Acly, Peter (PAA), 1st Platoon

Acly, Peter (PAA), 1st Platoon
Acly- Golf 2Bn 4th Marines 1968

Acly- Golf 2Bn 4th Marines 1968

For me, serving as an officer of Marines was one of the most influential experiences in my life. Yes, it did help me grow up, and become better disciplined and more self-confident; but it also, perhaps inevitably as a result of my war experiences, made me more skeptical of authority. These were powerful and formative years.

I entered the Corps via NROTC at Yale, where I majored in Southeast Asian Studies. I did summer cruises on USS Intrepid (CVS-11) in the Med; Naval air at Corpus Christi; amphibious operations at Little Creek; and then an OCS-type six weeks at Quantico after junior year. Following Basic School I attended the Army artillery school at Ft. Sill, Okla., and set off for WestPac assigned to 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade – specifically Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, based aboard USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2). My billet was artillery Forward Observer with Golf Co. 2/4.

Paradoxically, we rarely saw the ship, since our rifle companies were firmly committed ashore. We were overextended, covering a vast TAOR north of the Cua Viet river and south of the DMZ. Vietnam combat operations consisted initially of patrolling north of the Cua Viet near Dong Ha. After I had been in-country a mere two weeks, this came to a head with the battle at Dai Do, 4/30 to 5/3/68. Artillery fire was a critical factor for us here; our four companies had to be committed piecemeal and had to operate more or less independently. (If interested, this battle is covered by Keith William Nolan in The Magnificent Bastards: The Joint Army-Marine Defense of Dong Ha, 1968; Presidio Press, 1994.)

After Dai Do we operated north of Route 9 west of Ca Lu, then did a week of perimeter duty at Khe Sanh and then garrisoned the infamous Hill 861 up north (quiet while we were there, other than a gruesome incident involving a patrol that strayed into an uncharted French minefield).

I was then reassigned back to my home 105 battery (Hotel 3/12) at LZ Cates, also north of Route 9. I served there as Fire Direction Officer (working up the gun firing data) and then as Battery XO. Toward the end of my tour I served briefly at 12th Marines (Rear) and then as a platoon commander at MP Company, 3rd MarDiv, at Quang Tri Combat Base. My rotation out of Vietnam from Danang was delayed several days because the ammo dump caught fire and started blowing up, thus shutting down air transport services.

My re-entry into the U.S. was uneventful and I was lucky — I was never subjected to any anger or disrespect on the part of others; instead I remember people trying to buy me a beer at various airports. I finished my four years in the Corps at Base H&S Battalion, Camp Lejeune.

My memories of the Corps remain strong and I cherish many of the relationships I’ve had. I greatly value our sense of tradition, our almost palpable links to the past. The history of my Vietnam unit, 4th Marines, for example, stretches back to Bataan, the Boxer Rebellion, and beyond. And it struck me that some of the instructors I’ve had over the years were true Old Corps veterans of the Pacific war; one elderly major had even been a private on Guadalcanal! Knowing them was a wonderful link to our illustrious past.

I moved to DC to attend Georgetown University in Latin American Studies, eventually parlaying that into a stint in the hotel business, doing marketing for properties in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Barbados. I then put in eight years at the Environmental Protection Agency doing media relations on water pollution control and safe drinking water programs. Some of my work involved handling communications with the media during oil spills and other man-made disasters.

I left for the private sector in 1981, joining General Foods Corp. outside of New York City. I was responsible for media and public communications relating to food science and safety issues. Unavoidably, some of my work was in media relations relating to food tampering incidents. My last corporate slot was with Miller Brewing in Milwaukee in corporate communications.

My wife, Ellen, accepted a senior executive role at Tennessee Valley Authority, prompting a move to Knoxville in 2001. These days, I spend my time working on various non-profit boards (historic preservation; opera). I have chaired a major downtown arts festival, and helped to save one of our city’s arts organizations from oblivion. I’m also pleased to report that I survived a battle with lung cancer ten long years ago; so far, all is well.

