Marine Corps
    18 June 1949 – 05 February 1968
    Hartford, Connecticut
    Panel 37E Line 044

  35. Grandle Starling says:

    Looking for info on Ronald Wright CAG-3, killed in 68…

  36. Dave Brock says:

    I looking for anyone who might have information on Daniel Carey usmc kia july 24 69 in quang tri
    Friends,unit desegation etc
    He was a high school friend

  37. Danny Webster says:

    I was with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Support Battalion, 5th Infantry Division from July 68 to July 69. Stayed at Quang Tri for a few months before moving to Camp Red Devil a couple miles from Quang Tri. I am looking for friends who knew me and would just like to hear from basically anyone who was there during that time. I am also on Facebook at:

    • Lowell Bailey "Beatle" says:

      Danny, I was in the 75th support Battalion and after the tents we also moved to our new digs at Camp red devil. July 27th 68 to april 69.
      then was transfered south till rotation. Not sure your name sounds familer
      or not been a long time. Hot wet and PSP walk ways.

    • Allen Lesteberg says:

      I was in QT and at camp red devil. Was wounde Aug. 20th 1968 between he river and camp red devil.Was with theco.A 1st bn. 11th inf.

  38. Sgt Maj (Ret) Stan Parker says:

    I was a young PFC US paratrooper in “Recon Platoon” 1st Bn (Abn) 501st Inf Regt, 101st Abn Div and arrived in Northern I Corps and were welcomed by 1st Cav troopers at LZ Jane and LZ Betty on or about 23 Jan 1968.
    Our entire battalion of paratrooper 1/501 as well as troopers from our sister battalion, 2/501 and also the 2/202 (-) were fighting side by side with troopers from the 8th and 12th Cav Regt’s, 1st Air Cav Div through out Quang Tri City, Dong Ha and on down the Street Without Joy to the Ancient City of Hue. Oh, by the way there is no 5th Bn of the 502.

    • Gerry Gudinas says:

      Hi Stan— I was with A CO. 1/12 1st Cav Div April 67 till Feb. 68 I was in battles around Quang Tri untill I left . Welcome Home and thank you for your service.

  39. John Castaneda says:

    I was with Lima 3/9 3rd Marine Div in Tet offensive, Dong Ha, Camp Carrol, and Rockpile, Jan 68 thru April 15, 68 missed ambush April 30th that wiped out my buddies, still have nightmares and guilt about not being there to fight next to them, my cancers Non Hodgekins Lymphoma and Prostate cancer are a strong reminder of exposure to Agent Orange after 43 years, a total wreck of my personel life, 3 failed marriages to wonderful women, not accepting my bipolar and ocd behavior I finally realized how screwed up I’ve been from not having to talk about it to seek out help, its called PTSD. Today I am just going thru the VA system that gives you more PTSD. I wish I could say thank God I am alive, but I would be in denial, what I would give to trade my life for one of my buddies that died 43 years ago. Thats all I got to say.

  40. Dennis Richardson says:

    July 3rd 2011, Turner Maine 2:00pm. Dedication of monument and overlook honoring; Phillip S Bryant, hospital Corpsman 3rd class, H&S CO 1st BN, 4th Marines, 3rd MAR DIV,111 MAF. United States Navy.
    Phillip was present during the battle of Khe Sanh, which lasted 77 days but on May 29, 1968 he lost his life clearing a landmine from a road in the Quang Tri Provence South Vietnam. The Turner Sons of American Legion Squadron 111 and Turner Legion Auxiliary 111 raised the money for the monument. We expect 200- 300 people in attendance. We are a young group who have recognized over 60 veterans with plaques and medals. We young men and women are proud of each and every veteran who has served our country. Phillip was the only soldier from Turner Maine killed during the Vietnam War.

  41. john lyle says:

    I was stationed in a communitations unit [588 signal] I think on hill near quang tri river in about april 1968 . there was a marine hospital unit ,marine infantry unit,a small army tank unit there.// one day at about 12:05 pm lunch, we were all bombed by u.s. artillery that V.C. had taken over///almost every person in all units were killed!!!!!!!!!! I would like to here from that lived through that day!!

