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2nd Battalion 9th Marines

 

 

Redesigned 2nd Battalion 9th Marines Patch

 

 

Hell In A Helmet Reactivated

By Trista Talton - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Jul 17, 2007

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — The Marine Corps’ great expansion during World War I gave birth to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines. Ninety years later, the Corps is expanding again — and 2/9 has been reborn. The battalion, first activated in October 1917 in Quantico, Va., was reactivated in a ceremony here July 13. The resurrection of 2/9 meant the end of the road for the Corps’ Anti-Terrorism Battalion, whose more than 700 Marines and sailors were transferred to 2/9.“This is not a standard change of command,” AT Battalion commander Lt. Col. Richard Jackson said. “It’s not a sad day for Anti-Terrorism Battalion. Now, it’s time to transition to the ... needs of today. I think as the years go by, people will really come to appreciate ... the significant contributions the Anti-Terrorism Battalion has made." The AT Battalion was activated in October 2004 as a rapidly deploying force to fight terrorism. A little more than half of the Marines and sailors in the former battalion are deployed. Those with military occupational specialties that aren’t typical for an infantry battalion will be transferred to other units, 2/9 commander Lt. Col. Thad Trapp said. The reactivation of 2/9 is part of the Corps’ plan to expand by 22,000 Marines, bringing the end strength to 202,000 by 2011. In April, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines reactivated and, next year, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, will reactivate. Each battalion falls under existing regimental headquarters: 1/9 in 8th Marines, 2/9 in 6th Marines and 3/9 likely in 2nd Marines. The Corps does not plan to form a 9th Marines regimental headquarters. A small crowd of Marines, sailors, their families and former members of 2/9 attended the ceremony, where the AT Battalion’s flag was neatly wrapped for retirement and 2/9’s colors unfurled. Second Battalion, 9th Marines, is one of the Corps’ most combat-decorated battalions and one of the first to land in Vietnam. The battalion participated in the battles for Bougainville, the Northern Solomon's, Guam and Iwo Jima during World War II. During the invasion of Guam, 50 percent of the battalion’s members were casualties. The unit was in Vietnam from July 1965 through August 1969, fighting in such places as Da Nang, Cua Viet, Than Cam Son and Hue. The battalion was deactivated in September 1994.“I want to promise you that I will uphold this legacy and the Marines will not let you down,” Trapp said to former battalion members. He joked that he’ll have his own father, Dick Trapp, looking over his shoulder to make sure he does a good job commanding the battalion. Dick Trapp was a mortar platoon commander in 2/9 during Vietnam. Lt. Col. Trapp said it’s an honor to command any battalion, but commanding a unit his father once served in makes his job particularly special to him. He said he does not know when the battalion will deploy. Patrick Pearce was in 2/9 during Vietnam from November 1966 through November 1967. He made the quick drive from a town west of Lejeune to attend the ceremony." The 2/9 is the finest battalion in the Marine Corps,” he said. “This brought me to tears. I’m enthusiastic. I’d like to re-enlist, but I can’t.”

 

Marine Sgt. Maj. Jose Santiago and Marine Lt. Col. Richard Jackson case the colors of Anti-Terrorism Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, before the reactivation ceremony of 2/9.

Marine Lt. Col. Thad Trapp, the new commanding officer of 2/9, speaks to the crowd July 13, 2007 after the reactivation ceremony at Camp Lejeune.

 

MR. LONELY by BOBBY VINTON

 

 

Lieutenant Harvey Barnum Jr.

Hotel Company -- 18 December 1965

z_moh_navy.gif (7974 bytes)

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
to

BARNUM, HARVEY C., JR.

Rank and organization: Captain (then Lt.), U.S. Marine Corps, Company H, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein). Place and date: Ky Phu in Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 December 1965. Entered service at: Cheshire, Conn. Born: 21 July 1940, Cheshire, Conn.

Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. When the company was suddenly pinned down by a hail of extremely accurate enemy fire and was quickly separated from the remainder of the battalion by over 500 meters of open and fire-swept ground, and casualties mounted rapidly. Lt. Barnum quickly made a hazardous reconnaissance of the area, seeking targets for his artillery. Finding the rifle company commander mortally wounded and the radio operator killed, he, with complete disregard for his safety, gave aid to the dying commander, then removed the radio from the dead operator and strapped it to himself. He immediately assumed command of the rifle company, and moving at once into the midst of the heavy fire, rallying and giving encouragement to all units, reorganized them to replace the loss of key personnel and led their attack on enemy positions from which deadly fire continued to come. His sound and swift decisions and his obvious calm served to stabilize the badly decimated units and his gallant example as he stood exposed repeatedly to point out targets served as an inspiration to all. Provided with two armed helicopters, he moved fearlessly through enemy fire to control the air attack against the firmly entrenched enemy while skillfully directing 1 platoon in a successful counterattack on the key enemy positions. Having thus cleared a small area, he requested and directed the landing of two transport helicopters for the evacuation of the dead and wounded. He then assisted in the mopping up and final seizure of the battalion's objective. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

Citation Courtesy of www.HomeOfHeroes.com

 

 

Lance Corporal Thomas Noonan Jr.-- KIA

Golf Company -- 5 February 1969

z_moh_navy.gif (7974 bytes)

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
to

NOONAN, THOMAS P., JR.

Rank and organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company G, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and Date: Near Vandergrift Combat Base, A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 5 February 1969. Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y. Born: 18 November 1943, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a fire team leader with Company G, in operations against the enemy in Quang Tri Province. Company G was directed to move from a position which they had been holding southeast of the Vandergrift Combat Base to an alternate location. As the marines commenced a slow and difficult descent down the side of the hill made extremely slippery by the heavy rains, the leading element came under a heavy fire from a North Vietnamese Army unit occupying well concealed positions in the rocky terrain. Four men were wounded, and repeated attempts to recover them failed because of the intense hostile fire. L/Cpl. Noonan moved from his position of relative security and, maneuvering down the treacherous slope to a location near the injured men, took cover behind some rocks. Shouting words of encouragement to the wounded men to restore their confidence, he dashed across the hazardous terrain and commenced dragging the most seriously wounded man away from the fire-swept area. Although wounded and knocked to the ground by an enemy round, L/Cpl. Noonan recovered rapidly and resumed dragging the man toward the marginal security of a rock. He was, however, mortally wounded before he could reach his destination. His heroic actions inspired his fellow marines to such aggressiveness that they initiated a spirited assault which forced the enemy soldiers to withdraw. L/Cpl. Noonan's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Citation Courtesy of www.HomeOfHeroes.com

 

 

 Corporal William Morgan -- KIA

Hotel Company -- 25 February 1969

z_moh_navy.gif (7974 bytes)

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
to

MORGAN, WILLIAM D.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Company H, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and Date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 25 February 1969. Entered service at: Pittsburgh, Pa. Born: 17 September 1947, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader with Company H, in operations against the enemy. While participating in Operation DEWEY CANYON southeast of Vandergrift Combat Base, one of the squads of Cpl. Morgan's platoon was temporarily pinned down and sustained several casualties while attacking a North Vietnamese Army force occupying a heavily fortified bunker complex. Observing that two of the wounded marines had fallen in a position dangerously exposed to the enemy fire and that all attempts to evacuate them were halted by a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Cpl. Morgan unhesitatingly maneuvered through the dense jungle undergrowth to a road that passed in front of a hostile emplacement which was the principal source of enemy fire. Fully aware of the possible consequences of his valiant action, but thinking only of the welfare of his injured companions, Cpl. Morgan shouted words of encouragement to them as he initiated an aggressive assault against the hostile bunker. While charging across the open road, he was clearly visible to the hostile soldiers who turned their fire in his direction and mortally wounded him, but his diversionary tactic enabled the remainder of his squad to retrieve their casualties and overrun the North Vietnamese Army position. His heroic and determined actions saved the lives of two fellow marines and were instrumental in the subsequent defeat of the enemy. Cpl. Morgan's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the U.S. Naval Services. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Citation Courtesy of www.HomeOfHeroes.com

 

 

My name is Allen Brooks and I was a machine gunner on Operation Dewey Canyon. Actually I was the first casualty in Laos on February 20, 1969. I was detached to Lt. Guins’ platoon. The day I was WIA in Laos a friend of mine stood over me and kept the NVA from finishing me off, his name is Robert “Bob” Ballou of Redland, CA. In addition a good friend of mine was William “Bill” Morgan who received the Medal of Honor on February 25, 1969.

The reason I am writing this is that one of the men that Bill Morgan saved that day was Bob Ballou. Bob got shot six times that day and survived due to Bill Morgan’s bravery. Many times when Operation Dewey Canyon is written about there is always mention of the two wounded Marines that Bill saved but never is there a mention of their names. Well, one of those Marines was Bob Ballou who five days earlier had stood over me in the offhand position and kept the NVA from finishing me off.

