Dan Michael BennettHospital Corpsman 3rd Class
H&S CO, 2ND BN, 4TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Navy
10 February 1947 - 11 December 1968
Panel 36W Line 010
The database page for Dan Michael Bennett
This was my father, whom I never got to know because he died at Foxtrot Ridge on Dec 11, 1968. I would turn 3 the following March.
Although I have no recollection of him, I have often wondered who he was both at home and in Vietnam. Because of the Virtual Wall and certain letters, I have been able to put a few pieces together as to what happened and when, and in some accounts I have been able to see with who. I would love to hear from someone who knows more about the accounts that happened on Foxtrot Ridge in Dec 1968, but especially would love to hear from anyone who may remember Corpsman Dan Bennett.
I know that him and the Echo Company entered into Foxtrot Ridge and were overcome by enemy fire. A Marine named CPL Thomas C. Rutter went down. My father dragged him to cover in a bomb crater and administered aid. Shortly after, PFC Raymond H. Highley needed aid. My father left his cover to assist. It was during the attempt to treat PFC Highley that all three were killed in action.
From his son,
A Note from The Virtual WallIn early December 1968 the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines was tasked with clearing two ridgelines about 3 kilometers north of Dong Ha Mountain of their North Vietnamese Army occupants. During the afternoon of 07 December the Battalion's rifle companies were airlifted into their initial positions and settled in for the night. On the morning of 08 Dec the companies moved out toward their assigned objectives.
At 1525 a squad patrol from 3rd Platoon, Echo Company received fire from a treeline and entrenchments at YD033644. Two squads were dispatched as reinforcements, but the attacking Marines found themselves caught in a crossfire and unable to advance. With night approaching Echo recalled the platoon, which was forced to abandon the bodies of three men known to have been killed but which was able to bring out its nine wounded. Air and artillery fires were then placed on the enemy position.
At daybreak on 09 Dec the four rifle companies moved to clear the NVA position but found that the NVA had withdrawn. The bodies of the three Marines from Echo were recovered - they were
On the 11th, Fox moved out at first light and by 0825 was receiving small arms and mortar fire. An aerial observer helped direct counterfires and directed the Marines toward visible enemy positions. As Fox approached YD024660 its lead elements found an entrenched enemy concealed in dense vegetation. Fox Company continued its assault until stopped in place by enemy fires. As later discovered, Fox had fought its way into the center of a large, well laid out bunker complex - and once there found it near impossible to maneuver its way out without abandoning its wounded.
Shortly after the first contact Hotel Company had been dispatched to assist Fox and reached the area at about noon. Once in position, Hotel's additional firepower - and that of supporting arms - persuaded the NVA to withdraw from the complex and by 1620 the fighting had stopped. Golf 2/4 was sent to the position, and the three rifles companies established a night defensive position on the western side of the bunker complex.
Thirteen Americans died and thirty-one were wounded in the fighting on what became known as "Foxtrot Ridge". They were
"You guys are the Marine's doctors -
There's none better in the business
than a Navy Corpsman ..."
-- Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller --
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Dan M. Bennett Jr.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 11 Feb 2008
Last updated 02/13/2008