Mike & H&S Companies
Third Battalion, Fifth Marines
May - September 2000
September 29, 2000
On the Battalion Home Page we've listed awards given to members of the Battalion from 1965-1971. They encompass every Medal of Honor and Navy Cross. The Silver Star list is incomplete (there is no master list). If you know of an award of a Silver Star not listed here, please let us know so that we may add it. The incredible research done to be able to identify these Marines and Corpsmen by unit was performed by Billy L. Myers and we've compiled it from an appendix from his book Honor the Warrior. He has graciously allowed us to use his research for this purpose. There are 4 Medals of Honor, 15 Navy Crosses and 67 Silver Stars. The dates, if you peruse them carefully will scream out Operations Hastings, Union I, Union II, Swift, Taylor Common and Tet, among many others.
Following up on the posting yesterday on VA updates we've received a letter from George Blankenship, who has some experience with the VA, commenting on the situation. His letter is included following the update, same page.
September 28, 2000
Please welcome Vernon Ford to the Mike Company roster. Vernon was with 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon during 1966-67, was wounded twice and was awarded a Silver Star for actions in Operation Hastings. (The citation is already on our citation page). If you read his guestbook entry you'll know he's looking for buddies so if any of you guys know him, write or call (I have his phone number).
HQ Company, 5th Marines. Bob Filice just started this page for Regimental Headquarters. Please visit.
American Coward is Pat Conroy's telling of his awakening to the reality of being a draft dodger. He is one of my favorite novelists, author of The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides and Beach Music. He is also the son of Marine Corps fighter pilot and was a classmate of Al Kroboth at the Citadel. This is Al's story, an A-6 pilot and POW. Found this on the net, and don't know where it originated from but it does feel like Pat's writing.
VA update is important news for all veterans. It lists a bunch of cancers that as of 3 September are considered to be service related no matter when they manifested themselves. With thanks to Vic Vilionis for passing the word.
September 21, 2000
We have added five pictures from Steve Weltzbarker (better known then as Doc Whiskey). These were in '68 and '69, at An Hoa and on FSB Maxwell.
September 20, 2000
We've posted a memorial to Ronald Duntz who was KIA on March 6, 1969. His acting Platoon Sergeant for 3rd Platoon, Mike McFerrin, wrote this remembrance of Ronald.
September 18, 2000
We have added a third Bronze Star to the citation page for that award. This one was awarded to PFC Fernando Alegria for actions during the time period 8- 12 May 1968, while with Mike Company.
September 14, 2000
We've posted a memorial to Paul Bazar, KIA April 21, 1969. It was written by his squad leader, Mike McFerrin. A picture of Paul and Mike in the bush, taken by Doug Maier, follows the memorial.
Please welcome J.P. Hunt to the H&S roster. He transferred over from Lima Company in 1969 and was the Battalion Ammo Tech in S-4. He's looking for his good pals Jaime Lissy from Texas, Joe Miranda of Pennsylvania, Jim Hawley of Wisconsin and Dennis Mason from North Dakota.
Curtis Eidson from India is going to throw another mini-reunion again next May, in La Grange, Georgia. Details, as well as pictures from last year's reunion, can be found on the pointer site at http://www.securenet.net/3rdbn5th. It'll be open to all 3/5ers but space is limited so if you want to go, check it out now. Last year's was outstanding!
September 13, 2000
We've added seven more pictures from Doug Maier. Included are pictures of the USS Sanctuary, a C130 at An Hoa, Lt Moore and HillBilly, Doug at An Hoa, among others.
September 7, 2000
Please welcome Al Ramirez to the Mike Company Roster. Al was with 3rd Platoon in 1969 (and should have been added here a long time ago except that your shitforbrains webmaster lost Al's email...my apologies to Al).
Also please welcome Carlos Delgado to the Mike Company Roster. Carlos was with 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon from June 21, 1970 to December 1, 1970 when he was wounded.
September 6, 2000
Posted 7 more pictures from J. Bowers. Group pictures and pics of a Crusader, an F-4 and an amphib vehicle called an Otter.