I am also aware that one of the Marines that was KIA that day was Robinson Santiago because he was behind Bob Ballou.

Bob Ballou is my hero and I just wanted someone to know that one of those unknown Marines listed on Bill Morgan’s Medal of Honor Citation really does have a name.

 

Submitted by Allen H. Brooks Hotel Company

 

 

Battalion History

2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was activated on November 20, 1917 at Quantico, VA. during the great expansion of the Marine Corps during WW I. It was activated as the Advanced Base Force and assigned duty in the Caribbean as a mobile force in readiness. The battalion’s mission was to keep order in the vital sugar-producing agricultural regions of Cuba. When the situation in Cuba improved, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was sent to Texas to forestall a threatened disruption of oil shipments from the Mexican oil fields by German agents. 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines remained in Texas until the cessation of hostilities, spending its time maintaining itself in a high state of readiness, prepared for any emergency. On April 25, 1919, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was disbanded. In 1925, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was reestablished and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, with two companies in St. Louis. The Battalion’s mission was to train reserve Marines. This lasted until 1937, when 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was again disbanded.

In April 1942, five months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was again activated at Camp Elliot, San Diego, near Miramar, as part of the 2nd Marine Division. During May and June of 1942, amphibious training was conducted as San Diego and LaJolla. In August 1942, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was assigned to the Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet and then later, to 3rd Marine Division. In June 1943, 9th Marines (Rein) sailed for Auckland, New Zealand. On July 6, 1943, the Regiment set up camp on Guadalcanal to relieve elements of the 1st Marine Division and mop up remaining pockets of enemy resistance. During November and December of 1943, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines participated in operations on Bouganville in the Solomon Islands. For its participation in the Bouganville campaign, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer. Back on Guadalcanal, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines refitted and trained for the upcoming invasion of Guam. The culmination of this training was a full-scale division landing exercise at Camp Esperance on Guadalcanal. On July 21, 1944, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines landed in the initial assault waves of the invasion of Guam. On the night of 25-26 July, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines repelled seven determined Japanese counterattacks. The Marines held their ground, suffered over 50% casualties, and in the morning found the bodies of 950 Japanese soldiers in the front of their lines. That night, Captain Louis H. Wilson Jr., the Fox Company Commander, earned the Medal of Honor.

For heroism in the Guam Campaign, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and a bronze star in lieu of second award of the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer. During the Iwo Jima Campaign, Ninth Marines formed part of the floating reserve. Five days after D-Day, 2nd Battalion went ashore and fought for the duration of the Campaign. The battalion added a second Presidential Unit Citation and a second star for its Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer. The battalion returned to Guam to prepare for the final assault on mainland Japan. The atomic bomb ended these preparations. 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines added the W II Victory Streamer to its colors. In December 1945, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was disbanded at Camp Pendleton.

Two years later 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was reestablished on Guam where it trained until November 1948. It was then ordered to Northern China to evacuate Americans. The China Service Streamer was then added to the colors. In March 1949, the Battalion returned to Camp Lejeune, NC.. Later that year, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was redesignated 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines.

In 1952, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was reactivated at Camp Pendleton and ordered to Japan the following summer. While undergoing rigorous training at Camp Gifu, Sakai, and Fuji, the Korean War ended. 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was awarded the Korean Service Streamer and National Defense Service Medal Streamer. In 1955, the 3rd Marine Division was moved to Okinawa. 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines returned to the First Marine Division in 1959 for one year as part of the transplacement program. The battalion returned to the 3rd Marine Division in 1960.

On July 4, 1965, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was ordered to Vietnam. During this first year 9th Marines took part in approximately 45 battalion-sized and several company-sized operations. During the next four years 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines operated in or around Danang, Hue, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, Camp Carroll, Cam Lo, Con Thien, Than Cam Son, Quang Tri, Cua Viet, Vandergrift Combat Base and Khe Sanh. For its actions in Vietnam 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was awarded a third Presidential Unit Citation, a bronze star in lieu of second award of the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two silver stars, and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. In August 1969, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines left Vietnam and returned to Okinawa. Its role in the Southeast Asian Conflict ended with the recapture of the Mayaguez and the landing on Koh Tanf Island in May 1975. In February 1979, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines became the first battalion to rotate to the United States as part of the unit deployment program.

