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The Forgotten Heroes amongst us…
By Robert Adelhelm | Published  05/16/2006 | Vietnam | Unrated
Robert Adelhelm
Bob was born and educated in New Jersey. He graduated from William Paterson College in Wayne, New Jersey with a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines in 1973. He spent 22 years on active duty.

His service included assignments in various command, staff and instructor billets with 8th Marines, 4th Marines, 2d Reconnaissance Battalion, Blount Island Command, The Basic School (TBS) Quantico MCB, Amphibious Reconnaissance School (ARS) NAB Coronado, NROTC University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill / North Carolina State University and he was an Aide-de-Camp for the Assistant Division Commander of the 3d Marine Division. He was with 2nd Battalion 8th Marines during operations in Beirut, Lebanon. Bob retired with the rank of LtCol in 1995. His MOSs include 0302, 0402, 9953 and 9960. He the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal with three Stars, Navy Achievement Medal, Marine Expeditionary Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.

He is the founder and past president of the Jacksonville Semper Fidelis Society. Life member of the VFW, a member of the American Legion and Marine Corps League and is a Past Chairmen of the NE Florida Veterans Council. He remains actively involved in assisting veterans.  

View all articles by Robert Adelhelm
The Forgotten Heroes amongst us…

I was a young Lieutenant going through TBS in the early seventies.  The instructors where all Viet Nam Veterans and most of them where highly decorated.  Navy Crosses and Silver Stars adorned the chests of many of the instructors and especially those in the tactics instructor pool.  These instructors where serious, dedicated and highly motivated.  Their instructional techniques included attention gainers and methods of instruction that have become legendary in the Corps.  They often used examples from there own experience in Viet Nam or from the stories of extraordinary exploits that remain with units forever. This is about one of those exploits and its impact almost three decades later.  The story starts in the year 1966 on Hill 488 northwest of Chulai overlooking the infamous Duc Valley where 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Recon Bn’s 16 Marines and 2 Navy Corpsmen are inserted and ends in City of Jacksonville, Florida in 1997.

 

I was introduced to the exploits of SSgt Jimmy Howard and his 17 man Recon Platoon in one of those TBS classes.  I can still recall how riveted we all were to every word our instructor said.  SSgt Jimmy Howard and his Recon Platoon were conducting sting ray missions from the top of a 1500 foot hill over looking the Hiep Duc Valley that was loaded with North Vietnamese regulars.  They had been there for two days directing artillery and air strikes into the heavily used valley.  They had been very successful in directing strikes on the enemy, but this success soon lead the enemy to conclude there was an observation post atop one of the hills and they were intent on destroying it.  This became an extraordinary story of how Marines survived a seemingly hopeless situation through superb leadership, Marine training, and raw courage.  They were able to rise above normal expectations and perform extraordinary feats; the kind of stuff that sets Marines apart from all the rest.


“On the evening of June 15th the Marine patrol received a report that an estimated battalion size enemy force was in their area and could be headed their way. The platoon was placed on 100% alert and manned listening posts at strategic positions around the hill. If the enemy were detected or contact was made they were to return to the Platoon Command Post at the top of the hill immediately and the platoon would "bug out". 

During that night and the next morning every member of the Recon Platoon was either wounded or killed. The enemy paid a high price as well. The sixteen Marines, two Navy Corpsman, and their close air support wounded or killed approximately 200 of the enemy force. When relief arrived the next morning, around 10:00 am, forty-three enemy dead lay within 5 - 20 yards of their hill top perimeter, some as a result of hand-to-hand combat. Some reports say that the Recon Platoon was out numbered by twenty to one.”  Hill 488, Hildreth and Sasser

 

The 16 Marines and 2 Navy Corpsmen were attacked by an NVA Battalion.  Unable to call in artillery because the enemy was too close and not having the immediate use of air strikes they endured over 24 hours of continuous assaults.  It was not long before they were running dangerously low on ammunition and were out of grenades.  They resorted to throwing rocks to deceive the enemy and routinely had to resort to hand to hand combat.  They were held together by a tough SSgt of Marines who finally managed to get them extracted.  Twelve of the 18 men who were on that hill survived despite the overwhelming odds.   There were 4 Navy Crosses (2 posthumously), 13 Silver Stars (4 posthumously), 18 Purple Hearts and 1 Medal of Honor awarded; they became one of the most highly decorated units in Marine Corps history.  It was as one officer stated “the Alamo with survivors”. 

 

This story stuck with me throughout my career.  I used it as an attention gainer during some of my classes to motivate my Marines and at TBS when I was an instructor.  It is an extraordinary story of heroism and the toughness of the individual Marine at his best; it exemplifies the fighting spirit of Marines and the power of Marine leadership. 

 

I never ran into any of those Marines while on active duty.  I suppose most of them got out after their initial tours. Although Jimmy Howard was still in the Corps around this time frame, our paths never crossed.  I believe he remained primarily a west coast Marine while I spent most of my time at Camp Lejeune NC.   I retired in 1995 and eventually took a position as a facility director at Fleet Landing, a retirement community for military officers.  I managed one of those typical maintenance crews that support residential facility operations.  It was a far cry from the Marine units I had become accustom too.