East Tennessee is a beautiful area, Knoxville being just the right size. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle, but you still run into people you know on the street almost every day. My hobbies include reading history and operating Lionel electric trains, which I share with kids at the local children’s museum, in addition to trying to “manage” our two Jack Russells.

In closing, I’d like to thank and commend all the guys who spent so much time pulling this Reunion together. Having worked on a similar (but smaller) project a few years ago, I know how much work this can entail.

Allen, Joseph Ebert (Joe), 1st Platoon

Allen, Joseph Ebert (Joe), 1st Platoon

17 July 1945 – 24 May 1968
Long Beach City Cemetery, Long Beach, MS

Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines,  FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF:  KIA 24 May 1968.”

01-allen-joe2Joseph Ebert Allen was born on 17 July 1945 in New Orleans, LA to Mr. and Mrs. Ebert Ayers Allen. His mother later remarried Col. Nunez C. Pilet, of Bay St. Louis. He had a sister, Barbara Allen. He spent most of his childhood in Pass Christian where he briefly attended elementary school before entering Christ Episcopal Day School in Bay St. Louis.  He attended Gulfport West Junior High School where he received the God and Country award from the Joe Graham Post 119, American Legion.  He was an honor student and student body president. Joe was a Cub Scout, attaining the rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts and was elected to the Order of the Arrow.   Upon receiving his Eagle Scout Award, he stated, “I’ve been real lucky in having good leaders, good teachers and good friends who have given me much of their time and taught me so many of their skills.” He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Pass Christian where he served as acolyte and Crucifer before entering Tulane University on a full Naval Reserve Officer Training Scholarship which he received on graduation from Gulfport High School in 1963.

An honor graduate of Gulfport High, Joe had an outstanding career at Tulane where he was elected to the military fraternities, Scabbard and Blade, and initiated into Kappa Delta Pi, honorary leadership fraternity. He was an officer of the junior class at Tulane and was selected for a summer cruise to Europe with a group of midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He received his wings from paratrooper school at Ft. Benning, GA while a junior and served as battalion executive officer and commanding officer.  On graduation, he received the Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association Plaque and the Award of Merit. He also was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity and served as its president in his senior year. He graduated from Tulane with a double major in English and Latin American studies and was selected for intensive training in the Vietnamese language.

Upon graduation from Tulane, Joe was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the USMC with a regular commission.  Reporting to his first assignment in June 1967, Joe became part of 1st Platoon, A Company, Basic Officers’ Class 1-68.  Late in the course, Joe received his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) assignment of 0301, Basic Infantry Officer and orders to report to Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, Western Pacific Ground Forces following graduation. The class graduated on 22 November 1967.

Joe arrived in Vietnam on 11 Feb 1968 and was killed on 24 May 1968 by hostile small arms fire during an Operation Houston night engagement 12 KM south-southeast of the Phu Bai airfield—Thua Thien Province, UTM Grid YD950050.  Joe’s name on The Wall is at Panel 76E, Line 003. Joe was buried in the Long Beach City Cemetery in Long Beach, MS. Second Lieutenant John Joe Ebert Allen was awarded a silver star for gallantry in action during the Vietnam War.

USMC Resume:
The Basic School Class 1­68 Alpha Company, 1st Platoon, Jun-Nov 1967
Vietnam: 11 Feb 1968 ­ 24 May 1968; Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth
Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF
Silver Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon

The following is an excerpt of his Silver Star award:
“The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Joe Ebert Allen (MCSN: 0-103089), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the evening of 24 May 1968, Second Lieutenant Allen’s platoon established an ambush on a suspected enemy infiltration route in Thua Thien Province. Alertly observing a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force moving near his position, he immediately adjusted mortar fire on the enemy and quickly led his platoon to an advantageous position from which the Marines commenced delivering accurate fire upon the hostile force. Although painfully wounded in the initial moments of the fire fight, he boldly moved among his men, shouting words of encouragement and directing their fire. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Second Lieutenant Allen was maneuvering his squads into an assault formation when he sustained a second wound from an enemy hand grenade. Steadfastly refusing medical aid, he advanced to the most forward position and fearlessly led a determined assault on the enemy positions until he fell seriously injured by the hostile fire. Inspired by his bold leadership and resolute determination, his men continued the attack, killing ten enemy soldiers and seizing numerous weapons. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant Allen upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”
Action Date: May 24, 1968,
Service: Marine Corps,
Rank: Second Lieutenant,
Company: Company D,
Battalion: 1st Battalion,
Regiment: 5th Marines,
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF

Personal Reflections about Joe Allen:
Colonel and Mrs. Pilet received a letter Tuesday from their son dated May 15, 1968, in which he wrote:: “Not much to report.  Everything is going well here and my platoon is still doing a fine job for me. We are doing nearly all of our work at night now since that’s about the only time that the Vietcong (North Vietnam Army) are moving.  At first everyone thought that the Vietcong had the advantage at night, but right now we are proving different. Documents and letters we have captured indicated that the North Vietnam Army is tired of this war and don’t understand why they are here.  They are hungry and their supply lines are inadequate.  They are fine soldiers and I have a great deal of respect for them.  As good as they are, the Marines are better. I feel that I have done a lot here to have my men prepared and with one exception (a few nights ago a couple of our captured got away) we have taken full advantage of our contacts with them. Captain Harrington always accepts my ideas and plans and they have proved fruitful so that always makes me happy.  It’s just like hunting, and the same techniques I learned when I hunted behind our house apply.”

 

Ames (was Anuszewski), John (JWA Jr.), 1st Platoon

Ames (was Anuszewski), John (JWA Jr.), 1st Platoon
Ames Family

AMES: Ames Family

Ames Wedding

AMES: John Ames (Anuszewski) Wedding

During one of our few weekends off during TBS, the “long Labor Day weekend,” Bob Hagan drove me to National Airport to fly to Louisville to marry the very lovely Janet Spalding on 2 September 1967. We moved to Woodbridge Forrest Apartments through April 1968, with TBS graduation in November and Comm School from February to April.

My tour in Vietnam started with 5th Comm, five difficult months at III MAF HQ in DaNang. Then Radio PLT CDR for the rest of the 13 months. May 1969, back to MCB Quantico for the Senior Comm Course then instead of 2 Tracy Gentry had my orders changed to work at the Long Range Study Panel at MCDEC in Quantico.

Next stop August 1971, University of Louisville School of Law. Compared to the Corps., this was a piece of cake, even working full time, as a Law Clerk, and teaching Political Science at University of Louisville at night. Managed to graduate 1st, then settled in to two main areas of law, International Law & Bankruptcy Law. I fit a semester at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel in summer, 1972 and one at University of Thessaloniki, Greece in summer, 1973.

My main life accomplishment was Janet, and our having four fantastic kids. Christy, now a lawyer, is married to an assistant U.S. Attorney. Caroline is married to a soon­to­be LtCol USMC, Greg Summa (currently XO of a F­35 Squadron at MCAS Yuma and as of 1 August 2015, the CO of a F­35 Squadron at MCAS Beaufort, S.C.). Two sons: John (not a Jr. though), working with Aetna, and married to a fantastic young lady, Anna and son Jeff, a banker and married to another fantastic young lady, Jessica. In total there are 10 grandkids, three each for the girls, two each for the boys.

I was fortunate enough to specialize in bankruptcy when it exploded in the 80’s and 90’s. I became involved with the American Bankruptcy Institute, becoming its 18 with tons of writing opportunities and lecturing as an adjunct professor at UofL School of Law, and also as a lecturer around the world speaking on five continents and approximately 30 countries.

I tried taking Janet and one or more of the kids with me during my travels. It gave them an appreciation of how large this world is, and how glorious especially Istanbul, Athens and Europe and other parts of the world are.