In August 1990, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines departed the United States as part of the Unit Deployment Program to Okinawa only days before the invasion of Kuwait. While deployed, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was selected to be the Ground Combat Element of MAGTF 4-90 in the Republic of Philippines from October 1990 to May 1991. During November 1990 elements of the battalion were provided to assist in the disaster relief efforts on the island of Cebu, which was devastated by a typhoon. The battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its actions. During the course of deployment, the battalion served as the lead battalion of the alert MAGTF for the III Marine Expeditionary Force from October 1990 to August 1991. The battalion returned to Camp Pendleton in early August 1991, completing the longest deployment by an infantry unit involved in the Unit Deployment Program, lasting twelve and a half months.

In November 1991, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was designated to be the first unit from the 5th Marine Regiment to participate in the Southern California Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) deployment cycle. After an abbreviated and intense work up 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was designated Battalion Landing Team 2/9 in March of 1992. As the Ground Combat Element for the 15th MEU (SOC), BLT 2/9 completed its pre-deployment work-up in August 1992 with the successful culmination of the Special Operations Capable Exercise. During the deployment, the BLT participated in Operation "Restore Hope" in Somalia from 9 December 1992 to February 199.3. As the lead unit, BLT 2/9 secured the port and airfield in Mogadishu on 9 December 1992 which enabled the rapid build-up of forces in-country, Upon BLT 2/9’s return to the United States on 15 April 1993 they again began a rigorous pre-deployment work-up. The Battalion has participated in the Javelin anti-tank missile evaluation program, two deployments to Ft. Sherman, Panama, cold weather training in Bridgeport, CA. and an Enhanced Combined Arms Exercise in 29 Palms, California.

On 2 September 1994, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines redesignated 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.

2nd Bn 9th Marines Vietnam Tour

On March 8th, 1965, Battalion Landing Team 3/9, commanded by Lt. Colonel Charles E. McPartlin, landed on the sandy beaches of Da Nang, South Vietnam, to spearhead the landing of the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Upon landing the Marines immediately took up the mission of providing security for the Da Nang Air Base and the first of many Marine units commenced heli-lifting into the immediate area until relieved by 1/9 on June 17 when the battalion returned to Okinawa.

On July 4, 1965, the 9th Marines regimental headquarters, commanded by Colonel Frank E. Garretson, and 2/9, under the command of Lt. Colonel George E. Scharnberg, arrived in Da Nang from Okinawa. 3/9, under the command of Lt. Colonel Robert J. Tunnell Jr., returned to Vietnam in the midst of August, thus the entire regiment was committed against communist insurgent forces in Vietnam.

During the following four years in Vietnam, the 9th Marines would distinguish themselves wherever they fought. They set precedents that Marines and units throughout Vietnam would emulate, precedents in protecting Vietnamese rice crops, in fighting the Viet Cong and in the heavy fighting with the North Vietnamese main force units in and near the DMZ.

In retrospect the 9th Marines history in Vietnam covered three distinct periods and areas of operations. From their initial landing until early in 1967, they operated in an area south of Da Nang amidst a large Vietnamese population. Then they moved north to Dong Ha, where for more than a year they made headlines in operations such as Hickory, Kingfisher, Buffalo, and Kentucky in "Leatherneck Square" and places like Con Thien, Camp Carroll and Gio Linh. Then in the middle of 1968, they played an important role in the 3rd Marine Division's new mobile posture as the primary maneuver regiment. For the next year they constantly moved throughout the divisions area in operations such as Lancaster II, Scotland II, Dawson River, Dewey Canyon, Apache Snow, Cameron Falls, and Utah Mesa.

One significant note during its many operations throughout I Corps, is that at one time or another the regiment was in operational control of virtually every single battalion in the 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions, while for an eight month period it was also under control of the 1st Marine Division.

The regiments first area of operation being south of Da Nang, covered a large area of 257 square miles, consisting of 27 villages, 150 hamlets and more than 88,000 Vietnamese civilians. Contiguous to this zone of action was the An Hoa industrial light complex, an area of considerable economic potential to the people of Da Nang and the surrounding Quang Nam Province.

During this period of time, the regiment initiated and developed several tactics and techniques that would, because of their success, become adopted by units throughout Vietnam.

The first of these new techniques was a means of protecting the rice harvest. Code named "Golden Fleece," these operations, which began in September, 1965, was designed to protect the Vietnamese in harvesting their rice and denying the enemy of a source of food and income. Emphasis was placed on controlling the movement of rice by conducting search and clear operations in the vicinity of the harvest and also provide security for the villages.