 

 “I hear you were a Marine”, said one of the older maintenance crew members.  “Yeah, I spent a few years in”, I replied.  “I’m a Marine; served in the mid fifties for two years” he continued and pointed over to one of the other painters who was walking towards us and said, “Chuck was in the Marines too”.  Chuck Bosley introduced himself and as all Marines eventually do when they met another Marine, we chatted and asked each other about MOS’s and duty stations.  I asked what he did in the Corps.  He responded that he was a GRUNT and served from 1965 to 1969.  I asked if he had been to Viet Nam and he replied that he had and served with 1st Recon Bn.  Having been a Recon Marine myself, this sparked my interest as to who he may have served with that I knew from my time in recon.  He couldn’t remember who is commanding officer was, but he remembered his platoon commander, SSgt JIMMY EARL HOWARD.  Damn, this got my attention.  Jimmy Howard! He was Medal of Honor Recipient and legend in the Corps. A decorated Korean War Veteran, he had a reputation of being “tough as woodpecker lips”.  He had been awarded several Purple Hearts and a Silver Star in Korea.  We still had a few Korean War Vets in during those years and they were all “hard Corps”, Howard was no exception.  He was well respected in the Infantry Reconnaissance community as a Marines, Marine. 

 

When I heard his name I instantly recalled the story of SSgt Jimmy Howard and his Recon Platoon on Hill 488; I asked Bosley if he was with SSgt Howard on Hill 488.  “Yes, I was with him”, he replied and went about his business.  My mind exploded with excitement; I was talking with and had working for me a former Marine that was part of one of the most extraordinary battles in Marine Corps History; he was one of those 12 surviving Marines from Hill 488.  He was with SSgt Howard when he earned the Medal of Honor.  I wanted to ask him a thousand questions and get a first hand account of the actions that took place on that hill.  I had heard all the stories second hand and read a few articles on the battle, but never had an opportunity like this.  For those who know Marine Corps history and the exploits of Marines throughout it, this was one of those extraordinary actions and I was talking to one of the hero’s that survived it. 

 

There aren’t many folks who know much about Marine Corps history, Viet Nam or even care and to most of them Chuck Bosley was just a blue collar guy, a painter in a maintenance crew.  But I still saw a Marine, a Marine who rose to the occasion when called upon, looked death in the eye, was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow Marines, and like so Viet Nam Marines never asked for anything in return.  He just came back home and became a forgotten hero.

 

Charles Bosley was from New York and only 19 when he went to Viet Nam.  He was a PFC assigned to 1st Recon, 1st Platoon, C Company.  His “first” patrol in Viet Nam was Hill 488.  After the action on Hill 488, he and the other survivors were assigned primarily to rear area duty.  He finished out his tour in Viet Nam and was assigned to the Basic School Support Battalion as an Enlisted Instructor.  It was through his familiarization with TBS and the training of Lieutenants that we eventually developed a rapport.   I had the same duty station on several occasions in my career and fondly recalled the Enlisted Instructors that taught me as a young Lt and worked with me as an instructor.  As we chatted about Quantico from time to time, he started to open up a little more about his experience in Viet Nam and the patrol to Hill 488.  You could tell he had the utmost respect and admiration for SSgt Howard, the Marines he served with and he was proud of being a Recon Marine in 1st Recon Bn. 

 

I knew that Chuck received a Purple Heart from the stories of the battle, but was unsure of what other awards he may have received.  I thought about getting him a shadow box for his medals.  One day, I asked him if he still had his Purple Heart and the medals he was awarded for his service in Viet Nam.  He told me that all his medals and what gear he had was stolen years ago.  He reminded me he got out in 1969 when it wasn’t fashionable to be in the military let alone been to Viet Nam.  I told him about the government re-issue policy of medals and I suggested we could get his replaced.  I asked him to bring me his DD-214 and what other medals or paperwork he had from his time in the Marines.  A few days later he brought me his DD-214, or what was left of it, and the bottom part of a Silver Star.  No Purple Heart, no citations, nothing, just small piece of the Silver Star and a worn out barely readable DD-214 is all he had left.  I examined and confirmed on his DD-214 that he did in fact rate the Silver Star and Purple Heart. 

 

I have a special place in my heart for Viet Nam veterans; I had friends that died in Viet Nam.  Viet Nam Vets trained me, they fought magnificently and returned home to nothing and never got any recognition for their sacrifice and service nor did they ever ask.  They are a special breed and this Marine was no exception.  In my eyes he was still a MARINE.  I didn’t see a painter, I saw a Marine NCO who was a Viet Nam Veteran and War Hero.  I felt compelled to recognize this Marine for what he did and tell him we are grateful for his service and all he did.  I didn’t want him to remain one of those forgotten heroes.

 

I took his DD-214 to a Marine Base and asked the admin officer if he could start the process for a re-issue of medals for this Marine.  You usually don’t have to push to hard when they notice a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.  They were only too happy and I know honored to help this fellow Marine.  I told Bosley about what I had done and it was during that conversation, I asked him if he ever had heard of PTSD.  It was obvious he had had a hard life and alcohol played a major part in it.  I wasn’t sure whether he had PTSD not, but it was obvious to me that this Marine was still dealing with some demons.  He told me he went to the VA shortly after getting out years ago, but it was a waste of time.  He said the VA didn’t do a damn thing for him and they were too difficult to work with.  I told him that I wanted him to go back to the VA and register, so we could determine what they could do for him now.  I told him the VA has changed since Viet Nam and even though they are still struggling to meet the needs of Vets, they are better prepared to assist most Vets needs today than in the 60’s.  From one Marine to another, I told him to get back with the VA.  He hesitated and started with the thousand and one excuses; I pulled rank and ordered him to go!  He said he didn’t have a driver’s license, I said I would drive him, he said he had to work, I said I was his boss and he could have the day off with pay; we went to the VA. 

