Biographies  O - Z

H.W. Oliver

MOS was 01 (I know, I know, office pogue) but I never really considered myself one. With India I was Ad Chief I guess, I remember Lt Duckworth pretty good and I recognize your face (Curtis) from the photo. I remember Lt Duckworth's plt always brought home the body count! Can't remember too many names tho - I ended up doing 21 yrs with tours on the drill field, 3rdReconBn Oki, taught at 1stSgts Scol PISC, Naval Forces Korea (greatest secret overseas assignment the USMC had!) MARTD South Weymouth MA & 3 cruises with India 3/8 CamLej. I live about 25 miles west of Savannah, place called Faulkville, but have a Bloomingdale Ga address (go figure). Retired in 83,  been working private security for different companies & riding my Harley.   Semper Fi! (Hank is also looking for Sgt. Tony Stoval, so if you know where he is, please let him or us know...thanks).

John Olsen

John C. Olsen, born July 13, 1944 in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. I joined the Marine Corps on May 7, 1965 and went to boot camp in San Diego, California on September 2, 1965 and graduated on November 4, 1965. I was transferred to 2nd ITR at Camp Pendleton, CA and graduated on December 23, 1965. After a short leave I joined I 3/5 on January 12, 1966 at Camp Pendleton where we formed and went to Vietnam as a BLT. Before getting to Vietnam we trained in Okinawa, Japan and the Philippine's. As a member of I 3/5 we participated in Operations Deckhouse 1 &2, Nathan Hale, Hastings, Colorado and Napa. During Operation Hastings we sustained approximately 80% casualties.

I later served with Service Bn, Camp Butler, Okinawa, CoD, 5th Recon Bn and Marine Barracks Iceland.

I was awarded the following medals:

National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation w /1*, Vietnamese Service Medal w/2*, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnamese Campaign Medal w/device, Purple Heart w/2*, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal Color with Palm) and Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions Medal, First Class Color with Palm).

I was released from active duty on August 8, 1969 and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

My wife Dianne and I have two daughters Carly Ann and Casey Renae and we reside in Anacortes, Washington. I am an accountant and enjoy spending time with my family.

Tom Paddock

I went through MCRD P.I. 6-29-69 - Spent some time burning off some fat at the "Pig Farm" before arriving at An Hoa to join India 3/5 in early January of 1970 ( 0311). I started in Gene Blakesley's 2nd squad, 2nd platoon. I humped the blooper in early spring, then squad radio later. Went on to carry the company radio, then battalion radio. After we were hit at My Hep II in the Arizona on 7/17/02 (I earned a cheap heart that night) I also found myself with the company 1-4 and 1-0 jobs (forward air controller and comm chief). I was truly clueless, but determined to try to do my best. The best part about finding myself as Forward Air Controller was the ability to order "Snake and Nape" drops on those nasty Arizona treelines. I was pretty tight with  1stLt J.D. Jones who was the Skipper in the fall of '70 , and whom we lost during Noble Canyon. When I rotated I found myself in MAG-31 in Beaufort. I re-enlisted and retrained as an 0231 and attended the analyst school at Fort Huachuca, Arizona (US Army School). I became the 0239 Intell Chief for VMFA-333. The Squadron deployed on the USS America in the Spring of '72 to do a Med Cruise, but NVA started the Spring Offensive of '72 where they rolled into Quang Tri. The America made a hard right turn and rounded Africa. Thirty days later I was briefing strikes on NVA columns South of the DMZ and planning strikes into North Vietnam on Yankee Station. We stood down after Christmas of '72 and returned to Beaufort, S.C. I did 6 months on Mt. Whitney as Aviation liaison to the 5th Marine Brigade G-2 in '73 in the Med. during the Israeli Yom Kipper War period. Then deployed on Nimitz with  VMFA-333 for about 6 months. Got pulled off of that trip for a tour on Recruiting Duty in '75. Got disillusioned on Recruiting duty in Hackensack, NJ and got out in '78. I've spent the last 24 years working for major Corporations in Industrial Security. Today, I'm a Security Supervisor and EMT for Bayer Pharmaceutical Corporation in West Haven, CT. It's so strange how, over the years, some Nam memories have faded and others are so vivid and unforgettable. Still, I must admit, not a day goes by when I don't see the faces (but I have a hard time with the names) and recall the familiar names of An Hoa, Liberty Bridge, the Arizona, Hill 65, Hill 37, Hill 52, Hill 25, Dodge City, Phu Locs, Phu Nons, Football Island, Charlie Ridge, Hill 953, Hill 270, Baldy, Ross, and so on. Tough to explain. In those days we would characterize the unexplainable with the simple phrase. "There it is". I suppose that still works. I can be reached almost anytime at or Thanks for inviting me in. It feels sort of, I don't know....right.

