William Joseph Morse

Army of the United States
29 October 1945 - 02 May 1968
Glen Cove, New York
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Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Joseph Morse

02 May 2008

Today marks 40 years since William (Billy) Morse was killed. We still miss him. He was a great brother and my best friend.

From his brother,
Robert Morse

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In May of 1968, the North Vietnamese launched what has been called their "Tet II" offensive, striking 119 provincial and district capitals, military installations, and major cities including Saigon. Unlike Tet I, which was primarily a Viet Cong uprising, Tet II was almost entirely an NVA affair.

The battle of Dai Do actually began on April 30 with the ambush of a US Navy utility boat at the junction of the Bo Dieu and Cua Viet rivers by elements of the 320th NVA Division. Since Battalion Landing Team 2/4 was in the area, it was ordered to eliminate the threat to the crucial waterway.

Faced by three Regiments of the 320th NVA Division, BLT 2/4 was forced to fall back to defensive positions north of the river, but they stopped the enemy attack. NVA reinforcements were turned back by men of the Army's 3rd Bn, 21st Infantry, Americal Division, which occupied blocking positions at Nhi Ha to the northeast.

The NVA attempt to open an invasion corridor into South Vietnam had failed. The "Magnificent Bastards" of 2/4 Marines and the 3/21st Infantry had saved the day, for if they had failed the NVA would have been free to overrun the major supply bases at Dong Ha and Quang Tri and the entire DMZ defenses would have been undermined. However, the cost had been high. The Marines and sailors suffered 89 dead and another 297 seriously wounded, while Army forces at Nhi Ha sustained 28 deaths, 1 MIA (captured, later repatriated), and 130 wounded. But the enemy suffered even greater losses - not only did the NVA fail to achieve their objective, they also left 1,568 bodies on the battlefields.

The 3/21st Infantry lost twelve men in the fighting on 02 May 1968:

  • B Company:
    • PFC Robert A. Romo, Rialto, CA

  • C Company:
    • 1LT Edward F. Guthrie, Idabel, OK
    • PSGT Eugene Franklin, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • SGT William J. Morse, Glen Cove, NY
    • SGT Paul L. Yost, Bidwell, OH
    • CPL Thomas J. Bradford, Lincoln Park, MI
    • CPL Richard M. Gallery, Amherst, NY
    • SP4 Johnny Miller, Kinston, NC
    • SP4 Larry C. Schwebke, Ackley, IA
    • SP4 Pierre L. Sullivan, Chambersburg, PA
    • CPL Thomas M. Walker, Richmond, CA
    • PFC George L. Cruse, Liberal, KS

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 02 May 2008
Last updated 08/10/2009