Leon Earl Bell

United States Marine Corps
02 May 1946 - 02 July 1967
Newark, New Jersey
Panel 22E Line 094


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Leon Earl Bell

05 Dec 2006

I am trying to locate anyone who would know one of the following who paid the ultimate price. We were classmates and graduated together, but lost contact with one another once they were sent to a land I barely knew existed. Please if someone should recognize one or both please email me. I have been trying so hard to locate each for a long time.

Leon Earl Bell, Corporal, Marine, KIA 7/2/67 Quang Tri S Vietnam, home town was Newark, NJ. I believe the unit was Bravo 1 9 Company. We called Leon "Ding Dong" because of his last name. He wanted to be a pro basketball player.

Joaquim Vaz Rebelo, Lance Corporal, Marine, KIA 5/13/67 Quang Nam S Vietnam, home town Newark, NJ. We called him Jack. I do not know what unit he was with. He was born in Portugal, became a citizen, and died for a country that he loved.

I know they are both home now and at a place of peace.

From a friend and schoolmate,
Madelyn Robertson

17 Jul 2007

Leon: I went to the Wall today
I could hear you calling me
I found you right away
I said a silent prayer that only you could hear
In my mind I wondered why
Why did you have to die?
I touched your name and I could hear you telling me not to question why
I can still hear your voice in my heart
You're telling me that there is no time nor place that can ever break us apart
I'm sorry that I could not stay
But I promise that I will be back to see you again on another day


29 Sep 2007

Leon: I went back to see you again today
I told you I would be back on another day
I talked to you as if you were there
It really is too emotional to bear
I miss you and all the good times we knew
I'm sorry that they could not continue
So I said a silent prayer that only you could hear
I'll hold all my memories so dear
Eventually I start to shed a tear
So, again I must be strong, because it is time to go
I'll say Bye for now and I will be back again just to let you know


Best friends and schoolmates,
Madelyn Robertson

Notes from The Virtual Wall

At 10 AM on 2 July 1967, Bravo Company 1/9 Marines were on patrol about 1-1/2 miles northeast of Con Thien when they made contact with what they thought was a small, well-entrenched enemy unit. Alpha 1/9, also on patrol nearby, came to help, and the two understrength companies found themselves in a meat grinder - the small enemy force turned out to be 5 NVA battalions that had crossed the DMZ. Even worse, the NVA troops were supported by artillery firing from within and north of the DMZ.

The 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, was inserted by helicopter on the enemy's left flank and the massive weight of U. S. air and artillery support began taking its toll of the NVA. By evening the NVA had broken contact, withdrawing into the DMZ.

By that time Bravo 1/9 had been destroyed as a fighting force - and Alpha 1/9 was little better off. The initial action grew into a week-long pitched battle involving two Battalion Landing Teams, one each from USS TRIPOLI and USS OKINAWA.

Overall, 92 Marines and sailors died on the first day of the battle:

  • 1st Bn, 9th Marines
    • A Company: 13
    • B Company: 58
    • C Company: 1
    • D Company: 1
    • H&S Company: 15

  • D Btry, 2/12 Marines: 2 (Forward Observers)
  • VMFA-542: 2 (F-4B BuNo 151421 shot down)

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and schoolmate,
Madelyn Robertson

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 05 Dec 2006
Last updated 02/22/2008