Forrest La Wayne Bartram

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
26 February 1949 - 16 May 1968
San Antonio, Texas
Panel 61E Line 006



National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Forrest La Wayne Bartram

9 Jan 2005

Forrest lived in Midland, Texas and enlisted in the Marine Corps from San Antonio, Texas from high school in 1967 and listed San Antonio as his home of record. He started his tour in Vietnam on December 29, 1967. He was assigned to the Weapons Platoon of M Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. He was involved in several battles and on May 8, 1968, his company ran into a major NVA Base Camp in Thua Thien and the battle known as Hai Van Pass (Hill 1192) lasted almost five days. On May 16, 1968 when the company was standing down in the base camp awaiting the next operation, PFC Bartram was cleaning a 3.5 rocket launcher when it went off. It had been the standard practice to carry a rocket in the tube. The back blast killed him. PFC Bartram was buried with full military honors in the Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. He is remembered by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. May his sacrifice and service never be forgotten.

Bartram, squatting with rockets.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

OPERATION HOUSTON II was the name given to the 3/5 Marines' assignment to maintain road security on Highway 1 between Danang and Hue/Phu Bai to the north. Highway 1 passed through the Hai Van Pass massif (Hill 1192) immediately north of Danang before continuing through the coastal flatlands north to Hue.

HOUSTON II ran from 01 through 17 May 1968. During that period, 3/5 lost 18 men, 17 in combat and one to accident:

  • I Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, 1st Mardiv, 3rd MAF
    • HM3 Charles E. Mariskanish, Barnesboro, PA (Silver Star)
    • Pfc David R. Binns, Reseda, CA
    • Pfc Dan L. Neuenschwander, Fessenden, ND

  • K Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, 1st Mardiv, 3rd MAF
    • LCpl Felix Ocasio, New York, NY
    • Pfc David L. Campbell, Clarinda, IA

  • M Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, 1st Mardiv, 3rd MAF
    • GySgt Lawrence Harville, Princewick, WV (Silver Star)
    • LCpl Dale C. Andrews, Pontiac, MI
    • HN Harry T. Bowman, Wood Ridge, NJ (Silver Star)
    • LCpl Timothy G. Fitzmaurice, Chicago, IL
    • LCpl Ronald J. Markel, Waldron, MI
    • LCpl William D. Trent, East Peoria, IL (Navy Cross)
    • Pfc Forrest L. Bartram, San Antonio, TX
    • Pfc Sam Cole, San Francisco, CA
    • Pfc Richard A. Huffman, Troutville, PA
    • Pfc Michael M. Micunek, Detroit, MI
    • Pfc Richard M. Seng, Allentown, PA
    • Pfc Randolph J. Sterns, Tuscaloosa, AL
    • Pfc Jerry Whitaker, Camden, SC
The majority of the losses occurred on 08/10 May, when Mike 3/5 came across an NVA training camp hidden in the hills of the Hai Van massif. Surrounded and cut off, Mike 3/5 literally fought for its life - and won.

The single non-combat loss was Pfc Forrest Bartram, who survived Mike 3/5's bloodbath only to die in an accident on 16 May:

"At 161700H, Mike Co. CP, at coord 885954, man cleaning dismantled 3.5" rocket launcher with round still in rear segment of launcher, had accidental discharge. Round went through and through right side of chest. 1 USMC NBC emergency evac."
From the
3/5 After Action Report for Op Houston II
dtd 03 June 1968

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762 
9 Jan 2005

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 01/10/2005