Terry Lee SmithCorporal
H&S CO, 3RD BN, 26TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
13 May 1947 - 20 February 1968
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The database page for Terry Lee Smith
A Note from The Virtual WallAt the time of his death, Corporal Smith was a radio operator with Mike 3/26. His platoon, and two other from Mike 3/26, were under the operational control of India Company, 3/26, occupying Hill 881 South near the Khe Sanh Combat Base. Hill 881S was under constant observation by North Vietnamese Army units on the surrounding hilltops, and the Marines atop the peak were surrounded by NVA forces in the valleys and on the side of the hill. All resupply of Hill 881S was by air.
Captain William H. Dabney (now Colonel USMC, Retired) commanded India 3/26 and the attached platoons from Mike 3/26. Colonel Dabney describes the situation and recalls Corporal Smith's actions and the aftermath on the The Warriors of Hill 881S web site. The following extract is from that source:
"Cpl. Terry L. Smith [had] been on the hill for a while, was a smart and good Marine, and had worked most all the birds, including sometimes helping out the HST [helicopter support teams]. He therefore knew exactly what the risk was to the bird, and to himself. Several years after the death of Cpl. Smith I talked with a Marine from 881S who had visited his parents and found that the award which I had recommended for him had not been acted upon. My original recommendation package was sent to Khe Sanh a couple days after Cpl. Smith's death but, as was the case then, we heard nothing back so I assumed it had been approved at some level. In retrospect I recall that soon after February 20, 1968 our command bunker at Khe Sanh took a direct 152mm hit killing an Admin Clerk and wounding several others. The paper work may well have been blown away at that time. Understand that unit administration, including award recommendations, was not simple then, I resubmitted it and it was approved. Further, General P. X. Kelly, considering Corporal Smith's actions a perfect example of what the Air-Ground Team is all about, approved naming the new Henderson Hall Gymnasium for Corporal Smith in 1985."
The Warriors of Hill 881S
site, which is hosted and webmastered by
Frank Gulledge of the HMM-364 site.
The Virtual Wall appreciates their contribution to this memorial.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009