May 1, 1967

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May 1, 1967

Postby willie » Fri May 01, 2015 12:07 pm

Back in 1967, May 1 Echo Co flew into Khe Sahn via C-130. Most of us didn't know where we were going since we weren't told.. But when the plane made a 180 turn and a rapid descent the chatter started, Khe Sahn....the cargo area seemed full when we first got on but when we landed everything including us Got pushed forward and the plane seemed half empty now. The crew chief told us, the plane won't stop, the back door will open and get off. We did and the C-130 was back in the air. Don't exactly remember but it seems to me that the air strip took some incoming which was the norm if there were any aircraft landing.
Two platoons went right into the hills. 3rd reenforced the lines. Spent 2 weeks patrolling the area..always talk about being over run...
To my knowledge Echo was the only company from 2/9 to go to Kne Sahn..they were there earlier in March during the hill fights. Echo sustained some serious casualties then, I know some of you where there.
Just thinking about the sacrifices made.

S/F
Willie
E 2/9
1967
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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby Moring » Mon May 04, 2015 12:00 am

Willie, I remember when we first joined Echo Co they had just came back from Khe Sanh. These were some pretty tough marines, but when we got the word Echo Co was going back up to Khe Sanh they looked pretty worried. I thought boy! if this place spooks these guys like that, we must heading into some really bad ShI#. I too remember that plain ride into Khe Sanh. Everything at the rear went forward fast.

SF
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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby Fasst1 » Mon May 04, 2015 8:06 am

As a platoon, 1st platoon was literally wiped out on March 16th. 12 KIA and 39 WIA. I think it was the 2nd platoon of Bravo 1/9 who came to help us out. They lost 6-7 KIA and 20 WIA themselves. My glasses got shattered that day and I had to go to Da Nang for replacements. Took two weeks due to so many casualties in country that week and EENT wouldn't see me. When I got back to the platoon Echo was back at Phu Bai. I knew no one! Than they put us on that freaking plane and as soon as we landed sent the new 1st platoon right back up onto 861. It was a different world. All the jungle, elephant grass and bamboo was gone. The place was completely denuded due to the hill fighting. We were on 861 and watched the battle for 881. Everyone thought the gooks were going to counterattack on 861 but it didn't happen. We were sitting in the bunkers they had built in almost exactly the same spot where we got hit in March. Those bunkers could have probably withstood a direct him from a 500 pounder, or it would have taken a direct hit to take them out. The base commander at Khe Sanh in March was a Marine Major who didn't believe there were many gooks around. We kept telling him they were all over the fucking place but he wouldn't listen, And than March 16th happened! He should've been canned, but wasn't.

Semper Fi to all my old friends who didn't make it off that stinking hill!!!!

Danny
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2/9 12/66-6/67; Philly Naval Hospital; 3/2 8/67-4/68; MAG-24/H&MS-24 4/68-6/69

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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby willie » Mon May 11, 2015 4:01 pm

Joe/Danny
I too remember when Echo came in from the field and we first saw them. They looked pretty hardened and were pissed off. Took awhile for me to understand why but I got it after a few patrols and operations.
Seemed like pissed of was an everyday attitude. Even in the rear. There were confrontations all the time.
Khe Sahn and the DMZ did a lot of damage to our units..enough for books to be written about it. 881 and 861.
Kingfisher. I believe there's a book in progress for Operation Kingfisher now..
At the time I just did what I was told. It took a lot of years after that to even understand it.
S/F
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1967
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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby Moring » Thu May 14, 2015 11:26 pm

I don't know if we will ever fully understand it Willie. I remember the lines from a poem " "Not that the soldier knew, but someone had Blundered. But theirs was not reason why, Theirs was not to make reply, into the Valley of Death road the Six Hundred"
That pretty much says it all. As a soldier we follow.

I think you guys well deserve to have the 'KIngfisher Ambush" story told.

Joe
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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby Fasst1 » Fri May 15, 2015 10:57 am

Any of you guys know if Golf Co. had MIAs as a result of Kingfisher? I was contacted by the President of 3rd Recon Association about finding remains of bodies of Marines not recovered and they want to speak to someone from Golf about it. Seems time is very limited since soil composition will destroy any DNA fairly soon. I wasn't aware Golf had any MIAs.

Danny
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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby Doug Goodin » Sat May 16, 2015 3:49 pm

Danny,
The Golf, 2/9 Marine was PFC Steven Henry Benefeld from Girard, Kansas. According to info from the Virtual Wall, he was killed while trying to return fire on an enemy position...apparently, contact was extremely heavy and Golf Marines had to pull back...when they returned later to recover Benefeld they did not find him. I will try to contact Mike Gerving using his contact info on our site...Mike and I were in boot camp together and we both came to 2/9 in Dec 1966 and Mike went to Golf Company...
Doug
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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby Fasst1 » Sun May 17, 2015 9:18 am

Doug Goodin wrote:Danny,
The Golf, 2/9 Marine was PFC Steven Henry Benefeld from Girard, Kansas. According to info from the Virtual Wall, he was killed while trying to return fire on an enemy position...apparently, contact was extremely heavy and Golf Marines had to pull back...when they returned later to recover Benefeld they did not find him. I will try to contact Mike Gerving using his contact info on our site...Mike and I were in boot camp together and we both came to 2/9 in Dec 1966 and Mike went to Golf Company...
Doug


Doug,
I spoke to Dennis Murphy Friday. He said there were NO MIAs from Golf or any other company during Kingfisher. He was emphatic about that. Maybe he isn't aware of Benefeld. Dennis also told me he has spoken to Ron Bowen about this supposed 3rd Recon guy and they have been aware of him for several years and have no trust in his legitimacy. Based on Dennis' comments to me I'm going to remove the "Recent Item" article I placed out there last week about this request from the guy.

Danny
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2/9 12/66-6/67; Philly Naval Hospital; 3/2 8/67-4/68; MAG-24/H&MS-24 4/68-6/69

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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby willie » Sun May 17, 2015 1:11 pm

Danny,
I have some info on Marines that were never recovered. They list them as BNR. Not KIA.
There's a group that searches for the remains of our men but their name has changed. Maybe somebody could look into this organization. They have an active list of names they are currently searching for.
I remember a post awhile back about missing Marines. This is from my memory so things might have recently changed.
S/F
Willie
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1967
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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby willie » Sun May 17, 2015 6:08 pm

The second sentence should read, they lIST them as BNR not MIA... INSTEAD OF KIA..
S/F
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Re: May 1, 1967

Postby Babysohn » Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:51 am

That was my birthday when I turned the ripe old age of 19. I was in 3rd platoon and went to the perimeter. We would conduct patrols down to the rubber plantation and through the villages. I remember it very well for an old guy. I remember we were pulled out of the field in the Phu Bai area. We went down a road to get to a pick up point and I got a terrible blister on my foot. We got onto trucks and went back to the rear at Phu Bai and loaded onto the plane. What a ride for a Marine Corps birthday present!! Doc worked on my foot, and for a short time up at Khe Sahn I wore flip flops until I could get the right size jungle boots.
I can remember it very well.
I ended up as the squad leader for 1st squad 3rd platoon during my tour, Apr 1967 to May 1968.
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