  42. Bill Gary says:

    I lost a good friend at Quang Tri in Nov.1967 L/Cpl Dennis L. Merrill we served together for four years I got out in 64 and he enlisted for six more years. I still miss my friend. Semper Fi

  43. kathy lehman says:

    Looking for anyone that served with Marine PFC Ronald Storbo KIA at Quang Tri June 6 1969. He was only in Viet Nam 18 days.

    • Bob Thomas says:

      Sorry about your brother. My friend William Paul Benn was also killed the same day he was 22 years old and had been in country about 3 months. Killed by mortar round. They probably knew each other.

      Bob Thomas. Lakewood N.J.

  44. bob bethke says:

    my cousin james f meyer was killed 2/17/1968 in quang tri. i wasnt born yet but wish i could have met him im very proud of him and what he stood for during the war if anyone who knew him please post a comment would like to learn about how he was

  45. Robert Hamill says:

    Served with 3rd Recon Bn USMC Qunag Tri April 67 – April 68 Was wondering if and old friends would get this message – Would love to hear from you

    • David says:

      Looking for info on fellow Canadians who served. Details on Robert Thomson killed feb 16, 1968 in quang tri. He was with 3rd FORCE RECON CO, 3rd FORCE RECON BN, 3rd MARDIV. Any insight would be appreciated.

  46. Hien Ngo says:

    Interesting site. I’m son of a VC veteran. My mother fought in the jungle west of Ai Tu airstrip during 66-69. She was three times wounded. I was wondering if any of you from the US ever confronted her unit that was called “Quang Ha paramilitary unit”.

    • Bernie Laguna says:

      Hien Hgo, we never asked what unit the VC’s were from in a firefight. You were all enemies to us, out to kill as many Americans as you could! Over forty years time does not deminish that feeling. I hope you are not in the U.S enjoying all of our freedoms. North Vietnam inslaved the South after the war.

      • Hien Ngo says:

        Bernie Laguna. I could understand how you’re feeling. I didn’t mean to talk about hatred but about healing the war wounds. I’m not in the US Bernie. I’m working to clean up unexploded ordnance left from the war that ended nearly forty years ago, which continues kill or maim innocent people here.

      • Bernie Laguna says:

        Hien Hgo, it is a good job to clean up as many mines that are left after the war. But, I need to remind you that war wounds never end, for anyone. What one experiences in life, especially combat, makes it part of what that person is. Good luck to you. Over and out. I will not post anymore.

    • Bob says:

      What part. Of Vietnam are you presently living in? I would like some current information on the Quang Tri area.I served with the 5th Division 1970-1971

      • Hien Ngo says:

        Dear Bob,

        I’m a native of Quang Tri and currently live here in Dong Ha City. Quang Tri Province is now much more developed that it was in the period you stayed here. However, comparing to other provinces, Quang Tri remains a poor one. Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance legacies remain challenges to the development here.


    • john says:

      Hien Ngo,
      Please understand Mr. Lagunas feelings. Some of mine are the same yet I feel that since we are no longer “enemies” it is good to communicate and maybe at some point find closure in all of our lives. I was with 3rd Marine Division in ’69 near QaungTri. I never met with your mother but I did lose my cousin Calvin in ’69 near the Mekong Delta. I went through years as a “basket case” from being there. But 18 years ago I realized that I could let my past control my future or I could change things around and control it myself. I decided on the latter. With the mercy and grace of God I was able to do that. Others may criticize this but I sincerely hope you find the things you need to know about your mom. I personally would like to know what she was like as a person, how she lived, what her beliefs were. She must have been a good person in many ways if she had you as a son. I have been told I am a good person in many ways but I have hurt a lot of people in my life. It is not mine to judge, yet I am always interested in learning about people from other cultures. If you wish, I am at Good luck in your search.

      • Hien Ngo says:

        Dear John,

        I do understand Mr. Lagunas feelings and I’m well aware of the psychological stress former combatants have suffered after the conflict was over. I’m very sorry that you lost your cousin. I know how such a feeling. I have many loved ones who lost their lives in the war, including my grandfather and uncles.

