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Khe Sanh February 25, 1968 3rd Platoon Bravo Company 1st Battalion 26th Marines

Started by devildog34 , Feb 25 2012 02:25 AM

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#1 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:25 AM

44 years ago today a patrol led by 20 year old 2nd Lieutenant, "the youngest Marine Corps Lieutenant to complete TBS in 18 years," according to his sister Jeanne, set out south of the combat zone to make a diamond shaped sweep of the area along the garbage dump road in order to locate enemy mortar positions that had been playing havoc on the base. Aerial observation had verified that enemy trenches had crept to within 300 meters. One aerial observer claims to have witnessed an estimated 200 enemy troops moving through them at one point. None the less the decision was made to sweep the area with Jacques's platoon. Along the way, Jacques was to check in with his CO Captain Kenneth Pipes of Bravo Company. The final check point was to occur just before reentering the lines near 1st platoons sector. Jacques's patrol route was to keep him within sight of the wire and he was under strict orders to remain on track. Unknown to Captain Pipes and Jacques is that the patrol route was to take him between 2 trench systems of the NVA.
The patrol left at 0800 on a typical foggy February morning in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam. Near the trash pit the the patrol noted a few enemy emplacements, small trenches that encircled the trash pit. The trench system went down the face of a small hill near a river and up the face of an adjacent hill and around the side of it. The patrol followed the trench system for about 30 meters which was off course before they decided to move back onto the path of the patrol and proceed as planned. When the patrol came upon a heavy tree line they were single file. 18 year old Pfc. Calvin Bright was walking point when 18 year old Pfc. Clayton Theyerl knew that this was Bright's first patrol on point and according to Bright, Theyerl came up behind him and said, "This is your first patrol and I think you and I ought to switch."

As the patrol proceeded to the tree line they spread out and at about that time 3 NVA soldiers dressed in camouflaged utilities were seen running along a trail. The Marines fired a few rounds at them but they got away unscathed. Seeking a chance to capture one of these men, Jacques requested permission to pursue the 3 men. Captain Pipes, believing them to be on a road much closer to the wire than they actually were reluctantly gave the okay while heeding to the young Jacques to not get sucked into a funnelled ambush. What Captain Pipes did not realize is that the patrol was really 600-700 meters away from the southern wire of the combat base and not the 200 meters he'd thought. The incessantly thick elephant grass obstruced the view of the patrol at certain points and when no visual as made on the patrol, no one was alarmed. The morning fog that frequented the region also had yet to burn off. The Kit Carson scout that was with the patrol was very uneasy about pursuing as he feared it was a trap. HM3 John A. Cicala, also leary of this move, looked at 2nd Lt. Jacques and exclaimed, "Are you crazy?" As Jacques stepped across the path into thick brush the patrol followed but immediately looked confused and in a moment of tactical compromise began to talk outloud among eachother in the moment of confusion. Taking control of the situation, Jacques snapped at the men, "Let's go get them!"

No sooner had the patrol moved forward than the NVA open fired with a heavy concentration of automatic weapons fire. The fire came from 2 tree lines, one ran north-south and the other east-west in a sort of classic L-style ambush. Among the first killed was the point man Pfc. Clayton Theyerl who was shot through the head and killed instantly. Theyerl had been on point for but a few minutes having relieved Pfc. Calvin Bright of the duty. Bright recalled, "I think if it wasn't for him, I'd be in his position and he'd be in mine right now."

Pfc. Alexander Tretiakoff found himself face to face with an NVA soldier and when he tried to fire his rifle, it jammed. He dropped and pulled the magazine out just as the Marine next to him, Lcpl. Richard W. McKenzie, was shot. The fire began to envelope the pinned platoon. Jacques tried to dispatch Cpl. Kenneth Claire's squad along with Platoon Sergeant Ssgt. George McClelland and one of his machine guns to move to the right and hook around the rear of the NVA. Cpl. Claire moved under withering fire with his squad and just as he believed himself far enough to the flank moved forward but had not gone far enough to the enemy's flank and moved into the brunt of the enemy's front.

