David Paul Dodson

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
11 September 1948 - 25 January 1968
Atlanta, Georgia
Panel 35E Line 031


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for David Paul Dodson

8 Nov 2002

My dearest David,

Although we had a short time together, I will never forget the love we shared. I can look at our beautiful daughter and handsome grandson and still see you. God be with you till we meet again.

Your loving wife, Linda

12 Jan 2004

Dearest brother,

My how we still miss you. It has been 34 years and it as if it were only yesterday.

I wanted you to know that your memory lives on among your family members and friends.

You have also been memorialized along with 13 of our fallen classmates by Forest Park High School.

Jerry and I visit the Wall each Veterans Day and lay a wreath at your name.

This is where I find comfort and feel close to you.

Where your name is displayed with your fellow brothers who made the supreme sacrifice so that we might remain a free nation.

It still hurts, but I find solace in knowing that you and our brother Jimmy are waiting for us to join you.

All the kids are grown now and have their own families.

Your precious wife, Linda, and I have remained closer than sisters all these years. She is my angel. You would be so proud of your beautiful daughter and handsome grandson. I love you and miss you.

Your sister,

11 Sep 2006

Happy Birthday, sweet brother. Today I went through family photo albums. There were many pictures of you and the rest of the kids. Just made me miss you more. After all these years it is still hard to believe that you and Jimmy are gone. Mama will finally be honored as a Gold Star Mother this month. They will be presenting her with the Gold Star Mother's pin and a service flag. It should be an awesome affair. She is really beginning to age. She is still as precious as she's always been. She still misses you and Jimmy, her sweet boys, so much. I guess the loss of your babies is the worst hurt in the world. Linda, Dee and Brett are great. You would be so proud of them. Take care, my sweet brother, until we meet again.

I love you,
Your sister,

Sharon Dodson Barfield
10 Jun 2005

I just found this site, good to see Linda is keeping David's memory alive. He was my best friend and 37 years later he still is. I think of some of the things he and I used to do and get a good chuckle out of it. We went to school together and we ran around together, and I miss him very much.

May God keep him in peace.

For God and country
Lamar Smith
Commander 2005-2006
American Legion Post 258
Jonesboro, Georgia

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A Marine Battalion Landing Team consists of an infantry battalion reinforced with helicopter, armor, artillery, engineer, and other supporting units and is housed afloat in Navy amphibious assault ships. In Vietnam the two BLTs functioned as self-contained rapid reinforcement forces and were commonly used ashore for extended periods of time. In January 1968 one of the two BLTs was BLT 3/1, built around the 3rd Bn, 1st Marines.

In mid-January the 803rd NVA Regiment had moved into the coastal area north of the Cua Viet River with the mission of disrupting the Navy's ability to use the river to support Allied forces operating further inland. The 803rd's 3rd Battalion had established company-sized fortifications in a number of hamlets along the river's northern bank. BLT 3/1 was given the mission of securing the north bank of the Cua Viet and was landed at the mouth of the Cua Viet with orders to clear the north bank for a distance of five miles inland.

The area involved was included in the 1st AMTRAC Battalion's Tactical Area of Operations and BLT 3/1 was placed under the operational control of 1st AMTRACs. The plan of action was to move east-to-west along the north bank, reducing the fortified hamlets in order while establishing a firm line of defense along the BLT's northern flank.

The first of the fortified hamlets was My Loc, which was assaulted on 25 January 1968 by Kilo Company, 3/1 Marines, supported by the BLT's tank platoon. The assault began at daybreak and fighting continued through much of the day before the NVA were forced from the hamlet. This engagement, the first in a series that ran to mid-February, cost the lives of five Americans:

  • C Co, 1st Tank Bn
    • Pfc David P. Dodson, Atlanta, GA

  • K Co, 3rd Bn, 1st Marines
    • HM3 Stephen C. Barrett, Troy, NY
    • Pfc Thomas E. Denhoff, Tampa, FL
    • Pfc Bruce J. Fletcher, Eugene, OR
    • Pfc Mitchell F. Silvers, Norwalk, CA
The last assault in the series was at Vinh Lai, on the southern bank of the Cua Viet, on 16 Feb 1968. When BLT 3/1 was withdrawn on 17 Feb, the BLT counted 47 dead and and 255 wounded Marines and sailors. The 803rd NVA Regiment had lost 376 known dead and 22 captured, and had been forced to withdraw to sanctuary in the Demilitarized Zone.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his wife,
Linda Butts Dodson Fletcher

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 8 Nov 2002
Last updated 09/28/2006