        I’m glad to know that you overcame such depression that had haunted you for years. War is nothing but devastation and destruction. Fortunately it’s over and now our two nations are working towards friendship and development.

        I just looked you up on Facebook and I hope I added the right Mr. John Fitch.



    • Donna Elliott says:

      Hien – I am the sister of an American MIA. Perhaps we can share research. Please contact me at

  47. Paul Posterino says:

    Thanks to all that served.
    We lost my first cousin Lcp Ernest Postorino on 27 Aug 68 in the Quang Tri Prov.

  48. james hollifield says:

    hi, i was in the 57th transportation co. based in quang tri during 1968/1969,we were the northern most trans. unit at that time ,having moved down from dong ha,we ran many,many missions out of there going in all directions,i was a gunner on a gun truck and remember the condition of the rds. very well,its like others have said the days are gone but the memories will never go away.,we were known as the NAM NOMADS, GOD BLESS THOSE THAT DID NOT COME HOME.

    • JAMES P JONES says:

      James I think I was with 57th in vietnam Jan 68 to Jan69 Iwas a gunner on gun truck maby you rember me sp4 J.P. James or Pete Jones later made sp 5.glad you made it home.

    • JAMES P JONES says:

      correct e mail

    • Tim Gaddo says:

      In looking for info on a buddy who was killed in Quang Tri, July 30, 1970

      His name was Lee Raymond Peters, and he was killed in a non-combat air crash along with a Forrest H. Hollifield HHB, 108th Arty Grp..Beyond that there seems to be no further information on the crash.

      I noticed you have the same last name, just wondered if you know who Forrest H. Hollifield was, and possible if you have any more infor regarding his death?

      You can respond to my email if you wish,
      Thanks, Tim

  49. DAVE says:


  50. JERRY BLEVINS says:


  51. Jerri Goodlin says:

    Hello, my name is Jerri Goodlin and I am looking for anyone who served with my father. His name was : Jerry L. Goodlin and he was a staff sergant in the marines: Company B, 3rd MarDiv, IIIMaF. My dad was killed June 1, 1969 in the Quang Tri Prov. I anyone served with him it wouldbe great to hear from you.

  52. Craig says:

    I am looking for any information on my best friend 1LT Steve Murden who died 03FEB68 Quang Tri, S. Vietnam I FF, Btry B, 1st Bn, 40th Arty. We enlisted together. He to Artillery. Me to Infantry.

  53. Daniel Reguin says:

    Looking for Jerome Hires with MACV Teame 19 Quang Tri Province 71 to 72

  54. Lucille Gomez Teran says:

    Hi, I’m looking for Johnny Castaneda, Marine, Vietnam 67-68
    I remember Lima Co. and I believe 3rd Battalion. Just want to know how to get a hold of you and that you are ok. Still have every letter you sent me. I believe you are somewhere in California. I still live in El Paso, Tx.

  55. Sheena Tretton says:


    I am looking for anyone who knew my Dad Dave Tretton from Rhode Island he was in the 63rd Maint Bn in Quang Tri from Jan 71 to Feb 72. He killed himself when I was 15 and I just want to understand what happened to him there to find some peace & resolution.

    • Jim Mercer says:

      Dear Sheena,

      I did not serve with Dave Tretton but grew up with him and attended St. Edward’s School with him for several years. He was a great guy and a great friend. He was equally good in the classroom and on the baseball field. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. The only thing I can add about his military service is that your dates may be incorrect. We were both in the service and happened to be home on leave at the same time before going overseas. But it was in September (or maybe late August) of 1969. I remember it because it was the last time I saw him. So his Vietnam service was 1969-70, not 1971-72 (unless he served a second tour). I am sorry I don’t have more to add. My sympathy to you and your family over his untimely death.

      Jim Mercer and Family

      • Sheena says:

        Dear Jim,

        Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your memory of him with me. I obtained his military records which state he enlisted in October 1969 and went to basic training in November then onto Germany in 1970 and then he did re-enlist and went to Vietnam on January 29, 1971 and is next listed as being a patient on February 7, 1972 and returning to Fort Dix after that. Would you happen to know a girl he dated named Anne? Thank you very much for your reply!


