Bring the Wounded, Leave the Dead

DURING THE BUILDUP TO THE NVA COUNTERATTACK, CORPORAL Cardona of Echo Two had been blasting away at movement in the brush farther up the trail along which his platoon was bogged down. Cardona was on the left side. His squad members lay prone on either side of the footpath, along with other Marines from Echo and Hotel Companies. The Marines were almost stacked on top of each other. They couldn’t see anything for all the vegetation. There were wounded everywhere, and corpsmen were making an effort to drag them back.

Cardona’s M16 suddenly jammed as he fired down the trail.

At the same time, the machine gunner beside him experienced a jam, too. The gunner looked up then and exclaimed, “Hey, look!”

The NVA were coming down the trail at them.

Corporal Cardona, an experienced, squared-away Marine, shouted at another grunt beside him to grab a grenade, as he himself jerked the pin from one. The two of them let fly and the NVA, firing as they moved, swerved off the relatively open trail and into the thick brush to the right of it.

Cardona sprinted across the trail and ran into Lieutenant Sims, his platoon commander. Cardona explained that their machine gun was jammed and angrily held up his own useless rifle. Sims, armed only with a .45-caliber pistol, handed it to him. “Here, take it!”

Lieutenant Sims was a short, stocky man from Atlanta, Georgia. According to his troops, he didn’t have loads of common sense, but he was an educated and concerned young officer who was willing to listen to his seasoned grunts—and took the platoon’s casualties hard. Cardona grabbed the pistol that Sims offered, then ran back to where the M60 gunner was trying to clear his weapon. Within minutes, the shout went up that the lieutenant had been hit. Cardona hustled back to where he had last seen Sims, then to a small hootch to the rear of the firing line where dead and wounded Marines were being moved. Sims was inside. He’d been shot in the stomach. Blood was coming out of his mouth. He told Cardona that he couldn’t move. Cardona, satisfied that the lieutenant was being taken care of, told Sims to hold on, that they would get him out as soon as possible, then he moved out to rejoin his squad.

Someone hollered that the hootch was on fire. Cardona ran back to find the thatch roof ablaze and caving in. He went inside with several other Marines. “Get me out of here!” Sims screamed. Cardona and another grunt got the lieutenant to his feet. They rushed him outside, then dropped down to avoid the fire snapping through the area. Cardona saw two Marines half-crawling and half-running under the heavy fire as they dragged a mortally wounded black Marine by his arms. The back of the man’s head kept banging against the ground, and Cardona screamed, “Pick him up, pick him up! Don’t drag him like that—get his head above the ground!”

“They were all superb,” Lieutenant Taylor said later of his Marines. “They never gave the counterattack an inch.” The NVA outnumbered and outgunned Echo and Hotel, however, and while some enemy elements closed from the front, others used the creek bank as cover to slip into position on the left flank. Those NVA employed AK-47s and RPGs, while the enemy troops in the paddies on the right flank poured 12.7mm machine-gun fire into the ville. On the radio with Weise, Taylor explained that casualties were high, ammo was almost gone, and that “we’ve got ’Em on three sides. I don’t think we can hold here. They’re wearing us down to the point that they’re just going to gobble us up.”

Captain Livingston came up on the net to affirm Taylor’s picture. “We can’t stay here and get all these kids killed,” he told Weise.

Neither Livingston nor Taylor wanted to retreat. They wanted reinforcements, but none were available. “Well, I’m going to help you, but you’ve got to help yourselves, too,” Weise told them. “I’ll try to get up there with you. I’ll send everybody I can spare, but in the meantime you’ll need to hold off the counterattack. Pull back to the best position you can and hold.”

“Get the wounded and as many dead as we can carry, and let’s get the fuck out of here,” Lieutenant Taylor bellowed at his Marines. “I’ll show you where to stop!” With that, a slight-statured Hotel Company Marine moved past Taylor carrying over his shoulder a wounded man who must have weighed 230 pounds. Another Marine moved rearward with his own weapon, two machine guns, and two radios. They soon discovered that there were still NVA to their rear, so they had to shoot their way out of Dinh To. Sergeant Devoe of Hotel One covered his squad with his M16 as the men started back along the creek. The grunts carried their wounded with them. When Devoe’s M16 jammed again, he threw it down and picked up an M79 grenade launcher. He fired its last three rounds, then relieved a wounded Marine of the shotgun he was carrying. He pumped its two remaining shells into the brush. Devoe was finally reduced to covering his Marines with a .45-caliber pistol.

