Rock Pile, 1968
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  1. #1

    Rock Pile, 1968

    I was E co 3rd Recon, Quang-tri. I remember the Rock Pile. We flew out with another team we got inserted above the Pile. They were about 4clicks from us the other team. We knew the NVA/VC had been in the area, as we went thru Mountain yard Village sites, and seen fires smoldering. We couldn't find anyone. It was so hot, and we had a scout dog with us. We found this most serene waterfall. We took turns cooling off in the crystal clear water. And drinking it. Of course having a6 man team was not the norm with me as a team ldr. It usually was four. But along with Doc, and the scout dog/handler we had six. My radio man, Joe Rufra said, "hey c'mere!!" I heard the screams of men recon Marines getting their A****killed one by one. I called in to go. I know after searching my soul for yrs, that I couldn't have gotten to them in time. All but one return. Then we encountered NVA, and got extracted. The story was, they walked into a Bn size unit of NVA and got hit hard with mortar's, machine gun fire. One Marine, don't remember their names (this is what really still haunts me) I trained with them in the World. This one, got a direct hit by a mortar, the team ldr killed, everyone scrambling to the dead radio operator's radio still working, and screaming for help, then silence. I talked to the L/Cpl who was shot up but a Sparrowhawk unit came in and got them. The pilot was shot, co-pilot, but made it to the ground. Chpr still going, this LCpl asked the crew chief to help him get the bodies. He was a coward. The Lcpl, from Montanna, still firing, getting shot at, hit four times, but nerver sent home, even with three hearts, carried each one that was dead to the chopper. One man hit direct by mortar, never found. He stayed out of combat for the remaining tour. Now if this had been an NCO/SNCO/Officer, and especially army, (nothing against Army or any in Nam, just the way it was) would've received a Medal of Honor. This kid got a Bronze star, no promotion. To this day he lives in Montanna, hasn't/won't see any other single person unless totally necesscary, and I know I have to find their names, because I can't let it go until I can say good-bye to them. I remember how we were laughin' jokin' around in flight. I can see their faces but can't put names to them. I want peace. Until I can say goodbye, this will always haunt me. I have been to the moving wall. I search and search my company roster which I got from Hdqr Marine Corps, Qunatico, and I can't find or recognize their names. I've contacted this young man in Montanna. He would not send me anything. I understand. The Rock Pile and Cam-lo were two of the worst places I was in, besides Kai Sahn, Ashau Valley, and a sweep in the Kaison valley with the 4th Marines. If anyone remember's back this far, it was sometime in 1968, where on the front page of the Stars and Stripes which I have a copy my ass't team ldr., Don, aka, spook, headlines, with a cig hangin' out of his mouth, "searching for the enemy" was on it. Peace my brother's whom I don't remember, and from where you are send me your peace. Semper-Fi


  2. #2
    Big Eagle, sorry I can't help you with the Rock Pile. I was there two years prior, with Mike 3/4. Did you know Cpl Charles W. (Bill) Bryan in Bravo, 3dRecon? He was KIA on 881N in Jan68 while helping a wounded Marine. He was a high school friend, graduated and joined the Corps while I was in RVN...

    Semper Fidelis, Frank


  3. #3
    Big Eagle,

    Try this link to search the Virtual Wall and then select Advanced Search. You can specify various information to search for.

    http://www.thevirtualwall.org/search/search_index.htm

    I found two matches base on your above information: LCpl, Quang-tri, 1968, USMC, From Montana, etc.

    LIONEL RUSSELL CRASE
    LCPL, MARINE CORPS
    MISSOULA, MT
    6/2/1948 - 4/7/1968

    MICHAEL DAVID PADILLA
    LCPL, MARINE CORPS
    BILLINGS, MT
    12/15/1948 - 4/20/1968


    Semper Fi,
    Bill


  4. #4
    Hey K, thanks, I'm searching my company roster, and doing the search. The one left, was Mark Kosterman, Polson Mt. That's as far as I will go right now, until it's the right time. I appreciate the help. God Bless. Eagle out


  5. #5
    Marine Spouse Free Member
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    LONEEAGLE,
    PLEASE CONTACT ME REGARDING INCIDENT AT ROCK PILE!!

    THANKS,
    SUSAN
    SJHILL4951@CHARTER.NET


  6. #6
    Marine Free Member montana's Avatar
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    i live between polson and missoula


  7. #7
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    Loneeagle....you've brought back some powerful memories!! I, was a Doc, with Lima, 3/3/3, in 69. We went up, and down Dang Ha Mt., and some time at Cam Lo, Con Thien, we lost some GOOD MARINES, that year!! NEVER FORGET!!.....SEMPER FI.....Doc Greek


  8. #8

    Rock Pile

    Just found this site and read your post about "Club Med of the DMZ" better know as The Rockpile. Wish I could help you, but I was there long before you. I spent 33 days up there in October - November 1966. I have a lot of pictures taken from up there and some taken by Leatherneck and published in late 1966. My unit was on the East side of the Rock and had all the antennas & radio gear you could probably not figure out what it was used for. I'll share them with you if you e-mail me. "Papa Bea" S/Sgt U.S.M.C.

    "All Wounds Are Not Visible"


  9. #9
    Marine Free Member jerryk's Avatar
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    we had a f.o. team on top in dec.of 66 the battary was set up below was with charlie batry,1st.bn. 12th marines have a few pictures also from on top,we was fireing support for 3/3 in dec.of 66 ,mike company if i rember right


  10. #10

    The Rock

    I was on J.J. Carroll at the time, but would like to see what pictures you have, and I can share mine with you. Ted moparp2@earthlink.net


  11. #11
    Marine Free Member FistFu68's Avatar
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    MY COMPANY COMMANDER IN 68,WELL 1 OF THE MANY I HAD.WAS A MUSTANGO.HE WAS WITH A/CO/3RD RECON DURING YOUR ERA.HE WAS S/SGT.HOOVER R.E.!!!HIS TEAM WENT BY CALL SIGN HOOVERS HUNTERS.HE WAS IN BOOK 'BOUT 3RD RECON.HE CURRENTLY LIVES IN PENN.WELCOME HOME MARINE! SEMPER~FIDELIS~


  12. #12
    Thanks. The name does not ring any bells, but time will take it's toll on the memory. Most books written about Marine Recon Teams will mention other teams in the field called "Spooks". I've had one other Marine who was in battle below the Rockpile that I have spoken with over the years, and after a short period of time he just looked at me and said "You were a Spook, weren't you"? Welcome Home to yo as well. S/Sgt Dudley AKA "Papa Bear"


  13. #13
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    SSGT Dudley...Did I read your profile correctly? You served 12 years in The Corps, but didn't stay for 18, or 20.....how come? Some of us, SHOULD have stayed in......maybe our civilian lives wouldn't have turned out so CRAPPY!! WELCOME, to this site....happy to have you aboard!....SEMPER FI....Doc Greek


  14. #14
    Does anyone know how the rock pile got its name,and who named it?

    bootlace15 out


  15. #15

    Rock Pile

    I'm not sure how it got it's name, but it sure was the right name. I spent 33 days at "Club Med" on the DMZ. I have pictures from the top if you want to see them. Papa Bear


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