Gordon Herbert Dunaway

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
09 July 1946 - 12 August 1966
Alexander City, Alabama
Panel 09E Line 130



Purpole Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gordon Herbert Dunaway

12 Jan 2005

L/Cpl Gordon H Dunaway
Quang Tin Province
Echo Company, 2nd Bn, 5th Mar Reg - 1st Mar Division

From 6-15 August 1966, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines was involved in Operation Colorado. The battalion's companies were dispatched to various remote locations over a 2-Province area to search out and engage the 620th NVA Division. Each patrol normally lasted 3 days, and there was daily contact with the enemy.

On 8/12/66, the Regimental Command Post at Tam Ky came under heavy mortar and rocket attack around noon - killing 7 Marines and wounding another 28. Golf and Hotel Companies were quickly brought back in from the field to secure the base perimeter amid concerns that a human-wave attack was eminent. Echo Company, which had already spent three days on their mission, was also recalled - arriving back around 3:30 PM.

August is the beginning of the monsoon period in the northern part of the country, the rains would seem to come down endlessly for months. Echo Company was tired, and set up a bivouac position about 50 meters away from the HQ when the sky opened up. At 5:14 PM, a bolt of lightning shot down from the low clouds into the midst of their makeshift shelters - instantly killing two Marines: LCpl Gordon H. Dunaway and Pfc John W. Edgerly of Dowagiac, Michigan.

The men from Echo Company quietly reflected on these two deaths throughout the night as they patiently waited for the enemy attack - which never came.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In addition to the two Echo 2/5 Marines killed by lightning, the 5th Marines are known to have lost seven men to hostile fire on 12 August 1966:
  • GySgt Donald Constande, Springfield, MA, H Co, 1/5 Marines
  • SSgt John D. Wyszomirski, Catskill, NY, H Co, 1/5 Marines
  • Sgt Walter Muller, Galveston, TX, H&S Co, 1/5 Marines
  • Cpl Kenneth B. Hawley, Oshkosh, WI, 1/5 Marines
  • Cpl Joseph B. Crowder, Norfolk, VA, I Co, 3/5 Marines
  • LCpl Clarence E. Jones, Indianapolis, IN, 1/5 Marines
  • LCpl Ronald E. Frizzell, Chicago, IL, H Co, 1/5 Marines

Lance Corporal Dunaway received the Purple Heart for earlier injuries received in combat.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a researcher,
Mark Sullivan
16 Jan 2005

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 01/20/2005