Posted Heroes of the Vietnam Generation from James Webb, kindly received from Vic Vilionis who got it from Brigadier General Draude (who had sent it to Mike 3/7). Mr. Webb throws a clear light on "his" Marines and puts the entire period in its proper perspective. For those of you who don't know, he was also a company commander with Delta 1/5 in '69 and was awarded a Navy Cross.
August 22, 2000
Please welcome William Casey to the H&S roster. William was with 106s from 12/66 to 1/68 and served a good length of time supporting Kilo Company.
We have an email address for Steve Weltzbarker (Whiskey Doc). The Mike roster has been updated
Roger Kromko, H&S, has a new email address, we've updated the roster.
August 17, 2000
We've added 6 pictures from J.C. Bowers, three of the Mike Company Base Camp LZ, maybe in November '67, one of LCpl Faison, a group mohawk picture and one of 'which weapon are we going to use?'.
If you haven't read Grady Rainbow's message on the Message Board, posted today, you owe it to yourself to do so. And please read Mistie Householter's guestbook message also, they tie in together. Thank you.
August 16, 2000
Took a letter that Mike McFerrin wrote Doug Maier and posted it as Mike's tenth story, this one called The Best Squad. About how that squad ended up being perceived as such, and other musings.
August 15, 2000
We've posted another powerful Family Notification story, on that page. This is from Ray Harton and it's titled A Mother's Horror. Thank you for sharing, Ray.
August 14, 2000
Added a bunch of pictures and maps: From Doug Maier, three more, of a Lifesaver (medevac), a spotter plane and the best picture of elephant grass you'll ever see. From Jerry Trent, a picture of him and his daughter. From J.C.Bowers, a picture of him with a mohawk (the whole squad had one). Also from J.C., a map (on the map page) of the area where Mike Company's base camp was located between October '67 and March '68. From Paul O'Connell, three different looks at his map, (also on the map page) marked for Pipestone Canyon, where the berm was when Mike Company was the blocking force, and where Kirchner, Cooper and Doc Pyle lost their lives.
We've added an S.O.S. page (and no, it has nothing to do with shingles). In the normal course of events many of us are going to need help for one reason or another. Whether it's calls or cards and letters after an accident or illness, or actual physical help from those of us in a particular geographical area, or requests for funds to help someone out of a bind, this is a good forum to put out those requests. Should you or someone you know be in the kind of situation where some of us can help out, Yell!.
August 10, 2000
Added bio information for Ronnie Garner, who was added to the H&S roster three days ago.
Reorganized the links page, added a few, for Delta 1/5 and CAP Marines.
August 8, 2000
Added a bio for Terry Cummings, added to the H&S roster yesterday.
August 7, 2000
Please welcome two Marines to the H&S roster. Ronnie Garner was with Motor T in An Hoa in 68-69. Terry Cummings was a communicator from March to June of 1970, after coming over from 26th Marines. In July he transferred to Regiment.
August 3, 2000
Last year, we had a separate site that was a memorial tribute to Captain Pat Burns, who was the CO of Mike Company from late 1968 to early 1969. When we lost our ISP late last year, that site was not moved to our new (securenet) ISP. It has been my intention to incorporate the memorial on this, the Mike Company site, where it ultimately belongs. That is now done. Captain Burns died early last year, just a couple of months before we set up our presence on the internet and never had the opportunity to talk with any of the people here who served with him. Some of their tributes are included, along with Pat's obituary and a chronology of the Vietnam War put together by Pat's nephew. To go there now, you may click here.
July 31, 2000
Please welcome Steve Weltzbarker to the Mike Company roster. Steve was a corpsman, known as Doc Whiskey, from July 68 to July 69 with 3rd Platoon. From his guestbook entry he remembers "An Hoa. op-PipestoneCanyon/op-MamelukeThrust. CO-Capt TP Burns, plt sgt-Freddie Blackman. Others included Baceau, Slingerland -KIA, Ramsey-KIA, Weaver - AK47-survived, Duntz-KIA, corpsman Bob Alusio" Steve, if you read this, your email address firstname.lastname@example.org doesn't work. We can't write you and we'd like to, we've got some guys who know you.