Tom Panian

I joined the Corps in April, 1964 at Baltimore, MD (Captain Walter E Boomer swore in five HS friends and me). I arrived in-country mid-May, 1967 with Dick Hodgdon. I had two years with Golf and Hotel 2/6 at Lejeune and had the pleasure of a cruise to the Caribbean and the Med.
Union II was my first operation and between the gooks, stepping in a bear trap that Col. Webster confiscated and my muzzleloading, piece-of-shit M-16, I quickly concluded that Vietnam was not going to be a great duty station. I sweltered with everyone else during the summer of '67 and was wounded three separate times on September 6th, the eve of my twenty-first birthday.
Although I was hit three times the REMFs at Danang determined that two schrapnel wounds on the same side of the body counted as one wound so I was returned to the Company in October after a nice hospital stay in Cam Rahn Bay. Hank Oliver and 1st Sergeant Geer knew what the scoop was and I hung around Hill 43 at Thang Bihn until the rest of the company returned from an operation somewhere. Upon seeing me, Capt. Burke was mildly annoyed, asking if I wanted to get him busted back to enlisted (I didn't want that). Since most of my platoon was gone and the Skipper was leaving I agreed, very willingly, to serve my Country and my Corps on Okinawa for the rest of my WestPac time
I  returned to CONUS just in time for Robert Kennedy's assasination and finished my time at Quantico on 12Aug68. In September I started at Western Maryland College and in December, 1971 I graduated with a B.A. in English and Education from Towson State College in Maryland.
From there it was pretty much downhill what with going to law school and becoming a lawyer in 1976. the early 80s saw some real hard drinking and a rehab at the Battle Creek, MI VA hospital and the inevitable first divorce and second marriage. Drinking continued to be a problem until 1995 when I went to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic at the Pittsburgh, PA VA where I was found to have good dose of PTSD. After that and the medicine and visits I was classified as 30% service connected disabled and thereby became a professional deranged person. Having reached some measure of sobriety I could see that my beloved second wife was and would remain a miserable person. Those divorce proceedings have not yet concluded.
I am now in the private practice of law and, in 1995, was appointed as Standing Master in Divorce for Washington County, Pennsylvania by the County Common Pleas Court judges when I asserted the Veterans Preference Act.
In closing, from my experience as an attorney and a Divorce Master, I now know that people don't have to experience a Vietnam to wreck their personal lives.

Ron (Doc) Parlee

FMF training at Camp Pendleton during Feb. and March 1968. After FMF training transferred to Okinawa awaiting assignment. Assigned to 3rd Bat 5th Mar 1st MarDiv in RVN April 1968 when I was promptly transferred to Da Nang and then to Phu Bai. After spending three days for heat acclimatization, assigned to India Co 3/5. Arrived with I co as Senior Corpsman the first of May. The first few days or a week was react team for force recon. Then was on small operation south of Da Nang for a week or two which ended up at Chu Li for "a week's stand down for R & R." After a cooked meal and a big serving of ice cream (which should have told us what was coming next) we were told to saddle up and jumped off from Liberty bridge where the company headed into the A Shau valley the first of June ( Where the shit hit the fan). Received first heart the morning of June 11, the second heart the afternoon of the 11th. Then the evening of the 15th got hit by a superior force and while being supported by an artillery unit received third heart due to a short round. Med evaced to Da Nang for two weeks recovery and then was posted out of the country to Okinawa awaiting orders to return to the States. Attached to MCAS El Toro where I was medically discharged in Feb. 1969.

