Dan Michael Bennett

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class
United States Navy
10 February 1947 - 11 December 1968
Madison, Wisconsin
Panel 36W Line 010


Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Dan Michael Bennett

10 Feb 2008

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,
Dan M. Bennett Jr.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In 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At daybreak on 09 Dec the four rifle companies moved to clear the NVA position but found that the NVA had withdrawn.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

  • LCpl John F. Higgins, Lincoln Park, MI (Silver Star);
  • Pfc Paul L. Dains, Maryland Heights, MO; and
  • Pfc Charles W. Hall, Fort Worth, TX.
The operation continued through the 9th and 10th of December, with the Marines finding and destroying a number of fortified positions and capturing considerable quantities of arms, food, and supplies. There was no direct contact with the enemy, but the Marines did receive intermittent enemy mortar fire. At nightfall on the 10th Fox Company formed a defensive perimeter at YD018654. Fox's orders for the 11th were to advance to and take an area of high ground centered on YD025662, about a kilometer northeast of their NDP.

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

  • 1stLt Steven P. Brodrick, Selma, CA, Fox Company (Silver Star)
  • HM3 Dan M. Bennett, Madison, WI, H&S Company
  • Cpl Agustin Rosario, New York, NY, Golf unknown
  • Cpl Thomas C. Rutter, West Creek, NJ, Fox Company
  • Cpl James O. Weaver, Swannanoa, NC, company unknown
  • Cpl James Woodward, Cincinnati, OH, Fox Company
  • LCpl Gerald C. Hoage, Portland, OR, Fox Company
  • LCpl John C. Liverman, Silver Spring, MD, Hotel Company
  • LCpl Roy J. Weatherford, Warrenville, SC, Fox Company
  • LCpl Robert W. Cromwell, Hollywood, FL, Hotel Company
  • Pfc Raymond H. Highley, Williamson, WV, Fox Company
  • Pfc Bobby G. Simpson, Kansas City, MO, Fox Company
  • Pfc Daniel Tellez, Kingsville, TX, Fox Company
The Battalion remained in the area for the rest of December, finding and destroying NVA fortifications, arms, munitions, foodstuffs, and other supplies. Despite aggressive patrolling and night ambushes, there was no further contact with the NVA forces - they had withdrawn into the Demilitarized Zone. Documents found during the search and destroy operations showed the area had been held by elements of the 27th NVA Regiment, with the 1st Bn, 27th NVA, holding the complex assaulted on 11 December. Intelligence sources indicated the NVA Battalion Commander and most of his staff had been killed in the fighting that day.

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

"You guys are the Marine's doctors -
There's none better in the business
than a Navy Corpsman ..."
-- Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller --

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his son,
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