This type of operation was successful both militarily and politically and was instrumental in establishing Marine - Vietnamese rapport throughout the regiments area of operation.

As the regiment advanced south of Song Cau Do, contact with the enemy rose sharply. The zone of activity was increasingly characterized by intense short-lived encounters on the small unit levels. And so, in January, 1966, the 9th marines developed a quick response, highly maneuverable, small reaction force with adequate fire power to handle any situation at hand. Named "Sparrow Hawk," the force consisted of 22 men, who in addition to their normal arms were equipped with four M-72 (LAWS), one M-60 machine gun, one 3.5 inch rocket launcher and one 60mm mortar. This force later rose in number to the present day platoon size reaction force.

In October, 1965, the area to the rear of the 2nd Battalions area was chosen by the Government of Vietnam as the location for a priority pacification program. Civic action as a "new weapons system" gained importance as the program, supported by the 9th Marines, picked up momentum. In an effort to provide maximum assistance to the program and at the same time accomplish one of its priority missions, the destruction of the Viet Cong, the 9th Marines developed "County Fair" in February, 1966.

County Fair was a combination of military, civic and psychological warfare actions to reestablish the Vietnamese government control over the populace of a given area. It was designed to flush the Viet Cong from the community in which they were a parasite, while at the same time insuring that the populace was not alienated towards the government. Military actions were accompanied by a vigorous civic action program which attempted to convince the population that the government was interested in the welfare of the people and that a governments victory over the Viet Cong was inevitable.

The 9th Marines participation in County Fair operations consisted of cordoning a target area (village or hamlet) in order to isolate it for the duration of the operation and providing limited medical treatment to the people.

Throughout the remaining months of 1966 and early 1967, the 9th Marines conducted numerous search and clear operations to search out the enemy while strengthening their civic action programs to secure relations with the Vietnamese people, and free the people from the constant threat of Viet Cong terrorism. Noteworthy operations during this period were Macon, Shasta, Sterling, Mississippi, Cleveland, Pulaski, Independence, Yuba and Gulf. Of significance was Operation Mississippi in the Antenna Valley where 9th Marine units captured 50 tons of rice and relocated 2,300 Vietnamese refugees.

In April, the regiment moved to Dong Ha, where elements of the regiment became involved in some of the bitterest fighting of the war, in areas near Khe Sanh, Gio Linh and Con Thien. In one such operation near Con Thien, 9th Marine Leathernecks killed 991 enemy soldiers during Operation Buffalo while being almost constantly bombarded by enemy artillery and rockets. Later in September of that year, the outpost at Con Thien near the DMZ came under one of the heaviest artillery poundings of the war, lasting for 12 straight days. Elements of the regiment who manned the outpost during the siege turned back several NVA assaults inflicting heavy casualties on the attackers. With the aid of air and artillery support the 9th Marines turned the enemy attack into an enemy disaster.

Late in January, 1968, an element of the regiment was dispatched to the Khe Sanh area where it participated in Operation Scotland. There under the operational control of the 26th Marines, Leathernecks of 1/9 joined three battalions of the 26th Marine Regiment to hold the besieged Khe Sanh Combat Base, as North Vietnamese soldiers, firing from artillery bases at Co Roc across the Laotian border, rained thousands of shells into Khe Sanh daily. When the siege lifted in early April, the enemy had failed to take the base and had lost more than 1,000 men in the process. For their part in this action, the battalion, along with the 26th Marines, received the Presidential Unit Citation.

Following the fierce fighting after the break out at Khe Sanh, the regiment began conducting operations around the Rockpile and Vandergrift Combat Base where they met with heavy resistance. The first of these operations was Operation Lancaster II July Action, a major 9th Marines multi-regimental helicopter assault. During this operation the Marines captured several 75mm pack howitzers which had been firing at Camp Carroll.

In late August, the 9th Marines conducted Operation Lancaster II Trousdale, in an area northwest of the Rockpile, never before entered.

Enemy resistance was heavy as Marines found large enemy weapons and ammunition caches. To further exploit the area, the Marines struck farther north and on September 17 they landed on the banks of the Ben Hai river in the DMZ. In these two operations the Leathernecks accounted for more than 1,000 enemy dead.

The final months of 1968 produced little enemy contact as the NVA had been forced back across the DMZ to try an reorganize their forces after staggering losses.

