Mike Company               

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

RVN, 1966 -1971
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Grady's Memoirs
Bits and Pieces
Mike McFerrin
LaThap Op
Earl Gerheim

Following this introduction, at the bottom of this page, is a 5th Marines Regimental History research and submitted by Chuck Greene.

The pages attached to this History section include:

Operations:  A brief write up of some of the operations that Mike Company participated in during Vietnam.

Narrative:  A scan of the official Battalion Command Chronology for April of 1970.

Grady's Memoirs:  Gunnery Sergeant Grady Rainbow's memory of his time with Mike Company. (newly revised, and posted February 17, 2001).

Bits and Pieces:  Odd thoughts, stories, information of interest to Marines.

Mike McFerrin:  Sergeant McFerrin's 8 (at this count) stories of his Vietnam experience, most with Mike Company.  And an attachment to Mike's Sandbagging story, a reaction from Paul O'Connell on the same subject.

Review Capodanno:  A review of a book about Father Capodanno, killed in action while with Mike Company, and awarded the Medal of Honor.

Haygood: Steve Walker/Haygood's memories of Operations Union II and Swift.

La Thap Op:  3-5 May 1969 Operation report of a textbook cordon and clear operation conducted by Mike Company and Bravo Company 1/5.  Written by Captain Burns, the Company CO.   Beneath that page is another, labeled Commentary, comments by Mike McFerrin and Grady Rainbow on that op and related action.

Earl Gerheim:  A series of stories that Earl wrote for Stars and Stripes or Sea Tiger.  Grenade Duel, Ambush, Corn Meal, Scout and NVA Base Camp.

Paul O'Connell's letters home: Paul has taken many of his letters home from Vietnam and put them in perspective as to what was happening to him, and the company, at the time.  Each letter is presented as it was written, then he looks back and explains them.  These letters, #s 60-63, as well as the first 59, can be found on the Vietnam Veterans Home Page   Thank you Paul, for sharing these with us

Rock's Diary: Rocco Giambrocco kept a diary for a time while in country. This excerpt covers the period from May 5-14, 1968 at Hill 1192 at Haivanpass when Mike Company walked into an NVA Base Camp.  Hairy. From our rosters, Rock, Jerry Lomax and Brad Reynolds were wounded there. Jim Blankenheim  was also there. See Earl Gerheim's story in this same section for more on this action, a story that was written for publication but probably not published. 

Sea Tiger: These are two scans from the Sea Tiger published on 9 August 1966.  The article scanned is on Operation Hastings.  What is most remarkable to me, having read so many remembrances from guys from Lima, Mike, India and H&S, is what's missing. With many thanks to Bob Matteson for saving that issue for all these years.  A picture from the same issue is on the India website.

Family Notification:  Family experiences in getting telegrams or visits telling folks their son was wounded or missing or worse.  Three to date: A nice story from Jerry Lomax on an official visit from USMC; Paul O'Connell's recollection of his mother's reaction to a telegram and, sadly all too common, Brad Reynold's being listed as MIA when he was in a hospital with malaria. 

Military Records:  Available from HQ USMC are CD ROMS with battalion Command Chronologies.  How to order on this page

Hill 71 December 1966: JD Murray's analysis and remembrance of 14 December 1966, the day the NVA attacked Hill 71 near Chu Lai and 10 Marines of 1st Platoon lost their lives.


Regimental History submitted by Chuck Greene '66-67.