 

This was a man that was struggling with something.  I couldn’t image how that experience could not have affected him.  He was a 19 year old PFC on his first patrol in Viet Nam with an 18 man Recon Platoon that went head to head with an NVA Battalion for over 24 hours.  They were out gunned, out manned and on the verge of being over run and annihilated and he had survived it.  I was still an officer of Marines and he was one of my Marines, I was going to get him some help.

 

We arrived at the VA office and we were assigned to a counselor that was also a former Marine.  I briefed him on Sgt Bosley and his experience on hill 488 in Viet Nam.  I told him in my opinion this is a Marine Corps Hero, I wanted him to get Sgt Bosley whatever assistance he needed or was entitled to; we were not leaving until he found something that could be done.  They were in the counselor’s office for over three hours.  When we were driving back to the office, Sgt Bosley said he felt better about going and thanked me.  Semper Fi! 

 

It was a waiting game now with the VA and I told him to be patient and I would help him with any and all the paperwork the VA would generate and throw at him.  I had experience dealing with the BUREAUCRACY and they weren’t going to wear him down filling out forms, writing statements and wanting names and addresses of witnesses, etc, etc. not this one.  I figured he deserved whatever he could get, and more if I could get it;  I was going to make sure this VA claim wasn’t negated because he didn’t fill out a piece of paper or write good enough statement.

 

I helped Sgt Bosley work up his statement and I had his wife, who was his high school sweet heart, provided me with a statement as a witness to the Marine before and the Marine after Viet Nam.  We forwarded this to the VA.  It wasn’t to long afterwards that he was asked for more information.  This time they wanted to know if there where any surviving members that could substantiate his statement concerning the nature and cause of his injury.  Sgt Bosley hadn’t been in touch with any of the other Marines in years and I knew that GySgt Howard had passed away a couple of years before.  I wrote a statement that basically said that of the 12 Marines that survived the battle that day, all were recipients of the Purple Heart, all have either passed away from natural causes or succumbed to the wounds suffered as a result of the battle and we are not aware of any remaining survivors.  This statement was submitted along with the comment that Sgt Bosley was awarded the Purple Heart and a Silver Star for his heroic actions that day in Viet Nam in 1966.  I attached it to another copy of his DD-214 and mailed it back.  We waited.          

 

In the meantime, during one of my conversations with Sgt Bosley, I asked him when and if he was officially awarded his medals.  He told me they all got them in Viet Nam a few days before being shipping back to the states. He said it wasn’t that big of a deal; he was more concerned about just getting back home.  I could relate to his feelings about getting back home and I also recalled the coming home most Viet Nam Vets got back then.  So, I decided to set up a welcome home and awards ceremony to re-award this Marine Hero his medals and welcome him home in the presence of his family and fellow workers.  I thought it was important for those he worked with to know just what he did in Viet Nam and that he was a War Hero.  I wanted his daughters to see their father as more than just a painter, I wanted them to see him being recognized and honored by the Marine Corps. I wanted his daughters to hear, from the Marines, what he did and how he preformed under unbelievable odds, I wanted them to know their father was a Hero that we were proud to call a Marine.  I wanted to provide others the opportunity to say thank you for your service and willingness to sacrifice for us, the thank you he didn’t get in the 60’s. He rated it and his wife, who has been with him forever, deserved it after all those years. 

 

The awards ceremony was to be held at Fleet Landing activities center. Captain Richard “Dick” Stratton USN a former POW in Viet Nam and resident of Fleet Landing was asked and agreed to award the Purple Heart and I wanted a SNCO to award the Silver Star out of respect for SSgt Howard.  Master Gunnery Frank Ortiz of the Blount Island Command accepted the honor.  Retired Marines from Fleet Landing and Marines from the Blount Island Command in Jacksonville, FL were invited to participate.  It was important for me to have Sgt Bosley experience the camaraderie of being a Marine once again.  It was important to me to have his wife and two daughters, who weren’t born until years after he left the Corps, see their father being honored by his fellow Veterans, Marines and his Marine Corps.  I wanted to make sure Sgt Bosley felt the pride of being a Marine and a Viet Nam Veteran.

   

I special ordered an anodized Silver Star and Purple Heart from the Marine Shop in Quantico, Va. as a gift to Sgt Bosley.  I told him he could pass them down to his grand children.  I planned on having these medals presented to his wife and daughters during the ceremony.  But there remained one problem…NO citation.  We needed something to read at the awards ceremony for the presentation of the Silver Star.  The Purple Heart was easy, but an award for heroism usually explains the actions involved in receiving the award.  After a few days of thinking it over and still not being able to locate a citation, I decided I would write one for the occasion.  I had knowledge of the procedures involved and I had read and wrote several citations for both meritorious and heroic actions during my career.  I figured I knew enough about the battle that I could write something respectful and appropriate. 

 

I already received the anodized version, they were awesome.  It wasn’t too long afterwards that the government issued medals arrived.  This is what we needed to move forward with the ceremony.  I unpacked medals and in the package, to my surprise, were copies of his citations.  When I read the Silver Star citation, it become evident to me that there was no way I could have done this man’s act of heroism justice.  It was one of those citations that hit’s you hard.  It was one of those that leave you spellbound and wondering why this PFC wasn’t awarded a Medal of Honor.  It has been years since I’ve seen that citation, but one part does stick out in my mind.  It mentions amongst several actions that PFC Bosley seeing a grenade land near a wounded fellow Marine shields the Marine with his own body absorbing the concussion, suffering shrapnel wounds he returns to his fighting position and continues to repel the enemy.  This was just a small part of that citation; it was a remarkable citation, it was a remarkable act of courage.            