In January, 1969, intelligence reports indicated a large enemy buildup in the Ashau Valley south of Vandergrift Combat Base. The 9th Marines, commanded now by Colonel Robert H. Barrow, were given the task of denying the enemy access of the valley. It marked the kick-off of Operation Dewey Canyon which was to become one of the most successful operations in the regiments history in Vietnam.

The 56 days of Operation Dewey Canyon were marked by unparalleled Marine successes and constant frustration and defeat for the enemy. The largest enemy munitions and arms cache of the war, over 500 tons of communist arms and ammunition, were uncovered by the Marines. Among the 215 crew served weapons captured and destroyed were 12 Russian-made 122mm field guns. When the operation ended March 18th, 1,617 of the enemy had been killed. It was a superb display of the effectiveness of the Marine Corps air and ground team in combat. During the operation, the Leathernecks utilized both artillery and air in this now famous operation.

Operation Dewey Canyon was not to be the 9th Marines farewell to the Ashau Valley however. In early May, Operation Apache Snow was initiated in the valley as the regiment, commanded by Colonel Edward F. Danowitz, served as a blocking force for Army and ARVN units driving north. Although enemy contact was light for the Marines, the operation served to verify the effectiveness of the units previous thrust into the area.

Elements of the regiment next participated in Operation Cameron Falls, south of Vandergrift where a large enemy force was utilizing a nearby mountain for observation of the combat base and Route 9. In this operation the Marines accounted for 110 enemy soldiers killed with nearly 100 weapons being captured.

At the same time, elements of the 9th Marines were involved in a joint American and ARVN search and clear operation in the area of the old Khe Sanh Combat Base. During the first three weeks of Operation Utah Mesa, 148 enemy soldiers had been killed.

During this operation it was announced that the regiment would be part of the 25,000 man withdrawal from Vietnam, ending more than four years of combat actions in Vietnam for the 9th Marines.

 

 

USMC CADENCE -- MARINE CORPS INFANTRY

 

CHARLES SALERNO-ART 

 

"HERC"

 

In 1997, Charles completed Honoring and Remembering as a tribute to his fallen comrades.  This piece received national recognition and was reproduced in a framed artwork issued by the U.S. Post Office.  Today, it hangs in the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago.

 

In 2000, the United States Post Office recognized Honoring and Remembering at the art museum and brought it to the attention of the nation by featuring it in a framed artwork.  Today, it can be purchased at select post offices throughout the United States.

 

BANNER LINKS

 

 

History of the 2nd Battalion 9th Marine Network

Welcome to the 2nd Battalion-9th Marine Network. A Network dedicated to helping you find the "Brothers" that you served with and help the "Brothers" you served with find you.

Here is just a short history of the 2/9 Network. It all started back in 1984 when I made my first trip to "The Wall." I was so moved by that experience, as I am sure all of us have been and for you making your first trip will be, that I have returned every year since.

And a major reason I came was not only to Honor my fallen Brothers, but to try and find some of the men that I shared the same mud with in Vietnam and to find my Platoon Commander.
I had a banner made of the "Hell in a Helmet" logo and stood flying it proudly, and like zombies, out of the crowd came the Brothers of 2/9. I started taking down names and addresses. These men were searching too.

I did find the men I was searching for and my Platoon Commander, Lt. Bob Hanover but he has unfortunately like so many of our brothers passed on.

Each year beginning with that trip in 1984 after a trip to "The Wall" and gathering more names I would mail a copy of "The Network Roster" to everyone. Maybe they would recognize a name. I started to include a cover letter about a possible reunion. By 1992, I had collected 84 names. Procrastination is an attribute amongst us. I needed a kick in the butt, and finally, Don Truesdale telephoned and said, "Red, just do it, Brother." If there are 3 of us or 30, shoot, we'll at least be in the same hotel. I mailed a reunion notice to 84 people in March of that year, and by November, the Network had grown to 250. Seventy people signed in the logbook for the first reunion. By the second reunion, there were 450 in the Network. The third reunion, 630 in the Network. And now, after 10 reunions we stand at over 1500. I never envisioned this. It can be laborious, but it's a labor of love.

I do want to point out that even though this site is comprised mostly of "Vietnam Era" 2/9ers that ALL former Marines that served with 2/9 are invited to join. Your name and address etc; will be added to the "Network Roster" and "Mailing Labels" respectively for the time periods of "Pre-Vietnam Era", "Vietnam Era" and "Post Vietnam" Era. Your name will automatically be added to the web site no matter what era you served.

Semper Fi

Richard "Red" Hill

Echo Company 1968--1969

[email protected]