  56. Kendra McConnell says:

    Hi all,

    I just found this site and have been researching more about my uncle, David Wayne McConnell. If anyone knew him or has information about him, I would really like to know. Here is the little information I have: He was a PFC in the MC. His reported death date is June 18, 1969 in Quang Tri, South Vietnam.

    Thanks and thank you to all of you for serving and sharing.

    Kendra McConnell

  57. Ron Joseph says:

    My Uncle Clyde Minix from Indiana.

    He fought in Operation Prairie. He died there from Fragment wounds on Sept 26th in Quang Tri..Any body who knew of him pleae contact me.

    He was my HERO.

  58. Jim Mercer says:


    We may be talking about two different people. The Dave Tretton I knew was born in 1946, grew up in Pawtucket RI, graduated from high school in 1964 and from college (Providence College, I think) in 1968. He was commissioned and arrived in Vietnam in late August or early September 1969. I heard later only that he had been wounded. I do not know where he was stationed, how seriously he was hurt, or what happened to him after Vietnam. Is any of this familiar or were there two David Trettons from RI both serving in Vietnam the same time?


  59. Sheena Tretton says:

    Yes, Jim, my Dad once mentioned a cousin with the same name who was around the same age as him who went to jail for something. My Dad was born in 1952. He was a little younger and went to Vietnam a little later on. I don’t know anything else about his cousin. I never met him. Even so, thank you for taking the time and energy to reply.


  60. Chris Cooper says:

    My uncle was SP4 Harold E. Cashman Jr. Known to most as Eddie. He was killed Jan 31 1968 at Quan Tri. He was 1st Cav 12 regiment and received a silver star for his actions on that day. We just had a ceremony in his town dedicating a road near his home in Hatboro PA for him. I know this is a long shot, but is there anyone out there that was there or knew him? It was incredible to find this article and read about this battle. Thank you for reading this and taking a moment to remember my uncle.

  61. kilikiki aulaumea says:

    Hien Ngo i was in quang tri around feb to nov of 1968 and things were just not right for anyone was in that area during that time. i`m so glad that i made it home but, so many of my dear friends did not come s stayed with me for the rest of my life. i came back to vietnam two years ago just to see it for myself and a things seems different and i think for me to understand more about myself and the war it`s to go back to see it again. it was a very good trip nothing much change in the country and the people are much more in working with their families.. ngo dont blame the guys that fought for their lifes just to come home.some of us will never get over that .good luck for what you looking to find your mother.

    • Hien Ngo says:

      Dear Kilikiki Aulaumea,

      I wish we could have met two years ago when you came back :-). I much appreciate your taking the time to visit your former battle field, which is hard to many vets. I hope you found your returning trip worthwhile and much healing.

      On a monthly basis, we host many Vietnam vets who are making returning trips to Quang Tri Province.

      I hope we can meet in your next trip.


  62. louise conway quintin says:


  63. Edwin Reeves says:

    I was at Quang Tri Combat Base in 1969/1970. I was attached to the security platoon that secured Quang Tri combat base in hdqs/hdqsRed Devil Company !st brigade 5th Infantry Division. I was also assiged to the ReginolForces/ Popular Forces Leadership School. I remerber the school was located in the old 75th Ranger Base after they were moved off of Camp Redvil ! I also remember where the Replacement Station was located. It was located on the right side of the road as you entered Camp Red Devi if my memory serves me right ? Hignway 1 cut the main combat base in half. The air strip was located on the right side of the highway 1 heading towards Dong Ha. The river was on also on the right of the air strip going towards Dong Ha. The 95th Medica Evact Hospilal was located on the left side Highway 1 as you were heading towards Dong Ha. There was also a 75 foot guard tower located there by the hospital. Graves Registration was also located there by the 75 foot tower and the hospital. There was two guard bunkers on highway 1 as you were heading towards Dong Ha. I remember only two soldier’s names Edward Zebralski from Chicago, Illinois and Stephen Hutchins from Tennesee ? I also remember one guy that had a nick name of “Animal” ? No one could give me his real name because no one knew what his name was ? He also had sunglasses that were round and very very “Dark” ! He never took them off that i can rememder ? But i wasn’t around him all the time except when we came in for a two day stand down. A stand down was when we would come in for two days to let us unwind from the jungle every 28 or 29 days out of every calender month ! Well thats all i have to say at this point in time. God Bless anyone that reads this statement and I want to “WELCOME HOME” any Soldier, Marine , Navy and Airforce personell and let you know there are people here in this “Great Nation” that “Love” “You” And want you home from this God Awful War we are in at present ! This statement comes from a retired Army Soldier that served 27 years 6 months and 27 days ! I am very very proud of each and every one you that are serving in uniform today and every day that you serve to keep this Great Country “Free ! God Bless and “Welcome Home” to you !

