Paul Edward Christmas

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
11 July 1946 - 27 January 1968
Newark, New Jersey
Panel 35E Line 044


Paul Edward Christmas

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Paul Edward Christmas

14 Nov 2001

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

A memorial initiated by his niece,
Claudette Christmas
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
22 Aug 2002

I just wanted to write a brief letter to my uncle.

Uncle Paul, I know we never met but I'm your nephew and I heard a lot of stories about my uncle that went to fight the war. I wish you had never went to that war, but you did and I'm proud to be your nephew, because you had a lot of courage, and as long as I live on this Earth I'm going to keep your name alive and you will always be in my heart.

Uncle Paul, you're my hero. I only wish I had the chance to meet you.


Rafael Rogers

22 Sep 2002

I still miss Paul Christmas.

He remains in my memory and my heart. And he will stay alive there as long as I am alive.

I served with Paul from August 1967 to the day in January 1968 when he died and I was wounded.

I feel immensely sad for his family and for knowing that he was never to father new souls into this world. We are all the worse for his passing.

Paul used to always be smiling and happy, always upbeat no matter our hard times and long, hot, wet patrols in the mud and jungle. My 23 year old daughter is like that, always keeping other's spirits up, especially those having a harder time than her.

Thanks for having his photo on this site. It means a lot to me to be able to go to it.

From a fellow Marine,
Edward Scott Harrison
PO Box 1270, Nederland CO 80466

26 Nov 2003


From a fellow Marine,
Shawn Bromley

29 Jan 2007

I was the motor transport officer with 3/4 when Paul was killed in action. Several Marines who fought with Paul commented on his courage and bravery. I can only think of a couple of times I heard such comments expressed about a Marine by his peers. May he rest in peace with God.

From a fellow Marine,
Mike Reilly
5 Corkery Lane, Medford, N. J. 08055

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In mid-January 1968 the North Vietnamese Army moved elements of the 320th NVA Division into the area south of the DMZ, apparently in preparation for the Tet Offensive. On 24 Jan 1968 the 64th NVA Regiment ambushed a truck convoy moving west from Dong Ha toward Camp Carroll on Route 9. The Marines at Camp Carroll launched a reaction force consisting of two tanks, two M42 "Dusters", and an infantry platoon from Hotel 2/9 Marines. The reaction force itself was hit by the 64th NVA Regiment with five deaths:
  • Capt Daniel W. Kent, Auburndale, MA, Bravo 3rd Tanks
  • Cpl John H. Neal, Jersey City, NJ, Hotel 2/9
  • CPL Billy L. Strickland, Hendersonville, NC, C Btry 1/44th Arty (US Army)
  • Pfc Gilbert Ayala, Fresno, CA, 3rd Plt, Hotel 2/9
  • Pfc Clayton M. Holland, Altoona, PA, Hotel 2/9
The Commanding General, 3rd Marine Division, directed that the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, be sent to the area with orders to clear the ambush site and reopen Route 9. LtCol Lee Bendell, 3/4 commanding officer, and Mike Company 3/4 arrived at the ambush site at 1900. With darkness falling the colonel placed Mike 3/4 into a nighttime defensive perimeter along a ridgeline overlooking Route 9 and the Cam Lo River valley. At dawn on 25 Jan Mike Company moved into the valley, sweeping the site of the ambush. Initial contacts with the NVA resulted in three Marines killed in action against nine known enemy dead:
  • Cpl Arthur J. Klabunde, Omaha, NE
  • LCpl Johnny R. Mills, Matoaka, WV
  • Pfc Peter G. Nash, Monson, MA
As Mike Company moved against the enemy, most of H&S Company, India Company, and Lima Company 3/4 were brought into the valley by helicopter. By nightfall some 800 Marines were in place, anchored by the Mike Company position on a small hill. NVA mortar and artillery fire wounded 17 Marines, but the enemy did not attack the Marines' night defensive positions. The sweep continued on 26 January, with limited contacts resulting in a number of dead NVA with no Marine losses.

After nightfall, LtCol Bendell redeployed his Marines, with Mike 3/4 on what was now known as "Mike's Hill", India 3/4 on a hill about one kilometer west, and Lima 3/4 on a higher hill to the south. At about 0300 27 Jan NVA troops assaulted Mike's Hill from three sides. As dawn approached, the attack produced a confused melee on the hilltop. LtCol Bendell directed Lima 3/4 to attack the NVA from their position to the south and India 3/4 to move from the west toward Mike's Hill. India and Lima both encountered stiff resistance but managed to link up and by 1400 had broken into the NVA defensive positions. By 1700 the NVA force, estimated to be in battalion strength, had been forced from the field of battle.

The fight for control of Route 9 had been costly to both sides. Over 130 NVA dead and large quantities of enemy weapons were policed from the field, but the 3/4 Marines lost at least 20 men in the fighting:

  • H&S Company:
    • Cpl David D. Flanagan, Lincoln, NE
    • HN Keith R. Bacorn, Warren, OH
    • HN Ralph D. Wheeler, Trafford, PA (with India 3/4)
    • Pfc Donald L. Hunter, Salem, NJ

  • India Company:
    • Capt John L. Prichard, Oklahoma City, OK (Silver Star)
    • GySgt Micheal A. Mikitis, Lakewood, OH
    • LCpl Paul Christmas, Newark, NJ
    • Cpl Lester M. Ness, York, PA
    • Pfc Thomas K. Coleman, Big Chimney, WV
    • Pfc Emmitt Galloway, New York, NY
    • Pfc Lorenzo J. Ioanni, Memphis, NY
    • Pfc Christian A. Langenfeld, Oshkosh, WI

  • Lima Company:
    • Cpl William D. Hart, Philadelphia, PA
    • Pfc James M. Buck, Chandler, OK

  • Mike Company:
    • 2ndLt John R. Burns, St Louis, MO (Silver Star)
    • Cpl Christopher J. Toppi, South Portland, ME
    • Cpl Kurt F. Zimmerman, Durand, IL
    • LCpl Daniel Escobedo, Fremont, CA
    • Pfc William E. Donohue, Buffalo, NY
    • Pfc Thomas J. Pennington, Scott City, MO

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his niece,
Claudette Christmas
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index C
NJ State Index . Panel 35E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 14 Nov 2001
Last updated 07/03/2007