“It was so perfect. It was just a turkey shoot,” recalled LCpl. Jim O’neill, a regimental sniper attached to Hotel Company. During the fighting withdrawal, O’neill had a clear view of the NVA machine guns and reinforcements in the open fields east of Dinh To. He went to work with his scope-mounted, bolt-action hunting rifle, and killed twenty-four soldiers and wounded approximately ten more, earning himself a BSMv. O’neill fired from elevated, brushy cover near a pagoda at the forward edge of Dai Do. The range was about seven hundred meters. O’neill had been led to the area by a corpsman. Before the corpsman got him, a lance corporal from Hotel’s helicopter support team had moved past with the comment, “Hey, boy, there’s some machine guns out there—you can get some real good Marines’ in!”

Hearing that, O’neill had looked at the Marine next to him, and said, “Let’s go get ’Em!”

“No way, man. You want to get us killed?”

“But it’s a great opportunity—we’re gonna take it and get some real decent sniping in!”

“Don’t get killed,” said the man.

“Hey, if I’m movin’ out, you’re movin’ out with me!”

The Marine shook his head. “Not this time.”

When the corpsman ran back to them, he gave them no choice but to get cracking. He was very concerned about the wounded who had been moved to the cover of a pagoda at Dai Do’s edge. They were within range of those 12.7mm machine guns, and the corpsman jumped on the inactive sniper team. “Hey, there’s gooks up front, and there’s lots of clear area that would be perfect for you! You gotta get them! They’re choppin’ everybody up!”

“Hey, we’re going,” O’neill said firmly to the other Marine, and then moved out with the corpsman. When O’neill looked back, the other Marine was following him, ready to fight.

When they reached the pagoda, Lance Corporal O’neill removed the towel that protected his Remington Model 700 from moisture and dust. The corpsman pointed the enemy positions out. There were three 12.7mm machine guns, each dug into the top of a burial mound. They were well separated among the numerous other mounds. O’neill could just about make out the facial expressions of the pith-helmeted gun crews through his telescopic sight. He began firing on them, and one at a time the gunners slumped over their weapons. As the assistant gunners pulled their comrades away and resumed firing, O’neill killed them in turn. The enemy was determined to keep those heavy machine guns in action, and other NVA quickly moved out to man them. There were enemy soldiers everywhere, in the burial mounds with the machine guns and in the open along a footpath between Dinh To and positions farther north in the rice paddies. Some of the NVA were carrying wounded comrades out of the battle area. Others moved forward with ammunition.

How many of them can I kill before they swing those guns over and start aiming at me? O’neill wondered. At one point, he saw an NVA pointing in their direction. Nerve-racking as that was, the NVA never shifted their fire from the Marines in Dinh To. O’neill had a free ride and he worked his rifle’s bolt as fast as he could, killing ammo bearers and one replacement gunner after another. “It was just like watching TV,” he said later. “You would sight in on a gook, pull the trigger, and watch him fall. No noise, no screams, no cries. You just put the cross hairs on somebody’s chest or somebody’s face, and never think a second thought about it. You just pulled the trigger.”

O’neill spotted a trio of NVA and dropped them one after the other. But the third enemy soldier, after some flopping around, got back to his feet. O’neill shot him again. The NVA flopped around some more before getting back up.

“I’ll fix you!” O’neill shouted. He chambered his next round with a vengeance. The NVA’s head exploded when he squeezed the trigger. “Flop now, you sonofabitch!” he exclaimed.

After firing about 120 shots in the ten to fifteen minutes he was in position near the pagoda, O’neill, who didn’t have earplugs, was half-deaf. He finally had to take several breaks to let the barrel of his rifle cool down. The heat coming off it was distorting his view. He also stopped firing on the two occasions that an aerial observer flew over the burial mounds. Each time the aircraft approached, the NVA manning the heavy machine guns would grab the brush-covered mats beside the open-topped gun bunkers and pull them over them. The camouflage was so effective that even O’neill lost track of which three mounds he’d been firing at.

When the plane departed, bingo, the NVA would suddenly pop up out of nowhere and resume firing on Dinh To. O’neill would also resume firing—until an RPG finally flashed in from the village. The fun was over. The NVA hammered the point home by walking mortar fire toward the pagoda. The corpsman had already gotten his wounded moved back, so O’neill’s group pulled back under fire into the cover of Dai Do. The three machine guns were still firing on Echo and Hotel. O’neill wanted to lay an air strike on them. With that in mind, he moved through Golf’s lines and on to where the battalion command group was kneeling around a map on the ground beside a hootch.