July 29, 2000
Added a Family Notification page: 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. If your family has any remembrances they would like to share we'd be happy to add them here.
Added four more pictures from Doug Maier, one current and three in 'nam, including Thiel and Austin and an An Hoa line bunker.
July 27, 2000
Added 12 pictures from Doug Maier, from '68 and 69. Four, of Mike McFerrin, are on Mike's picture page, dating from '68 when Mike was a squad leader with Mike3Charlie. They are all bush pictures. The other 8, with many more to come, are on Doug's picture page and are of him in the bush, on Maxwell, in Danang and on the USS Repose.
July 24, 2000
Please welcome Tom Eubel to the Mike Company roster. Tom was with the 1st squad, 1st Platoon of Mike between July 1970 and February 1971.
Under Bits and Pieces are lists compiled by Keith Shaver, an Army 'nam vet. The page is called 60s Stuff. It includes the top songs every year from 1965-71, top TV shows, Oscar winner movies and best actor/actress for those years. These will definitely jog your memory.
July 23, 2000
We've added three names to Our Wall. LCpl Craig Nelson Ward, from Dayton, Ohio, was KIA just outside FSB Ross on 28 November 1970. LCpl Robert Eugene Tucker, from Abbyville, Kansas was KIA in a helicopter crash on 18 November 1970. With thanks to Tom Uebel for remembering. PFC Forrest LaWayne Bartram from San Antonio, Texas, was KIA on May 16, 1968. He was a friend of Jerry Lomax and well liked by all. He was cleaning Brad Reynold's 3.5 rocket launcher when it went off and hit him in the chest.
On India's site, we've added two pictures from John Harris. One of 2nd ITR at Camp Pendleton, 3rd Battalion, Company X on 2 December 1965. The other is Platoon 373, Boot Camp in San Diego, 1965. We post them in the hopes that you might recognize some of those guys.
July 20, 2000
Added two pictures from Bob Matteson. One on Hill 10 in August 67 and one on the USS Repose in May 1967, receiving his Purple Heart from General Walt.
John Harris from Lima Company in 1966 is writing a daily recollection of Operation Hastings on the 34th anniversary of that Op. It is posted on India's site, eventually I'm sure on Lima's site as well. Part 1, covering July 18, 1966 and Part 2, covering July 19 and 20 are currently posted.
July 17, 2000
Listen up, Marines. One of our own is in trouble. Rock (Rocco Giambrocco, serving with Mike Company first, and then as an S-2 scout with 3/5 with Mike and India in 68-69), was in the midst of fulfilling one of his dreams last month, intending to ride his Harley all around the lower 48. After 32 years he'd found us through this website, and was planning to meet up with a lot of us.
In Fargo, North Dakota, a semi ran him off the road, into a cement wall. He was in Intensive Care (ICU) for at least 3 days, one arm broken and one leg "pulverized", as one of his sons put it. After ICU he was laid up in the hospital in Fargo. In order to return home, an air ambulance was needed at a cost of approximately $8,000. His insurance company informed him they would not cover it...where have we seen this scenario before....Rock had to max out his debt in order to get an air ambulance and get moved back to Ashby, Massachusetts.
Rock's in line for at least four surgeries, if not more, on his leg. Going to be laid up for at least a year. His doctors told him he'll never ride a bike again. He told me that he's going to prove them wrong, he's going to finish the trip.
Needless to say, his family is in financial difficulty. To that end, to help him out, a relief fund has been set up. If you can, please help, in any amount. Checks should be made out to "The Relief Fund For The Benefit of Rocco Giambrocco-#3446" and sent to:
The Relief Fund For The Benefit of Rocco Giambrocco c/o Leominster Employees Federal Credit Union 24 Church Street, Leominster, MA 01453
Marines take care of their own...thank you and Semper Fi!
July 14, 2000
We've added three more names to Our Wall. PFC Richard Lee Dooley from Coos Bay, Oregon, KIA on 12/15/67; PFC Raymond Alvis Niedecken from Midland, Texas, KIA on 12/28/67; and LCpl James Edward Robinson from Winchester, Tennessee, KIA on 2/7/68. With thanks to Arthur Miles for remembering them.
