Francisco Licon
Lance Corporal
F CO, 2ND BN, 7TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV, III MAF
United States Marine Corps
El Paso, Texas
December 13, 1946 to April 14, 1969
FRANCISCO LICON is on the Wall at Panel W27, Line 82

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Francisco Licon
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At 15:30 hours, on 14 April 1969, near grid (AT 807620), during Operation OKLAHOMA HILLS, a platoon from Fox Company was moving through heavy jungle on the south side of of Hill 1025 when they engaged an NVA squad in heavily concealed and fortified bunkers.

The contact with the enemy resulted in two Marines being killed and four wounded.

The full story shows the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines were conducting sweeps on a ridgeline in the hills some 11 kilometers north-northwest of Dai Loc. The ridgeline was nicknamed "Charlie Ridge" because the NVA/VC (Victor Charlie, or Charlie for short) frequently used it as a staging area for attacks on An Hoa, Hoi An, Ha Tan, and the Danang area.

The area was characterized by high, narrow hills rising to 2600 feet, cut by numerous steep-sided valleys, ravines, and gorges and covered with dense undergrowth and double or triple canopy jungle.

As the Marines swept the area from the east, three battalions from the 51st ARVN Infantry worked from the west and southwest. All of the allied forces encountered dug-in enemy forces - Charlie Ridge was indeed occupied by NVA/VC troops. The two men killed by the small arms fire during the intense firefight were:

Photo from Hill 1025

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As the afternoon progressed there were USMC and ARVN wounded who needed evacuation, and Marine helos responded to that requirement. For the wounded Marines on Hill 1025, help was on the way.

An hour after the contact, at 16:30 hours, on 14 April 1969, a marine CH-46D (BuNo 153361) medivac helicopter was responding to the call for the evacuation of the wounded. A short distance from the wounded men's location, the medevac encountered automatic weapons fire near grid (AT 803607), crashed in one of the steep valleys, and burned.

Three (3) Marines were killed and 1 critically wounded. The pilot was missing and presumed dead in the wreckage. The Marines recoved the body of the pilot thereafter. The critically wounded crewman (Bannister) died from burns at the station hospital at Danang two days later on 16 April 1969. The men who perished as a result of their helicopter being shot down by the enemy were:

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