Mike & H&S Companies 

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

Veterans of the Vietnam War
Home Up Fisher Duncan Murray Leal Trent Gresko


Corporal William D. Trent

For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Machine Gun Squad Leader with Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam.  On 9 May 1968, when Company M encountered a large North Vietnamese Army force in Quang Nam Province, Corporal Trent's platoon, serving as the forward element, came under heavy enemy automatic weapons and small-arms fire.  Reacting instantly, he skillfully maneuvered his machine gun teams toward the enemy positions, despite the continuing hostile fire.   When both the gunner and assistant gunner of one of the teams became casualties, Corporal Trent, undaunted by the enemy fire erupting around him, manned the machine gun and continued to advance against the enemy.  Disregarding his own safety, he delivered effective fire into a fortified position, silencing the automatic weapon.   Shifting his fire to another target of opportunity, he quickly annihilated a second enemy position.  He then observed two North Vietnamese soldiers moving to occupy the first gun position.  Instantly, he seized his machine gun and a belt of ammunition and courageously advanced against the enemy occupied position, firing his weapon as he maneuvered forward.  Moving to within a few feet of the pinned down enemy, he killed both hostile soldiers.  Quickly emplacing his machine gun in the fortified position, he began firing into the enemy's flank.  Although mortally wounded by an enemy hand grenade, he remained at his exposed position until elements of his platoon were able to maneuver forward.  By his bold initiative, intrepid fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty, Corporal Trent inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

(Editor note:  From information provided by Jerry Lomax, one correction needs to made. This action took place in Thua Thien Province, not Quang Nam...Hai Van Pass, for anyone who was ever there, is not in Quang Nam).