Saturday, April 28, 2007

Fifteen Marines Left Behind

Part of being a Marine is knowing and believing that no matter what happens, you won't be left behind. It is a point of pride for the Marine Corps that "we don't leave our men behind". Well, there were at least 15 left behind on Sept 21, 1967. Now I know that some of you reading this are thinking we have left men behind before, but we go back and get them. While it is true that units have left men on the field of battle before, they usually go back and get them in a day or two. Well, the 15 left behind on Sept 21, 1967, were left laying out in the heat and rain for three weeks! During these three weeks the area was pounded by our planes and artillery. Who knows what else happened to them?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't know of any other instance where Marines were left on the field of battle for three weeks. If anyone knows of another case like this, please contact Bill, Bob, or Mark on this site. You are also invited to leave your comments. If we are wrong, we need to know.

Semper Fi,
Bill

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States


in the name of the Congress of the United States


takes pride in presenting the
MEDAL OF HONOR to

JEDH COLBY BARKER, Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps


for service as set forth in the following
CITATION:



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. During a reconnaissance operation L/Cpl. Barker's squad was suddenly hit by enemy sniper fire. The squad immediately deployed to a combat formation and advanced to a strongly fortified enemy position, when it was again struck by small arms and automatic weapons fire, sustaining numerous casualties. Although wounded by the initial burst of fire, L/Cpl. Barker boldly remained in the open, delivering a devastating volume of accurate fire on the numerically superior force. The enemy was intent upon annihilating the small Marine force and, realizing that L/Cpl. Barker was a threat to their position, directed the preponderance of their fire on his position. He was again wounded, this time in the right hand, which prevented him from operating his vitally needed machinegun. Suddenly and without warning, an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the few surviving Marines. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his personal safety, L/Cpl. Barker threw himself upon the deadly grenade, absorbing with his body the full and tremendous force of the explosion. In a final act of bravery, he crawled to the side of a wounded comrade and administered first aid before succumbing to his grievous wounds. His bold initiative, intrepid fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death undoubtedly saved his comrades from further injury or possible death and reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Taps



John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

God help us always to have them, men who believe in what they are doing, and who will fight for what they believe.

Golf Company, 2/4 Marines, lost eleven men in the fighting:

Sgt Charles W. Roberts, Alexandria, LA
Cpl Richard A. Janigian, Beaverton, OR
LCpl Willie Greene, Macon, GA
LCpl John H. Kavulak, Omaha, NE
LCpl Juan A. Rodriguez, Corpus Christi, TX
LCpl Gary R. Schafer, Bel Air, MD
LCpl John L. Harris, Baltimore, MD
Pfc William J. Kildare, Ogallala, NE
Pfc Robert S. Mueller, South Haven, MI
Pfc Walter Sauer, Hinckley, OH
Pfc Clarence D. Sheibley, Elliottsburg, PA

Hotel Company and H & S Company, lost 1 man

Albert Kedroski, Jr., H&S 2/4

Echo Company, lost 2 men

Mark Warren Judge, Echo 2/4
Luis Ortiz-Corredore, Echo 2/4

Fox Company, lost 14 men

Sgt Kenneth M. Montone, Great Neck, NY
Cpl Tiago Reis, New Bedford, MA (Navy Cross)
Cpl William J. Balfour, Toledo, IA
Cpl William A. Berry, Yreka, CA
Cpl Jimmy D. Curry, San Jose, CA (Silver Star)
Cpl Timothy P. Jennings, Houston, TX
LCpl Victor P. Andreozzi, Barrington, RI
LCpl Jedh C. Barker, Park Ridge, NJ (Medal of Honor)
LCpl David F. Garrett, Evansville, IN
LCpl Brent A. Holte, Bakersfield, CA
LCpl Theodore Johnson, Homestead, PA
LCpl Kenneth L. Plumadore, Syracuse, NY
Pfc Richard A. Hamblin, Madison, OH
Pfc James E. Trushaw, St Petersburg, FL