 

The ceremony went off without a hitch and the center was packed with veterans from WWII to current day Marines.  It was covered by the local TV news channel.  Captain Dick Stratton awarded SGT Bosley the Purple Heart, hugged him and said, Welcome, Home!  The Silver Star citation was so powerful that during the reading the reader become emotional and could not finish, I had to take the citation and finish reading it.  Master Gunnery Sgt Ortiz pinned on the Silver Star and Marines presented Sgt Bosley’s wife and Daughters with the anodized medals.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the center.  This was a powerful moment for all involved and I was thankful this Marine was getting the recognition he so rightfully deserved and other Viet Nam Vets and heroes have been denied.  It was a good day to be a Marine.  It was a good day to recognize one of those forgotten heroes that walk amongst us. 

 

Sgt Bosley had a few days off to spend with his family before they returned to Pittsburgh.  When he returned he thanked me and handed me a copy of the 1968 reader’s digest with the article on Hill 488.  I still have it and cherish it as a reminder of that day and the heroism of those Marines.  It’s special.

 

It returned to business as usual in the maintenance department.  I asked Sgt Bosley if he heard from the VA; it had been a few months by this time.  He told me he didn’t hear anything and probably wouldn’t because that’s the way the VA has always been.  I told him he had a file number and to go into the office and call about the status of his case.  He reluctantly did what I directed and as I watch him from afar over the several minutes he was on the phone, I saw his expression change.  I asked him what was wrong.  He told me that they had awarded him a disability pension.  He was stunned!  I pulled him aside and told him to use this money to get what ever help he needed and get back on track with his family.  It was a good day for Vets!

 

Sgt Bosley eventually left Fleet Landing and moved back to Pittsburgh.  His daughters asked him to move back there to be closer to them and his grand children.  I can’t say whether seeing their father being awarded a medal for something that happened years before they were born had any impact, but I do know by the look on their faces that day they not only witnessed a tribute to a hero but also started to understand.  I guess Captain Stratton put it the best way when he said, “Welcome Home”!

 

I was honored to have met Sgt Bosley and damn proud of him as a Marine.  I look back on that time not only with a smile, but also a sense of sadness.  Sadness because we still have other forgotten hero’s that haven’t had their day.  I suppose they’re some who say we as vets got what we bargained for and just serving your country is a gift and reward enough.  But I submitted to those that feel this way, the real gift is what we who served and serve gave and continue to give, our lives.  The time spent in the defense of this country whether it is for 2 years, 4 years, 30 years is a big gift and in some cases the “ultimate sacrifice” is a significant gift.  Those that are willing to offer this gift comprise less than 10% of our population and today less than 5% of the population is currently off defending the country in the War on Terrorism.  Less than 10% of our population is willing to step up and defend this country while 90 % continue, with uninterrupted lives, to enjoy the benefits of their sacrifices.  All those that serve and served are the ones that are the gift bearers; they are the ones willing to make the sacrifices for the sake of all.  So, is it too much to ask of the 90% that did not or will not serve to look around and take some time and effort to acknowledge the forgotten hero’s?  Vets take care of Vets and MARINES certainly take care of MARINES, but to all those that didn’t serve I say, take the time to say THANK YOU.  You never know you may find one of our forgotten hero’s amongst you.  Well Done, Sgt Bosley USMC, thank you for your gift of service and sacrifice; Welcome, Home, Marine!                      

                     

 

1st Platoon Charlie Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division

 

(1 Medal of Honor, 4 Navy Crosses, 13 Silver Stars, 18 Purple Hearts)

                                   

Sgt Jimmy Howard

Medal of Honor

Purple Heart

 

Corpsman Bille Holmes

Navy Cross

Purple Heart

 

Corpsman Richard Fitzpatrick

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

Cpl Jerrald Thompson

Navy Cross (Posthumously)

Purple Heart

 

Cpl Robert Martinez

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

Cpl Binns

Navy Cross

Purple Heart

 

L/Cpl Daniel Mulvhill

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

L/Cpl Alcadio Mascarenas

Silver Star (Posthumously)

Purple Heart

 

L/Cpl John Adams

Navy Cross (Posthumously)

Purple Heart

 

L/Cpl Ray Hildreth

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

L/Cpl Ralph Victor

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

L/Cpl William Norman

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

Pfc Thomas Powles

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

Pfc Thomas Glawe

Silver Star (Posthumously)

Purple Heart

 

Pfc James McKinney

Silver Star (Posthumously)

Purple Heart

 

Pfc Charles Bosley

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

Pfc Ignatius Carlisi

Silver Star (Posthumously)

Purple Heart

 

Pfc Joseph Kosoglow

Silver Star

Purple Heart

 

 

 Note: 

Information on Hill 488…www.hill488.com


Follow up to this story at the following link:

 www.newsbf.com/news/110428ricardo_binns.html

     

    

 

 

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Article Series
This article is part 1 of a 2 part series. Other articles in this series are shown below:
  1. The Forgotten Heroes amongst us…
  2. Honor denied, efforts continue to recognize Marine...
Comments
  • Comment #1 (Posted by Craig "Mac" McGlinn)
    Rating
    Outstanding article- as was stated, it's a good day to be a vet, especially a Marine vet. I, too, encourage all to seek out those among us who have served or are presently serving- don't be afraid to ask them to talk about their time in service- you'll be surprised. Although many of us have some bad times that will be remembered, there are also many good times to share. And, if possible, I recommend making awards displays for your vets- I have made displays for all my uncles and other family members and friends (mostly WWII vets- one of my uncles is a Marine Corps vet who served with C/1/12/3 on Guadalcanal, Bouganville, Guam, and Iwo Jima- the man has spent his time in hell), and let me tell you, their response to their service being acknowledged after so many years was overwhelming! Maybe it's my imagination, but I think they may just a little bit straighter, feeling pretty good about themselves. Much like Sgt. Bosley in the article, these vets, as most do, separate from the military and just get on with their lives, without any fanfare. I guess I'm just trying to say that it's time they all get their fanfare!

