William Alfred Polchow

United States Marine Corps
05 December 1944 - 23 January 1968
Port Washington, New York
Panel 35E Line 018


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Alfred Polchow

19 Nov 2006


Gene Adee
04 Dec 2007

Happy Birthday, Billy

Love, Ingrid and your Andy
E-mail address is not available.

31 Dec 2007

As a child, I remember you as a Manorhaven pool lifeguard; as a young Marine checking into 3rd Recon, Okinawa, I remember unexpectly seeing your name on the HQ plaque; as a former PW resident, I remember seeing your name on many runs past the Town Dock PAL. And today, I will remember you in my thoughts and prayers.

From a former Marine and Port Washington native,
Robert R. Huminski

A Note from The Virtual Wall

There is very little information regarding the circumstances of Sergeant Polchow's death. Although he is listed on the 3rd Recon Battalion web site as a member of C Company, 3rd Recon, available documentation places him with HQ Company, III Marine Amphibious Force at the time of his death. This assignment is borne out by his location at death - in Jan 1968 C Co, 3rd Recon was at the Khe Sanh Combat Base in Quang Tri Province, while Sergeant Polchow is the only American killed in Quang Nam Province - well to the south - on 23 Jan 1968.

Update 20 Nov 2007

The US Naval Forces Vietnam History for January 1968 resolves the question of what happened to Sergeant Polchow. Page 112 of the History recounts a sweep conducted near Hoi An which began on 21 Jan after an RVN Coastal Group 14 encounter with a VC company. The sweep force consisted of a Provincial Reconnaissance Unit (PRU), a Coastal Group 14 platoon, and a National Police unit supported by Marine artillery, Vietnamese Navy riverine forces, and allied aircraft. The PRU's US advisor, an unnamed Marine, was killed during the sweep, which ended on 23 Jan.

Three Marines were killed in action in Quang Nam Province on 21-23 January 1968:

  • Pfc Albert Evans, Macon, GA; Hotel 2/3 Marines, 01/21/1968
  • 2ndLt James T. Ranstead, Miami, OK; Golf 2/3 Marines, 01/22/1968
  • Sgt William A. Polchow, Port Washington, NY; HQ Co, HQ Bn, III MAF; 01/23/1968
Pfc Evans and 2ndLt Ranstead are accounted for; both were killed during patrols in their respective company operating areas. By elimination, Sergeant Polchow is the unnamed Marine killed in action with the ARVN recon unit.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 19 Nov 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009