Douglas Edward Dishman
Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
Dante, Virginia
May 08, 1946 to March 13, 1968
DOUGLAS E DISHMAN is on the Wall at Panel 44E, Line 34

Combat Action Ribbon


The 1st 155mm Gun Battery, as its name implies, was equipped with M53 self-propelled 155mm howitzers. The photo below shows an M53. Notice the enclosed crew cab.

John M Noonan

At 0805 on 13 March 1968, while conducting a fire mission against an NVA emplacement, a 155mm round detonated in the tube of one of the battery's guns, killing six men and injuring another. The 1st 155mm Gun Btry's Operations Log contains the following entry:

"13 MAR 68: At 0805 one M53, 155mm (SP) Gun exploded in the battery area; 6 KIAs and 1 WIA sustained as a result."
while the narrative summary for the month says
"On 13 March 1968, at approximately 0805, an explosion on Gun #2 claimed the lives of six members of that section while another was seriously wounded. On 30 March 1968, the wounded Marine died of complications as a result of the accident. The probable cause, as determined by investigation, was the failure of the breech block to be fully closed and locked prior to firing."
The seven men who died were

Local area papers during the week of March 17, 1968, published similar articles which read like: Two More Area Servicemen Have Died In Vietnam War. Two more area men have been killed in the Vietnam war. A St. Paul Virginia soldier was reported killed last Wednesday by an American artillery round, although exactly how it happened was not revealed. PFC Douglas E. Dishman, 21, who had been in the war zone only six months, is survived by his wife, Sandra, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Giles E. Dishman of Dante; and a sister, Mrs. Harry Casteel of Dante.

Douglas was survived by his wife, Sandra G, Saint Paul Virginia and his parents, Virginia R and Giles E. Dishman (1925-1999), Dante Virginia. He is buried in same cemetery as his father, also a Marine Corps Veteran, in Temple Hill Memorial Park, Castlewood Virginia.

- - The Virtual Wall, November 2, 2014

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