Being a lance corporal, O’neill didn’t know anyone there. He just grabbed the closest officer—it was Lieutenant Hilton, the BLT 2/4 FAC—and said, “Excuse me, sir, but we’ve got machine guns over there and we need something right now to take ’Em out. They’re chopping everybody up!”

“We’re working on it,” said Hilton, looking preoccupied. “We got air coming in on them.”

“Air has been coming in!” said O’neill, exasperated. He tried to explain how the machine guns were camouflaged. He offered to lead Hilton up to the pagoda to show him exactly where they were. Hilton turned back to the group around the map. “No, no, no, they already have them spotted—”

“Wait a minute! I just got through firing on those things!”

O’neill was still pumped up from his turkey shoot. He had a hot temper anyway, and it always angered him when the officers never had that extra thirty seconds to explain things to the “enlisted pukes.” There really was no time to draw pictures, though, and Lieutenant Colonel Weise cut O’neill off by saying, “Go over there and sit down till we’re done.”

The positions of the cleverly camouflaged machine guns had, in fact, been previously described to Lieutenant Hilton, and the air strike he’d requested placed its ordnance squarely on the burial mounds. With Echo and Hotel putting some distance between themselves and the NVA in Dinh To, supporting arms were finally being employed, to include artillery fire within a hundred meters of the retreat’s tail end. There were also air strikes on the fields to the right and Huey gunship runs up the tributary on the left flank. O’neill cooled down a bit and turned to the Marine with him. “Let’s go back to our guys and see what we can do,” he said. “We’re not doing anything around here.”

“Captain Livingston seemed to be everywhere at once. His coolness and calmness were what kept a lot of us from panicking,” wrote Sergeant Rogers of Echo Company’s fire-and-maneuver withdrawal from Dinh To. “Things did not look good at all, but he kept our spirits up and kept us determined that we were going to beat them.”

The NVA leapfrogged forward as the Marines retreated. Captain Livingston saw a 12.7mm machine gun that had been brought forward and set up behind a berm about seventy-five meters back the way they had come. Livingston was standing and firing his M14 at the weapon’s crew when one of the machine-gun rounds hit him squarely in the right thigh. Livingston went down hard and fast, with the bone cracked a bit and a lot of muscle blown away where the bullet exited. His whole leg went numb. He couldn’t stand on it, and blood was pumping out of the wound.

It was approximately 1430, and Lieutenant Cecil was the only able-bodied officer left in Echo Company. He was, however, a new lieutenant in a hell of a firefight, and Livingston instructed his combat-tested radiomen to find Cecil “and help him run the company.” The radiomen moved out as ordered and Livingston rolled onto his stomach to resume firing. He intended to cover his Marines’ withdrawal, and then somehow get out himself. It never crossed his mind that he was going to die. He probably would have, though, if not for the fact that one of his radiomen, the black Marine he had borrowed from Echo Two, ran back to his position. The radioman moved with a bowlegged stride because of fragment wounds in his buttocks. He was accompanied by another black Marine who’d been wounded in the arm, and they called to Livingston, “We’re takin’ you out!”

“Get the hell out of here!” Livingston shouted back.

“We’re not leavin’ you!”

Captain Livingston finally hobbled out of harm’s way with his weight on his good foot, and a wounded black Marine under each arm holding him up.

Panic set in when the skipper went down. Sergeant Rogers saw one young Marine jump up and bolt rearward while screaming, “The captain’s been hit! Oh my God, let’s get out of here!” When Rogers made it back to Dai Do, he saw the grunt’s body among those that had been dragged back. The word in Dai Do was that the skipper was still out there, and Rogers headed back into Dinh To with three other Marines.

Livingston was coming their way between his radiomen.

Someone produced a poncho. “Hey, get everybody else out of here first!” Livingston protested as they lifted him onto the makeshift litter. Two of the litter bearers started hassling about something, and Rogers snapped, “Goddamnit, quit fucking around—let’s get the hell outta here!”