2nd BN - 12th Marine Regiment, lost 1 man

LCpl. Charles M. Castillo, Artillery Forward Observer




Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In Memory of Richard Janigian

My first tribute is to my fallen friend, Richard Janigian. Richard and I became friends when I was chosen to be radioman for 1st platoon 2/4. This was around the middle of Feb. 1967 and for the next three months we became close friends, as Richard was radioman for the company commander. Since his call sign was Golf and mine was Golf 1, we were in constant contact during combat operations. When not out on combat operations, we shared radio duty at the company command post. Nothing bonds a friendship as much as shared hardships from sharing your last c-rations, cigarettes, or your last drink of water to the hardships of living in the field and all the close calls we had.
I am going to save the story of how Richard died for a book that is being written about 2/4 and the battle of 09/21/1967. For now, as part of my tribute to Richard Janigian, who died a courageous hero's death, I am going to share the story from Richard's site on the virtual wall in honor of him and his family.
Semper Fi
Bill Sellers
Golf 2/4, 67-68

Half a Dollar in His Pocket Since Vietnam
By: Jerry Boone

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Buck Janigian's fingers traced the names cast onto the brass plates mounted on the memorial. There are too many of them. One for every soldier, sailor, Marine and flyer who called Oregon home and died or is missing in Vietnam.

Unlike most memorials that go up after the fighting has stopped and the physical wounds have healed, this one was built while men and women were still dying in Asia. When it was dedicated, no one knew how many names would end up being cast in bronze.

Every one of them matters. But to Buck and his wife, Lee, none as much as Marine Cpl. Richard A. Janigian.

It was the death of their son, a radio operator for a Marine reconnaissance patrol, that spurred the couple to honor Oregon's war losses with what is thought to be America's first memorial to the casualties of Vietnam.

The memorial, at the Beaverton Elks Lodge, 3500 S.W. 104th Ave., was dedicated by Gov. Tom McCall in June 1968.

On Monday, it will be one of the sites where the community will gather to honor the nation's war dead. The Beaverton Memorial Day observance begins at 11 a.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Park at Watson Avenue and Seventh Street. About noon it will move -- with a police escort -- to the Beaverton Elk's Lodge for a ceremony at the Janigian Memorial, followed by a program to burn used American Flags.

Memorial Day activities begin Saturday when the Beaverton American Legion Post holds a prayer breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the Hometown Buffet, 13500 S.W. Pacific Highway in Tigard, to honor veterans who served in World War II. Saturday will see the formal dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Monday's program is the first time in recent years that all of Beaverton's veterans groups are working together on a single ceremony.

Times have changed since 1968, when Buck and other members of the Elks Lodge lived in a camper in the parking lot to protect the memorial from antiwar activists.

"Things were much more conservative then," remembers Lee Janigian.

She and her husband went to Hawaii when Richard was able to get leave from Vietnam.

"We had to 'sponsor' him, because the military was afraid troops would go to Hawaii and not come back," she says. "I guess we were responsible to see he went back for the rest of his tour. That wasn't a problem with our son. He was an enthusiastic young man who enjoyed the service a lot.

"But, Buck was a pretty gung-ho guy, too," she says. "And I guess I was."

Her husband looks back toward the bar at the Elks Lodge and grins.

A stroke has robbed Buck of much of his speech, so friends fill in the blanks of one of his favorite stories.

Shortly before his son was due to leave for Vietnam, Richard and Buck came to the Elks for a beer and to spend some one-on-one time.

As the night wore on, they talked about going overseas and the potential dangers. They made a promise to come back to the Lodge when Richard finished his tour and have another beer.

Just two Marines, two bar stools, two beers.

Then Richard tore a dollar bill in half. He gave one half of it to his dad and kept the other part for him. It was going to be their beer money.

But Richard died near Quang Tri on Sept. 21, 1967, when he was 10 days shy of completing his tour of duty. He was due to arrive home the day he would have turned 21.