The records of the 304th NVA Regiment record the actions that morning:
"With strong fire power and experienced troops, the first fire left many American bodies at the strong point. Light machine-gunner Nguyen Van Lang fired off two series of rounds and eliminated 19 of the enemy. The Americans were tall and big and because they were so slow, many died. However those who remained alive continued the attack. Now they became the target for our mortar fire which fired into the troops and the counter-attack by the two companies of Americans. . . we only began to fire when the enemy was about 20 meters from our Combat trench #1. Having killed a number, but with the enemy having a large force and having entered our positions they occupied a portion of that combat trench. They intended to use our trench to continue the attack. But because the Americans are so big and because they carry so much equpment, in a trench of ours that was so narrow, they could not move easily and in some cases were forced out of the the trench.

Initially the Marines obtained fire superiority. When corpsman HM3 Frank Calzia noticed that the corpsman with 3rd squad was wounded and not on the nearby roadway he recalled, "When I down to get him, I noticed that the 3rd squad (Claire's squad) from all indications had been wiped out. There was no one left. He (John Cicala) was wounded and the only one left alive." Fire teams were sent left and right to try and envelope the enemy and each time they were wiped out or disappeared in the tall elephant grass and never popped back up again, most wound never be seen or head from again alive.

John Cicala while laying wounded treated on dying Marine Lcpl. Jerry Dodson. Cicala recalled, "I ran over to him and I took care of him. He had caught a round through his left eye. Believe me I'll never forget it. It came out the other side of his head, but he was still conscious. There was nothing I could do. I put a dressing on him and he told me-it totally freaked me out- but the last thing he said to me was 'Doc, make sure I got my weapon.' I gave him his piece back and I laid a coupld of clips by him." As Doc Cicala ran to the another string of cries calling for the corpsman an enemy round struck him in the neck pushing his dog tag chain into the windpipe. Another round tore through the flak jacket and into the lung, knocking him to the deck as he began to wheeze from his sucking chest wound. He dressed his own wound with the cellophane from a package of cigarettes and began to crawl back to the combat base as best he could with rounds cracking overhead.

Among the wiped out squad of Cpl. Claire, Pfc. Donald Ridgeway and 3 others had made it across that open as well as a few others. The fact that they were not visible to Cicala meant that he assumed they had been wiped out. Claire directed his men in fireteam rushes across the open and quickly abandoned the tactic as the men ran for the nearest trench line. Pfc. Ridgeway, Pfc. James Bruder and Lcpl. Charles Geller made it to the NVA trench line. The 3 men worked their way up the trench under the covering fire of the squad's machine gun. When they came to a bend in the trench, a series of grenades landed near the men who ducked the blast and threw grenades back at the still unseen enemy. Lcpl. Geller popped up to look for the other squads to the left front and behind them and saw nothing. Just then a stray round creased his forehead and knocked him back. He then shouted, 'Everybody's dead. Everybody behind us is dead. There's nobody left alive. What are we gonna do?' Geller, shaken from his minor wound stood up and looked as did Ridgeway and saw 4 NVA approaching as if they believed that they'd killed all the Marines. Ridgeway fired his rifle and killed 2 and Geller killed a third with his .45. Ridgeway and Geller slid back down under cover of the trench just as a round came through skiming the dirt and catching Bruder in the chest killing him instantly.

Geller urged Ridgeway that they had to try and get back to the main force as they were the only ones left. As the two worked their way back across the open, Geller came upon Pfc. Willie Ruff, a black Marine who had been laying painfully wounded with a broken arm laying on his back. As Geller was treating Ruff's wound a round hit Geller in the side of the face blowing his teeth out. Ridgeway was immediatley struck with a round in the back of the shoulder. Wounded but functional, Ridgeway crawled toward the horribly wounded Geller who was alive but in shock. The three men were immobile and in the open and decided the best bet was to wait there hunkering low on the ground until the reaction force arrived even if it meant waiting until dark before they could move and if necessary play dead.

Back at the platoon's main position, the withering fire continued. Cpl. Gilbert Wall moved with 2nd Lt. Jacques to the left of a small roadway and were immediatley pinned down. The main element of the 3rd platoon was smack to the front of the NVA's main line of trenches and under horrendous fire. Wall, who crawled to the left until he drew heavy fire and became pinned behind a tree tried to fire his rifle but it would jam every 3 or 4 rounds. He then abandoned his efforts to return rifle fire and took out a map to call for mortar fire but found his view of the other squads had become obstructed by trees. He was unable to move due to the volume of fire until another Marine provided him cover to move so he could get a better view. Every few yards he moved he came across a wounded Marine and now to his astonishment that the NVA were visible in the trench line very nearby. "I couldn't believe how many of them were there. I threw a grenade in their trench and killed 3, but they filled the spot in no time. The more we killed and got killed, the more they came. The screaming and shouting was so loud you couldn't hear your own voice. By the this time I was terrified and couldn't see the deep trouble we were in clearly. We just didn't have enough men to match their fire power.

