James Patrick Achterhoff
Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
Muskegon, Michigan
June 13, 1949 to March 18, 1968
JAMES P ACHTERHOFF is on the Wall at Panel 45E, Line 18

Combat Action Ribbon
James P Achterhoff
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31 Jan 2005

Gone but never forgotten

From a cousin,


A Note from The Virtual Wall

In March 1968 the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, provided the bulk of a Battalion Landing Team but was operating ashore in Quang Tri Province south of the DMZ. On 16 March 1968 a recon patrol located a large enemy force in the village of Vinh Quan Ha - and got into trouble doing it. Recovery of the patrol cost the lives of three Marines whose bodies could not be recovered. It also drew the Marines' attention to the village and a decision was taken to kick the NVA out of it.

The following is taken from the 2/4 Command Chronology for March 1968:

17 March 1968:
     Plans were made and orders issued for a BLT attack on the fortified village of Vinh Quan Ha.

18-19 March 1968:
     At 0345H the BLT (-) crossed the Line of Departure and moved to attack positions. After a 12 hour battle which started at 0730, the objective was finally secured. The enemy was well equipped and fought from heavily fortified, mutually supporting bunkers and trench lines which were cleverly camoflaged. It was later determined from POWs that elements of 4 NVA battalions were located on the objective. Net results of the battle were: 127 enemy KIA's; 4 POW's; friendly losses were 17 KIA and 102 WIAE [Wounded in Action - Evacuated]. Many crew served and individual weapons were captured along with numerous items of equipment (the most significant of which was an HF radio complete with note book giving enemy call signs and unit designations).

While the Command Chronology says 17 men were killed in the assault on Vinh Quan Ha, there are twenty men in the casualty database who have been associated with the battle:

  • 2nd Bn, 4th Marines (Company unknown)
  • E Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
    • Sgt Robert O Bannon, San Bernardino, CA (Silver Star)
    • LCpl James P. Achterhoff, Muskegon, MI (Silver Star)
    • LCpl Mcarthur Hamburg, Enterprise, MS
    • LCpl John P. Larkin, Port Chester, NY
    • LCpl Gary D. Utz, Englewood, OH
    • Pfc Elvin W. Gose, Cumberland, IN (Silver Star)
    • Pfc Elliott R. Smith, Luna Pier, MI

  • G Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
    • Pfc Andrew Springs, Rock Hill, SC
    • Pfc Frank E. Weiss, Clymer, PA

  • H Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
    • LCpl William C. Roberts, Boone, NC
    • LCpl James E. Sprowl, Norwalk, OH
    • Pfc Marshall G. Schaffner, Cataldo, ID

  • H&S Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
    • Cpl Gregory K. Arthur, Tulsa, OK
    • HM3 Douglas B. Parsons, Arvada, CO
    • Pfc Robert T. Ferrelli, Salem, NJ
    • Pfc Arthur L. Hawkins, Cleveland, OH
    • Pfc Gregg E. Lavery, Syosset, NY
    • Pfc Wayne P. Reeves, Mount Holly, NJ
    • Pfc John C. Seaman, Spring Valley, CA

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