Blenn Colby Dyer

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
01 June 1944 - 27 April 1967
Standish, Maine
Panel 18E Line 103


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Blenn Colby Dyer

30 Apr 2004

In memory of Blenn Colby Dyer

I did not know him and that is my loss. Born 1 June 1944, killed in action 27 April 1967 in Vietnam. A lot of people are trying to forget that war and the men and women that gave their lives. NOT ME, I think about them daily. I was there and I care. L/Cpl Blenn Dyer was a Marine with H&S BLT 1/5, 9th MAB, when the chopper he was in went down over water along with 6 others. He was from Standish, Maine.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

While there is no doubt about what happened on 27 Apr 1967, there is some question regarding LCpl Blenn Dyer's unit assignment. First, the incident.

As described on the USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association site (PopASmoke) UH-34D BuNo 148071 of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263 (HMM-263) was one of several aircraft airlifting Marines of Battalion Landing Team 1/3 from their ship to a landing zone ashore. The Marines were loaded out for combat. As 148071 lifted off it lost power, settled into the water, and at once sank. Although several crewmen survived, the heavily laden "grunts" did not. Six men died - one crewman, five infantrymen - their bodies beyond recovery:

  • HMM-263
    • LCpl Richard H. Dallas, Memphis, TN

  • H&S Co, 1st Bn, 3rd Marines
    • Sgt Reinaldo A. Castro, Pacific Grove, CA
    • LCpl James A. Benton, Daisy, TN
    • LCpl Blenn C. Dyer, Standish, ME
    • LCpl Ronald K. Pennington, Hambleton, WV
    • Pfc Samuel W. Osborne, Charleston, SC
PopASmoke attributes the five infantrymen to D Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines. The Task Force Omega site - which is not reknowned for accuracy - says four of the five were with H&S Company, BLT 1/3 - but that LCpl Dyer was assigned to BLT 1/5 (i.e., a BLT built around 1st Battalion, 5th Marines). On the other hand, TFO also says the UH-34D was enroute from the shore to the ship when it went down, although PopASmoke has eyewitness testimony that it was headed to the beach.

In this case, though, TFO is probably right about one thing: the five men were with H&S Company rather than D Company.

All five men were combat engineers. Marine rifle companies do not have combat engineers assigned; instead, engineers are attached to the company if and as required. In fact, the battalion didn't have engineers permanently assigned, but a Battalion Landing Team would have an engineer detachment assigned and the engineers would work out of H&S Company, being parceled out to the rifle companies as needed.

It appears that both PopASmoke and TFO have errors ... PopASmoke most probably has the wrong unit assignment, while TFO literally doesn't know if the Marines were coming or going.

In fairness, The Virtual Wall has it wrong, too - we're indicating the five men belonged to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, but they almost certainly were assigned to the 3rd Engineer Battalion, detached for service with BLT 1/3.

But what about TFO's claim that LCpl Dyer was with BLT 1/5? That's patently incorrect; 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, was ashore on 27 April 1967, with its four rifle companies engaged in several different areas of northernmost South Vietnam. There was no "BLT 1/5" active on 27 April, so LCpl Dyer could not have been detached for service with it.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a Marine that cares,
Wayne B Clough
Saco, Maine 
30 Apr 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 05/01/2004