In loving Memory
PFC William "Billy" H. Waidman Jr.
US Marine Corp
Home of Record (official): BERKSHIRE
The Associated Press reported it as follows:
SAIGON (AP) September 18, 1969
Two U.S. Marine regiments to be withdrawn from Vietnam before Christmas today reported 23 of their men killed and 58 wounded in close-range fighting along the demilitarized zone.
Marines from the 3rd and 4th regiments of the 3rd Division were attacked twice Wednesday by North Vietnamese troops near the craggy peak called the Rockpile, four miles south of the DMZ. Some of the fighting was hand-to-hand after the North Vietnamese troops smashed into the night camp of a company of about 150 Marines from the 3rd Regiment.
"During the fighting, an unknown number of soldiers penetrated the perimeter but were killed or repulsed," a communique from U.S. headquarters reported.
The battle began shortly before midnight Tuesday when North Vietnamese troops attacked from the north and east. An hour later mortars slammed in from the east and another assault wave poured in from that direction. American artillery and fighter-bombers helped drive the enemy back after two hours of fighting.
3RD ENG BN (with Lima 3/3)
LCpl Paul J Lafreniere PFC Michael B McGinnis
L CO, 3RD BN, 3RD MARINES
HN Leslie M Aly LCpl Jerry E Barker PFC Dennis W Ferguson
LCpl Donald L Kennedy LCpl James E McGarrity 2ndLt James B McGarry
LCpl Ricky L Meeks HM3 Scott P Smith PFC Richard W Starkey
Pvt Erich L Tidwell HN Richard M Turner PFC William H Waidman
PFC John W Walker
I CO, 3RD BN, 4TH MARINES
LCpl James Betancourt PFC John L Chesebrough LCpl Eddie N Corsino
PFC Danny C Cravens PFC Dennis A Denton LCpl William C Joy
PFC Jerry D Rice PFC James D Slattery PFC Harvey L Williams
PFC Thomas E Young
The men who died on 17/18 Sep 1969 are remembered by others who survived:
Captain David Jordan, commanding India 3/4;
Corpsman Robert A. McInerney;
LCpl George Bennett;
LCpl Robert Christ; and
LCpl G. Preston Davison.
You have been gone so long from our presence but not from our hearts.
No, Freedom isn't free and how well do we know it. You followed your heart and gave your all.
You said "This could be my destiny," and you faced it with pride.
They Don't Wear Purple Hearts In Heaven
I lost my brother to a foreign land;
The man at the door was a Marine;
Tears ran down Momma's eyes, and
The Marine handed Momma a small velvet case,
"Momma can we send it to Kevin?"
~ Author Unknown ~