Gregory Allen Shelley
United States Marine Corps
Palisades Park, New Jersey
October 15, 1947 to June 07, 1968
GREGORY A SHELLEY is on the Wall at Panel W59, Line 27

Combat Action Ribbon

02 Apr 2008

Greg and I attended Saint Charles Borromeo Elementary School in Gladstone, Missouri. We also went to Saint Pius X High School in Kansas City through our Sophomore year when I moved back to Chicago. I remember he came to Saint Charles from Oklahoma and had the cutest accent! His smile lit up the whole room, and he smiled a lot! He was a great guy and for a while I had a big crush on him!

I went to see the touring Wall at Knotts Berry Farm one Veteran's Day and did a rubbing of his name. While I was doing that a mother with 2 children came up behind me. The young son asked his mom what I was doing. She explained that I probably had lost a family member and was rubbing his name as a remembrance. I turned and began to tell her that it wasn't a relative, but someone I went to school with. I barely got to the part about "went to school with" and I broke down sobbing. I had no idea how the small act of rubbing his name would bring out so many emotions. We lost so many of our fine young men in that war, Greg among them. The mother gave me a big hug while I composed myself and apologized for coming unglued. I have a feeling that her young son will always remember his first viewing of the Wall. Hopefully he will also remember to express his gratitude to all those who have given so much for our liberties. I hope I can find a picture of Greg with his wonderful smile. It lives in my memory, even if I cannot find one. Love'ya, Greg!

Semper fi.

Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen (Schwind) Goldsmith
E-mail address is not available.


A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 07 June 1968 the 1st Bn, 26th Marines were conducting a sweep along the Bon Song River. Alpha 1/26 was providing a screening force along the river while Delta 1/26 was moving through the hills along the river. Charlie 1/26 was in echelon behind Delta, with the Command Group and H&S Company bringing up the rear.

As Delta 1/26 crested a ridgeline they took fire from a trenchline. The company established a base of fire, flanked the trenchline, and forced the NVA to withdraw - but they didn't withdraw far; a second set of fortifications lay only 50 yards behind the first. Charlie 1/26 sent help and Delta buckled down to assaulting the second trench line - and once again forced the NVA from their lines.

This action, though costly, was only a prelude. The NVA troops engaged by Delta 1/26 were a covering force for the NVA main body, which withdrew into the Alpha 1/26 position - and were engaged by the Alpha 1/26 Marines in a bloody fight. By the time the NVA escaped through the gap between Alpha's flank and the oncoming Delta Marines, 20 Marines and 2 sailors were dead:

  • A Company:
    • 2ndLt Paul M. McGrath, Rye, NY
    • SSgt Donald M. Cuff, Wilmington, DE
    • Cpl George A. Essary, Chattanooga, TN
    • Cpl Jerome D. Kupperschmidt, Sandwich, IL
    • Cpl Gregory A. Shelley, Palisades Park, NJ
    • LCpl Edward L. Bradford, Westville, OK
    • LCpl Kevin M. Coyne, Silver Spring, MD
    • LCpl Michael W. Travis, Sweetser, IN
    • Pfc Michael P. Becker, Omaha, NE
    • Pfc Jerry N. Christman, Williams, AZ
    • Pfc Carl M. Middlebrooks, Baltimore, MD
    • Pfc Alton L. Staples, Cincinnati, OH
    • Pfc Ernest L. Wesley, Stockbridge, GA

  • C Company:
    • Cpl David E. Dixon, Miami, FL

  • D Company:
  • H&S Company:
    • HM3 Ramon Leyba, Albuquerque, NM (H&S Co, w/ Alpha 1/26)
    • HN Ronald E. Rockefeller, Tivoli, NY
In a tragic coincidence, Lance Corporal Michael Travis's elder brother, Corporal Edmund B. Travis, an artilleryman with Alpha 1/13 Marines, had been killed in action on 27 June 1967 while serving on a Forward Observer team with the 1/26 Marines at Khe Sanh.

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