Hylan Lynn Crowder

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
28 March 1947 - 23 August 1968
Winona, Mississippi
Panel 47W Line 038



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Hylan Lynn Crowder

In Remembrance
For he ain't heavy, cause he's my brother
Honor, Pride, Forever young
The Few, The Proud, The Brave

LCPL Crowder's tour of duty began on December 15, 1967, with 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Delta Company, 1st MP Bn, FLC. This Marine was killed in action on August 23, 1968, at the Battle for the Cam Le Bridge, south west of Danang, on the North side of the bridge, by the bunker closest to the river.


LCPL Hylan Lynn Crowder
Nick name: Critter
Delta company, 1st MP Battalion
Killed In Action
at the Cam Le Bridge
Quang Nam Province, Danang, Vietnam

Lynn Graduated from Winnonia High School, Winnonia, MS, in 1966. He attended a local community college for a while, before deciding to join the United States Marine Corps.

LCPL Hylan Lynn Crowder was the only son of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hylan Crowder, of Winnonia, Miss. He has two sisters, but he was a sole surviving son, the only child of his family that could carry on his family name. Thereby, he could have avoided duty in Vietnam. But this was not his way. Instead he chose the fighting forces of the United States Marines. He was a member of Delta Company, 1st MP Bn, 1st F.L.C. He was the 2nd Fire Team Leader in the 1st squad, 3rd platoon. His tour of duty began in Vietnam December, 1967, and ended on 23 August 1968, at the Cam Le Bridge while engaged in action against Viet Cong and North Vietnamese regular forces. He was wounded no less than three times in the ensuing 8 1/2 hour battle, but he never stopped fighting until he was mortally wounded by a rocket propelled grenade. Lynn fought most gallantly and heroically, and never wavered in his duties. He was a great inspiration to us on that ill-fated day, and will forever live in our hearts and memories, in a place of honor. For he ain't heavy, cause he's my brother.

I recently had the honor of talking with Lynn's parents and one of his sisters, Sally. After 30 plus years, a dam burst within me, but I was glad that his parents were able to find out how gallantly their son had fought and died, as they had never known. I made this promise to Lynn, and I have now fulfilled that promise. I did not forget. If any other unit members would like to speak with them, I would try and put you in contact.


Once upon a time, There were these old men,
Supposed of wisdom, for they were the elders,
Not to be questioned, And all tribes of the world,
Liken to be as they, For my god had blessed the elders,
And their country, Above all kinsmen
of the world.

And the elders saw strife in the land,
And the place, the true hell, Vietnam.
For to survive Vietnam one month,
The young bloods no longer believed
In the wisdom of the elders.
Asked the questions "Why?",
And no longer believed the old men sane,
For each young blood became one with the other,
A special bond, that lives beyond the grave,
A wisdom the elders shall never know.

In Vietnam,
That horror, that horrible place, the real hell,
The young bloods' green, Turned to red,
For there was no friend in Vietnam,
Not people, snake, nor rat.
Not grass, heat, sun, nor rain.
Not day, not night, not even friendly fire.
And the young bloods who came home, stood at the wall,
A thousand yard stare reflected just inches away into the wall,
To a place 10,000 miles hence -
Vietnam, the horror, that horrible place.

For they were no longer young,
But my God had given them the wisdom,
And they asked the old men,
The elders of wisdom, not to be questioned,
"WHY?????????" And my god above cried

Poem written by L/cpl. John W. Thomas

From a fellow Marine who was with Lynn at the Cam Le bridge,
John W. Thomas
3321 Liberty Heights Ave, #304, Baltimore, Md. 21215
02 Nov 2001

A Note from The Virtual Wall

At 0300 23 August the Marine security outposts at the Cam Le Bridge just south of Danang came under heavy attack by what appeared to be most of a North Vietnamese battalion. Although the outpost on the north bank of the river held out, the outpost on the south side was overrun after a four hour fight. A reaction force from the 1st MP Bn (which had elements of the 3rd MP Bn attached) moved to reinforce the north bank outpost, while elements of the 1/27 and 2/27 Marines, supported by tanks from the 1st Tank Bn moved to recapture the southern end of the bridge. The fighting lasted well into the 23rd and resulted in a number of US killed and wounded - but the actions north and south of the river and follow-up sweeps by the Marines and the 52nd ARVN Infantry on 24-26 August resulted in several hundred NVA dead left on the field.

The number of casualties at the Cam Le Bridge is difficult to determine with exactitude because a number of different units were involved. Close reading of the Command Chronologies shows that not fewer than 15 Marines and sailors died in the fight for the Cam Le Bridge:

  • D Co, 1st MP Bn:
  • H&S Co, 3rd MP Bn:
    • Cpl Robert D. Purdie, Sherman Oaks, CA
    • HN Alan R. Gerrish, Woburn, MA (Navy Cross)
    • LCpl Harold J. Klusendorf, Troy, MI
    • LCpl Jerry A. Weimer, Fort Morgan, CO
    • Pfc Christopher L. Chambers, Molalla, OR

  • A Co, 1st Bn, 27th Marines:
    • LCpl Henry H. Ballew, South Roxana, IL
    • LCpl Leo M. Jennette, Buxton, NC

  • H&S Co, 1st Bn, 27th Marines:
  • E Co, 2nd Bn, 27th Marines:
    • LCpl Michael L. Cooper, Chesapeake, WV

  • F Co, 2nd Bn, 27th Marines:
    • LCpl George A. Kyricos, Tewksbury, MA

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a fellow Marine who was with Lynn at the Cam Le bridge,
John W. Thomas
3321 Liberty Heights Ave, #304, Baltimore, Md. 21215

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 2 Nov 2001
Last updated 01/23/2008