The 5th Marine regiment was activated on 8 June 1917 at Philadelphia Navy Yard and immediately sailed for France as part of the American Expeditionary Force. In October 1917, the Regiment was assigned to the 4th Marine Brigade in the Army's 2nd Division. The 5th Marines distinguished themselves during the bloody fighting in Belleau Wood and Soissons during June and July of 1918; took Blanc Mont Ridge in October and November forced a crossing over the Meuse River just before the Armistice was signed. On 8 July 1920, the Regiment was reactivated at Quantico, Virginia. The 5th Marines were sent to Nicaragua in 1927, and for the next three years, fought against the Sandinista Rebels. The regiment was deactivated again in 1930, but was reactivated at Quantico on 1 September 1934. The 5th Marine Regiment was assigned to the 1st Marine Division in February 1941 and participated in four amphibious assaults during W.W.II. On August 7, 1942, the Regiment landed on Guadalcanal in the first U.S. Ground offensive of the war, and quickly seized Lunga Point and Henderson Field. After heavy fighting at Bloody Ridge and on Tenaru, the Regiment was relieved in December. The Regiment next saw action in December 1943, when it landed on New Britain, where it fought for five months. On 15 September 1944, the 1st Marine Division assaulted Peleliu in one of the bloodiest fights of the war in the South Pacific. The Regiment's fourth amphibious assault was Okinawa in April 1 For three months, the 5th Marines took part in the bitter fighting against the Shuri Line and the Yuzo-Dake. After Japan surrendered, the 5th Marines served on occupation duty in north Chine; then joined the 1st Provisional Brigade in May of 1947 on Guam. In 1949, the 5th Marines rejoined the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

The Regiment arrived in Korea in early August 1950 with the 1st Provisional Brigade and was immediately committed to the fighting on the Pusan Perimeter. On 15 September, the 1st Marine Division made an assault landing at Inchon, then drove inland toward Seoul. In October, the Division landed at Wonson , North Korea and then moved north to the Chosin Reservoir. When the Chinese launched their offensive on 27 November, the 1st Marine Division broke out of Hagaru and fought its way back to Hungnam, where it evacuated with the rest of X Corps. During the stalemate of 1951 and 1952, the Regiment fought in the Punchbowl and along the Imjin River. In March 1953, the 5th Marines were engaged in some of the heaviest fighting since the stalemate began at outposts Reno and Vegas. Hostilities ended on 27 July 1953, but Regiment remained in Korea until 1955, when it returned to Camp Pendleton.

In March 1966, the 5th Marines began deploying to Vietnam and April, took part in their first operation near the Hai Van Pass. During 1966-67, the Regiment took part in Operations Nathan Hale, Union II and Swift, and engaged in counter-guerilla operations in the areas of Quang Nam, Quang Tin and Quang Nai Provinces; fighting several sharp battles in Happy Valley and the QueSon Mountains. During the TET Offensive in 1968, the 5th Marines took part in the battle to clear Hue. By 1969 the war had become one of ambushes and small unit actions, with the emphasis on increasing the security of the population. After the 3rd Marine Division was withdrawn in 1969, the 5th Marines operated mainly in Quang Nam; taking part in the last offensive operation in the summer of 1970. The 5th Marine Regiment left Vietnam in February of 1971.

Campaigns and Honors:

WWI: Aisne*Isle-de-France*StMihiel*Lorraine*Muese-Argonne*French Croix De Guerre w/Palm*(Aisne-Marne) (Meuse-Argonne)*French Croix De Geurre Fourragere This was the green Pogie Rope we wore*Nicaragua*WWII*Gudalcanal-Tulagi Landings*Capture and Defense of Guadalcanal*Eastern New Guinea Operation*Bismark Archipelago Operation*Western Caroline Islands Operation*Okinawa Gunto Operation*Presidential Unit Citation (Guadalcanal ) (Peleliu)(Okinawa)*Korean War* UN Defensive*UN Offensive*CCF Intervention*First UN Counteroffesnive*CCF Spring Offensive* UN Summer-Fall Offensive* Second Korean Winter*Summer-Fall 1952* Third Korean Winter*Summer 1953*Presidential Unit Citation (Inchon)(Chosin)(1951)*Navy Unit Commendation (1952-53)*Korean Presidential Unit Citation*Vietnam War* Defensive*Counteroffensive*Counteroffensive Phase II&III*Tet Counteroffensive*Conteroffensive, Phase IV, V &VI*TET69 Counteroffensive Summer-Fall 1969*Winter-Spring 1970*Sanctuary Counteroffensive*Counter Offensive, Phase VII*Presidential Unit Citation (1966-67)(67-68)*Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/Palm*Vietnam Meritorious Unit (Civil Action).