Thomas Patrick Rowland

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
11 February 1942 - 28 October 1965
Cowiche, Washington
Panel 03E Line 003



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Patrick Rowland

04 Oct 2006

Tom and I were in boot camp together at San Diego. We were in platoon 307. We joined the Marines in January of 1964.

I did not know Tom before this but I soon came to respect and like him. I think of him often and still remember the song he wrote while we were at the Camp Matthews rifle range: "Marines Fight Battles All Over the World".

Tom was early recognized as a leader. He was meritoriously promoted to PFC at the end of boot camp.

Tom was the only Marine from platoon 307 to be killed in action in Vietnam. Rest in peace, brother. Semper Fidelis

From a friend,
Larry Larsen

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Shortly after midnight on the night of 27/28 Oct 1965 a Viet Cong sapper unit consisting of 35-40 men attacked the Navy/Marine Corps facility at Marble Mountain just south of Danang. The sappers penetrated the base perimeter under cover of a mortar barrage on the airfield and the adjacent SeaBee complex. Once inside the perimeter, the sappers broke into small teams which targeted aircraft, facilities, and personnel. The Marines responded violently, with individual firefights throughout the area. The attackers succeeded in killing four Americans, wounding two dozen others, and damaging a number of aircraft beyond repair - but there were very few survivors amongst the sappers.

The four Americans were

  • CDR Robert J. Fay, Naval Advisory Group, Wollaston, MA
  • HMC Walter J. Gelien, VMO-2, MAG-16, Oakland, CA
  • LCpl Thomas P. Rowland, VMO-2, MAG-16, Cowiche, WA
  • Pfc Edward E. Graboskey, MABS-16, MAG-16, Paris, MI
Commander Fay was killed when his vehicle hit a mine laid in the perimeter road. Chief Corpsman Gelien was killed while defending the standby medevac helo. LCpl Rowland was part of the VMO-2 flight line watch first hit. Pfc Grabowsky was killed during a firefight between members of the crash crew and the VC.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Larry Larsen

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 04 Oct 2006
Last updated 10/17/2006