Frederick William Bungartz

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
22 May 1948 - 14 February 1968
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Panel 39E Line 029


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Frederick William Bungartz

19 Mar 2002

"To live in the hearts we leave behind,
is never to have died."
(Thomas Campbell, circa 1888)

A memorial from his brother,
Dave Bungartz
6 Dec 2002


He was a friend of mine

He left us, in his prime.

From that place in a far off time,

You have never been forgotten

life is not always kind.

From a "Platoon Doc" and classmate,
Larry "Doc" Hoffmann
Echo 2/1 Marines, Vietnam 68-69

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Route 9 ran from Dong Ha past Khe Sanh to the Laotian border and provided the only ground resupply route to Cam Lo and points west. For that reason the North Vietnamese were determined in their efforts to cut the road, while the Marines were equally determined to keep it open.

On 14 Feb 1968 Kilo 3/9's four platoons were occupying positions along Route 9 about 3 kilometers south-southwest of Ca Lu. Although they had received sporadic mortar and small arms fire on the 13th, the North Vietnamese attack on the 14th was a much more serious affair - an apparent attempt by the NVA to destroy Kilo Company in detail. At 1645 [4:45 pm] the Kilo 3/9 positions began receiving heavy .50 caliber and small arms fire followed almost immediately by mortar fire. The company commander, Captain A. K. Ward, ordered his platoons to shift their positions by a few hundred yards in hopes of disrupting the enemy fire, but by 1900 he had been seriously wounded and his executive officer killed. The attacks by fire continued through dusk. The Battalion executive officer led a platoon from India 3/9 from Ca Lu toward the Kilo 3/9 positions and a replacement for Captain Ward was flown in on a medevac helo to attempt to regroup Kilo 3/9's scattered platoons. The 1st, 2nd, and remnants of the 4th platoons joined up on Route 9, while the 3rd Platoon dug in in place. The bulk of Kilo Company joined with the relief force and arrived at the Ca Lu Combat Base at 0420 on the 15th.

The 3rd Plt held in place until daybreak, when they began to search the area for casualties and stragglers. At 1105 the 3rd Plt began movement toward Ca Lu but at 1200 they were again engaged by the NVA. The Marines established a perimeter and called for medevacs and reinforcement. India 3/9 departed Ca Lu, joining with 3rd Plt K/3/9 at 1600. At that point a medevac helo was badly shot up (3 of 4 crewmen wounded) and both the Kilo and India Company Commanders had been wounded. Rather than bringing more helos into a hot zone, the Battalion Commander determined that a move by ground was preferable. Shortly after the Kilo and India 3/9 Marines began their movement the Battalion Commander departed Ca Lu with elements of Lima 3/9 to assist. By 2130 the first elements of India 3/9 arrived at Ca Lu, and by midnight all elements of 3/9 had returned to the combat base.

Kilo 3/9 lost ten Marines and one sailor as a result of the fighting on 14-15 Feb:

  • Capt Alexander K. Ward, Annapolis, MD (DoW 02/16/1968)
  • 2ndLt William R. Reese, Abilene, TX
  • HM2 Larry J. Goss, Marion, IN, H&S with K/3/9
  • Cpl Lowell T. Combs, San Antonio, TX
  • Cpl Dennis K. Fleming, Orrville, OH
  • Cpl David F. Schneider, Avon, OH
  • LCpl Mark E. James, Bremen, GA (KIA 02/15/1968)
  • LCpl Jeffrey R. Wentzell, San Francisco, CA
  • Pfc Frederick W. Bungartz, Chippewa Falls, WI
  • Pfc Melvin L. Jones, Shreveport, LA
  • Pfc Barry L. Rigsby, Madison, IN

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
Dave Bungartz

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 19 Mar 2002
Last updated 09/02/2007