Joe Calvin PaulLance Corporal
H CO, 2ND BN, 4TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
23 April 1946 - 19 August 1965
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The database page for Joe Calvin Paul
REMEMBERED ACROSS THE YEARSfor his heroism on 18 August 1965
during Operation Starlight
on the Vantuong Peninsula near Chu Lai.
From a brother in combat,
A KNOX Class destroyer escort, USS PAUL (DE-1080) was named for LCpl Joe Calvin Paul. PAUL's keel was laid 12 September 1969 at Avondale Shipyards, Westwego, Louisiana. She was christened and launched 20 June 1970, and was commissioned 14 August 1971 at Boston Naval Shipyard. In the latter part of 1972, PAUL departed the United States for the Western Pacific, and arrived off the coast of the Republic of Vietnam on 23 November where she immediately went into action in support of ground troops ashore. One of PAUL's first Gunfire Support Missions (NGFS) was at Chu Lai, where Lance Corporal Joe C. Paul, for whom the ship was named, died on 19 August 1965 from wounds received in battle on 18 August while participating in Operation Starlite. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day. The USS PAUL was reclassified as a Fast Frigate (FF) on 01 July 1975. The USS PAUL (FF-1080) was decomissioned in August 1992. She was subsequently stricken from the Register of Naval Vessels and sold to the Turkish Navy. The Turks stripped PAUL for parts to maintain five other KNOX class frigates, then beached her hull and scrapped her. A terrible end to a good ship.
From one who served in USS PAUL (FF-1080) from 07/75 to 06/78,
A Note from The Virtual WallThe 2nd Bn, 4th Marines (2/4) arrived in Chu Lai in May 1965, but initial contacts with the enemy were minimal. OPERATION STARLITE, the first regimental-sized battle for American forces since the Korean War and the first major engagement for 2/4, was an assault against the 1st Viet Cong Regiment's positions on the Van Tuong Peninsula, 15 miles south of the Chu Lai airstrip. Three Marine battalions (2nd Bn 4th Marines, 3rd Bn 3rd Marines, and 3rd Bn 7th Marines) and supporting units were involved.
On 18 August 1965 Mike 3/3 approached the area on foot, while the remaining forces were landed by amphibious and heliborne assault. Hotel 2/4 was landed in the middle of the Vietcong 60th Battalion's position and immediately surrounded. Two miles north India 3/3 was heavily engaged by another VC battalion. 18 August cost the lives of 45 sailors and Marines, but set the stage for decisively defeating the 1st VC Regiment, killing 614 Viet Cong.
Hotel 2/4 lost 16 men as a result of the day's fighting:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009