Captain Livingston looked up at him with fatherly calm. “Sergeant, just take it easy. We’ll get out of here, we’ll get out of here.…”

“I was really scared because I didn’t see anyone else behind me,” recalled Lance Corporal Cornwell of Echo Two, who had found an M16 to replace his empty M60. He fired the last of its magazine to cover his retreat as he dragged a wounded Marine out of the ditch where they’d been pinned down. “I firmly believe that it was the killer-survival instinct hammered into me by Marine Corps training that helped me to survive.” When Cornwell reached an area where he didn’t seem to be taking any more fire, he looked at the wounded man he had been dragging along. He was stunned to see that the guy was a high school classmate, Art Tharp, who had been among the eleven of them who had enlisted right out of school and gone through Parris Island together. Cornwell had not seen Art since. He covered the bullet hole in Tharp’s chest with the cellophane wrapper from his cigarets, then wrapped the small, clean wound with a battle dressing. Cornwell helped Art onto his back piggyback style, then moved out again. He stooped down to pick up an abandoned weapon, and, firing one-handed while he held onto Art with the other, emptied the magazine. Art was pleading for water, and Cornwell veered over to the stream on the left flank and scooped up a helmetful of muddy water for him. Cornwell knew that he was not supposed to give water to a badly wounded man, but it didn’t matter. Art’s wound looked mortal, and he figured he was going to die, too. Cornwell got moving again and proved himself wrong. They both made it.

During the withdrawal, Sergeant Jones, the acting commander of Hotel Three, realized that some of the young grunts in his platoon were too scared to remember they were Marines. Jones, a career man, was so angry that he “hated the Corps,” as he told the division historical team. Jones, who was providing covering fire with an M60 machine gun, had managed to get two able-bodied men to carry each of their seriously wounded. The litter bearers were exhausted and needed all the help they could get. They didn’t get it. “Other guys were standing around with a little wound and they wouldn’t even try to help you out. When we did get to relative safety back in the rear, then everybody wanted to pitch in and help us. When help was really needed we couldn’t get it.”1

Half of the exploits that later got Lieutenant Jones, late of Echo Three, the Silver Star were performed after he’d been wounded, relieved of his weapon and gear, and directed to an evacuation point along the creek. Jones could no longer walk with his fragment-peppered legs and buttocks, and neither could any of the other half-dozen Marines who were also waiting for an Otter or a skimmer. None of the casualties had been bandaged. They were unarmed except for a box of grenades, which had apparently been thrown on the creek bank from an Otter and had yet to be carried forward. Lieutenant Jones spotted the NVA as they came around a bend in the stream. They hugged the bank, using the brush to conceal them as they tried to outflank the new line that Echo and Hotel were forming in Dai Do. The NVA were about fifty meters away. Jones rolled toward cover and began heaving hand grenades at the surprised enemy soldiers. The other wounded Marines also threw grenades. The NVA fired back, then disappeared the way they had come. Jones was wildly relieved. The NVA could have killed them all. He could only figure that the enemy, unable to see them, had mistaken the motley collection of wounded Marines for a real squad deployed along the creek.

Lieutenant Taylor stood up and turned his head to say something to one of his Marines when a bullet clipped him across the mouth. The impact knocked his head back and laid open his lower lip but did not slow him down. With Lieutenant Boyle, the only other officer left in Hotel Company, he made a final, cover-to-cover run through their deserted positions. They shouted to see if any Marines had not yet gotten out, and they checked bodies to ensure that no unconscious Marines had accidentally been left behind. On the way out of Dinh To, Taylor and Boyle bumped into machine gunner Barela of Hotel Two. Barela was heading back in by himself. Taylor called to him to ask where he was going, and Barela answered, “I saw this M60, Lieutenant. I’m going to get it.”

Taylor, Boyle, and Barela, too pumped up to consider what they were doing, turned around to go back into Dinh To. Just as they reached the abandoned machine gun, a dozen NVA burst into view through the bushes. Taylor later wrote that “caution prevailed. We let them have the gun.”2

Lieutenant Taylor caught up with his radiomen, who had been waiting for him a bit to the rear, and the group ran back along the streambed, which made for easier going. They could also make out their surroundings better from the relatively open creek. They popped up over the bank at the edge of Dai Do, where they saw ten to fifteen Marines and could hear others nearby in the vegetation. The Marines were scattered around the well, where Hotel’s 60mm mortar section was set up. The first Marine whom Taylor recognized was Sergeant Jones, who was cautiously leaning around the side of a mound to fire his M60 back into Dinh To. Taylor ran up beside him. He thought he could see movement in the brush that the sergeant was blasting.

