Carman Keeton Hicks

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
28 July 1946 - 09 May 1967
Anderson, Indiana
Panel 19E Line 072


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Carman Keeton Hicks

7 Aug 2004

Carman K. Hicks was a very special Marine. He was the oldest of eleven children. Still 3 months shy of being 20 he gave his life for every American. He was from a very large family - 8 brothers 2 sisters and very close to his mother Vivian and father Johnie Carmack. He is loved and missed every day. When he was in Vietnam he called home and talked to everyone and he talked to my pregnant mother. He asked her if she would name her baby after him because he did not think he was coming home. He said he was in a lot of bad stuff over there. Well, I am very proud to carry his name and wear his ring and dogtags. He is one of my heros I never met. If anyone who looks at this knew him or served with him please e-mail me.

We will never for get you, Carman.

Love always,
Your nephew
Carman Carmack


14 Oct 2004

Carman K. Hicks was a boot camp buddy, who I was with all the way up to his death. I remember some of the funny moments we shared in boot camp and many days in Vietnam especially on "Hill 65" near Dia Loc.

In late April 1967 2nd Bn, 3rd Marines headed into one of the fiercest battles in all of the Vietnam War. We all had experienced the horror, fear and reality of real battles against the North Vietnamese Army during those 17 days in the jungles around Khe Sanh. It was either kill or be killed. The training in boot camp was used to its fullest. On the 12th of May at the air strip at Khe Sanh a Marine friend of mine informed me that Carman was killed on May 9th. He said that his new M-16 had jammed and the enemy ran down and shot him. The news put me into an angry and extremely emotional dishearting mood. I was so sad and so very depressed that all I wanted to do was to go back up into the jungle hills again and kill every NVA soldier I could find. The memories of those 17 days at Khe Sanh are still with me to this day.

When you hear that the "Good Die Young", you are talking about Carman. He was a "Marine's Marine" and his picture will always remain above my desk as my reminder of Vietnam and the loss of just a truly great and inspiring man. "Semper Fi" Carman, from your old buddy Fred Hellmann

From a fellow Marine in his unit,
Fred Hellmann

06 Aug 2005

I can remember the name Carman Hicks but I cannot place the face.

I was in Foxtrot Company 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines and was there that terrible day. Yes, many Marines had trouble with the new M-16s - that was the cause of many deaths that day.
Carman was among and died with the country's best, caught in the ambush of May 9, 1967.

Semper Fi

From a fellow Marine,
Lance Campbell

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Khe Sanh Combat Base sat in a valley just south of the western end of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam, and was overlooked by peaks rising as high as 2500 feet to the north, west, and southwest. The infamous "Hill Fights" in and on the mountains surrounding the combat base began in early 1967 and eventually grew into the seige of the combat base in 1968. The fighting in the spring of 1967 had two diametrically opposed objectives:
  • For the North Vietnamese Army, the objective was to gain control of the hilltops in order to place the defenders under seige and inflict a defeat on the Americans which would stand with the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu fifteen years earlier.

  • For the Allies, the objective was to prevent the NVA from accomplishing their objective while inflicting as much destruction on the NVA as possible.
On 09 May 1967 elements of Fox Company, 2/3 Marines, were patrolling to the west of Khe Sanh, moving from Hill 881N toward Hill 778. As the Marines approached Hill 778, heavy underbrush forced them to divert from their intended track into a gulley. Rather than remain in the lower ground, Fox 2/3 climbed the southern slope toward higher ground, where they were engaged by NVA troops intent on crossing the gulley from south to north.

The meeting engagement on the hillside quickly grew into a full-fledged battle fought in difficult terrain largely covered in six-foot-tall elephant grass. By the time the fight ended, Fox 2/3 had lost 22 Marines and 2 Navy Corpsmen, with many more wounded - and the NVA had withdrawn back into the jungles and tall grasses.

With one exception the Marines of Fox 2/3 brought out their dead and wounded: the body of Private Robert J Todd could not be found in the elephant grass. The dead were

  • LCpl Richard R. Bean, Springfield, OH
  • Cpl Daniel S. Bettencourt, Edgartown, MA
  • Pfc Gary R. Buttenbaum, Spotswood, NJ
  • Pfc Layne F. Clifton, Lakeview, OR
  • LCpl William E. Czarny, Hammond, IN
  • Cpl Morris F. Dixon, Clearwater, FL
  • Cpl David F. Fraley, Cincinnati, OH
  • LCpl Frederick W. Fromme, Vallejo, CA
  • LCpl Danny M. Greene, Mount Gay, WV
  • LCpl Carman K. Hicks, Anderson, IN
  • HM3 Kenneth L. Holder, Mount Wolf, PA
  • Pfc Joseph G. Klemencic, Great Falls, MT
  • LCpl Ronnie R. Landers, Mundelein, IL
  • Cpl Kenneth J. Lecastre, Buffalo, NY
  • Sgt Gregory M. McCook, Atlanta, GA
  • Cpl Ronald E. Niles, Charlotte, NC
  • Cpl James M. Quigley, Hollywood, CA
  • Cpl Ronald M. Stein, Waterloo, IA
  • Cpl Lyle S. Tate, Portland, OR
  • HM2 Gardner Tillson, Salem, MA
  • Pvt Robert J. Todd, North Easton, MA
  • LCpl Charles R. Waller, Chillicothe, OH
  • GySgt Tommie J. Whitten, Fort Worth, TX
  • Pfc Robert E. Williams, Rockford, IL

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his nephew,
Carman L. Carmack
7 Aug 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/09/2005