  64. Rick says:

    Lost a friend in Quang Tri, 2-26-69……Glenn Rao. Any detailed info about him or this date is greatly appreciated.

  65. HUGH says:


    Anyone get diagnosed with MS? I did at age 63 and I was wondering if anyone else had.

    Thanks for your service,


    • Barbro Strom Longley says:

      My husband has MS due to his service in Viet Nam he is now 100% service connected disabled he is in a wheel chair and only has the use of one arm.

  66. Dannie Childers says:

    I was in the 588th sig co. I was a 31m40 . Served in Quang Tri July 68-69 Like to hear from amy one that served during that time . Welcome home

  67. Danny Fitz says:

    I work with retired Army Lt Col Thomas Bransford. He was in Quang Tri during the NVA Easter Offensive (March 1972). He was one of the 130+ that was evacuated on May 1. I’m interested in hearing from anyone who may have served with Tom during this period. He is just now receiving some help from the VA regarding his in-service injuries/wounds and I’m just a little pissed that it has taken so long. Thanks

  68. John Thomas says:

    Hello,My name is John Thomas My brother L/CPL George D.Thomas was killed in action May 16th 1969 in Quang Tri.or Quang Nam.He was with 3rd.BN. 5th.Mar. 1st mar.Div.111 maf.He was from VA.Looking for somebody he served with that might have known him,Thanks miss him every day!!!

    • Barbro Strom Longley says:

      My child hood friend Peter Sparks was a hospital man there at that time he was killed on Oct 4 1967. If you knew him I would love to here from you

  69. Daniel Edmonds says:

    My name is Daniel and Joseph Edmonds was my brother he served in the marines does anyone who may have served with remember him? Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam Start Tour: 12/21/1967
    Casualty Date: 04/14/1968 From Worcester, MA

  70. L. R. Floyd says:

    Any info on MCB128 in QT would be greatly appreciated.

  71. Harry Slenk says:

    I would like to return to Vietnam Nam on of these years. I was in Quang Tri from Nov of 68 to Jan of 70. If I return I would love to meet you. I am not bitter about the war as it has hurt you as much as us. Keep the faith I would love to hear from you.

    Harry Slenk

  72. Judy says:

    I am looking for any information on Eddie VENCILL from Virgina. He was in the 101st Airborne Div. He was killed in Quang Tri on Mar. 13, 1971. He was a wonderful young man and a great friend to me.
    He joined in Sept. 1970.

  73. bob lyons says:

    My brother billy ( shorty) was with the air borne rangers papa company vietnam. he was killed Apr 1,1970 in Quan tri…

  74. William Baltz says:

    I am writing a story about a Marine who was in HS Co, 1st BN, 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Div, III MAF. He was killed 4/24/68 by friendly fire near Quang Tri. I am writing a story about his life for his hometown newspaper in Michigan for Memorial Day.

    I am looking to speak with anyone who was in the 1st BN, 26th from 1/19/68 to 4/24/68 who can provide me with background information. Thank you!

  75. Jim Marino says:

    Assessment of the regiment is documented in publications by the US Army.

