Edwin Ray Edwards

Staff Sergeant
United States Marine Corps
16 March 1943 - 03 March 1968
Inman, South Carolina
Panel 42E Line 050



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Edwin Ray Edwards

27 Jun 2004

SSgt Edwards was our platoon leader for a short time. He brought to all of us a calm and professional demeanor. He made us better Marines in every way. When he needed to be tough on us, he was. When we needed a shoulder to lean on he was there. The day he was hit, March 1, 1968, was a very difficult battle in the village of Mai Xai Thi West in northern I Corps in Quang Tri Province. We were part of a Battalion Landing Team, Special Landing Force Bravo. We were placed on ships until some Marine outfit was being hit and we became a reactionary force for them. During 1968 the Tet Offensive hit everyone hard. We remained ashore for most of February and March 1968. Hopefully some of your family members will see this. I know you were married and had kids and I'll be able to tell them about you and your efforts with Mike 3/1. We will never forget you.

Snooks Strasser
Squad Leader 1st Squad 1st Platoon.
Semper Fi

15 Oct 2005

Ray Edwards

This was my husband. We called him Ray. We had one son named Tony Ray. He was two and one half years old when his father died.

Ray had been a Drill Instructor at Parris Island in 1964 through 1966. After this he reenlisted for another four years. He had planned to make the United States Marine Corps his career.

Ray was then stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. We were there from September 1966 through October 1967 when he received orders to go to Vietnam with the Battalion Landing Team with Mike Company.

Ray arrived in Vietnam in December, 1967. He was stationed on the ship USS NAVARRO. He was wounded by a rocket propelled grenade by a North Vietnamese soldier on March 1, 1968 in the village of Mai Xai Thi West in Northern I Corps in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. He was sent to the Danang hospital where he remained in a coma until March 3, 1968 when he died.

Ray on left; unknown friend on right

Above is a picture of a Staff Sergeant who was a good friend of his. If anyone knows who this guy is and if he is still alive, I would like very much to talk to him. If there is anyone out there who remembers serving with my husband, my son and I would like very much to talk to you.

Ray was a wonderful husband, father, son and brother. We were very proud of him. We will always remember him and his dedication to his family and the USMC. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

Thank you, Brian (Snooks), for all the information you have provided to us. Thank you also for listening to and answering all our questions and for your help and concern. May God bless you and yours.

Ray, we still love you and will see you in Heaven.

From his wife,
Betty Edwards Kimmons
2276 Compton Bridge Road, Inman, SCc 29349

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Tet Offensive began in late January 1968 and by mid-February the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong assault forces largely had been turned back with heavy losses - but fighting continued at a high level into the spring.

Between 27 Feb and 03 March 1968 inclusive Mike Company, 3/1 Marines, lost at least 22 men. Of those, 19 died as a result of the fighting at Mai Xa Thi West on 01/02 March 1968. The heaviest fighting was during the initial assault on 01 March, when 14 of Mike 3/1's Marines were killed in action; the final assault on 02 March cost 5 more Marines. The 3rd Bn, 1st Marines Command Chronology for March 1968 describes the action as follows:

"Mai Xa Thi (west) (YD 283667) 1 Mar 68 This was the largest and most challenging attack of the operation. The situation was unique in that the friendly held attack position was separated from the objective by a small river only 140 meters wide [Note: approx 450 feet]. The objective had been previously bombarded from 2 to 14 Feb in preparation for an attack. The attack was postponed due to operations south of the river. When operations south of the river were terminated, the part of the hamlet to the east of the north-south river (Mai Xa Thi east) was again occupied and the attack by fire continued. The assault was by LVT after extensive preparation by artillery, naval gunfire, air, and direct fire from tanks and LVTH-6s. Plans called for an LVTE to be the first vehicle ashore and to neutralize the beach with a line charge. The LVTE -became stuck moving into position and was not used. In spite of a maximum effort to deliver all possible preparatory fires, the enemy inflicted heavy casualties as Co M left the LVT's. Co M pressed the attack and secured the beach area. Co I was able to cross the river using a partially destroyed bridge and to move up on Co M's right, attacking on line. One section of LVTH-6's were in direct support of Co M. A section of tanks was in direct support of both Co M and Co I. LVTE's with line charges were used to breach enemy strong points with excellent results. By-passed enemy snipers took a heavy toll and necessitated that Co L follow Co M and Co I in trace and mop up by-passed enemy. The attack was continued until 2100H when a defensive perimeter was established with about 80 per cent of the hamlet in friendly hands. A detailed search of the hamlet the following day revealed many extensive fortifications, living bunkers, and large stores of ammunition indicating that Mai Xa Thi (west) was the center of enemy activity on the north bank of the Cua Viet River."
Mike 3/1's losses on the two days were
  • 01 March 1968:
    • 1stLt Thomas C. Gosch, Oceanside, CA (Silver Star)
    • 2ndLt Richard W. Kapp, Orangeburg, SC
    • SSgt Stephen J. Bobkovich, Akron, OH
    • SSgt Edwin R. Edwards, Inman, SC (DoW 03/03/1968)
    • Cpl Bertram A. Deso, Albany, NY
    • HM3 Anthony O. Stringer, Rockmart, GA (Corpsman, H&S w/ M/3/1)
    • LCpl Ricky F. Adams, Baldwin Park, CA
    • Pfc Arthur L. Brunt, Valdosta, GA
    • Pfc Richard L. Garlick, Aurora, IL
    • Pfc Carlos L. Gonzales, New York, NY
    • Pfc Danny Ledford, Belmont, NC
    • Pfc Gerald W. Markwith, Federal Way, WA
    • Pfc Richard D. Miller, Memphis, TN
    • Pfc Thomas Spadaro, New York, NY

  • 02 March 1968:
    • LCpl Guy N. Bernard, Port Orchard, WA
    • LCpl Frank Krec, Williamson, NY (Silver Star)
    • Pfc Horacio Carranza, San Antonio, TX
    • Pfc David L. Melton, Washington, DC
    • Pfc Douglas R. Ritchie, Whittier, CA

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his wife,
Betty Edwards Kimmons
2276 Compton Bridge Road, Inman, S C 29349

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Jun 2004
Last updated 06/01/2006