21 April 2007

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


Robert Bliss USMC Ret. said...

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

Raymond said...

I most definitely agree with you. There are so many unrecognized brave acts that were not rewarded, but they didn't do it to be rewarded, but only because the love they had for our brothers. I also was there.
Simper Fi. L/Pl R. Galindo

Fred Hurtado said...

I was there, a corpsman (HM2)with Charlie Co., 3rd Anti-Tank (Ontos)Bn. I leave this comment in memory of Sgt. Jim Lynch and Dewey Beatty. Both killed in Operation Kingfisher. From my perspective Kingfisher was a cluster**** from start to finish. I have nothing but respect for the Marines who participated in Kingfisher. There are no braver group of people in the world than Marines in combat. I saw Marines running to get killed, and in a big hurry to get there. The only good that came of Kingfisher for me was it got me my 3rd Purple Heart and out of the country.

Fred Hurtado
Tucson, AZ

Ed Lesnowicz said...


I need to find where Lt. Gatlin Howell is buried. He received the Navy Cross for Con Thein. I knew him from Khe Sahn 1967.

A circle needs to be completed. Semper Fi, Ed Lesnowicz, Col ret.

James Boggan said...

My name is James Boggan and I was a CPL in Golf 2/4 during Operation Kingfisher.I am trying to locate any of those with whom I served so as to reestablish contact with members of my squad (1st PLT). I can be contacted at (334)382-6118 or jwbogganusmc@gmail.com.