Dennis Perkins

Dennis Perkins is President of The Syncretics Group Inc., a consulting organization focused on effective leadership in demanding environments, including conditions of rapid change, economic adversity, innovation, and growth. He has worked extensively as a consultant to senior managers on issues of leadership, teamwork, organizational effectiveness, and cultural change. Dr. Perkins began developing the Leading at the EdgeŽ concept while teaching organizational psychology at Yale University's School of Management.

Surveying existing work in the field of leadership, and drawing on his experience as a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam, he concluded that abstract academic models did not take into account a number of "real-world" leadership challenges. He set out to create a new model based on powerful, untapped ways of thinking about critical leadership concepts. Because Dr. Perkins believed that the lessons he had learned in Vietnam had implications for other leadership settings, he began examining accounts of groups that had pressed the limits of human endurance. He researched numerous stories of physical survival, including accounts of shipwrecks, airplane crashes, mountain climbing expeditions, and polar exploration. From this research, he identified a set of ten critical principles that distinguished groups that survived in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Dr. Perkins holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, and an MBA from Harvard University. After graduation from Harvard, he worked for the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and served as a Deputy Director of the National Institute of Education. He subsequently joined The University of Michigan as a staff member of the Institute for Social Research. While at Michigan, he earned a Ph.D. in psychology.

Dr. Perkins has written extensively on individual and organizational effectiveness. He is the author of Managing Creation: The Challenge of Building a New Organization, Teaching Organizations to Learn, and Leadership at the Edge.
Dennis Perkins is President of The Syncretics Group Inc., a consulting organization focused on effective leadership in demanding environments, including conditions of rapid change, economic adversity, innovation, and growth. He has worked extensively as a consultant to senior managers on issues of leadership, teamwork, organizational effectiveness, and cultural change.

Edward Peruta

I was a Cpl. E-4 squad leader with India 3/5 from mid July to early October 68.   I was in country from November 67 to October 68, mos was 0311, started in Second Platoon Kilo until May of 68.  Went to Naval Hospital in Agana Guam, for tonsils out, then returned on July 10th to Kilo, and transferred to India on July 24th 68.

Was with second Platoon Kilo in the treeline across from Anderson Trail rear area on Feb 6 68 when we got wiped out by three NVA regiments on route to Da Nang.

Have pictures on the Kilo site. I've been communication with the guys from Kilo because I remember many of their names. I can't remember many of the names from India, that may be due to the safety factor of not getting to know guys after the Tet offensive fiasco of early 68.

Mark Rader

I went through boot camp beginning in August, 1966. Got picked up for OCS in March, 1967, graduated from the 44th Officer Candidate Class in June, 1967, from the Basic School in November, 1967. Vietnamese Language course followed; deployed to RVN in late December, 1967; sent to 3/5 (Battalion Commander was LtCol Bill Rockey), assigned to India at that time. I remember being amazed by the Tet Offensive (weren't we all), only I seem to recall that we called it Operation Alamo rather than Operation Auburn. Wounded there, out ten days, then back with the company and my old platoon. It was during that time that we went to Phu Gia Pass, north of the Hai Van Pass, where we remained until my second injury in April of 1968. Medevac'ed to Camp Pendleton, spent the next year in the hospital there. Got out in June of 1969, sent to the 28th Marines at Camp Pendleton until I was medically retired in March, 1970. Went back to school, graduated from USC law school in 1975, been a practicing trial lawyer since that time. Now reside in Lake Arrowhead, California; practice law in San Bernardino. Looking forward to hearing from fellow jarheads.

 Howard L. Rainer

I completed boot camp at PI in Apr54. After completing ITR I joined H&S Co 3dBn 5thMar in about June54. I returned with the lstMarDiv from Korea about Apr55. I joined ICo3dBn5thMar about May55. Capt R.C. Schultz was the CO, MSgt Ed Davies was the lstSgt. He was one of great ones. My MOS was 0141. My rank was Sgt (E4). I reenlisted and began a new career in aviation electronics. My rank on retirement was MGYSGT/6691. Have a great day Marine.

