Russell Martinez LeCompte

Storekeeper 1st Class
United States Navy
17 September 1928 - 29 October 1969
, The Philippines
Panel 16W Line 003



Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Russell Martinez LeCompte

14 Feb 2004

At dawn on the morning of 29 October 1969, Russell was part of our squad of 9 Navy, Coast Guard, and Vietnamese sailors that engaged elements of the NVA and Viet Cong at the South end of Dung Island in the Bassac River.

Lt. Stephen S. MacVean led our force, which consisted of two Kenner Ski Barges and one Boston Whaler, each armed with an M-60. We proceeded down one of the canals that divide the island from North to South, and emerged back into the Bassac River at the same moment a large motorized junk loaded with enemy troops was steering East beyond the tip of Dung Island, just as intelligence had predicted it would. Lt. MacVean and Russell's boat was in the lead and there was a moment of hesitation to fire on the junk, which appeared to be driven by a civilian. At that instant the LT's and Russell's boat was struck by a rocket propelled grenade and small arms fire from the junk. A Vietnamese sailor, I believe he was a Lt., was also part of Lt. MacVean's crew. The enemy was prepared for such an encounter and had security in place on the island in the form of a crew-served weapon. Fire was exchanged with the crew of the junk and 'Black Ponies' later provided air support, but the junk and what was left of its occupants managed to slip away into a canal. I had never worked with Russell, Lt. MacVean, or their Vietnamese counterpart prior to that incident, but they were all extremely brave men. Not a day passes that I'm not back there with them again for a moment.

It would be an honor if his survivors should wish to contact me.

Thomas M. Chapman

19 Oct 2007

Courtesy of
Bob Melka

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Mr. Chapman refers to Lieutenant Stephen S. MacVean of Hohokus, New Jersey, who died of gunshot wounds. LT MacVean was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1965 and is remembered on several alumni sites. Regretably, no further information is available regarding Petty Officer LeCompte.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 14 Feb 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009