Dennis Richard SchmidtCorporal
E CO, 2ND BN, 4TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
06 June 1945 - 08 August 1966
North Plainfield, New Jersey
Panel 09E Line 117
The database page for Dennis Richard Schmidt
12 Dec 2001
Dennis was born June 6, 1945, in East Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada. He attended high school in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Later he joined his parents and three younger sisters in North Plainfield, New Jersey.
After his ninteenth birthday he enlisted with the Marines. Dennis completed his basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina and served at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
On August 8, 1966, in Quang Tri Province there was an ambush that ended Dennis's life. He was twenty-one years old.
Dennis was buried with a joint contingent of U.S. Marines and Canadian Servicemen, in St. Margaret's Bay Cemetery (near Halifax, Nova Scotia).
Dennis is listed on the North Wall (Canadian Vietnam Veterans Memorial) in Windsor, Ontario and on the Legion Memorial in Kentville, Nova Scotia.
From his fellow Canadians,
I have a picture of Dennis on my wall, although only 13 at the time, at the time of his death. I have always carried his picture with me for we shared the same mother who passed away in 1998, Marjorie Minerva Wright. It is with pride, and honour that his photo and that of his mother (birth mother) reside on my wall. Mom was so proud of him. I am too for what he gave for us all, wish I had known more about him, to give his life for us to live free.
From someone close,
A Note from The Virtual WallAt 7 PM on 06 August, Recon Team 61 consisting of four men from the 6th Plt, 1st Force Recon Co, call sign "GROUCHO MARX", was inserted on the southern slope of Mutter's Ridge overlooking a valley about 12 kilometers north of Ca Lu Airfield. At 11 PM the patrol heard movement and voices down-slope from their position, but the noises stopped by midnight. By the following evening it was clear there were several groups of North Vietnamese troops, some as close as 100-150 feet to the patrol's position. At 9 AM on 08 August, it appeared the NVA had formed a line abreast and were actively searching for Team 61. The team leader called in artillery and helo gunships while moving further up-slope. The designated "Sparrow Hawk" reaction force (2nd Platoon, Echo Company, 2/4 Marines, led by 2ndLt Andrew M. Sherman) departed Dong Ha for insertion near Team 61 at noontime. The following entries taken from the 3rd Marine Division's Operations Log pick up at this point:
The terse and sometimes confusing entries in the 3rd MarDiv Operations log hide many of the details of the engagement. The first point to be made is that Team 61 consisted of four (4) men - and they were being pursued by many times that number. The second point is that the Sparrow Hawk quick-reaction force took six hours to arrive on-scene and link up with Team 61 ... helicopters had to be diverted from other missions, rearmed, refueled, sent to Dong Ha to collect the infantrymen, and finally sent from Dong Ha to the contact area. Six hours from "Go!" to "Got there!" may seem like too long, and sometimes it was - but it is difficult to redirect resources, particularly since Team 61 wasn't the only unit in contact in the 3rd MarDiv area. In this instance the cavalry arrived in time to save Team 61's collective rear.
The log entries don't reflect the fact that the 2nd Platoon's CO, 2ndLt Sherman, was wounded and then killed in the late afternoon assaults, leaving a wounded Staff Sergeant in command. Nor do they make it clear that Captain Howard V. Lee, CO of Echo 2/4, actually was wounded several times, not just once, but managed to maintain command until almost dawn.
The Team 61 post-patrol report mentions the critical ammunition situation and the downing of a resupply helo at about midnight, as does the 3rd MarDiv Ops Log (the 090005 entry). Not mentioned is the fact that Major Vincil W. Hazelbaker had earlier landed his UH-1 under fire and off-loaded 3000 rounds of his own ammunition - and then went back to Dong Ha, loaded up, and brought 800 pounds of ammo into the perimeter. While the Ops Log says Hazelbaker's crew suffered no injuries, in fact two of the four crewmen were wounded (believed to be Capt J. E. Browne and Cpl W. K. Luby).
Considering the circumstances, US casualties had been surprisingly light - only four Marines had been killed on the ground, all from Echo 2/4
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 12 Dec 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009