July 12, 2000
Please welcome Fernando Alegria to the Mike Company roster. Fernando was with Mike Company from 2/68 to 7/68, first as a radioman then as a squad leader in 3rd platoon.
Added two pictures from Richard Montgomery (Monty). One of him at home and one of a mini reunion with Doc Whitbeck, Jim Quinn and Dan Hignight.
July 7, 2000
Please welcome Dwayne JoJola to the H&S roster. Dwayne was an nco with Comm platoon during the last six months of his tour, 68-69, and spent a lot of time with 81s.
June 28, 2000
We've added 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.
June 27, 2000
Rocco Giambrocco (Rock) was in the midst of his bike trip across country (he was going to hit all the lower 48) and was on his way to meet Brad and Deb Reynolds. He suffered a serious accident in Fargo, ND, was in intensive care but is now out, we are happy to report. We are told that he will be transported back to Massachusetts in a week. It's typical of Rock that he was most worried about letting Brad and Debbe know that he was ok, that's what his sons told them. We wish you a speedy recovery, Marine!
Added the citation for the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the 1st Marine Division for the period 3/29/66 - 9/15/67. With thanks to Bob Matteson for providing it to us.
June 23, 2000
Added a picture from Jim Blankenheim, of Captain Pacello and Gunny Ski. Also added some info on Frank Hay.
June 22, 2000
Please welcome Douglas Maier to the Mike Company roster. Doug was an M-79 man with 3rd Platoon from May of 1968 to June of 1969.
Added two pictures from Jim Blankenheim. One of Cpl Frank O. Hay from Hawaii and one of Lt. Clements.
June 21, 2000
June 19, 2000
Bob Matteson, recently added to our roster, has unit diaries he acquired in 1988. He's gone through some of the ones he has and provided us with a list of KIAs from December 1966 to December 1967. Of the 64 names provided, 42 were not on Our Wall. They are now. We cannot thank you enough, Bob.
Here is the list of Marines we've added tonight:
LCpl Richard Marsh
PFC Keith Elledge, Cpl Robert Copeland, PFC Charles Watkins, PFC Randall Vanatta, PFC Roland Guerette, PFC Leamon Ladd, LCpl Richard Hastreiter, PFC Kenny Suzuki
Cpl Richard McStravick
Pvt Joseph Casserly, LCpl Thomas Tamilio
PFC Stephen Borczyk
PFC John Ossmen
PFC Louis Merino
PFC Thomas McGee
PFC John Love, PFC John Scharibone, LCpl James Reynolds, Cpl Dan Dennis, PFC Tommy Haley
LCpl Harry Cartrette, LCpl Robert Goddard, LCpl Allan Kellerman, LCpl John Salerno, Cpl James Menart
PFC Jorge Sosa, PFC Richard Lombardo, LCpl Theodore New City
PFC James Overpeck
Cpl Steve Mylant, LCpl Tex Offield
PFC Hazel Humphries
LCpl Jack Berry, PFC Dennis Fisher, LCpl Richard Guerrero, PFC Raymond Hengels, PFC Charles Martin, PFC James McKenzie, PFC Stephen Wright, HM3 John Barbour
Cpl William Young
June 17, 2000
Starting today, the pointman for Mike Company on this effort is Mike McFerrin, '68-69. Mike has signed up for a 13 month tour of duty to do this for us and we thank him for that. We also wish to thank Brad Reynolds, ably assisted by Debbe Reynolds, for the yeoman's work in getting this effort off the ground. Wouldn't have happened without you, Brad and Deb.
Please welcome Jim Quinn to the Mike Company roster. Jim was with the company from January to August 1968, starting with 60mms then in 2nd Platoon as Plt Sgt/Cmdr.
We've added two names to the Mike Company Wall. PFC Terry Lee Parson, from Columbus, Ohio was a machine gunner and was KIA on June 20, 1968. PFC Tony John Ayala was from Port Arthur, Texas and was KIA on Hill 310 on August 11, 1968. With many thanks to Jim Quinn for remembering them.