Buck reaches into his wallet and pulls out the plastic-encased, faded, dog-eared half of a dollar bill. He fingers the memento before passing it around for others to see.

Buck's carried it in his wallet for more than 35 years. He's a father. But more than that, he's a Marine.

Semper Fidelis.
Reproduced under 17 USC §107

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bob Bliss on "Our Purpose"

Just to add a note to what Bill Sellers has all ready mentioned so eloquently in "Our Purpose," I want to say this: There is the old addage that the Marines Corps doesn't like awarding medals to it's Marines and Corpsmen in combat, unless an act is so above and beyond the call of duty that it can not be passed over. Except for the Purple Heart, of course, which is given to anyone who is wounded in combat against a hostile enemy of the United States.If you were serving with a Marine "Grunt" batallion in Vietnam, chances were very good that you would get a tour of northern I Corps and the DMZ. And if you did that, chances were even better that you would receieve at least one Purple Heart.As I recall the events of September 21st, as we Marines locked horns with a hard fighting, determined NVA force, I saw such acts of courage and bravery by our buddies, that to this day I can't get the images out of my head. Acts of true love, as when a Corpsman tried to save the life of a Marine while enemy small arms are impacting all around them. I saw Marines charge into an enemy held headgerow in the thick of the fight. Smoke and screaming, and the weapons so loud as they moved into the fire. That was the most courageous thing I've ever seen anyone do. Later I learned how Gene Cully, from 1st Platoon, Golf Company, put his body in front of a Corpsman who was treating a wounded Marine under fire. By himself he saved many wounded Marines by pulling them out of the line of fire. When he could find a working M-16, or other weapon, he continued to attack enemy positions. He also silenced an NVA machine gun implacement when he found an M-79 grenade launcher. Then he went back to helping the wounded.These Marines all have one thing in common regarding that battle, none of them received the recognition they deserved, other that the Purple Heart, if they were wounded. Even though Gene Cully was told by his platoon Sgt. that he was putting Cully in for the Navy Cross, nothing ever became of that. Having said all this, I think a part of our purpose, other than preserving our true history as a fighting Marine Corps infantry batallion, is to find, recognise and "embrace those gentle heroes we left behind."

Semper Fi,Bob Bliss 1st Plt. Golf Co. 1967

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tyrone's Song: (God's Man Tyrone)

Written by: Doug Todd

All praise to Heaven! Glory Hallelujah!
My Lord walks beside me
through this dark, dreary night.
All praise to The Father! And to His Son, Jesus!
Lord, help me keep walking
Down that road toward The Light!
Tyrone...!

I had a friend...a fine young man...
named Tyrone.
I had a friend...a fine young man...
good friend!
I had a friend...a fine young man...
carried God's Bible to the devils land!
Good Friend!
Close friend!
My friend!
God's man!
Tyrone...!
His dark eyes danced and his black skin shone...
Big man!
His dark eyes danced and his black skin shone...
Fine man!
His dark eyes danced and his black skin shone...
Faith and courage to the bone!
Big man!
Fine man!
My friend!
God's man!
Tyrone...!
We fought together, side by side...
Good friends!
We fought together, side by side...
Close friends!
We fought together, side by side...
he moved ahead like the rising tide!
Good friends!
Close friends!
God's man!
Tyrone...!
He had a song that he loved to sing...
One song!
He had a song that he loved to sing...
Same song!
He had a song that he loved to sing...
He'd make that Asian jungle ring!
One Song!
His Song!
Same song!
He sang...

All praise to Heaven! Glory Hallelujah!
My Lord walks beside me
Through this dark dreary night.
All praise to The Father! And to His Son, Jesus!
Lord, help me keep walking
Down that road toward the light!
TYRONE...!