Unfortunately, none were able to join me for my lectures in Hanoi, Danang and HCMC (aka Saigon) in 2007. It was my first time back to Vietnam since heading out in 9 May 1969. I managed to go to Vietnam back seven more times from 2007-­2010. It is a long story about how all this came about, and how close I came to bagging the initial 2007 trip but it has been a fantastic experience. I’m glad I went, I’m glad I spent five days in I Corps., Phu Bai, Hue City, Dong Ha, Khe Sanh and Danang.

I’ve been a lawyer since May 1974, had some fascinating cases, i.e. like thinking I was going to London/Germany to finalize a deal, only to be in Athens for three months with some characters like the PLO and the Mafia involved. Of course there were more mundane cases like being the U.S. District Court appointed Special Master Commissioner for the Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham, Alabama) Sewer District. I’ve also been a Chapter 7, 11 and 12 Trustee in Bankruptcy Courts. That is now slipping to a secondary role, with traveling and visiting with family the primary and best role.

Janet and I presently live in Prospect, Kentucky, a rural county close to Louisville, where we enjoy rescuing dogs and horses. We are down to four dogs, accepting those with special needs (one with three legs, one was blind, another with one eye) as well as assorted other canine ailments. We are also down to two horses, mine “Undertaker” had a bout with a fungus infection last year and lost an eye. Janet’s beautiful Friesian, Otto, remains a joy, albeit a lazy joy. Retirement is around the corner, but not yet … not yet!

Amick, Les (LEA III), 1st Platoon

Amick, Les (LEA III), 1st Platoon

VMFA-115 Squadron Member Profiles: Updated 2/19/2015;
Job/Duties:
Rank: Capt
Maj Lester E. Amick III, CO NJROTC 24 yrs.Spouse Susie;
Hometown;
Squadron VMFA-115:  Years From 1969 Years To 1970 ;
Civilian Occupation: Senior Naval Science Instructor, Brother Martin High School
Special Hobbies:
Favorite Memory:
Worst Memory:
Children:
Grandchildren:
Special Comments:

The Brother Martin Community would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” Major Lester E. Amick, III, USMC (Ret.) for his dedication to Brother Martin High School and in particular the NJROTC program. Major Amick answered the call to return for the 2014 school year after the departure of his original relief. After 24 years of service to Brother Martin (retired 2009)  he is going back into retirement.

Andresen, Gary David (GDA), 1st Platoon

Andresen, Gary David (GDA), 1st Platoon

I retired in 1991 and moved to South Texas where I worked at the Marine Military Academy for 12 years before retiring again. Now I just read a lot and have kept busy with woodworking.
Gary David Andresen, LtCol USMC (Ret)
P O Box 371
Rio Hondo, TX 78583
Email: gandresen2212@sbcglobal.net

LtCol Gary Andresen, former Director of the School of  Leadership, Marine Military Academy.

Both LtCol Andresen and Mrs. Gary Andresen (Kathryn) serve as US Naval Academy Information (Blue and Gold) Officers for the Academy and the Rio Grande Valley community.

Arena, Rod (RAA), 1st Platoon

Arena, Rod (RAA), 1st Platoon

 

I joined the Marine Corps in 1961 and was a Sergeant at the time of commissioning in 1967 undeARENA2-Field Barber Shopr the NESEP program at the University of Idaho with a BS in Civil Engineering. Upon graduating from TBS I went directly to WesPac flying out of Travis Air Force Base on 31 December 1967 with several of you and a lot of recruits out of Boot Camp. Joel (Brummel) do you remember our New Year celebration attempt? (Footnote 1).

