James Cornel Heard

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
25 January 1948 - 18 June 1968
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Panel 56W Line 022


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Cornel Heard

08 May 2005

The photo and article appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on June 25, 1968:

A 20-year-old Wynnefield Marine, father of two, has been killed in action at Quang Tri, South Vietnam, the Defense Department reported Monday.

Marine Lance Cpl. James Heard, of 5655 Lebanon Ave., died from mortar fire wounds on June 18, the same day his last letter was written to his wife, Beverly.

"When Chuckie comes home from Germany don't let him come over here. If anyone has to die, let it be me," he wrote.

Chuckie is Cpl. Heard's 19-year-old brother, Spencer, who has been serving the Army in Germany two years.

Mrs. Heard learned of her husband's death through a buddy who was wounded in the same battle and sent to Tokyo for recovery.

Mrs. Heard said Lance Cpl. David L. Smalls, 20, of 2029 W. Master St., called an aunt in Philadelphia and told her to notify his friend's widow. "Tell her that Dave is sending home a bleeding heart for James," he said.

The Defense Department officially confirmed the death the following day. "I still can't believe it," said Mrs. Heard. "He has a lot of faith in God."

At West Philadelphia High School, he was the only 10th grader in the class on the varsity football team.

Surviving besides his widow and brother are two children, Christopher, 2, and Kimberly, 9 months; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Heard and two sisters, Joyce, 17, and Mrs. Elizabeth Prior.


From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

10 May 2005

Dear James, it is only fitting that you lived between Diamond Street and Arlington Street, for the diamond is the greatest and Arlington is for heros and you are both. You live on in all of us. God bless you, my friend.

From an admirer,
Kenny Hurst

A Note from The Virtual Wall

From the 1st Bn, 9th Marines, Command Chronology for June 1968:
"On 18 June 1968, the Battalion departed Camp Carroll for operations in the Cam Hung area in the vicinity of grid squares YD 0960 to YD 1060. On 20 June, the Battalion returned to Camp Carroll."
During those three days - 18-20 June - the 1/9 Marines lost 18 men. The Command Chronology contains the following description of the landing conducted in the Cam Hung area:
"On 18 June at 0600, 1/9 was staged at Camp Carroll in helo teams in preparation for the battalion lift [which] began at 0730. 3 landing zones were established. The areas were prep fired with artillery and screened by smoke from aircraft just prior to the battalions entering the area. Comapny A and Company D were lifted to the landing zone "WREN" at grid YD077638, Company C and the command group with units of H&S to LZ "GULL" at YD085645 and Company B and CO to LZ "OWL" at YD001636. Prior to completion of the lift the battalion began receiving enemy 82mm mortar fire from as many as 3 enemy positions which were unknown, which did inflict friendly casualties. The lift was completed at approx 0820. Enemy mortar fire continued. 1/9's units were unable to move from the areas pending the arrival of medevac helicopters. A total of [blank] KIA and [blank] WIA were sustained as a result of the enemy fire, the last casualty being evacuated at 1315."
The companies moved out of their respective LZs as their casualties were evacuated, with "A" and "D" Companies moving first, and by late afternoon most units had secured their respective objectives and established night defensive positions. Mortar and occasional small arms fire had been received throughout the day, but air and artillery strikes had reduced the level of enemy activity and the Marines had assaulted, captured, and destroyed two bunker complexes, the second at 2130H. After nightfall sporadic enemy mortar fire continued, and "A" Company received a ground probe. At 2322H, "D" Company and the Command Post were hit by 60mm mortar fire from two directions; although the Marines responded with organic weapons, artillery, and a "Spooky" gunship, the incoming fire killed two Marines and wounded 14 others before ceasing. Overall, 12 Marines had been killed in action on 18 June.

At 0930H on the 19th, the battalion displaced from its night defensive positions, with all units sweeping from their NDPs toward their final objectives, Hill 52 and the north bank of the Cam Lo River. Two NDPs were established for the night of 19/20 June, with "A" and "B" at Hill 52 and "C", "D", and the command group north of the river. Although enemy fire was taken through the day, casualties were much lighter than on the 18th - an additional four Marines, with a greater number of wounded.

After a relatively quiet night, "D" Company and the Command Group displaced at 0730H, moving to a point on Route 9 where they boarded trucks to return to Camp Carroll. Companies C, B, and A displaced in succession, with all units of 1/9 back at Camp Carroll by 1300H, 20 June.

The final loss of the sweep occurred about 0900 as Alpha 1/9 was moving toward the Route 9 pick-up point. A member of a patrol triggered a mine, severely wounding Pfc Michael Rindone. Although evacuated to the hospital ship USS SANCTUARY, Pfc Rindone died of his injuries at about 1100.

The 18 men who died during the Cam Hung sweep were

  • A Company:
    • Pfc Patrick A. Connelly, Green Bay, WI
    • Pfc John R. Dowling, Akron, IA
    • Pfc Michael G. Rindone, Council Bluffs, IA

  • B Company:
    • SSgt Robert B. Buchanan, Baltimore, MD
    • Cpl Clarence V. Mobley, Winnabow, NC
    • LCpl Clayton H. Johnson, New Orleans, LA

  • C Company:
    • SSgt Earl Thomas, Cleveland, OH
    • LCpl Calvin Golden, Chicago, IL
    • LCpl David J. Marsh, New York, NY
    • LCpl Randy L. Mathias, Bountiful, UT
    • LCpl Donald E. Whiters, Wichita, KS
    • Pfc Litael Jordan, Los Angeles, CA
    • Pvt Bobby R. Lane, Goldsboro, NC
    • Pvt Anthony R. Love, Gastonia, NC

  • D Company:
    • LCpl Glenn H. Dusbabek, Waco, TX

  • H&S Company:
    • Cpl Robert A. McLoughlin, Knoxville, TN
    • LCpl James C. Heard, Philadelphia, PA
    • Pfc Basilio Gomez, San Antonio, TX

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney
9 May 2005

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index H
PA State Index . Panel 56W


With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 09/18/2005