John Henry KnudsenPrivate First Class
H&S CO, 3RD BN, 3RD MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
15 July 1945 - 10 December 1966
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The database page for John Henry Knudsen
In his last letter, written a day before his death, he said, "I am still with Mike Company, but I expect to be switched back to H&S any time now."
From his sister and brother,
A Note from The Virtual WallPfc John Knudsen, a radioman, was assigned to the Headquarters and Service Company of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, but he was in the field with M Company at the time of his death.
On 10 December 1966 the 2nd and 3rd Platoons, Mike 3/3 Marines, were on the move. As they approached the Song Cam Lo River the 3rd Platoon formed a semi-circular perimeter through which the second platoon and the company command group passed. A capable swimmer strung a rope from bank to bank and the 2nd Platoon began to ford the swift-flowing, chest deep river. As the Marines were crossing, two F-4 Phantoms passed over heading down-river.
A break was called with 2nd Platoon and most of the command group on the far side and 3rd Platoon and the remaining members of the command group on the near side. The two Phantoms returned from down-stream and one dropped two bombs into the center of the perimeter formed by the 3rd Platoon. Thirteen men were killed outright and fourteen others badly injured. Of the five Corpsmen on the near side only one was uninjured - and the rope had been severed by the blasts, preventing the Corpsmen on the far side from recrossing the river. Although medevac helicopters were called in without delay, several of the wounded died while aboard the helicopters.
The 3rd Bn, 3rd Marines' Command Chronology contains the following entry:
"At 1024H, M/3/3 at XD 950922 rec'd (2) 250-lb bombs which apparently missed target area and went long over ridge landing on M/3/3 resulting in 17 USMC KIA and 11 USMC WIA. At 1438h, Med Evac of M/3/3 casualties completed."The seventeen Marines and sailors who died in the incident were
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
his sister and brother,
Sheryn McCormack and Mike Knudsen
10 Mar 2006
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/13/2006