Dale Alan Gunnell
United States Marine Corps
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
August 27, 1947 to September 06, 1967
DALE A GUNNELL is on the Wall at Panel 26E, Line 10

Combat Action Ribbon

07 Jun 2007


by a cousin,
Linda Gunnell Fie


A Note from The Virtual Wall

Shortly before dawn on 04 Sep 1967 NVA and VC troops attacked US Marines in the Que Son Valley, beginning Operation Swift. As the battle escalated, both sides introduced additional forces. On 6 September two battalions of the 1st VC Regiment attacked the lead company of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. Bravo Company was isolated and nearly overrun before artillery-delivered tear gas drove the enemy back. The nearby 3rd Battalion was heavily engaged a few hours later. When India 3/5 was dispatched to attack an enemy held hill, it was isolated and nearly overrun by the 1st VC Regiment's previously uncommitted 3rd Battalion. Kilo 3/5 was sent to relieve India and, though it eventually fought through, the two-company force couldn't move because of the many casualties. That night, two assaults were repulsed. In a night attack of their own Mike 3/5 broke through to the encircled companies, completing the disruption of the enemy force. By dawn on the 7th the NVA/VC had withdrawn into the surrounding mountains.

One hundred twentyeight Marines were dead. The intensity of the fighting can be judged by the fact that three Medals of Honor and three Navy Crosses were awarded posthumously to Marines and sailors who died in the battle. India 3/5 lost 25 men at Hill 43 on 06 Sep:

  • SSgt Richard B. Jackson, Philadelphia, PA
  • Cpl William R. France, Garfield Heights, OH
  • Cpl Dale A. Gunnell, Winston-salem, NC
  • LCpl Harold S. Bern, Powers, OR
  • LCpl Richard W. Crawford, Wallkill, NY
  • LCpl Sam T. Curiel, Abilene, TX
  • LCpl Patrick Herron, Sugar Notch, PA
  • LCpl Joseph S. Hume, Hamilton, OH
  • LCpl Reginald A. Jordan, Philadelphia, PA
  • LCpl Michael L. Langerio, Hershey, PA
  • LCpl Cecil R. Moorman, Winter Garden, FL
  • LCpl George S. Spak, Akron, OH
  • LCpl Gregory L. Yeager, St Paul, MN
  • Pfc Robert D. Evans, Grand Prairie, TX
  • Pfc Jerry H. Heizer, Staunton, VA
  • Pfc Gary E. Hibbard, Dimock, PA
  • Pfc James B. Miller, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Pfc James T. Pepper, Elk River, MN
  • Pfc Lewis H. Proudfoot, Elverson, PA
  • Pfc Jerry C. Royal, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Pfc Robert W. Swafford, O'Fallon, MO
  • Pfc Frank L. Swinford, Sweeny, TX
  • Pfc Jerry L. Thomas, Sherman, TX
  • Pfc Ralph P. Villegas, San Pedro, CA
  • Pfc Robert C. Wallace, Plattsburgh, NY

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