June 16, 2000
Please welcome Robert Matteson to the Mike Company roster. Bob was with the Company from December, 1966 through September 5, 1967. He was WIA the first time in May on Operation Union. The second time on 9/4/67 on Operation Swift.
We've added Roland Harold Nadeau to Our
Wall. Roland was KIA on August 2, 1969. This is what Paul O'Connell
says about Roland: "I remember Roland despite the fact he was in a different platoon. I remember he was from Maine and because I had relatives in Maine
and would visit them once a year in the summer, Roland and I would play the game of , "have you ever been here, or have you ever been there."
Fixed the picture of Amby Owens on Paul O'Connell's picture page.
June 15, 2000
Added Cpl Lawrence Allen Hayes from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Our Wall. Chris Hamner says this about "LA": "LA was killed on Durham Peak, August 3, 1969. The same time his best buddy Jim Blake got it. Very Gung Ho Machine Gunner. Saved my but several times with his fire power." Thanks for remembering, Chris.
Added GySgt Richard W. Fischer from Madison, Wisconsin to Our Wall. MIA on 1/8/68, then LCpl Fischer was declared dead on 12/10/78. Details on his last sighting can be found on the MIA web site at http://www.asde.com/~pownet/bios/f/f014.htm. We thank Mark Hughes, who adopted him as an MIA, Mark also from Madison (and whose brother in law is a nam vet from 3rd Force Recon.) Mark's tribute page can be found at http://www.jadetech.com/~mhughes/POW-MIA.html
June 14, 2000
Added a picture from Paul O'Connell. Taken on Pipestone Canyon in May, 1969, it's another good portrayal of life in the bush. Plus, it has SSgt Wagner, Cpl Glenn, and the Company RO at the time, Amby Owens, who was just added to our roster last week.
June 12, 2000
Added four pictures from Rock Giambrocco. At An Hoa, in front of an S-2 scout sign, and with Dave Johnston who was KIA March 3, 1969.
June 11, 2000
Please welcome Brian Kleeves to the H&S roster. Brian was a Forward Air Controller from April 1969 to March 1970, assigned to Lima Company. He was wounded the first time after leaving Liberty Bridge in June, 1969. A short bio, copied from his guestbook entry is on one of the bio pages.
Also, please welcome Don Parker to the H&S roster. Don was in Comm Platoon in '65-66.
June 10, 2000
Wayne Motts, a historian in Gettysburg, PA has informed me that the memorial we have for Michael Clair Thomas, a Marine killed in late '66 who was from Gettysburg, was not with H&S 3/5 as thought, but with H&S 2/5. However, his memorial will remain on our site as there is not one elsewhere that I am aware of. He will always have a home with us.
June 8, 2000
Fixed Amby Owens email address.
June 6, 2000
Please welcome Amby Owens to the Mike Company roster. Amby was an 0311 from February 69 to March 70. His last six months he was the company radioman.
June 4, 2000
Please welcome Dave Wajda and Randy Randolph to the H&S roster. Both Dave and Randy were with 81s from early '67 to early '68, mostly attached to India Company on operations Union I, II, Pike, Adair, Cochise and others.
By popular request, 3/5 Tee shirts, Polo shirts, Covers and Patches are finally in! Check 'em out at the clothing page.
June 2, 2000
Added nine more pictures to Mike Krall's picture page. A most excellent story about four of them, a patrol down Charlie Ridge, is attached, written by Curt Munson, Mike's 81s FO.
June 1, 2000
Added pictures from Jim Blankenheim. Included are pictures of Jim, Rodney Dean, Marv Rich, a Marine Corps Ball portrait and a chieu hoi leaflet, NVA style. On Jim's picture page.
May 31, 2000
Please welcome Gary Buday to the Mike
Company roster. Gary was with Mike from 66-67, was on the Princeton, on ops
Deckhouse I and II and Hastings. Some memories of Hastings: "I remember Hastings all to well I was with the first wave that went in when
we got pinned down and all hell broke loose in that open field, and I also remember India Co, they dropped them off a couple of clicks away to come
save our butts and they got ambushed in a valley by mortars. Those weren't
Please welcome Ollie Oglesby to the H&S roster. Ollie was with 81s in 1957-58 and served two tours in 'nam with other units. (Note: though we primarily identify ourselves as 'nam veterans of Mike and H&S 3/5, the rosters are open to 3/5ers from all eras).