2nd squad under Cpl. Robert E. Matzka on the left was pinned down further down the road. Calvin Bright watched Matzka run exposed in the open among his men and try to direct their fire. One man attempted to attack one enemy machine gun that was causing havoc on 2nd squad. Before this Marine could manuever he was killed only a few yards from Calvin Bright. HM3 Calizia of the 2nd squad believing that everyone on the 3rd squad had been killed maneuvered over to 3rd squad and instead of finding all of them dead Calizia found Pfc. Edward Rayburn wiht his lower jaw blown off but alive. He was the first one hit as the squad crossed over the open towards the trench. Rayburn in shock would survive the ordeal but wrote later from his hospital bed to his company commander Captain Pipes, "I saw and heard them die (members of 3rd squad) for three hours." Pfc. Thomas A. Detrick, was a member of the machine gun seciton that accompanied 3rd squad in their suicidal dart across the open. When the gunner was killed, Detrick took over and was himself hit but kept firing until he felt that he was going to black out, and crawled back towards a defilade and passed out. When he woke up to his horror, Detrick was laying next to Rayburn with his jaw shot off. The two men were laying there unable to move.

When the isolate squads of the platoon realized they'd suffered casualties too numerous to be effective, they began to disengage and pull back to the combat base. Gilber Wall who'd began to crawl back after the Marines had disengaged, noticed a wounded Marine with a horrible chest wound. Wall recalled, "He was screaming at me, Marine, Marine, help me!" Wall went back to help the man as did 2 other Marines. Wall, whose rifle had jammed took the dying man's weapon. As the men were working their way back to the tree line they passed when the entered and triggered the enemy fire, they triggered another ambush as they were pulling their wounded back. The survivors of the first onslaught had to hug the earth as bullets snapped the tops of the elephant grass and banana leaves above. Next to Wall another Marine was hit in the chest and screaming in pain. Wall placed a thick surgical bandage over the man's chest but it could not stop the flow of blood and the man was bleeding to death.

Doc Cicala had been stunned by the explosion of a grenade when 2nd Lietenant Jacques came running by him shouting "We got to get out of here. Get out of here the best way you can, we're getting wiped out. As Doc, still dazed from the blast began to turn towards the path back to the combat base he heard Jacques groan. "He caught it right across his femoral arteries. . .There was nothing that could be done. It looked like he got hit with machinegun fire and it caught him below the groin area. It severed both artieres.

Wall came upon Jacques and attempted to put a field dressing on him. "All this time he was trying to talk to me, but I couldn't understand him." According to Cicala, "he was dead in minutes." A Newsweek photographer caught the dramatic episode as the survivors of Bravo Company's 3rd platoon struggled through the thick elephant grass back to the combat base. Wall escaped death along the way as a round struck him in the shoulder of his flak jacket and knocked him down just as another passed between his arm and ribs skiming the sleeve of his shirt. The survivors of 3rd platoon made it back to the base as 1st and 2nd squads moved out to the ambush site to help the wounded and recover the dead but they too ran into heavy contact. Corpsmand HN Lloyd Moore manuevered among the wounded to help and dressed 3 before an enemy mortar killed him. 1st and 2nd squad became heavily engaged and Captain Pipes called for an immediate request for another line company to break the NVA ambush and blocking positions in order to recover the dead and wounded. His request was denied.

Lt.Col. James B. Wilkinson was faced with a dilema. "Do I send a squad or are we going to send a company?" Delta Co. 1/26 was ready to go. "It was the most difficult decision a commander has to make and the decision I made was: we would not send out the force or go to the aid of those Marines. Now that violates all the Marine principles that I was taught from the first day at Parris Island in 1948. When a Marine gets in trouble, you go out and help him and bring him back. My decision was based on the fact that casualties had been inflicted rapidly. The Marines went into a killing zone and were either killed or seriously wounded. Then, the history of the Vietnamese War was filled with instances in which you get a squad in trouble, you send out a platoon; the platoon gets into trouble you send out a company; you send out another company. Before long night falls and you've go half a battalion out in a very tenuous position. My mission was to defend Khe Sanh Combat Base. I was thin. That's why I did not send aid to the Bravo Company patrol.

