Melvin Earl Newlin
Private First Class
F CO, 2ND BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV, III MAF
United States Marine Corps
Wellsville, Ohio
September 27, 1948 to July 04, 1967
MELVIN E NEWLIN is on the Wall at Panel 23E, Line 5

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Melvin E Newlin
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Melvin E Newlin

PFC MELVIN EARL NEWLIN

 

"All the photos I send are to honor my fellow Marines....my brothers."

-- Walter Dampier, 10/30/2012

Melvin Earl Newlin was born on September 27, 1948, in Wellsville, Ohio and graduated from Wellsville High School on June 6, 1966. Newlin enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Cleveland, Ohio, and was sent to Parris Island, South Carolina, where he received recruit training.

Upon graduation in September 1966, he was sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and underwent infantry training with the 1st Infantry Training Regiment, then completed weapons special training as well.

In October 1966, he was assigned duty as a machine gunner with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune North Carolina. PFC Newlin was assigned to the Republic of Vietnam in March 1967, where he joined the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He participated in numerous operations, including New Castle, Mountain Goat, Union, and Calhoun.

While serving as a machine gunner with the 1st Platoon in Quang Nam Province, he was mortally wounded on July 4, 1967.

In addition to the medals shown above, PFC Newlin was awarded the Vietnam Military Merit Medal and Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm.

On 3 and 4 July, a platoon from Company F, located at the upper Nong Son position (AT 813383) came under heavy attack. The sequence of events show that starting at approximately 10:30 p.m., Company F Commander reported that the villagers from Tu Xuan and Ninh Hoa were evacuating their villages and that they were "terrified". The people reported 200 NVA near grid square AT7937, crawling toward Nong Son. Their reported missions was to attack the Marines at Nong Son or seal off the heavily fortified Tu Xuan area. The Company F Commander requested artillery and fixed wing support to hit the enemy target.

Starting around 10:50 p.m., three hundred rounds of artillery began firing into grid AT7937 and another 300 into the village of Tu Xuan (AT 7953). Another request for added support was submitted but never filled. Around 11:30 p.m., a Company F outpost was overrun while the upper Nong Son position came under intense mortar fire, followed by a ground attack that included sappers, riflemen, and a flame section. More artillery was called in on the attacking enemy. Company E was ordered in as reinforcements for Company F and and the Civil Affairs Program (CAP) N-1 position near Ninh Binh.

Artillery fired in support of Company F included 75 rounds of 155mm Illumination; 25 rounds of High Explosive (HE) from 8" howitzers; and 255 rounds of HE from the 155mm howitzers in the area.

By midnight, a squad from Company F reached the top of Nong Son hill making initial contact with the enemy. Several bunkers had been overrun and the wire breached in several areas, but one squad had refused to be kicked off the hill. It included the machine gun of PFC Newlin.

The citation for PFC Newlin reads:

Navy MOH
The President of the United States in the name of the Congress of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MELVIN E. NEWLIN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner attached to the First Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division, in the Republic of Vietnam on 3 and 4 July 1967. Private Newlin with four other Marines, was manning a key position on the perimeter of the Nong Son outpost when the enemy launched a savage and well coordinated mortar and infantry assault, seriously wounding him and killing his four comrades. Propping himself against his machine gun, he poured a deadly accurate stream of fire into the charging ranks of the Viet Cong. Though repeatedly hit by small arms fire, he twice repelled enemy attempts to overrun his position. During the third attempt, a grenade explosion wounded him again and knocked him to the ground unconscious. The Viet Cong guerrillas, believing him dead, bypassed him and continued their assault on the main force. Meanwhile, Private Newlin regained consciousness, crawled back to his weapon, and brought it to bear on the rear of the enemy causing havoc and confusion among them. Spotting the enemy attempting to bring a captured 106 recoilless weapon to bear on other Marine positions, he shifted his fire, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy and preventing them from firing the captured weapon. He then shifted his fire back to the primary enemy force, causing the enemy to stop their assault on the Marine bunkers and to once again attack his machine gun position. Valiantly fighting off two more enemy assaults, he firmly held his ground until mortally wounded. Private Newlin had single-handedly broken up and disorganized the entire enemy assault force, causing them to lose momentum and delaying them long enough for his fellow Marines to organize a defense and beat off their secondary attack. His indomitable courage, fortitude, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

/s/ Richard M Nixon

Joining reinforcements with the tenacious squad that refused to leave the hill, the COmpany Commander quickly established advantageous machine gun positions and commenced rolling the enemy back off the hill. As the enemy withdrew, 81mm mortars were remanned and brought back into action. Company E arrived and assumed middle and lower defensive positions while the remaining elements of Company F moved to the top of the hill to reconsolidate that position.

By 1:15 a.m., the enemy broke contact and withdrew from the hill. AC47 Spooky gunships and artillery provided continual illumination until first light, while Marine casualties were med-evaced. As a result of the enemy attack, 10 Marines were killed, 3 US Army wounded in action, 43 Marines WIA, and 39 Viet Cong KIA. Various pieces of enemy equipment were recovered after the attack as well.

While the battle raged on Nong Son hill, the An Hoa Combat Base came under intense mortar fire; an apparent enemy attempt to stop all fire support to the embattled Company F. An excessive number of 81mm/82mm rounds fell into the camp. Mortar flashes were spotted all over the camp. Counter mortar fires were fired while maintaining continual fire support to Company F, silencing the enemy mortars. As a result of the attack on the base camp, 3 US Army artillerymen and 3 US Marine artillerymen at that location were also killed in action.

Those Killed in action on the 3rd and 4th of July 1967 were:

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PFC Newlin was buried Spring Hill Cemetery, Wellsville (Columbiana County), Ohio. His marker is shown below

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