  76. Chris Keene says:

    James, I was in Quang Tri in 1970-71 attached to the ordnance company across from the 57th trans. I was wondering if you could tell me what was our base name? I know that sounds strange but it has been a long time. and if you any photos, I lost everything. Thank you Chris

  77. Thomas Bella says:

    I was in viet nam may 1969 to April 1970 Co D 77th armor div would like to talk to anyone that was there the same time

    • William Hough says:

      I was with the Co D 77th Armor 68 July to 69 July. I was a 63C20 working as 63F20, M88 VTR. Worked in the Motor pool office, doing maintenance Log reports for the company, for 2 months after a \Rough Trip\ but went back out on a recovery mission for the 1st 61st In March, roughest every of all. I remember a Tom who moved into our hooch that we threw out of bed during a rocket attack in the early hours of the morning because he didn’t hear the siren! Was that you?

  78. jo says:

    I served in Vietnam from 7 Jun 65 til 21 Apr 67. I was all over I and II corps. I had to maintain the personnel records for guys in my Signal Battalion from the tops of hills to bases at Pleiku , Danang, Qui Nhon. The VC often used us for target practice in our Hueys. Even 48 years after I first got to Vietnam, I can’t get the memories of the men who were killed and whose body bags I carried to load onto airplanes. I am a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America and every one of us is dedicated to help those who came back but are still suffering from PTSD.

  79. Billy Collins says:

    I read a lot of post on this site about family members and friends that were in the Quang Tri province during the time I was there (12/67/ 6/68), Some of the names mentioned sounds familiar, but I can’t say for sure if I knew the marines mentioned or not. Many of us went by nick names, like mine was short round, I also served with the Golf Company 2 Bn 26th Marines in Phu Bai, as well as in CAG units in Dong Ha, and south of Phu Bai. So I am sure that many of the Marines mentioned we have crossed path and probably some of us served together. I do hope you find the information you are seeking. As far as PTSD is concerned we were not fortunate enough to receive treatment for this, and I as well as many other had to go through life trying to manage the PTSD on our own, some of us did well while others did not. In the book that I am writing, I can still vividly remember and recall most of the horrific events that took place during my tours of duty in Vietnam


  80. Tim Leary says:

    My high school buddy Bruce Monska was killed in Quang Tri City Feb 5, 1968 – he went in before all of us — it was the day the world became real for me — Nice there are many remembering here.

  81. jim lovelace says:

    at Quang Tri camp Red Devil dec 68-may69 Co a 7 eng 5th inf mech bridge platoon can hardly remember anyone but remember several events such as working on pontoon & trestle bridges,gaurd duty, spreading petiprime on the roads. jungle rot which was really skin reactions & infection from the Orange. disarming of unit after frag attack on 1st sgt & law launch thru the officer’s hootch (no casualty) I do remember sgt stacy & jim maxwell of detroit both good friends and helped to save my bacon more than once. In May 1969
    i woke up on the navy hospital ship USS Sanctuary & was told I had been there for 5 days as a result of a jeep accident it had to be an accident because the road was supposed to have been cleared just before I drove there, I remember being shot at & a loud noise & flying thru the air RVN became such a wake up call to reality of what our govt was doing which wasn’t the very worse but the coverups,deceptions, and lies that we were all fed. I was told in no uncertain terms to keep mouth shut and not to persue or protest but pushing age 70 now I am not intimidated any more any does anyone remember me? to all those that are able to read this welcome home

  82. Steve Spillman says:

    My best friend, Gene Sorenson B 1/8 was killed during the “battle at the beach” quang tri Feb.16, 1968. The last thing he said to me was,” I’m going so you don’t have to”. God I miss him.

  83. June Biber Capron says:

    My brother, sgt Joe Biber, was with the 3rd div 3rd recon from may 68 to sep 19th when he was killed on patrol. If you knew him would you tell me about your time with him?

  84. Pat Holmes says:

    mybrother, John Richard Holmes was wounded in the TET offensive 1968. He was a Company Clerk USMC 11A, he lay in a coma for 33 1/2 yrs in a coma @ Bay Pines Veterans Hospital. Does anyone remember him? Date of injury was Jan. 31,1968. Please contact me on this blog.

  85. Teresa Rohlin says:

    My brother Jim a Marine witnessed the VC attack his platoon on Nov 10, 1968 in Quang Tri. Rocket hit their camp and enemy surrounded and shot down Americans. Only he and another Marine survived from this platoon as they were on patrol at the time of the attack and had to wait till it was safe to run 8 – 10 miles they the jungle running for their lives.

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