Gerald Thomas Dobbs

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
27 November 1944 - 19 November 1967
Etowah, Tennessee
Panel 30E Line 024


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gerald Thomas Dobbs

12 Jul 2006

I was Dobbs's platoon commander. He was the best man in the platoon, and I don't think anyone would disagree. He always carried a 100 round belt of 7.62 ammo for the machine guns. He always carried six grenades. (M-26 grenades can get mighty heavy for those of you who don't know. Most troopers carried no more than two.) He always carried a stick of C-4. He always finished digging his foxhole among the first, and then helped others in his squad finish digging theirs. He never hesitated to walk point. He inspired confidence. If I knew I was going to be in a firefight and could pick just one man to be with me, I'd pick Dobbs.

I remember well his death. We were on a patrol on Hill 31 about 20 clicks south of Quang Tri. We had found a lot of land mines there, and had blown them in place. I can't remember now how many - a couple of dozen or so I guess. So many that the First Division "newspaper" (propaganda sheet) did a story on it. Anyway we were walking down a trail in the late afternoon. We were in single file coming back from a place we had just cleared of mines. Dobbs stepped to the side to take a photograph of the unit, and he tripped an anti-tank mine. There wasn't much left of him, but he didn't want to die. I guess he lived on for another five minutes or so. Longest five minutes of my life.

Like the song says, "The worst men live to fight, and the best of men must die".

From a friend,
William J. Donahue

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
William J. Donahue

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 12 Jul 2006
Last updated 07/18/2006