I joined 3d Bn, 9th Marines in northern I Corps: Quang Tri, Dong Ha, Cam Lo, Rock Pile, Ca Lu, Khe Sanh and all of the “bush” in between. Spent my entire tour with 3/9 serving as a Platoon Commander and Company Commander of three different companies.ARENA4-Field Showers

Returning from WestPac in 1969 (Footnote 2) I served in various assignments with 27 Marines at CamPen before assignment to 2d ITR as a Training Company Commander and later as the Bn Adjutant. Company grade education was with the Army Infantry Officers Advanced Course and Airborne Course at Ft Benning, Ga. in 1972. In 1973 was the Company Commander, Co. G, 2/9 3d Marine Division in Okinawa. Returned to TBS, in 1974 as a Weapons Instructor, Staff Platoon Commander, and Company Executive Officer. In 1976 I was assigned to the Officer Assignment Branch at HQMC and then attended Command and Staff College in 1980.

After C&SC was assigned in 1981 to the 1 Commanding Officer of 1stBn, 1st Marines, making two Unit Deployments to WesPac once in each billet. In 1984 was assigned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego as the Assistant G­1 and later the Executive Officer, Recruit Training Regiment. On 31 October 1987 I retired as a Lieutenant Colonel where it all started: on the “yellow footprints” Building 1, MCRD, San Diego.

The transition to a civilian was interesting but survived the adjustment in the mortgage banking business for several years before buying a small nursery business in Bonsall, CA. This venture turned out to be a pretty good third career for 13 years. Sold that business in 2011 and down­sized to our current home in Carlsbad, CA.

Ghislaine and I have three daughters and two grandchildren. We keep busy now with some travel and volunteer work. Ghislaine has a MA and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and works with aged­out foster kids/adults. I help K­12 kids with their homework through the city library.

Footnote 1: As I recall, at the stroke of midnight 2400 31 Dec 1967 somewhere over the Pacific, Joel reached into his AWOL bag and pulled out a bottle of bourbon and offered a New Year toast. Just then a straight­laced stewardess came by and said “Sorry guys but not on the aircraft”.

Footnote 2: Looking back at the welcome home many Vietnam veterans received, I consider my welcome out of the ordinary. I came out of the downtown San Francisco air terminal to hail a cab to the Sheraton where I was to rendezvous with Ghislaine. I dropped my ValPac and seabag at the curb, looked up to see many civilians out in the street attempting to hail a cab also. An available cab approached, drove past about 6­8 civilians, stopped in front of me, driver got out of the cab, grabbed my bags as he said “Welcome home Marine” I never realized the significance of that welcome until many years later and to this day I’d like to give that driver a hug and atta­boy! Hopefully some of you experienced similar welcomes.

Averitt, Dick (RGA III), 1st Platoon

Averitt, Dick (RGA III), 1st Platoon

In June of 1967, my bride­-to-­be Sandi Smith and I had a busy 3 day weekend. We graduated together from Duke, she got her nurse’s cap and pin, I accepted a regular commission (through the PLC program) in the USMC, and we got married. The outline of the next ~48 years follows:

We enjoyed an affordable honeymoon at Fontana Village, some of which we spent eating while standing at the mantel of a fireplace, following an all day horseback ride. Not recommended for honeymooners.

In July we reported to Quantico for TBS, in completion of which we participated in a 3 day war. The last evening I sat by out campfire in the smoke of a poison sumac vine and returned home with a face covered in blisters. I’m the guy in the back row of the class picture with a 5 day beard.

I know all remember that we rushed through TBS, working most Saturdays, because we were needed in VietNam. So some of us were surprised to report to NAS Pensacola for flight training in November, and be put in a pool for 2 months. One Naval Aviator candidate was quoted in the local paper with remarks about “sitting around”, so (if my memory is correct) Col Conroy ­­ THE Col Conroy of subsequent Great Santini fame ­­ assigned us to survey sand dunes on Pensacola Beach.

In February 1969 I got my wings and moved our mobile home (we didn’t get the lecture in time) to New River for my transition into the H­46. Finally, in August of ’69, I reported to HMM 162 to fly the H­46A out of Marble Mountain, near DaNang, Vietnam.