James Sims 

I joined 3/5 in late February 1966 from sea duty on the USS America. I
reported on a Wednesday or Thursday and we sailed for Okinawa within 4 or 5
days. I was originally assigned as the S-2. In October '66 I became the CO
of I-3-5 and stayed until March '67. I was then transferred to III MAF
where I became Aide to General Walt and then General Cushman. While an Aide
I visited several of the India guys wounded on Union and in the hospital in
DaNang. After Viet Nam I ran a platoon through OCS, attended AWS, and was
stationed at the Naval Academy for two years. In November 1970 I returned
overseas and was the S-3 of 2/9. In December 1971 I took command of the
Marine Barracks at NAD Hawthorne, Nevada and had a wonderful tour for 2 1/2
years. Duty at Quantico followed, including three years as an instructor at
the Command & Staff College. While an instructor I saw Mike Carey in action
again. He was the support coordinator for the Education Center. When he
was transferred we instructors immediately missed his leadership of the
support personnel and his attention to detail in helping set up classes and
seminars. Cary Kelly came through C&SC as a student in 1977 or 78. When he
returned from 3/5 he had gone to flight school and was a C-130 pilot.
In 1979-80 I was the CO of 3rd Bn 4th Marines overseas. When I returned
home I went to HQMC and was then assigned duties as the Aide to the White
House Chief of Staff (Jim Baker, a former Marine). I attended the Air War
College and then went to JCS where I was the Chief of the Political-Military
Analysis Division, and was a strategy and balance of forces advisor to
Admiral Wm. Crowe, the Chairman of JCS. In the summer of 1988, I was slated
to be the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Mar Div, but decided it was time to go.
I retired in September 1988. For the past 11 years I have been the director
of a state agency in Washington, my home state. The Pollution Liability
Insurance Agency provides insurance for petroleum underground storage tanks
so that operators can comply with EPA regulations.

 Steve Stafford

I was in 3rd platoon, various squads and sometimes in weapons platoon. My MOS was 0351(Rockets). Most of my time was actually with the grunts except for certain periods when we formed up the weapons platoon and then we were with a grunt squad. In rockets I usually served with Faughnan, Willetto, Hatton, and Smithy. In the late summer of 68 I remember serving with a gunner named Moore. In the Spring of 68 on that hill (Rader knows the name of that pass) along Hwy 1 North of DaNang, I was in Hernandez's squad (I don't remember the squad number). I was a grunt squad leader around Aug thru Oct. when I got my 3rd heart and was retired to the rear at An Hoa were I left in Nov. to finish my tour in Okinawa, finally returning to the States in Dec. of 68 in time for Xmas. I just remembered that I was in 1st Platoon in Dec. of 67, was assigned to mess duty in Dec. and was reassigned to 3rd Platoon in Feb of 68 after mess duty and thereafter was always in 3rd Platoon I spent alot of time with Larry Porter, Dwight Farrell, along with Eugene Faughnan I want to thank you for putting me in touch with Faughnan, we are still playing phone tag, but I expect a 30 year reunion this week. I have been on the road a lot lately, 3 weeks in Texas fighting fires, 1 week in Colo. playing poker and this weekend at Tulsa gun show. The fall is my busy time of the yr. Semper Fi, Stafford

