Louis David Dobbin

First Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
04 November 1943 - 18 May 1967
Brighton, Massachusetts
Panel 20E Line 024


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Louis David Dobbin

23 Nov 2003

You will always be remembered.
One of three of my Basic School roommates who were killed in action.

Semper Fi, Marines


Joe Hancharick, Jr.
6125 7th Street, King George, Va 22485

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 18 May 1967 a Battalion Landing Team built around the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, conducted airborne and amphibious assaults into the southeastern part of the Demilitarized Zone under the name Operation Beau Charger. The North Vietnamese Army's 326B Division held the ground and defended the area with vigor. Because the first flight of UH-34s (from HMM-263) took very heavy fire a decision was taken to spread the heliborne landings among several LZs. While this action reduced the risk to the air assault crews and passengers before landing, it increased the risk once the Marines were on the ground because they were dispersed rather than landed en masse. Heavy fighting began as soon as the Marines hit the landing zones.

The largest concentration of Naval gunfire ships since Korea - 8" and 6" gun cruisers and destroyers - supported the landings, but their efforts were hampered when the Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer was amongst the first killed. By the end of D-Day, the amphibious and air assault forces had linked up and began a sweep south. Although the operation continued until the Landing Force was re-embarked on 26 May, the greatest number of US casualties occurred on 18 May amongst the scattered air assault force, with 18 US dead:

  • 3rd Plt, C Co, 3rd Tank Bn
    • 1stLt Louis D. Dobbin, Brighton, MA

  • A Co, 1/3 Marines
    • Cpl Stanley M. Godwin, Fort Meade, FL
    • Cpl Russell F. Keck, Okmulgee, OK (Navy Cross)
    • Cpl Richard L. Land, Hazelwood, MO
    • LCpl Kenneth N. Cheek, Philadelphia, PA
    • LCpl Paul F. Doyon, Ipswich, MA
    • Pfc Charles L. Anderson, Seattle, WA
    • Pfc Mark A. Dalgliesh, Amarillo, TX
    • Pvt Edward J. Christensen, Bristol, CT

  • B Co, 1/3 Marines
  • C Company, 1/3 Marines
    • LCpl Franklin G. Hazzard, Leominster, MA

  • H&S Company, 1/3 Marines
    • HM3 Michael F. Smith, USN, Fairfax, CA
    • LCpl John J. Nemchik, Trenton, NJ

  • A Btry, 1/12 Marines
    • ENS John W. McCormick, USNR, Villanova, PA (Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer) (Silver Star)
By the time the Landing Force was back-loaded on 26 May, the casualty count had increased to 23 killed and 79 wounded in action. The NVA had taken many more casualties and much of their infrastructure had been reduced to rubble by naval gunfire (for example, the destroyer USS SUMNER alone fired over 1100 5" rounds), but since no effort was made to hold the ground the 326B Division eventually returned.

BEAU CHARGER was one of four coordinated assaults into the Demilitarized Zone which divided the two Vietnams. Details of the operation and a listing of known Marines and sailors who died in the fighting between 18 and 29 May 1967 can be found on The Virtual Wall's Operation HICKORY memorial.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a roommate at The Basic School, Quantico,
Joe Hancharick, Jr.
6125 7th Street, King George, Va 22485

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 23 Nov 2003
Last updated 07/20/2006