Mine was a 13 month tour with no R&R, because about 8 weeks after arriving I got a letter from Sandi informing me that our second child was on the way (our first, Dawn, had been born in December ’68, in Pensacola) and our planned mid­year reunion in Hawaii was postponed ’til I was on my way home. In fact I got the word that we had a son ­­ Richard IV (Rick) in April, ’70, while aboard a helicopter ship operating off the coast of Vietnam ­­ later relocated to Okinawa where we were told we were the 1st unit withdrawn from Vietnam.

In the Fall of 1970 I reported back to NAS Pensacola to become a flight instructor; in September of 72 our third child, Scott, was born in Milton, Florida. Sandi and I had undergone Lamaze childbirth education, so I served as her coach. This event changed the lives of many people over the years, as Sandi travelled from base to base with me, teaching others to be Lamaze educators and trainers in hospital after hospital.

My next tour of duty, from the Summer of ’73 for almost a year, was an assignment to the Defense Intelligence School in Anacostia, Md, and that was followed by a late change of orders from a scheduled return to WesPac to MCAS Beaufort, SC, to served in a SAR Detachment.

In the Summer of ’76 I resigned my regular commission and accepted a reserve commission. We moved to Atlanta, where I joined HMA­773 to fly Cobras (guns at last!) and started my career in financial services with Merrill Lynch, as an account executive, dialing for dollars.

Over the next 10 years in the active reserves I progressed through squadron billets to Ops O, XO, and finally served as Commanding Officer, from 1984 to 1986. In 1986 I turned over command and spent next 8 years in the inactive reserves, drilling in summers. I created Atlanta’s Marine Corps Coordinating Council for USMCR and community interaction, preparing to counsel reserve dependents of casualties from the first Gulf War (which did not occur); In 1992 I transitioned Chairmanship of the MCCC of Greater Atlanta to ret General Ray Davis, Medal of Honor recipient from Korea. I retired from the USMCR as an O­6 in 1974.

My civilian career continued to develop during the years in the reserves: after 2 years I left MLPFS to join Raymond James as an independent contractor financial advisor in the Atlanta office of Investment Management and Research, Inc. For the first 6 years I built a successful financial planning practice in Atlanta, then sold it to my colleagues to become IM&R’s first recruiter in 84.

I became national sales manager in 91, and in 2002 I was selected to become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of what was now called Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., our independent contractor broker dealer. Sandi and I moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, where the Raymond James HQ is.

After 10 challenging and rewarding years as CEO, I turned executive authority to my successor in 2012, and retired from the post of Chairman on December 31, 2003.

Throughout these years Sandi worked in numerous hospitals, opening birthing centers, getting her masters degree, working as national neonatal equipment consultant for HP, and earning her doctorate in Nursing Education. She continued nursing and teaching, serving as an online teacher when we moved to St. Petersburg. She stopped last year with my retirement, so we could travel more freely to spend time with our 8 grandchildren in Texas, Virginia, and Vermont

Baker, David Lyng (Dave/Bakes), 1st Platoon

Baker, David Lyng (Dave/Bakes), 1st Platoon

26 April 1945 – 13 November 1980
Unknown Loc: Pax River Helo Accid, MD, 20670

David Lyng Baker (Dave) was born 26 April 1945 in Abilene, TX to John Barnard Baker and Caroline Prescott Hoar. Dave’s father was a class of 1936 graduate of University of Michigan Law. He was married to Caroline and working as a corporate attorney in South Milwaukee when WWII broke out. Joining the US Army in July 1942, he was stationed at Abilene Army Air Base when Dave was born. Dave graduated from South Milwaukee High School ]in 1963 and moved on to the US Naval Academy graduating in the class of ‘67.

01-baker-dave2From his USNA ’67 Biography: “South Milwaukee Senior High was the starting point for the “Bakes” naval career. Trying to keep track of him was a near impossibility because no one knew what new activity he was engaged in. Varsity sports eluded the wee tyke but he showed his spirt in a sport where size doesn’t matter, Brigade Boxing. Bakes had natural writing and acting talents and second class year was director of Masqueraders. Academics play a major part in his life and he is working towards both Economics and Mechanical engineering majors. He’s decided on Nuclear Power. Success will surely flavor his career.”

