Henry Joseph Kuykendall

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
16 December 1947 - 12 October 1968
Los Angeles, California
Panel 41W Line 053


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Henry Joseph Kuykendall

13 Nov 2006

We miss you and pray for your family daily. God Bless you for your sacrifice.

From a friend,
Brother Bones
Kansas City, Missouri

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In the fall of 1968 North Vietnamese Army units were attempting to cut road access to the Thuong Duc Special Forces camp on the Thu Bon River just west of Ha Tan, about 35 kilometers southwest of Danang. The US response was Operation MAUI PEAK (06-19 Oct 68), a multi-company operation under the control of the Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. He was ordered to move west along Route 4 into the Thuong Duc Valley and clear away any NVA units that could be brought to battle. Elements of the 21st NVA Regiment, three battalions from the 141st NVA Regiment, one battalion from the 368th NVA Regiment, an artillery battalion from the 36th NVA Regiment, and elements of the 31st QuanDa Regiment (VC Main Force) were believed to be in the mountains around the Thuong Duc Valley.

MAUI PEAK began 06 Oct and had limited contacts with the NVA for the first two days. That changed when the Marines left the valley floor and moved to the hilltops, which the NVA defended with some vigor. The NVA also attached night defensive positions (NDPs) on several occasions. The most severe of these attacks involved an assault by the 1st Bn, 141st NVA Regiment on Echo 2/5's NDP:

"At 120400H Company E in night defensive positions came under a well coordinated mortar and ground attack from an estimated NVA company. Under a barrage of 40 rounds of 82mm mortar fire, the enemy attacked with small arms, automatic weapons, grenades and B-40 rockets. Company E returned fire with small arms, automatic weapons, grenades and claymore mines. Artillery missions totaling 26 rounds of 8", 249 rounds of 155mm, 300 rounds of 105mm and 438 rounds of 81mm mortars were called in on troop concentrations and suspected mortar sites. Results: Eight USMC KIA, nine USMC WIA evac, one USN WIA evac, ten USMC WIA non-evac, 46 NVA KIA, one NVA POW..."
The eight Marines who died in the attack were
  • LCpl Wiley L. Martin, Cleveland, OH
  • LCpl David A. Pietraszak, Toledo, OH
  • Pfc Adolfo M. Bejarano, Port Isabel, TX
  • Pfc Henry J. Kuykendall, Los Angeles, CA
  • Pfc John E. Metzler, McKees Rocks, PA
  • Pfc Luis F. Saavedra, Forest Hills, NY
  • Pfc James L. Thomas, Beech Grove, IN
  • Pfc Michael L. Wasserman, Boise, ID
Overall, Operation MAUI PEAK cost the lives of 34 Marines and sailors, with 175 known NVA dead. The most severe loss of American lives came on 11 October, when 14 men died as the result of a mid-air collision between two Marine helicopters, one supporting MAUI PEAK and the other supporting a 3/7 Marines operation.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Brother Bones
Kansas City,missouri

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index K
CA State Index . Panel 41W


With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 13 Nov 2006
Last updated 11/17/2006