Gilbert Ronald Nickerson

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
09 October 1944 - 18 August 1965
Racine, Wisconsin
Panel 02E Line 062


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gilbert Ronald Nickerson

15 Nov 2007

Hi Gil-

It has been a very long time since we were in the same fire team. Dave Smeltzer and I had planned to stop and see your parents on our way home. I came home on a stretcher. Dave did call your parents. Dave died recently so Don Dober and I are the only ones left from our fire team. Semper Fi, Gil, rest in peace.

George Covell
E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 18 August 1965, elements of the 3rd and 4th Marines made simultaneous amphibious and airborne assaults in an area about 10 miles south of Chu Lai. The purpose of OPERATION STARLITE was to cut off and destroy the 1st VC Regiment (60th Bn, 80th Bn, 52nd VC Co, and a Weapons Company).

The landings met only light resistance but heavy fighting broke out as the Marines deployed from the LZs. When night fell the VC withdrew, leaving a rear guard and over 100 dead behind. Fifty-one Marines and sailors died as a result of the fighting on 18 and 19 August. The 3/3 Marines lost 16 men on the 18th:

  • I Co, 3rd Bn, 3rd Marines
    • Capt Bruce D. Webb, Wheaton, IL (Navy Cross)
    • Sgt Robert F. Batson, Houston, TX
    • Sgt Peter C. Towne, Morris, CT
    • Cpl David J. Thomas, Dallas, TX
    • HA Thomas R. Brand, Allen Park, MI
    • LCpl Francis J. Delmark, Salt Lake City, UT
    • LCpl Merlin E. Marquardt, Fort Wayne, IN
    • LCpl Jon D. Vannatta, Richmond, IN
    • Pfc Ollie R. Cotten, Sand Lake, MI
    • Pfc John L. Jemison, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Pfc Edward Kopec, Chicago, IL
    • Pfc Gilbert R. Nickerson, Racine, WI

  • K Co, 3rd Bn, 3rd Marines
    • Sgt Frank H. Blank, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Pfc Floyd E. Doades, Decatur, IN

  • L Co, 3rd Bn, 3rd Marines

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Nov 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009