We've posted another Joe Holt story on the India site, "The Dumbest Think I Ever Did".
May 30, 2000
Please welcome Robert Marnell to the H&S roster. Bob was the CO of H&S in the first half of 1968.
Please welcome Tom Dunn to the Mike Company roster. Tom was an 0331 with Weapons platoon from February 1969 until he was wounded in August of 1969. Tom didn't leave an email address so if anyone knows it please let us know.
Also, please welcome Don Mashaney to the Mike Company roster. He was in country from December of 67 to April of 68 with 1st platoon. He's also looking for his buds, Workman, Nickerson and Lucebello.
Posted part of 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 the same section for more on this action, a story that was written for publication but probably not published.
In the poems section we've added the lyrics to Hank Oliver's song (Nobody told us) Welcome Home. Hank was with India and H&S.
Reiss Tatum writes in our guestbook: "Was company commander of Lima/3/5 for almost all of 1966, starting at Camp Pendleton. Was good friends with Dell Pettengill going back to 1962 at Quantico. Dell was the original Mike Co C.O. when the battalion first went in country in '66. Have been friends with Dell since 1962 at Quantico but have lost track of him. Anyone know his whereabouts?"
May 26, 2000
Posted a recap and pictures from last weekend's reunion. It's on the second page of the pointer site. Click here to jump there. We'd like to encourage the attendees to send us their memories and pictures for inclusion.
May 24, 2000
Seventeen Marines from Mike, H&S and India plus assorted spouses and friends had an outstanding reunion last weekend in LaGrange, Georgia. Organized by Curtis Eidson, who did a simply outstanding job. Pictures would be up by now but your webmaster's scanner broke (he's gonna get a new one today).
Jerry Lomax is putting the finishing touches on our 3/5 book. If you want to have a picture of yourself included please see our request on the book request page. Thank you!
May 16, 2000
Added Rock Giambrocco to the H&S roster (see entry for May 11, below).
May 11, 2000
Please welcome Rocco (Rock) Giambrocco to the Mike Company roster. Rock was a LCpl with Mike in '68 and was wounded at the NVA base camp in May 68 (where Jerry Lomax was wounded too...in fact the chopper they were medivaced in, crashed). When he came back Rock was assigned as an S-2 scout, serving with India and Mike, in '68 and '69. We've added a short bio on the first bio page.
May 4, 2000
Please welcome Roger Nicholson to the Mike Company roster. Roger was an 0311 with 3rd squad, 1st Platoon from 11/6/66 to 12/28/67 and participated in all the ops Mike Company was in during that period.
We are pleased to present Paul O'Connell's letters home, #s 60 through 63, in the history section.
May 3, 2000
Added a picture from Cpl Ray Harton, Mike Co. '67, at the book signing of the biography of Vince Capodanno, MOH. Pictured are Ray, Father Dolan (Fr. Capodanno's superior in Taiwan), Col. Hilgartner (CO of 1/5 on Swift), and Cpl Tom Forgas who was from S-2 attached to Mike Co. on Swift.
Added two Western Union telegrams from George Blankenship, H&S Co. '68, sent to his sister when he had malaria. Check out the signatures on the telegrams. On his picture page.
May 1, 2000
Posted a group picture of 81s, circa 69-70, including Paul Kegley. Picture taken by Gordon Director, Lima Company.
Posted six pictures by Dick Sneltzer, who was an engineer in '67-68. Pictures are of Roger Kromko, Baker, Mike Tepski, Jimmy Conners, Mike Rourke, and Smitty.
Received a request from the older sister of Corporal John Thomas Murphy. She's trying to find anyone who would have known her brother. He made it through 'nam ok but died back home. All she knows is that he was with one of the battalions of the 5th Marines, '67-68. Her email address is email@example.com. Thanks guys.