At the end of the day Bravo Company 1st battalion 26th Marines had one confirmed KIA (Donald Jacques) 25 missing presumed dead and 21 wounded.
It wasn't until March 30th that the Marines of Bravo Company would be able to exact their revenge in an assault using organic infantry weapons, Captina Pipes lead the assault on the NVA trench line in the vicinity of the February 25th ambush site. The remains, most unidentifiable after nearly 6 weeks in the open and exposure to air strikes and artillery fire, were collected. 10 more Bravo Company Marines gave their lives trying to recover the remains of their fallen brothers. Initially 9 of the remains recovered could not be identified and were interred in a mass grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery by the end of 1968. On the memorial of the grave was Pfc. Ronald Ridgeway whose family in Houston received word of his death. In 1973 it was discovered that Ridgeway had survived and was captured the night he Pfc. Willie Ruff, and Lcpl. Charles Geller had lay there playing dead awaiting rescue. Ridgeway was the only survivor. He was captured and imprisoned in Hanoi until his 1973 release.

Those who gave their lives that terrible foggy morning were:
2ndLt Donald Jacques, Rochester, NY
SSgt George McClelland, Passaic, NJ
Cpl Frederick A. Billingham, Trenton, NJ
Cpl Michael J. Brellenthin, North Bergen, NJ
Cpl Kenneth W. Claire, Redwood City, CA
Cpl Bruce E. Jones, Rockland, MA
Cpl Donald E. Whitaker, Durham, MO
LCpl Ronald P. Akins, Akron, OH
LCpl James R. Bruder, Allentown, PA
LCpl Jerry L. Dodson, Collinsville, IL
LCpl Charles G. Geller, East St Louis, IL
LCpl Phillips Hayes, New Orleans, LA
LCpl Michael J. Laderoute, Boston, MA
LCpl Richard W. McKenzie, Oxnard, CA
HN Lloyd W. Moore, Wilmington, NC
Pfc Michael B. Baptiste, Tampa, FL
Pfc Joseph C. Battle, Houston, TX
Pfc Doyle G. Clay, Chicago, IL
Pfc John A. Lassiter, Slidell, LA
Pfc Henry McDonald, Philadelphia, PA
Pfc Kim E. Meads, Chicago, IL
Pfc Arnold J. Rivera, El Paso, TX
Pfc Willie J. Ruff, Columbia, SC
Pfc David C. Scarbrough, Marietta, OH
Pfc Walter F. Skinner, Soledad, CA
Pfc Douglas W. Smith, Fort Worth, TX
Pfc Clayton J. Theyerl, Racine, WI


The news of the ghost patrol reached obscurity back home and fed into the growing anti-war sentiment. Let them not be forgotten and ensure that their sacrifice never falls upon unappreciative spirits.
Semper Fi.


Pictured below is Pfc. Clayton Theyerl the first Marine killed and the man who likely saved Pfc. Calvin Bright's life by assuming point on the patrol minutes before the ambush was triggered.

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  • Clayton_Theyerl.jpg


#2 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:30 AM

Below is the photograph of the moment Newsweek photographer Robert Ellison captured the dramatic efforts of Bravo Company's 3rd platoon to get back to the combat base. The lifeless body of 20 year old 2nd Lieutenant Don Jacques is being pulled by Pfc. John P. Washa and Pfc. Edward Pendergast. This image appeared in a 2-page spread in the March 18, 1968 issue of Newsweek.

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#3 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:36 AM

In the first picture Pfc. Calvin Bright on the left is caught by Newsweek photographer Robert Ellision struggling to get back to the combat base. The other photo is Calvin Bright just after he got out of basic training.

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  • Cal_Bright.jpg


#4 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:39 AM

Another image of Bravo Company Marines struggling to get back to the base. There is a fantastic project underway about Bravo Company see the link below.

http://bravotheproje...g/ghost-patrol/

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#5 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:40 AM

Please disregard the previous posts of this topic when I said 67th anniversary I was typing this as I was watching a DVD documentary about Iwo Jima and thought about the 67th anniversary. I was only off by 33 years.

Edited by devildog34, 25 February 2012 - 02:41 AM.


#6 Bluehawk

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:11 AM

Khe Sanh is the battle that comes to my mind most often... thank you for posting the narrative.