“My guys really did a bang-up job in getting up those creeks,” said Lieutenant Muter of the reconnaissance platoon, who controlled the skimmer operations from An Lac. “The NVA were all over the place, and our little boats all had bullet holes in them.” Additional skimmer support was provided by Captain Forehand’s boat platoon. This was an ad hoc organization that used Marines who were assigned to light duty because of various infirmities. On the third day of the Battle of Dai Do, its newest member was Corporal Schlesiona of Golf Company. Schlesiona had remained at the BLT CP instead of departing with the rest of Golf the day before because of severe ringworm and jungle rot that had spread over his stomach, groin, thighs, and buttocks. Schlesiona, feeling guilty, had asked to be returned to duty. “The company corpsmen said I’d have to get released by the BLT chief corpsman. The chief was against it and said I’d be of more help down on the beach, loading supplies and helping with the wounded. I could easily have put on my pack and headed out with the company, and my own corpsmen wouldn’t have stopped me. But I didn’t and it’s not been an easy decision to live with.”

Actually, Schlesiona could barely walk.

The next morning, as the casualties piled up, Schlesiona learned that the Marine who had taken over his fire team in Golf Three, a man whose name he never knew, had been blown away. Two of the three riflemen in the team, Ralph Peralta and Ed Smith, had also been killed. They were men whom Schlesiona had spent months with. He felt absolutely useless.

Corporal Schlesiona got his weapon and gear then and limped aboard the first empty skimmer he saw. The driver, however, said that since Schlesiona had no real destination there was no point in taking him. Things were so chaotic, he explained, that the boats often had to make several passes up and down the streams before they found Marines to deliver their supplies to. Schlesiona, anxious to get into the fight, asked the driver to let him ride shotgun if nothing else. The driver, who had the smallest type of skimmer, was concerned about Schlesiona taking up extra space, but he finally relented.

After they dropped off their supplies, six combat-loaded Marines got aboard despite the driver’s warning that they should wait for a larger boat. The Marines had been instructed to cross the river and establish an outpost to prevent the NVA from setting up mortar tubes to their rear. About three-quarters of the way across, the engine stalled out. Without forward momentum to help keep it afloat, the small, overloaded craft began to sink. When the Marines jumped into the water, the boat came back up. As the driver climbed back aboard to get the engine going again, everyone else dumped their gear to stay afloat; one Marine lost his rifle as he tried to get out of his pack. With two men hanging onto the sides and the rest back aboard, the driver returned them to their starting point. Schlesiona gave his M16 to the Marine who had lost his, figuring that he could replace the weapon back at the Charlie Papa.

When they got back to the BLT CP, the driver told Schlesiona that his extra weight was a problem and that he was going to go it alone again. Schlesiona then teamed up with another skimmer driver, who before the battle had been assigned to the company office aboard ship. They lightened their load by removing their helmets and jungle boots and stripping down to undershirt, flak jacket, and bush hat. Because of the heat, they cut their trousers into shorts. Schlesiona was unable to get another M16 because the wounded either came back without one, or had traded theirs before leaving for one that was unserviceable. The new driver, however, had an M16 and a .45, and they made dozens of trips between the CP and An Lac, stopping only for gas. They pushed as far as they dared up the inlets to Dong Huan and Dai Do to take aboard casualties who had not yet been transported to An Lac. Three or four times enemy fire struck the water beside their boat. On two occasions they saw NVA in the brush on shore. They returned fire once, but Schlesiona wrote that during the other sighting “we were too far out in the river to be effective with the M16. Frankly, we had misgivings about firing at all since we didn’t know where our people were.”

Because of the overwhelming number of casualties, the skimmer crews had to put ashore and move inland to help carry the wounded back to the boats. Running around barefoot in that terrain was no fun. The wounded were stripped of excess gear to conserve weight and allow the maximum number to be lifted into each boat. Schlesiona later wrote that although they tried to make the wounded as comfortable as possible, “there wasn’t much we could do. We left it up to the less seriously wounded to care for those with severe wounds until we could get them back. We traveled as fast as we could, but this was never fast enough. At high speeds we couldn’t see floating debris until almost too late. Plus we had to watch for the swells of the other boats. These people were in no condition to take a lot of bouncing or jolting.”

Corporal Cardona was the only NCO left in Echo Two. He was the only unwounded survivor of his squad. The other two squads in the platoon could muster only nine Marines between them. Lieutenant Cecil was the only uninjured officer left, and the company was down to about forty men. Captain Livingston, wounded three times and unable to walk, refused to be carried out. Echo Company needed him, and the normally icy Echo 6 was somewhat upset as he spoke briefly with Weise. “I’ll be all right, I’ll be all right. Let me stay!”