Marko Whitely

Even though I quit school on my sixteenth birthday I knew someday I would go to college. I would be the first to do so in my family. So in November of 63 I joined the Marine Corps because there was no war at the time. What the hell, get it over with and get out and go to college on the GI Bill. My
second day on Parris Island JFK was killed and before my first year was up I found myself floating around the South China Sea while the USS Madox and Turner Joy were alledgedly shot at. I hit Red Beach with Kilo 3/9 March 65. Lots of pretty girls and reporters. Participated in securing the beachhead
in Chu Lai, as well as Danang, Marble Mountain and Hue City. Slept in a foxhole in the draw between Hills 327 and 268 with an M-60. Not a very exiting tour. Then I joined up with you India grunts in late 65 in Camp Margarita so you could show me a more exciting tour. Did you ever! I became India Company motor section leader on the way over and made every training and operation until I was trsnsfered to 2/5 in late sixty six. Got the seat of my pants blown off by the same motar round that took Captain
Burgett out of the field on Operation Tuscaloosa. Nine hour running fire fight with Fox and and Hotel Companies. Felt like Hastings all over again. I rotated in April of 67. While I was in I got my GED and it was enough to get me in college in the mid seventies at State University of New York at New Paltz. At the same time I was taking post graduate training in group psychotherapy and got my thesis published before I finished two years of undergraduate school. Moved to California in seventy and did two more years of college at Cal State Northridge in LA. Moved to Santa Barbara in 88 and finished my BA in psychology and theater. Soon as I graduated I was offered a job at the VA Medical Center in Salem Va. I worked as a group psychotherapist four close to two years on the post traumatic stress unit then chased a 
pretty Phd. skirt to Utah. While in Utah I worked for Homeless Veterans Fellowship while I finished my Masters in psychology. I also worked for Weber State University teaching Vietnam War History 
and the Veterans Affairs office. I left Nam with a great deal of anger and put it to use chasing degrees
and helping veterans. I am back in Salem Va picking up where I left off. If there is anything I can do for anyone or the Company of India 3/5, you got my e-mail. I have been divorced three times.I guess I am not very good at marriage.

Bob Wunderlich

I was an 0311 in India from 2/68 to 3/69 and spent time in 2nd Platoon until sometime in late May 1968. We went through several squad leaders. Joe Klinger, headed us up for part of that time. I was sent to Okinawa during late May through mid-June for Vietnamese Language School. When I returned to An Hoa, I was made the company driver (Yes, we had a jeep that went back and forth from An Hoa to wherever the company could reach a road) and also handled supplies, prisoners, etc. Ed Spoon worked with me.

While I would like to add my name to the India 3/5 roster, there is something more important than that I would like you to do. I would like to add 2 new names to the list of India 3/5 KIA's. On May 15, 1968 with Solis as acting Squad Leader, and only 7 of us in the squad, we went on an ambush south of Phu Loc (south of Phu Gia Pass near VC ville). Very late that night (after mid-night) we ran into some serious trouble. Two of our fellow Marines were killed - Dan Neuenschwander (Alphabet) and David Binns (new guy). Dan is already on your list because many folks liked and respected him. Davis Binns, who had only been with the company less that a week, caught shrapnel in the chest and died during the firefight. Solis and Dickerson were hit pretty bad (Solis in the arm and Dickerson caught shrapnel in the face and neck). Neither returned to the company. Whitamore and one other guy whose name escapes me, were also hit with shrapnel. All were medivaced except me. 

A few years ago, I contacted David Binn's family to try and see if the "new guy" was David Binns (of Reseda Ca.). Based on my memory and research, I believe with reasonable certainty that it was David. Unfortunately, I was not given more time to get to know him better. 

In addition, I would like to add Dwight Carroll to the list. Dwight was in 2nd Platoon of India Company and was KIA on May 24, 1968. I trained with Dwight (he was a southern gentleman) and we came to India at the same time. I was not on Dwight's mission but as I remember he went out with his squad to assist Mike Company and retrieve some Mike Company KIAs. Dwight was hit by a sniper. "Beast", that gentle giant, carried Dwight back. I got the details of Dwight's death from him.

I also have a question. What do we do with India Company Marines who were transferred to the Combined Action Group (CAG) and killed there. I trained with both Robert Cuccinelli (1st Platoon) and Twist and we were all assigned to India Company at the same time. Both Twist and Cuccinelli were killed later while at CAG. I do remember the night that 1st Platoon (one squad reinforced with guns) was hit at the pagoda just north of Phu Gia Pass (sometime between March and May 68). Two Marines were killed and Cuccinelli caught some shrapnel in the face and eye. My squad was send to assist and we got them medivaced. As I recall there were 13 Marines on the patrol and 11 or 12 were hit, most not badly. Like I would like to honor both Cuccinelli and Twist, it is your web page.

Sorry to ramble, maybe its been a long, long time.