#7 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:10 PM

Below is the photograph of the moment Newsweek photographer Robert Ellison captured the dramatic efforts of Bravo Company's 3rd platoon to get back to the combat base. The lifeless body of 20 year old 2nd Lieutenant Don Jacques is being pulled by Pfc. John P. Washa and Pfc. Edward Pendergast. This image appeared in a 2-page spread in the March 18, 1968 issue of Newsweek.

The mortally wounded platoon Commander

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#8 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:21 PM

Here is the grave marker of the mass grave of the eight Marines whose remains were recovered March 30, 1968 after Bravo Company reassaulted the enemy position and recovered the unidentifiable remains of their fallen brothers. Initially this grave marker contained what was believed to be the remains of 9 men including Ronald Ridgeway. The burial took place in September 1968. In 1973 when Ronald Ridgeway appeared among recently released POW's, his name was removed from the grave marker.

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#9 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:32 PM

Among the unidentified remains is Corporal Michael J. Brellenthin from North Bergen, NJ.

Michael Brellenthin was married only two weeks prior to his going to
Vietnam. His wife, who has recently remarried, is still actively pursuing
information as to her husband's fate. On January 28, 1973, PFC Ronald Ridgeway, one of those 18 "dead" and buried

servicemen, was released from a POW camp in Hanoi. Ridgeway had been held in
South Vietnam with known POWs such as Harvey Brande, William G. McMurray,
and Dennis L. Thompson. The U.S. had no idea any of these men were POWs
until they were released. Ridgeway had come back from the dead, much to the
chagrin of the U.S. Government.

Although the relatives of seven of the Marines believed buried in St. Louis
found little hope in Ridgeway's return, Brellenthin's wife, Ruth, thought it
entirely possible that her husband might have escaped with Ridgeway. How
many others, she wondered, had been captured without the U.S. finding out?

For five years the government refused to give Mrs. Brellenthin information
about Ridgeway's whereabouts so she could question him about the incident.
When she finally found him on her own, it was 1978, 10 years after the
ambush. Ridgeway told her he had not seen Michael Brellenthin during or
after the ambush.

But an intelligence report obtained by Mrs. Brellenthin indicated that in
late February, 1968, approximately 20-30 American POWs were sighted near Khe
Sanh. According to the report, "Source observed several of the PWs wearing
'strange caps.' He described this cap as olive drab in color and made of
cloth. The caps described resemble the USMC fatigue cap."

The U.S. Government continued to state unequivocally that LCPL Michael
Brellenthin had been killed in action because Mrs. Brellenthin could not
produce proof otherwise. Although the government lacked positive evidence
that Michael was dead, its assumption that he was dead overruled Mrs.
Brellenthin's assumption that he might be alive. The Marine Corps has
admitted that some of those "buried" men could have been captured, but that
it is doubtful. Even though considerable doubt surrounds the identification
of the Marines buried in St. Louis, and, indeed, some of them might have
survived, official status change was denied.

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  • Michael_J._Brellenthin.jpg
  • Michael_J._Brellenthin_2.jpg


#10 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:35 PM

the grave of Kenneth Claire. The photo of Kenneth Claire and 2 buddies from Bravo Co. below. Claire is the one in the middle.

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  • Kenneth_Claire_1.jpg


#11 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:40 PM

Another member of Bravo Company's 3rd platoon who gave his life that day was 19 year old Michael J. Laderoute. Michael was from Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA. He is buried in St. Augustine's Catholic Cemetery, Grand Bay - Westfield, New Brunswick, CANADA.

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  • Lcpl._Michael_J._Laderoute_1.jpg


#12 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:47 PM

Ron Reese was a young Pfc. who survived Bravo Company 3rd platoon's horrific ordeal that day. He survived and is featured in a new project about Bravo Company. See trailer below.

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  • Ron_Rees_33.jpg

Edited by devildog34, 25 February 2012 - 04:48 PM.