Lieutenant Colonel Weise, who was also a very reserved man, put his hand on Livingston’s shoulder. “Take care of yourself, Jim. We’ll take care of it here. You did a good job.”3

Lance Corporal Cornwell had thought highly of Captain Livingston until that day, but no more. “They destroyed us. There were so few of us left it was unreal,” he said later. “The guys were angry, and the word was out that the captain was shot by one of our troops because he led us into a slaughter. I’m glad he got capped—by our men or the gooks it doesn’t matter. At least we were getting some payback for him almost getting everyone killed.”

Marines such as Sergeant Rogers and Corporal Cardona would never have signed on to such an assessment, but there was no doubt that Echo Company was demoralized. It was evident to Major Warren, the S3, who after two frustrating days of juggling radios at the CP had finally been ordered forward. Warren’s skimmer landed him at An Lac about the same time that Livingston was being loaded into another boat. When Livingston’s skimmer motored off, Warren realized that the captain’s litter team and a good number of Echo Company stragglers were ready to jump onto skimmers themselves. “Livingston’s troops actually wanted to leave the battlefield with him,” said Warren. “The challenge was to convince those guys that had seen all this terrific combat that Golf Company was still up in that ville, and if they left it was possible Golf would get wiped out. My job was to challenge their loyalty to those other people. The only thing I knew that would motivate them was this guilt trip that I wanted to give them. I wanted to reenergize them to their responsibilities as Marines. I grabbed people who I thought were capable of listening and would respond. I appealed to them and got them moving, and they got other guys going.”

Major Warren, with stragglers in tow, joined Lieutenant Colonel Weise in Dai Do as Echo and Hotel Companies regrouped and tied in with Golf Company under sporadic fire from Dinh To. The Marines returned fire with everything they could still muster. About every fourth weapon on line was a captured AK-47 or RPD light machine gun. Ammunition and water, both invaluable, were resupplied and distributed. Enemy fire came in from the vicinity of Dong Lai, which was across the tributary on the left flank. The ARVN were supposed to have secured that area but had not. Marines at that end of the line called for Lieutenant Taylor, shouting that they had “gooks in the open.” Taylor could see what looked to be a platoon’s worth of NVA moving along the stream. He could just make out the silhouettes of their helmets and weapons through the spaces where the leaves had been ripped away from the trees that grew along both banks. He was not absolutely sure that they weren’t ARVN, but he was taking no chances. He directed his mortar section to shell them.

Captain Livingston was using a walking stick to hop around the beach at Mai Xa Chanh West when Gunny Thomas of H&S Company brought him a cigar and a big steak sandwich. Thomas had been Livingston’s gunny in Echo Company before being wounded and reassigned. Livingston was glad to see him, especially since they had a problem on the medevac beach that needed to be squared away. A television camera crew was filming the dead Marines lined up there on stretchers, and Livingston said that they were “taking off the ponchos from the heads of some of the kids, exposing their faces and taking photographs. That really jerked my jaws. I’ve never been so jacked in my entire life!”

Captain Livingston and Gunny Thomas angrily ordered the camera crew from the beach.

The number of wounded and dead Marines lined up on the beach was appalling. To fill the gaps up front, untested men were being shuttled to the battlefield. Weise wrote that before Major Warren had come forward, he had “stripped headquarters units of personnel to replace casualties in the rifle companies. A number of these Marines came from the elements at Mai Xa Chanh. Others had come from aboard ship.…They were truck drivers, cooks, clerks, supply people, and others. They fit right in and did an admirable job.”

Lieutenant Colonel Weise needed every rifle he could get. Colonel Hull had issued an order for BLT 2/4, in coordination with the ARVN on the left flank, to immediately launch another assault on Dinh To.

1. Sergeant Rogers was awarded the BSMv for Dai Do/Dinh To, and picked up two Purple Hearts in later engagements at Nhi Ha and Khe Sanh.

2. Lieutenant Taylor got the Silver Star and his second Purple Heart for Dinh To. He was awarded a BSMv for Vinh Quan Thuong and another BSMv and his first Purple Heart for Operation Task Force Kilo; he later received an end-of-tour NCMv.

3. Captain Livingston received the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart. He was also awarded the BSMv for Lam Xuan East and the Silver Star for Vinh Quan Thuong. He later served as S3, 4th Marines, during Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon in April 1975.

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