John Robert Dowling

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
07 November 1948 - 19 June 1968
Akron, Iowa
Panel 56W Line 033


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Robert Dowling

29 Sep 2006


I have often thought about your sacrifice. You always seemed to have that in your blood to go to the help of the little guy. I remember you doing that for me, as I was five years younger than you, and that you'd fight anyone who picked on your little brother. You weren't all that big yourself (5'8" and 135 lbs). School wasn't easy and it seemed that you often had to fight your way through your 19 years of life but you never seemed to back away from a fight no matter how big the opponent. I always admired that in you and I guess that's why the Marines were a good fit for you. Experts can talk for years and years about the reasons for the war but I know for you that it was simply a desire to help the little guy. I am so proud of you, big brother.

Your little brother,

Richard Dowling

A Note from The Virtual Wall

From the 1st Bn, 9th Marines, Command Chronology for June 1968:
"On 18 June 1968, the Battalion departed Camp Carroll for operations in the Cam Hung area in the vicinity of grid squares YD 0960 to YD 1060. On 20 June, the Battalion returned to Camp Carroll."
During those three days - 18-20 June - the 1/9 Marines lost 18 men. The Command Chronology contains the following description of the landing conducted in the Cam Hung area:
"On 18 June at 0600, 1/9 was staged at Camp Carroll in helo teams in preparation for the battalion lift [which] began at 0730. 3 landing zones were established. The areas were prep fired with artillery and screened by smoke from aircraft just prior to the battalions entering the area. Company A and Company D were lifted to the landing zone "WREN" at grid YD077638, Company C and the command group with units of H&S to LZ "GULL" at YD085645 and Company B and CO to LZ "OWL" at YD001636. Prior to completion of the lift the battalion began receiving enemy 82mm mortar fire from as many as 3 enemy positions which were unknown, which did inflict friendly casualties. The lift was completed at approx 0820. Enemy mortar fire continued. 1/9's units were unable to move from the areas pending the arrival of medevac helicopters. A total of [blank] KIA and [blank] WIA were sustained as a result of the enemy fire, the last casualty being evacuated at 1315."
The companies moved out of their respective LZs as their casualties were evacuated, with "A" and "D" Companies moving first, and by late afternoon most units had secured their respective objectives and established night defensive positions. Mortar and occasional small arms fire had been received throughout the day, but air and artillery strikes had reduced the level of enemy activity and the Marines had assaulted, captured, and destroyed two bunker complexes, the second at 2130H. After nightfall sporadic enemy mortar fire continued, and "A" Company received a ground probe. At 2322H, "D" Company and the Command Post were hit by 60mm mortar fire from two directions; although the Marines responded with organic weapons, artillery, and a "Spooky" gunship, the incoming fire killed two Marines and wounded 14 others before ceasing. Overall, 12 Marines had been killed in action on 18 June.

At 0930H on the 19th, the battalion displaced from its night defensive positions, with all units sweeping from their NDPs toward their final objectives, Hill 52 and the north bank of the Cam Lo River. Two NDPs were established for the night of 19/20 June, with "A" and "B" at Hill 52 and "C", "D", and the command group north of the river. Although enemy fire was taken through the day, casualties were much lighter than on the 18th - an additional four Marines, with a greater number of wounded.

After a relatively quiet night, "D" Company and the Command Group displaced at 0730H, moving to a point on Route 9 where they boarded trucks to return to Camp Carroll. Companies C, B, and A displaced in succession, with all units of 1/9 back at Camp Carroll by 1300H, 20 June.

The final loss of the sweep occurred about 0900 as Alpha 1/9 was moving toward the Route 9 pick-up point. A member of a patrol triggered a mine, severely wounding Pfc Michael Rindone. Although evacuated to the hospital ship USS SANCTUARY, Pfc Rindone died of his injuries at about 1100.

The 18 men who died during the Cam Hung sweep were

  • A Company:
    • Pfc Patrick A. Connelly, Green Bay, WI
    • Pfc John R. Dowling, Akron, IA
    • Pfc Michael G. Rindone, Council Bluffs, IA

  • B Company:
    • SSgt Robert B. Buchanan, Baltimore, MD
    • Cpl Clarence V. Mobley, Winnabow, NC
    • LCpl Clayton H. Johnson, New Orleans, LA

  • C Company:
    • SSgt Earl Thomas, Cleveland, OH
    • LCpl Calvin Golden, Chicago, IL
    • LCpl David J. Marsh, New York, NY
    • LCpl Randy L. Mathias, Bountiful, UT
    • LCpl Donald E. Whiters, Wichita, KS
    • Pfc Litael Jordan, Los Angeles, CA
    • Pvt Bobby R. Lane, Goldsboro, NC
    • Pvt Anthony R. Love, Gastonia, NC

  • D Company:
    • LCpl Glenn H. Dusbabek, Waco, TX

  • H&S Company:
    • Cpl Robert A. McLoughlin, Knoxville, TN
    • LCpl James C. Heard, Philadelphia, PA
    • Pfc Basilio Gomez, San Antonio, TX

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
Richard Dowling

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 Sep 2006
Last updated 10/03/2006