    Semper Fi,

    Craig "Mac" McGlinn
    Sgt., USMC
    Served 1969-1973
    1st MAW Vietnam Vet


     
  • Comment #2 (Posted by Jim Crotty)
    Rating
    Outstanding article. Thank you for sharing this incredible and motivating story with us, and thank you for all that you did for Sgt. Bosley.
     
  • Comment #3 (Posted by Bob Stokes)
    Rating
    Semper Fi Brother. Semper Fi. Brought tears to my eyes. I have an in-law whose life spiraled out of control. He is in very bad condition, so much so, it is difficult to explain. He still goes to the VA. Never knew anything about him until one day when he said "I think I died in Vietnam all those years ago but just never knew it." Larry did two tours with the Marines, got out and joined the army for another tour. Jeez, the stories he tells. You just never know who someone is until you walk a mile in their shoes.

    Bob Stokes
    CPL, USMC
    70-73
    1st MarDiv

     
  • Comment #4 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Rating
    outstanding-Semper Fi!
     
  • Comment #5 (Posted by norman r veronesi)
    Rating
    Semper FI.love ya gy/sgt retired
     
  • Comment #6 (Posted by Abner "Butch" Stokes)
    Rating
    Your article is Outstanding. I knew SSgt Howard, he was our guerilla warfare/ambush instructor on Okinawa in 1965. To me, he was bigger than life, and a Marines Marine. He had a way about him that made everyone respect him, and like him as a friend. He would take the time to explain what was expected of us and showed us how to accomplish it. When we went to Nam, we all went together. I remember seeing him at the CP a few times, always with a kind or helpful word. I was in 11th Marines FDC bunker when he was on that hill. We were listening in on the radio on the progress of the battle. It was heart rendering then, as it still is whenever I read about Howard's Hill.
    Thank you for doing what you did for Sgt Bosley. It was a long time coming.

    Sgt Abner "Butch" Stokes
    USMC 1964-1968
    Chu Lai 1966
    G Btry 3/11 1st Mar Div

     
  • Comment #7 (Posted by Robert T. Castillo)
    Rating
    Welcome home to all fighting warriors of the Marine Corps and other Armed Forces branches. I too, am a Vietnam Veterans. I too help other veteran,regardless of where they served, to bet benefits from the VA. I have been successful twice in beating the VA at their game. I have gotten backpay twice back to 1994.

    The story was very powerful, I had tears in my eyes as I read the article. Some of us just came back home from Nam and quietly settled back into our society without murking the waters with our war experiences. And the VA was more tougher back then. Now its a little bit easier but toug..

    I beat the VA in my VA claim for Type II Diabetes. My original VA claim did not mention diabetes and still I beat the VA and received backpay to 1994. Now I am an 80% disable Veteran, but I am being paid as an 100% disable Veterans for pay purposes only.

    Semper Fi

    Roberto T. Castillo
    Vietnam Vet (Sept66-Nov68) (Inclusive dates)
     
  • Comment #8 (Posted by Frank)
    Rating
    Thank you for this article on Sgt. Bosley and for your efforts in assisting and welcoming him home. My heart was touched deeply by his heroism and humility. As a former active duty Marine who served 1961 to 1965 (vietnam-operation shu-fly), I thank God for my Brother Marines then and now. "Semper Fidelis"
     
  • Comment #9 (Posted by LARRY ILES)
    Rating
    Semper Fi.
     
  • Comment #10 (Posted by bob farrell)
    Rating
    I flew gunner with HMM-163 (eveil eyes) in Viet Nam. Many of us new of Gunny Howard and his team and I had the pleasure of serving with one of his men.
    After returning from "The Nam" in '67, I went to photo intelligence school with then Sgt. Ray Hildreth. We pulled some great liberties together and had some good times. He never talked alot about the hill and I didn't ask because I knew. I lost track of him after we got out of school--great guy, good friemd.
    SSgt Bob Farrell, Active 1965-69 RVN-'66-'67
     
  • Comment #11 (Posted by Ron Durham)
    Rating
    I served with the 5th Marines from 68-70 in Vietnam. None of the Marines I served with ever ask for anything but just a simple "welcome home". Many of us hide Vietnam deep inside and it only appears when we are alone and in the depths of our own hell. I thank you for all of my brothers that fell and those that remained.

    Ronald Durham
    MGYSGT Retired
     
  • Comment #12 (Posted by bob farrell)
    Rating
    I am a Viet Nam vet and knew of Gunny Howard's team and Hill 488. I flew gunner with HMM-163 (evil eyes). When I returned from "The Nam", I had the pleasure of meeting then Sgt. Ray Hildreth, a member of that recon team. We went to photo intelligence school together. We pulled some great liberties together and had some good times. I lost track of him after we left school and hadn't thought of him until I saw his name at the end of the article--great guy, good friend and marine.
    Semper-Fi
    SSgt Bob Farrell USMC 1965-69, RVN '66-'67
     
  • Comment #13 (Posted by Mark Lurtsema)
    Rating
    To the courage of the few...there are no words. Thank you isn't near enough, but it will have to do.
     
