Dennis Wayne Heffner
Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
Lebanon, Indiana
January 16, 1950 to August 16, 1968
DENNIS W HEFFNER is on the Wall at Panel W48, Line 26

Combat Action Ribbon

31 Dec 2006

Pfc Heffner was killed when a grenade was accidentally discharged, killing three Marines and injuring another. I am so sorry to know what has happened so long ago that took their lives and injured two others there that day. There are those of us who never knew this Marine that do not forget his passing and the loss it represents to family, loved ones and friends.

From a fellow Marine,
Stewart Resmer


A Note from The Virtual Wall

Two Marines are known to have been killed on 16 Aug 1968 by an accidental grenade explosion - Pfc Dennis W. Heffner and Pfc Gary D. Lawson of Los Angeles, California, both assigned to HQ Co, 3rd Marines.

On 21 Aug a third Marine died of non-hostile injuries incurred earlier - Pfc Lowell R. Hanson of Stephenville, Texas, assigned to Kilo Company, 3rd Bn, 3rd Marines. According to the 3rd Bn, 3rd Marines Association, Pfc Hanson was injured on 16 August.

The 16 August incident is not mentioned in the 3rd Marines' or the 3/3 Marines' Command Chronologies, so there is no documentation showing all three were involved in the same incident - but it is not beyond reason. All three arrived in Vietnam on 30 July and would have had a period of refresher training to include weapons training before being released to combat operations. It is conceivable (but not proven) that a weapons accident during refresher training resulted in the three deaths.

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