There stood a hill they said we needed...
Big hill!
There stood a hill they said we needed...
Bad hill!
There stood a hill they said we needed...
Big mistake! But, no one heeded!
Big hill!
Bad hill!
Wrong hill!
Last hill!
Tyrone!
He said, "I'll take this hill but I won't take another...
No, Sarge!
I'll take this hill but I won't take another...
Old friend!
I'll take this hill, but I won't take another...
Send my Bible to my mother...
Please, Sarge!
Old friend!
God Bless!
Good Bye!
Tyrone!
He was just one man, but he fought like three...
Fought hard!
He was just one man, but he fought like three...
Stood tall!
He was just one man, but he fought like three...
'til he took a round that was meant for me!
Oh God!
Not him!
Not now!
Please God!!
Tyrone!
I won't forget how he fought and died...
Fought hard!
I won't forget how he fought and died...
Died hard!
I won't forget how he fought and died...
Or how I cursed and how I cried!
So hard!
Old friend!
Good friend!
God's man!
Tyrone...!
He sang of Heaven, but he died in Hell...
Died hard!
He sang of Heaven, but he died in Hell...
So hard!
He sang of Heaven, but he died in Hell...
And my heart died with him when he fell!
So hard!
So soon!
So soon!
God's man!
Tyrone...!
That was long ago and far away...
So far!
That was long ago and far away...
So long!
That was long ago and far away...
But, I hear him singing, just today!
One song!
His song!
Same song!
He sang...

All praise to Heaven! Glory Hallelujah!
My Lord walks beside me
Through this dark, dreary night.
All praise to The Father! And to His Son, Jesus!
Lord, help me keep walking
Down that road toward the light!

TYRONE...!
Now, I've got a friend...one real true friend...
Named Jesus!
Now, I've got a friend...one real true friend...
God's son!
Now I've got a friend...one real true friend...
He'll walk with me to the end!

Jesus!
God's Son!
My friend!
God's man!
Tyrone...!
Sometimes I'm afraid I'll lose my will...
I'm tired!
Sometimes I'm afraid I'll lose my will...
So tired!
Sometimes I'm afraid I'll lose my will...
But, with my friends, I'll take that hill!
Once more!
Old friends!
Good friends!
Jesus!!!
Tyrone...!
...all praise to heaven...glory hallelujah

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Of Special Interest

A special thank you to Mark and Bob for allowing me to be a part of this project. Having kept my memories locked away or trying to forget many things I find I can't forget, I now find it helpful to share these things with others who understand. I have found old friends and made new ones too. Perhaps this site will help others to do the same.
Our research is going very well, except in one area. We have had very little luck in finding anyone from echo company.The sequence of events on Sept. 21st concerning the movement of echo, fox, and golf is fairly well established. What we don't have is anyone from echo to give us a detailed account of their part in the battle that day. In the heat of battle you tend to be aware of whats going on in your immediate area but beyond that details are lost in what has come to be known as the "fog of war".For this reason, we need as many detailed accounts of the battle from different perspectives as we can get. So we need you men of 2/4, but especially the men of echo company.This is the only way the men who fought and gave their all that day can get the credit they deserve for a job well done in the best tradition of the corps. The families of these men deserve to know what they did and in many cases how they were wounded or died. If you agree, please help us find these men so what happened on Sept. 21st,1967 will never be forgotten.

Our Purpose

Operation kingfisher has been described as a meatgrinder. I have no argument with that description. Most of the main battles of operation kingfisher have been written about in various places, so it is not my intention to try to retell them here. I have nothing but respect and admiration for my brothers who fought these battles.
The battle on Sept. 21, 1967,which was one of the bloodiest of operation kingfisher, has somehow not been included by those writing of the operations and battles near the dmz in the last half of 1967.It is my intention here to collect as much information as possible about the battle on Sept. 21st and the men who fought it.To that end I now make this site available for the men,their families, and friends to come forward and tell their stories. If sucessful, the material gathered through this site will be included in a book which is being written about 2/4 to bring the recognition which is so richly deserved to those who fought and died on Sept. 21, 1967.

semper fi