#13 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:55 PM

Captain Kenneth Pipes who commanded Bravo Company was haunted by what happened to his 3rd platoon and led the efforts to reduce the enemy positions on March 30, 1968 so that the survivors of Bravo Company could recover their fallen brothers. Pipes was wounded and would later, through the efforts of his men, be awarded the silver star for his heroic actions. Citation below:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Kenneth W. Pipes (MCSN: 0-81285), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company B, First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 30 March 1968, Company B launched an attack on a well-entrenched, numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force near Khe Sanh Combat Base and immediately came under intense automatic weapons, mortar and anti-tank rocket fire. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Captain Pipes fearlessly maneuvered across the fire-swept terrain deploying his men and adjusting supporting arms fire on the enemy. Although sustaining a serious wound, he ignored his painful injury and led his men in a determined assault, seizing the hostile emplacements. Steadfastly refusing medical aid, he repeatedly exposed himself to the intense fire as he supervised the destruction of numerous bunkers and ensured that all wounded were treated and evacuated. Upon being directed to break contact, he unhesitatingly remained with the rear element of his command and directed an orderly withdrawal from the hazardous area. His resolute determination and heroic actions inspired all who served with him and were instrumental in his company accounting for 115 North Vietnamese soldiers confirmed killed. By his courage, bold initiative and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Captain Pipes upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Below is a picture of Captain Pipes just before the siege at Khe Sanh began. The other photo shows retired Lt. Col. Pipes during a ceremony a few years ago.

#14 devildog34

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:55 PM

Captain Kenneth Pipes who commanded Bravo Company was haunted by what happened to his 3rd platoon and led the efforts to reduce the enemy positions on March 30, 1968 so that the survivors of Bravo Company could recover their fallen brothers. Pipes was wounded and would later, through the efforts of his men, be awarded the silver star for his heroic actions. Citation below:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Kenneth W. Pipes (MCSN: 0-81285), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company B, First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 30 March 1968, Company B launched an attack on a well-entrenched, numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force near Khe Sanh Combat Base and immediately came under intense automatic weapons, mortar and anti-tank rocket fire. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Captain Pipes fearlessly maneuvered across the fire-swept terrain deploying his men and adjusting supporting arms fire on the enemy. Although sustaining a serious wound, he ignored his painful injury and led his men in a determined assault, seizing the hostile emplacements. Steadfastly refusing medical aid, he repeatedly exposed himself to the intense fire as he supervised the destruction of numerous bunkers and ensured that all wounded were treated and evacuated. Upon being directed to break contact, he unhesitatingly remained with the rear element of his command and directed an orderly withdrawal from the hazardous area. His resolute determination and heroic actions inspired all who served with him and were instrumental in his company accounting for 115 North Vietnamese soldiers confirmed killed. By his courage, bold initiative and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Captain Pipes upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Below is a picture of Captain Pipes just before the siege at Khe Sanh began. The other photo shows retired Lt. Col. Pipes during a ceremony a few years ago.

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  • Kenneth_Pipes_2.jpg
  • Kenneth_Pipes_1.jpg

Edited by devildog34, 25 February 2012 - 04:55 PM.


#15 Kurt Barickman

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:17 PM

Kevin,

This is an amazing tribute to that ill fated patrol and the men who suffered the consequences of it. Your research will help this action not fall from our collective memory. Great work :thumbsup:

Kurt Barickman

#16 tarbridge

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:54 AM

Great Kevin.Thanks for Posting this so we all can Learn.Robert

#17 Longhorn92

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

Thanks for sharing.

I know I've read a detailed account of that fight--just can't remember where. Maybe Hammel's or Pisor's book?

#18 bobgee

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:13 AM

One Helluva of a story, Kevin. Bravo Zulu! :bravo: Thanks for posting.....Semper Fi.....Bob

P.S. Photographer Robert Ellison was awarded a high honor for his Newsweek story. He never knew about it as he was killed in the crash of a C-123 leaving KheSahn.

http://digitaljourna...e9711/req31.htm

His father, whom he never knew was a Paratrooper Lt in the 11th Airborne in WWII, He was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star and a posthumous Purple Heart. He was KIA in the Phillipines in Feb 1945. His medals, formerly in my collection, are cared for now by a Forum member.
Semper Fi......Bob

P.S.S. For the information of the reader - Kevin's dad was a young Marine in VietNam who survived the Siege at KheSahn, Semper Fi......Bobgee

Edited by bobgee, 28 February 2012 - 07:34 AM.


#19 Fly USMC

Fly USMC
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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:44 AM

Kevin,

Great work on preserving the memories of these Marines.

Thanks & Semper Fidelis,
John

#20 capa

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:06 AM

Wow. Very moving. Thank you so much for posting.
Semper Fi!
Fielding


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In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)