  • Comment #14 (Posted by Jack Hales)
    Rating
    Way to go LtCol Adelhelm. Semper Fidelis indeed. Thank you! LtCol Jack Hales, USMC(Ret)
     
  • Comment #15 (Posted by Pat Sena)
    Rating
    Outstanding article Bob. Why am I not suprised. Semper Fi Classmate
     
  • Comment #16 (Posted by Michael Nielsen)
    Rating
    Outstanding article. You really go straight in to a major issue, what are we going to do about all those that where never acknowledged for their willingness to sacrifice their life for this country. When are we prepared to welcome them home?
    Semper Fi
    Michael Nielsen
     
  • Comment #17 (Posted by Silver Eagle)
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    Outstanding. Moving. Believable. While this story was lengthy in print, it was never boring. Fantastic. Remarkable.

    Semper Fi !!!

     
  • Comment #18 (Posted by Donald F. Cusack)
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    I believe every Veteran should be honored whether combat or not. Also they should have free full Medical no matter what their income is.

    I was with Lima/3/9 3rd Mar div 1964 - 1965. Lima was in Nam Nov 64 to Jan 65. We landed again with the Bat on 8 Mar 1965. I was a Hole Man (Tunnel Rat). All I remember is going in. I have been to a couple of our unit reunions and all the guys said I should put in for PTSD. Some of the things they said I did I can not belive. Did take thier advise and currently going through the 1st phase of the request. Question is, if I do not remember anything what do you think are my chances of winning?

    SEMPER FI !!!! AND GOD BLESS THE CORPS
    Donald F, Cusack
    Lima/3/9 3rd Mar Div 1964 - 1965
    SCHOOLS BAT CAMP PEN 1965 - 1967
    USMC 1963 - 1967
     
  • Comment #19 (Posted by Michael Orlowski)
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    The article was out standing. I have my bouts with PTSD having served with CAG'S
    from DaNang to Quang Tri. But Marines kick butt they IMPROVISE,
    ADAPT and OVERCOME.

    Michael Orlowski "ski"
    Cpl. USMC 1966-1972
     
  • Comment #20 (Posted by Deduke)
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    Outfingstanding. Other people can read the words, but only Marines can truly know what the words mean.

    Semper Fi
     
  • Comment #21 (Posted by mrbsox)
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    No magic words to express my true inner feelings of pride, except;

    Semper Fidelis.
     
  • Comment #22 (Posted by Art Furtney)
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    I spent 25 years in our Marine Corps... from 1954 til I retired on 1Jun79... I was in Vietnam during that time with MAG 16 and 1MarAirWing Hqtrs. This was a great read.. which I had a hard time with my eyes watering... Semper Fi
     
  • Comment #23 (Posted by Ricardo Jacques)
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    Once having been a member of Charlie Co 1st Recon ans making the deployment towards Cuba in 1962 and than a member of Bravo Co 3rd Recon.
    I also met Gunny Howard in 1968.
    I stand in awe of what the did that night.
    I must comment you on your work for a fellow Marine.
    It defines Semper Fidelis...
    Swift Sulent and Deadly...

    Semper Fidelis
    Ricardo
     
  • Comment #24 (Posted by Robert Micheliche)
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    Well done sir,


    Hat's off to Bob Adelhelm for being in a position to do something so wonderful for this man and actually doing it. Salutes to the same man for doing something equally as wonderful for us by sharing with us this story.
    I can only hope that stories like this make the ears of the so many of us who care that it might invoke others to reveal stories of similar events. I love stories about heroes. Heroes are my heroes!


     
  • Comment #25 (Posted by James Morris)
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    I read your article with great interest and know that there are many unrecognized vets from all wars out there. I feel that it is admirable that you took it upon yourself to do something about one of them.
    I wish someone had helped me in my endeavors to obtain my medals earned in VietNam as I was never issued them. The only answer I received from them was records were lost in the Kansas City record fire.
    Again thanks for your efforts to help a brother Marine.
     
  • Comment #26 (Posted by Gene Ciliberti)
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    Thanks for a great story and a wonderful tribute to a fellow Marine. I served with the 5th Marines, Ist Div. in Korea. That was 1950. I went from the Pusan Perimeter to Inchon, to Wonsan and to the Chosin Reservoir. Brought my dog tags home. Semper Fidelis!
     
  • Comment #27 (Posted by David B.)
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    ABSOLUELY OUT-STANDING ARTICLE.THIS COUNTRY NEEDS TO READ ABOUT THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN THAT SERVED FOR THIS GREAT NATION.

    SEMPER FI
     
  • Comment #28 (Posted by Laury Allison)
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    SEMPER FI! Fantastic story...although very difficult to read with the tears in my eyes. It is wonderful to know that there are still people out there who care enough to recognize our fellow veteran's accomplishments and help them out when they need it. Gunny Howard was certainly a Marine's Marine and anyone who served with him definately deserves a salute from me...as do you LtCol Adelhelm. I served 23 years in the USAF and

    Welcome Home and Semper Fi!

    Laury Allison
    TSgt, USAF (Retired)
    1982-2005

     
  • Comment #29 (Posted by Michael L Conners)
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    If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye it may be because you didn't spend your aduld life in the Marine Corps as have I !

