I am a life member of the Marine Corps League and thoroughly enjoy receiving and reading the articles in the Marine Corps League magazine. I would like to comment on the article appearing in the Autumn 2005 issue on page 19, The United States Marines at Khe Sanh.
I found the article well written and informative. However, I felt that I must put my two cents in regarding the statement by the Authors on page 20 that “By January of 1968 there were FOUR Marine Battalions at Khe Sanh and in the surrounding hills. The Authors go on to list the units as 3 Battalions of the 26th Marines and the first of the 13th. Also listed is the ARVN 37th Ranger Battalion.
I would like to mention that there were FIVE Battalions holding the base and surrounding hills. During the hill fights of 1967 and additional Marine Regiment had been fighting in the hills and holding o base called Con Thien. After taking our turn in the Barrel the battalion would move into Con Thien and take their turn in the Barrel.
After the shelling ended at Con Thien and the NVA turned their guns on Khe Sanh one Marine battalion was DETACHED from its parent regiment and ATTACHED to the 26th Marine Regiment. Thereby becoming the FOURTH battalion the 26th Marines had. The 26th Marines are a proud unit and rightly so. We are proud to have served with them. But we are equally proud of our own unit and its heritage. It seems that our battalion has been lost in the history as a part of the 26th Marine Regiment.
The 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment “The Walking Dead” (attached to the 26th Marines) served in the surrounding hills defending the Khe Sanh combat base and should be noted as such in history.
Thanks for a terrific magazine.
Sgt. Francis “Irish” Healey
Article taken from The Marine Corps League Magazine (Spring 2006 - Vol. 62, No. 1)
As National President of the First Battalion Ninth Marine Network I received the following letter from the Department of the Navy in 1993.
The copy of the actual citation is posted on the Honors and Citations page.