Bertram Anthony Deso

United States Marine Corps
11 February 1948 - 01 March 1968
Albany, New York
Panel 42E Line 014



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, RVN Military Merit and  Campaign Medals

The database page for Bertram Anthony Deso

17 Mar 2007

Bert got to Vietnam in December of 1967. He was aboard the USS VALLEY FORGE for the first two weeks with a separated shoulder. After that is a blur to me, he didn't write any more letters that I am aware of. If anyone knew him, or remembers anything about him, please contact me. Thank You.

From his nephew,
Mike Deso

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Tet Offensive began in late January 1968 and by mid-February the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong assault forces largely had been turned back with heavy losses - but fighting continued at a high level into the spring.

Between 27 Feb and 03 March 1968 inclusive Mike Company, 3/1 Marines, lost at least 22 men. Of those, 19 died as a result of the fighting at Mai Xa Thi West on 01/02 March 1968. The heaviest fighting was during the initial assault on 01 March, when 14 of Mike 3/1's Marines were killed in action; the final assault on 02 March cost 5 more Marines. The 3rd Bn, 1st Marines Command Chronology for March 1968 describes the action as follows:

"Mai Xa Thi (west) (YD 283667) 1 Mar 68 This was the largest and most challenging attack of the operation. The situation was unique in that the friendly held attack position was separated from the objective by a small river only 140 meters wide [Note: approx 450 feet]. The objective had been previously bombarded from 2 to 14 Feb in preparation for an attack. The attack was postponed due to operations south of the river. When operations south of the river were terminated, the part of the hamlet to the east of the north-south river (Mai Xa Thi east) was again occupied and the attack by fire continued. The assault was by LVT after extensive preparation by artillery, naval gunfire, air, and direct fire from tanks and LVTH-6s. Plans called for an LVTE to be the first vehicle ashore and to neutralize the beach with a line charge. The LVTE became stuck moving into position and was not used. In spite of a maximum effort to deliver all possible preparatory fires, the enemy inflicted heavy casualties as Co M left the LVT's. Co M pressed the attack and secured the beach area. Co I was able to cross the river using a partially destroyed bridge and to move up on Co M's right, attacking on line. One section of LVTH-6's were in direct support of Co M. A section of tanks was in direct support of both Co M and Co I. LVTE's with line charges were used to breach enemy strong points with excellent results. By-passed enemy snipers took a heavy toll and necessitated that Co L follow Co M and Co I in trace and mop up by-passed enemy. The attack was continued until 2100H when a defensive perimeter was established with about 80 per cent of the hamlet in friendly hands. A detailed search of the hamlet the following day revealed many extensive fortifications, living bunkers, and large stores of ammunition indicating that Mai Xa Thi (west) was the center of enemy activity on the north bank of the Cua Viet River."
Mai Xa Thi cost the lives of 27 Marines and sailors:
  • 1st Armored Amphib Co, 11th Marines
    • 1stLt Thomas C. Gosch, Oceanside, CA (Silver Star)
    • Cpl Michael B. Spicer, Marion, OH
    • LCpl Linden W. Brittingham, Milton, DE

  • H&S Co, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines
  • I Co, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines
    • Pfc Richard J. Burnett, Atlanta, GA
    • Pfc Nathan Holmes, Columbus, GA
    • LCpl Rodney D. Lloyd, Birmingham, AL
    • LCpl John Tillman, Lilesville, NC

  • L Co, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines
    • Pfc David C. Moore, Pontiac, MI

  • M Co, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines
    • 2ndLt Richard W. Kapp, Orangeburg, SC
    • SSgt Stephen J. Bobkovich, Akron, OH
    • SSgt Edwin R. Edwards, Inman, SC (Bronze Star "V")
    • Cpl Bertram A. Deso, Albany, NY
    • HM3 Anthony O. Stringer, Rockmart, GA
    • LCpl Ricky F. Adams, Baldwin Park, CA
    • LCpl Guy N. Bernard, Port Orchard, WA
    • LCpl Frank Krec, Williamson, NY (Silver Star)
    • Pfc Arthur L. Brunt, Valdosta, GA
    • Pfc Horacio Carranza, San Antonio, TX
    • Pfc Richard L. Garlick, Aurora, IL
    • Pfc Carlos L. Gonzales, New York, NY
    • Pfc Danny Ledford, Belmont, NC
    • Pfc Gerald W. Markwith, Federal Way, WA
    • Pfc David L. Melton, Washington, DC
    • Pfc Richard D. Miller, Memphis, TN
    • Pfc Douglas R. Ritchie, Whittier, CA
    • Pfc Thomas Spadaro, New York, NY

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his nephew,
Mike Deso

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 Mar 2007
Last updated 03/27/2007