Carlos Luis Gonzales

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
12 November 1949 - 01 March 1968
New York, New York
Panel 42E Line 016


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Carlos Luis Gonzales

05 Nov 2003

Carlos, I was your squad leader in Vietnam for the very short time you were there. Like many others who served 13 months or longer I am glad that if you were to give your life in Vietnam that it happened as quickly as possible. In your case it came about with only about two or three weeks in the field. Too many times I had seen those that we loved lose their lives after going through the hell and horror of combat for a year or even more.

I always have regretted and have never forgiven myself for only being able to give you a small bit of on the job training from my ten months in Vietnam.

I knew that the battle that you lost your life in at Mai Xai Thi west was going to be very bad and the night before I told you and Arthur to stay on me and mimic what I did during the battle I looked back for you and realized you both were gone. I hoped and prayed you were just pinned down ... later that evening I found you both ... dead...

You were small in stature but you were as brave a Marine as I ever served with and took to heart what we were trying to teach you ... it seems as if the Lord had other plans for you and Arthur and took you away from that terrible situation quickly. For that we are grateful.

I tried to locate your parents and or relatives to let them know you went quickly and with your friend Arthur Brunt. You both were 18 and you especially, Carlos. looked even younger. Your sense of humor was unique and I am so very sorry I never really got the chance to get to know you and Arthur. When my time arrives to leave this earth hopefully I'll meet up with you both and know that you're both okay.

God bless you and Arthur and all those who fell in Vietnam. Not one of you has been forgotten by those of us that served with and loved you as brothers even though most of us knew each other a short time.

Our company has a reunion every three years and we read the names of those from Mike 3/1 who fell. I always make sure I have the honor of reading your name and Arthur's name ...


With these words know that you will always live in my heart until the day we meet again in our Father's house...

Semper Fi, Carlos..

Brian ("Snooks")
Squad Leader 1st Squad 1st Platoon.
Semper Fi

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 squad leader in Vietnam,
Brian (Snooks) Strasser
211 Northland Blvd, Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
6 Nov 2003

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 10/16/2005