    Michael L Conners
    MSgt USMC (Ret.)
     
  • Comment #30 (Posted by Steve "Chip" Kramer)
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    Semper Fi, broke the pipes to my eyes.

    Former Sgt Of Marines, Aviation Ordance 1971-1975. 1973 WEST PAC with VMO-6.
     
  • Comment #31 (Posted by Jeff Fitterer)
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    WOW!! Great article!! Hard to keep a dry eye.....
     
  • Comment #32 (Posted by R. E. Sullivan, USMC (Ret.))
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    At the time of the incident described I was visiting the newly arrived 1stMarDiv Hqs. at Chu Lai where my opposite number, LtCol Ralph Barrett Crossman was the Division Operations Officer while I had the same position in the 3dMarDiv. LtCol "A" "J" Sullivan commanded the 1stReconBn at the time, and I was with him while we sweated the extraction of Howard's patrol. As the story describes, survival of that patrol was a dam_ed near run thing. I'd assume it was Colonel Sullivan who assured that the members of that patrol received the decorations that they had so well earned. Many COs, unfortunately, wouldn't have taken the time or undertaken the paperwork to submit so many citations. I'd guess too that Col Sullivan had to fight the citations through the DivAwardsBoard, since the further one got from the fire the less urgent it seemed to reward heroism.
     
  • Comment #33 (Posted by Terry Crouson)
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    A great but touching story. I was a Marine as were 3 brothers, 3 nephews and my 2 sons. One of my brothers was KIA in Vietnam, and in looking at the mounted medals on my parent's wall, I knew there were some missing. I contacted CMC and they filled in the blanks and awarded the missing medals. No problem. My first son, now a former Marine, was named after him. I have given him his uncle's medals and flag honorably mounted in a glass case. My son has named his first son after his uncle.
    Semper Fi!
     
  • Comment #34 (Posted by Robert Wahl)
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    This was a story of one Marine taking care of another Marine. It was always bred into our minds that we would never leave a fellow Marine behind. This applies to this story. The article proves that one Marine saw a troubled friend and Marine a helped him find his way back by caring for him. He mentioned that he saw a hero and not just a painter. Many of us have gone to that type of situation. We came home and just blended into society and our lives. I can say that in most cases Marines will always rise to the occasion when it comes to helping a friend in trouble no matter what the situation. Sempeer Fi, Bob Wahl 5th Marines, VN
     
  • Comment #35 (Posted by Chris Tipton)
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    I had the honor to meet Jimmie Howard in 1977 while he was working for the VA as a traveling rep, doing the tour around Marine bases lecturing on VA bennies. He came to my company and was very accomodating regarding questions (I would have to say exceptionally patient). Although he downplayed his personal role on Hill 488, he called his Marines, "The toughest, meanest Marines I ever served with."

    His take on his own actions: "I just didn't feel like dying on that particular rock at that particular time, and I didn't want my guys dying there either."

    Thanks for helping out Sgt Bosley, anyone who fought on that rock deserved the Blue Max. Semper Fi.

    Chris Tipton
    Sgt USMC (71-78, RVN:72-73).
     
  • Comment #36 (Posted by jj jennings)
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    Absolutely heroic, both the author, and the subject. Great men don't come along too often. Glad to share my time with both tonight. Hope the spelling is correct, my eyes are a little blurry.
     
  • Comment #37 (Posted by John COLUCCO)
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    As a former FMF Corpsmen with 1/5/1 in 1966, I'm glad that the bond between Corpsmen and their Marines is be acknowleged and shared with so many of our brothers who served in Vietnam....As many of us grow old and grey we still find one another and give each other a hug and a welcome home, which we never recieved until we grew out of our uniforms...We all went from boys to men in a short time...I am proud of my fellow Corpsmen and Marines and the bond that still exist today....
     
  • Comment #38 (Posted by Chuck Bosley)
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    Sir Thank you for helping me get my shit togeather, I was pretty messed up for alot of years thanks to you I am back with family, you're a good friend and inspiration, good luck in all your endevors SEMPER-FI Chuck Bosley
     
  • Comment #39 (Posted by David A.Hatcher)
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    Throughly enjoyed this article. Just last month I learned of Billie D. Holmes death and decided to read the book Hill 488, and I have been surfing the web to find more about it. I/we knew that Billie D. was involved in some intense battle during his first tour, but I didn't fully comprehend what happened. Last I saw, actually heard, Billie D. was when I passed a "latrine" at the repo depot at ChuLai when I got in country. I had heard that moan/groan before; inquiring "That you Billie?", the reply was another groan. It was him!
    God Bless all Marines
    David A. Hatcher CW4 USAR Ret
     
  • Comment #40 (Posted by Col. Thomas R. Cross USA Ret.)
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    An outstanding and well written article.The article deserves distribution throughout the military history publishing world.
    There are lessons on bravery, leadership, caring contained in this article that needs to be told and told and told.
     
  • Comment #41 (Posted by john richardson)
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    I was one of those fortunate ones to have known lstSgt Howard for many years as our paths crossed, both stateside and in Nam. I was the lstMarDiv Intel Chief during Jimmys second tour in Nam. He was a mans man and probable one of the best Marines I ever met in my 26 years of service. I am very proud to have called him "friend" and lucky to have a fellow Marine of his caliber.
     
  • Comment #42 (Posted by Eric Dennebaum)
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    I served under Lt colonel Adelhelm when he was the Company commander of Weapons CO. During the 80's. The " The Forgotten Heros's amongst us" was very moving, and I look forward to reading his other articles. I have a lot of respect for him as a Commander as well as a writer, and I am proud to have served under him.

