Marshall Gust Schaffner

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
02 February 1947 - 18 March 1968
Cataldo, Idaho
Panel 45E Line 029


Bronze Star

The database page for Marshall Gust Schaffner

04 Feb 2007

On 12 Jul 1968 the Commandant of the Marine Corps awarded Marshall Schaffner the Bronze Star with "V" for his heroism in battle on 18 March 1968.

From his cousin and a USMC Viet Nam Vet,
Louis Rosgen 1891387 USMC

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In March 1968 the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, provided the bulk of a Battalion Landing Team but was operating ashore in Quang Tri Province south of the DMZ. On 16 March 1968 a recon patrol located a large enemy force in the village of Vinh Quan Ha about 6 kilometers northeast of Dong Ha - and got into trouble doing it. Recovery of the patrol cost the lives of three Marines whose bodies could not be recovered. It also drew the Marines' attention to the village and a decision was taken to kick the NVA out of it.

The following is taken from the 2/4 Command Chronology for March 1968:

17 March 1968:
     Plans were made and orders issued for a BLT attack on the fortified village of Vinh Quan Ha.

18-19 March 1968:
     At 0345H the BLT (-) crossed the Line of Departure and moved to attack positions. After a 12 hour battle which started at 0730, the objective was finally secured. The enemy was well equipped and fought from heavily fortified, mutually supporting bunkers and trench lines which were cleverly camoflaged. It was later determined from POWs that elements of 4 NVA battalions were located on the objective. Net results of the battle were: 127 enemy KIA's; 4 POW's; friendly losses were 17 KIA and 102 WIAE [Wounded in Action - Evacuated]. Many crew served and individual weapons were captured along with numerous items of equipment (the most significant of which was an HF radio complete with note book giving enemy call signs and unit designations).

While the Command Chronology says 17 men were killed in the assault on Vinh Quan Ha, there are twenty men in the casualty database who have been associated with the battle - twenty-three, when one includes the three men killed on 16 March. They are

  • E Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
    • Sgt Robert O'Bannon, San Bernardino, CA (Silver Star)
    • LCpl James P. Achterhoff, Muskegon, MI (Silver Star)
    • LCpl McArthur Hamburg, Enterprise, MS
    • LCpl John P. Larkin, Port Chester, NY
    • LCpl Gary D. Utz, Englewood, OH
    • Pfc Elvin W. Gose, Cumberland, IN (Silver Star)
    • Pfc Robert A. Martin, Logansport, IN
    • Pfc Elliott R. Smith, Luna Pier, MI

  • G Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
    • Pfc Andrew Springs, Rock Hill, SC
    • Pfc Frank E. Weiss, Clymer, PA

  • H Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
  • H&S Co, 2nd Bn, 4th Marines
    • Cpl Gregory K. Arthur, Tulsa, OK
    • HM3 Douglas B. Parsons, Arvada, CO
    • Pfc Robert T. Ferrelli, Salem, NJ
    • Pfc Arthur L. Hawkins, Cleveland, OH
    • Pfc Gregg E. Lavery, Syosset, NY
    • Pfc Wayne P. Reeves, Mount Holly, NJ
    • Pfc John C. Seaman, Spring Valley, CA

  • A Co, 5th Tank Bn

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index S
ID State Index . Panel 45E

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 04 Feb 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009