Upon graduating from the USNA, Dave was commissioned a 2ndLt in the USMC. He reported to Officers Basic School Class 1-68, Alpha Company and was assigned to the 1st Platoon. Alpha Company graduated on 22 November 1967 and Dave was off to Flight school in Pensacola, FL – Helicopter pipeline. Dave married Lynda Margaret Kosbob, an undergraduate at Hook College in Frederick, MD, at some point between the USNA and flight school. Lynda, hailing from Ridgewood, NJ, and Dave were married in Ho-ho-kus, NJ. A good USNA friend Rufus Artmann was in attendance. Dave and Lynda had three children: Timothy, born March 1971 while Dave was stationed at MCAS Santa Ana; Caroline, born April 1972 in Maryland; and Benjamin, born Apr 1977 while Dave was stationed at MCAS New River, NC. Between children 2 and 3, Dave and Lynda traveled and studied in Sweden on a [Olmstead or Fulbright] scholarship. Before leaving for Sweden they were sent to the American University in DC for a crash course in the language.

In 1980 Dave was assigned to the US helicopter test facility at Pax River, MD. On 13 Nov Dave was killed in a helicopter test flight in a Bell helicopter. The accident was attributed to “mast bumping” where the rotor struck the tail resulting in structural failure. Linda, jointly with another wife, sued Bell. She and her three children agreed to accept a multimillion-dollar settlement from Bell — spread over at least 30 years — in exchange for dropping their suit. Lynda passed away on 24 Nov 2003 in Evanston, IL.

USMC Resume: TBS Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 1st Platoon June-Nov 1967.
Flight School Pensacola, FL – Helicopter pipeline.
MCAS Santa Ana, CA, CH-46 training.
Vietnam
Sweden on a scholarship.
MCAS New River, CH46 pilot and Maintenance Officer.
US Helicopter Test Facility, Pax River, MD – test pilot.

Personal Reflections about Dave Baker:
A recollection from Mike Barretti: Dave [Baker] and Brian [Casey] were in my wedding party on November 26, 1967. Both of them, along with four other of my TBS “friends” Shanghaied me the night before the wedding, and I recall it was Dave and Ken Bruner who were the ring leaders. Dave became a favorite of my sister in law at the wedding, and they danced most of the night. However, Dave had a serious girlfriend at the time, whose name, regrettably, I don’t recall, because they were talking marriage after Dave finished flight training. I lost touch with both guys shortly after, as we went our separate ways, but heard about Brian’s death. Ironically, I didn’t know about Dave’s passing until I saw it in the info circulated for the reunion. Really sad about both of them.”

A recollection from Becky DeCraene: “I did not meet Lynda until she and David moved in with Alan [DeCraene] and me in California when the guys were starting helicopter training [at MCAS Santa Ana CH-46 June 1969]. Alan made the arrangements with David because they had two Irish Setters and we would be finding housing that would accommodate our two dogs, so they and the dogs could stay with us (and let me babysit the dogs) while they looked for housing. For some reason we were scheduled to arrive in CA a week or two before David & Lynda.

While we were in CA, David & Lynda rented a house and Alan & I helped them construct a fence for the yard for the dogs. One was a registered show dog and we went to dog shows with them in Bakersfield and in San Diego. During that time I became able to hear an announcement for “9-12 puppy bitches report to ring 3” without blushing. Alan & I got hooked on dog shows and decided to get an English Setter when he came back from Viet Nam. I located one and brought her home about 4 months after Alan was killed. Bob & I showed English Setters from then until about 1982, all from David’s introduction to the sport.

David Baker was a good guy and a particular help to me when Alan was killed. Alan let me know a lot about what he was doing and how different “watches” worked. I knew he shouldn’t have been on the particular assignment he was on the night he was killed. Lynda told David about my questions and he researched it and got the information to me. He was also able to give me favorable information about the double-amputee they were trying to get the blood to. Alan was still lost to our son and to me, but I knew he was doing exactly what he thought he was meant to be doing. It helped.”

