Larry Jo Goss

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class
United States Navy
07 July 1946 - 14 February 1968
Marion, Indiana
Panel 39E Line 032

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Larry Jo Goss

26 Aug 2007

My father, HM2 Larry Jo Goss was killed in Vietnam on 2/14/68. I recently attended a reunion for the men who served in Kilo company and learned some things about the battle in which he was killed. The veterans call the place where he was killed "Valentines' Ridge." Several men were wounded that day and eleven men lost their lives. I am very proud of my father and his heroic acts that day. An account from another medic who was with him in battle stated that he and my father treated Private Cameron Carter during the battle. Pvt Carter had three bullet wounds in his right upper arm. The medic stated that he later saw my father's body in the position of shielding another Marine's body. Both of them had been killed. I have spent time trying to gain a better understanding of my father's last hours. What I have learned is that my father was a brave man. I have been told that the definition of bravery in battle is, "doing your job while you are scared ****." My father did his job that day to the best of his ability and I am so very proud of him.

The men who were killed in that battle were:
Capt. Alexander Ward
2nd Lt. William Reese
HM2 Larry Jo Goss
Cpl Lowell Combs
Cpl Dennis Fleming
Cpl David Schneider
LCpl Mark James
LCpl Jeffrey Wentzell
Pfc Fredrick Bungartz
Pfc Melvin Jones
Pfc Barry Rigsby

In a letter that my father wrote to my mother on February 12, 1968 (the last letter he was able to send to her) he wrote, "Dear Darling, How are you and my darling daughter doing? I miss you very very much. I love you both more than you'll ever know."

He ended his letter by writing, "I have your pictures in front of me now and I always have one on me. You're with me constantly, so don't worry you're guarding me all the time. I love you both very very much. Kiss Lori for me. With all My Love, Larry P.S. Sleep Warm!!"

I want to honor my father by writing down stories about him so that my children and my children's children never forget about him. I want them to know what kind of man he was. Parts of him continue to live inside of us and for that I am so grateful. If you knew my dad I would love to hear from you. If you have any memories of him or the battle on Valentine's Ridge and would be willing to share them with me I would be very thankful.

Dad, I love you very very much and will receive that kiss from you in heaven,
Lori Jo Goss-Reaves

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Route 9 ran from Dong Ha past Khe Sanh to the Laotian border and provided the only ground resupply route to Cam Lo and points west. For that reason the North Vietnamese were determined in their efforts to cut the road, while the Marines were equally determined to keep it open.

On 14 Feb 1968 Kilo 3/9's four platoons were occupying positions along Route 9 about 3 kilometers south-southwest of Ca Lu. Although they had received sporadic mortar and small arms fire on the 13th, the North Vietnamese attack on the 14th was a much more serious affair - an apparent attempt by the NVA to destroy Kilo Company in detail. At 1645 [4:45 pm] the Kilo 3/9 positions began receiving heavy .50 caliber and small arms fire followed almost immediately by mortar fire. The company commander, Captain A. K. Ward, ordered his platoons to shift their positions by a few hundred yards in hopes of disrupting the enemy fire, but by 1900 he had been seriously wounded and his executive officer killed. The attacks by fire continued through dusk. The Battalion executive officer led a platoon from India 3/9 from Ca Lu toward the Kilo 3/9 positions and a replacement for Captain Ward was flown in on a medevac helo to attempt to regroup Kilo 3/9's scattered platoons. The 1st, 2nd, and remnants of the 4th platoons joined up on Route 9, while the 3rd Platoon dug in in place. The bulk of Kilo Company joined with the relief force and arrived at the Ca Lu Combat Base at 0420 on the 15th.

The 3rd Plt held in place until daybreak, when they began to search the area for casualties and stragglers. At 1105 the 3rd Plt began movement toward Ca Lu but at 1200 they were again engaged by the NVA. The Marines established a perimeter and called for medevacs and reinforcement. India 3/9 departed Ca Lu, joining with 3rd Plt K/3/9 at 1600. At that point a medevac helo was badly shot up (3 of 4 crewmen wounded) and both the Kilo and India Company Commanders had been wounded. Rather than bring more helos into a hot zone, the Battalion Commander determined that a move by ground was preferable. Shortly after the Kilo and India 3/9 Marines began their movement the Battalion Commander departed Ca Lu with elements of Lima 3/9 to assist. By 2130 the first elements of India 3/9 arrived at Ca Lu, and by midnight all elements of 3/9 had returned to the combat base.

Kilo 3/9 lost ten Marines and one sailor as a result of the fighting on 14-15 Feb:

  • Capt Alexander K. Ward, Annapolis, MD (DoW 02/16/1968)
  • 2ndLt William R. Reese, Abilene, TX
  • HM2 Larry J. Goss, Marion, IN, H&S with K/3/9
  • Cpl Lowell T. Combs, San Antonio, TX
  • Cpl Dennis K. Fleming, Orrville, OH
  • Cpl David F. Schneider, Avon, OH
  • LCpl Mark E. James, Bremen, GA (KIA 02/15/1968)
  • LCpl Jeffrey R. Wentzell, San Francisco, CA
  • Pfc Frederick W. Bungartz, Chippewa Falls, WI
  • Pfc Melvin L. Jones, Shreveport, LA
  • Pfc Barry L. Rigsby, Madison, IN

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his daughter,
Lori Jo Goss-Reaves

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index G
IN State Index . Panel 39E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 26 Aug 2007
Last updated 02/11/2008