HM3 Charles Edward Mariskanish
On 9 May 1968 while participating in Operation Houston II in Quang Nam, Petty Officer Mariskanish's unit came under intense automatic weapons and small arms fire from a well entrenched force of North Vietnamese Army Regulars, wounding three Marines who fell in an open area. Repeated attempts to evacuate the casualties failed due to the heavy enemy automatic weapons fire. Requesting his platoon to deliver covering fire, Petty Officer Mariskanish fearlessly crawled across the fire swept terrain on two separate occasions to evacuate the injured Marines. As he attempted to reach the remaining casualty, Petty Officer Mariskanish was mortally wounded by the hostile fire. By his extraordinary courage, resolute determination and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Petty Officer Mariskanish saved the lives of two comrades and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
His mother received an official letter with what looks to be part or all of his official citation. We are posting it on this page as such. Included with this quote was a request from Charles' sister, which reads as follows:
"Let me ask you this, if I could... I often wondered who the two men were he had saved and wonder how things had turned out for them. Do you think I should try to find that out? Would it be too much to ask of a veteran to relive something that perhaps they would prefer not to? It may be too emotional... I don't know. I'd appreciate your input on this matter.
Also, over the years, my mother had often expressed her desire to contact the officer who escorted my brother home. Would that be possible or appropriate?
She had wanted to thank him for his kindness and has been curious how he had fared. This man, James Weisser (SP?), delivered my brother to our hometown and went to our home with a grieving mother and 6 younger brothers and three little sisters. It had to be a very hard assignment. She remember him spending time with the family and walking with the boys in the woods surrounding our home. She recalled how I insisted that he was Charlie... as I supposed I did with all men dressed in uniform at that time... I was just two... about the same age my daughter is now."
firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address if you can help.