Banning, Johnathon Jacques (John), 1st Platoon

Banning, Johnathon Jacques (John), 1st Platoon

22 March 1943 – 4 November 1973
Arlington National Cemetery, VA, 22211

 

Captain Banning’s untimely death occurred on 4 Nov 1973, in Okinawa, Japan as the result of a motorcycle accident.

Captain Johnathon Jacques Banning was born March 22, 1943 in Joplin, Missouri. John graduated from Northwest Missouri State College in June 1967, where he majored in Biology and Sociology. His activities while an under graduate included the track and swimming teams and membership in TAU KAPPA EPSILON social fraternity. Upon receiving a commission as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, Captain Banning was assigned to the Basic School from which he graduated in November 1967. He married Sharon Kay Lucas on November 25, 1967 in North Kansas City, Missouri. They had two sons, Matthew and Benjamin, and maintained their residence in Dale City, Virginia.

Subsequent tours included: student in Tank School, Ft. Knox, Kentucky; First Marine Division, Republic of Vietnam; Headquarters Sixth Marine District; student, Amphibious Warfare School; instructor and student Platoon Commander, the Basic School; Company Commander H & S Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, Third Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan. Personal decorations of Captain Banning consisted of Silver Star Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device, Navy Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Captain Banning’s untimely death occurred on November 4, 1973, in Okinawa, Japan as the result of a motorcycle accident. John was interred at Arlington National Cemetery on 13 November 1973, Section 36 Site 1977.

John has a younger brother, Deryll B. Banning, who is also a TBS Marine, ’69. Deryll is from Florence, AL. Sharon Kay remarried to a Marine Officer who adopted her two sons.

USMC Resume:
TBS Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 1st Platoon June-Nov 1967
Tank School, Ft. Knox, Kentucky;
First Marine Division, Republic of Vietnam;
Headquarters Sixth Marine District;
Student, Amphibious Warfare School;
Instructor and student Platoon Commander, the Basic School;
Company Commander H & S Company, 2nd Bn, 4th Regiment, 3rd Mar Div, Okinawa, Japan.

Awarded the Silver Star for actions during the Vietnam War:
“The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Second Lieutenant John Jacques Banning (MCSN: 0-102452), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company A, First Tank Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the evening of 25 May 1968, while occupying a defensive position near Hue, Second Lieutenant Banning’s unit was attached to elements of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division when the driver of his tank suddenly observed a large North Vietnamese Army force silently approaching the perimeter and preparing to assault the friendly position. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Second Lieutenant Banning directed his men to wait for the enemy to advance further before commencing fire. When approximately one-half of the enemy had penetrated the perimeter, he directed the delivery of a heavy volume of accurate fire on the hostile force. Ignoring the intense anti-tank rocket fire being directed at his tank, he skillfully utilized a night observation device which enabled him to pinpoint the North Vietnamese soldiers while continuing to direct his tank’s suppressive fire, forcing the enemy to flee in panic and confusion. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who served with him and were instrumental in his crew accounting for twelve North Vietnamese soldiers confirmed killed and numerous weapons captured. By his courage, aggressive leadership and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Second Lieutenant Banning upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.”

Action Date: May 25, 1968;
Service: Marine Corps; Rank:
Second Lieutenant;
Company: Company A;
Battalion: 1st Tank Battalion;
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF.

 Reflections:
11 Dec 2016
From: Larry Simpson  Colonel USMC Ret. <simpsonle@aol.com>
Subject: Capt Banning
Message Body: Noted your remarks on Capt. Banning. I was his XO in H&S 2/4.  His presence in our unit reached into every part of 2/4. His untimely death was tragic and cut short a life filled with so much promise. I once made the mistake of telling him, if he was working, I would too. He buried me in about 2 weeks. So much one could say.  He was one of the best! Semper Fidelis.