    Eric Dennebaum
    L/cpl wpns. Co. 81's 1979-1982

     
  • Comment #43 (Posted by Charles Selph)
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    Great article! I served from '66 - '70, spending 1968 in Chu Lai with VMFA 314 (Black Knights). Just read the book "Hill 488". The older I get the more I value my years in the Corps. Nothing makes brothers like a war zone. Semper Fi!
     
  • Comment #44 (Posted by ROBERT BEEZLEY)
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    SEMPER FI BROTHERS!!! THAT BROUGHT A TEAR TO THIS OLE JARHEADS EYE ALSO, AND I'M NOT A BIT ASHAMED TO ADMIT IT.
    HOO-RAA FOR A JOB WELL DONE!! TO BAD IT WAS SO LONG IN COMING, AND THE SAD THING IS HOW MANY MORE OF OUR BROTHERS HAVE AND ARE STILL EXPERENCING PTSD AND NOT RECEIVING ANY HELP.
    THIS MAKES ME PROUD TO BE A MARINE WHO ALSO SERVED IN VIET NAM AT CHU LAI FROM 12/65 UNTIL 1/67 GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!--ESP THOSE MEN ON HILL 488!!
     
  • Comment #45 (Posted by Warren Caudle)
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    Thanks for the article. I knew Billie (Doc) Holmes and understand he was killed in a car wreck some years back. I think he became a warrant office in the Navy.
    USMC 1966-1969
    Vietnam 67 -68
     
  • Comment #46 (Posted by chip ward)
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    I served with 1st Force 67-68. Part of our camp was named after Gunny Howard. His feats were inspiring to us new guys. It gave us something to build on.
     
  • Comment #47 (Posted by J.R.Lucas)
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    Great story, and great comments. I to was a member of Charlie 1/5 weapons.
     
  • Comment #48 (Posted by R D Calub)
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    Bravo 1-12 was at a different location that night in June 66 News came to us a day or so later about the hill fight. Chuck, we salute you for the effort you put forth that night. Good luck to you and your family and God Bless. Thank You sir for the fantastic article and the help and advice you provided for Chuck.
     
  • Comment #49 (Posted by Mark Retcho)
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    Outstanding, a job well done by Lt.Col Adelhelm. Sgt. "Chuck" Bosley, Welcome Home.
     
  • Comment #50 (Posted by Cpl. R.C. Binns)
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    Earlier this evening I spoke with Chuck Bosley, we contact one another from time to time; every couple of weeks usually. Your article was very impressive however, with all due respedt it is misleading. Chuck Bosley is in deep troubles at this time. And since I have decided ot give you some up to date info. The Battle of Hill 488 was no doubt extraordinary though the truth of the matter is the way it was reported hurt many of the men that survived it. Jim Earl Howard was one of the men whos lifves were hurt by the way it was reported. Fitzpatrick died of a liver ailment (I think may have been HCV)he was 56 yrs old. Billy D. Holmes died in a head on auto crash, he was about 48 yrs old. Ralpg Glover Victor at 46 yrs old died of an over dose of proscription drugs. Each of them called me approximately a week before they passed away, except for Howard who I called. Sgt.Maj.A.J. Turnner had informed me that Jim was in poor health and I called him, he passed on just about a week after that too. Jim and I did always keep in contact, though to be truthful I must tell you our realationship ranged from bitter-sweet to strainde as time went by. I do miss him now and wish we could still be jawing at each other. I have much time to think of reson why things came out the way they did. Making contact with our former ExO cleared a lot of issues that I need to conferm to myself. I still contact him from time to time to this day. By the way Sgt.Maj Turner passed on a few years after Howard did. The true storys of the original 18 men that fought the Battle of Hill 488 is a deep drama and went on long after the battel started in Viet Nam. And is still going on among some of us. In fact mostly all that I last had gotten in touch with, who it didn't kill still had strong issues or seemed to want to act as if it never happened. For myself I have tried to excape it for many years but having your name logged down in history will always pop up in your face when amd from you least expect it. One can run but you can not hide. I think that's enough for now... SF/Cpl.R.C.Binns/USMC Ret.(NC)
     
  • Comment #51 (Posted by Maurice L. Loucks)
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    I served with Billy D. Holmes in early '65 at Camp Pendleton. I teased him that he would shortly be deployed to Viet Nam. He said, no, that he was "short" and would be going back to Tennessee soon. Sure enough he got extended in the Navy and was sent to VN. I remember Billy as being very slight, short and wasn't the hero type. But, as I've said and observed "we don't know how we will respond in a situation till we are in it" and usually we serve with distinction.
    No doubt Billy did. I was sitting at home in '68 when I came across the article in Reader's Digest. Over the years I have attempted to locate Billy. Now, today, having read the comment by Cpl. Binns I discover that Billy has checked out. You were definitely a hero, Billy. I am proud to have known you. Semper Fi
     
  • Comment #52 (Posted by Robert L. Johns)
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    Since the Revolutionary war we have produced the very best. To charles Bosley, "Welcome home my friend"
     
  • Comment #53 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Semper Fi, Well done, Col. Bob.
     
  • Comment #54 (Posted by Kathy Thompson)
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    Great article! My dad, Jerry Thompson, was one of the Howard's Marines killed in the battle on Hill 488. Thank you for the article, but more importantly, THANK YOU for your service as a Marine!
     
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