Roy Gonzales, Jr

United States Marine Corps
16 August 1939 - 05 March 1966
San Antonio, Texas
Panel 05E Line 117


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Roy Gonzales, Jr

24 Feb 2006

I was in 3rd Battalion 1st Marines in 1966. Corporal Gonzales also was in 3/1 but in a different company. We of La Raza were few, but we were everywhere. On March 5, 1966 we were in OPERATION UTAH. It was our first encounter with a major North Vietnamese Regular Army unit. They were well trained and fully equipped. They were dug in. Our Battalion lost many good men that day. We suffered many casualties. Cpl Gonzales and I are from Texas. My company lost two (2) Texans that day also. Our unit had been in-country only 35 days when this action occurred.

Cpl Gonzales, you are not forgotten, brother. Descansa en Paz. You served honorably and died gallantly on the field of battle. There were many heros that day. I am honored to have shared the field of battle with you.

Arturo Garza

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Operation UTAH involved several battalions of Marines going up against a North Vietnamese Army Division that had had ample opportunity to dig in. On 04 March 1966 the 2/7 Marines lost 43 men near Hill 50; on 05 March the 1/3 Marines lost 49 men at Chau Ngai (3) to the east of Hill 50. While the weight of US firepower and the courage of individual Marines eventually forced the NVA to withdraw into the Demilitarized Zone, Operation UTAH was a taste of things to come - repeated incursions of well-trained and well-equipped NVA units working from their DMZ sanctuaries.

Corporal Roy Gonzales was with India Company, 3/1, which lost 13 men in the fighting on 05 March 1966.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a comrade-in-arms,
Arturo Garza
24 Feb 2006

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/01/2006