Ernest William Strehle

United States Marine Corps
10 April 1946 - 25 June 1966
Mundelein, Illinois
Panel 08E Line 095


Silver Star

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ernest William Strehle

24 Dec 2006

Cpl Strehle was the company armorer with Golf 2/1 and then G 2/1 was redesignated F 2/4. He was killed in action on Operation JAY, earning the Silver Star for his bravery that day. We miss him.

From a Marine brother,
John (jack) Leniger

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Operation JAY was a joint ARVN/USMC search and destroy mission in Thua Thien Province aimed at rooting out the 806th and 812th VC Main Force Battalions. The operation kicked off at 1015 25 June 1966.

The Marines were airlifted into two landing zones, the 2nd Bn, 4th Marines into LZ RAVEN to the north and the 1st Bn, 1st Marines into LZ SHRIKE to the south. On landing, both forces began to move toward the other with the intention of catching the VC in between.

Although both battalions encountered stiff resistance, 2/4 at Ap Chinh An and 1/2 at My Phu, the VC were forced to withdraw. At 1630 a medevac helicopter (UH-34D BuNo 148053, HMM-161) was brought down by ground fire; a platoon from 2/1 Marines was dispatched to the scene of the crash. In addition, the 2/1 Marines began to move from their blocking position toward the area where Fox and Hotel 2/4 were engaged, hoping to take the enemy positions from the rear.

By nightfall, Echo 2/4 was within sight of the 2/1 Marines, but the two units were separated by an area held by enemy forces. Fox and Hotel had forced the enemy to withdraw but had not been able to destroy the forces to their front. Rather than press a night engagement the Marines were halted in place. Air and artillery fire was maintained throught the night on the enemy-held areas. When the Marines began again at daybreak only scattered resistance was encountered - the VC apparently had been able to withdraw through the gap between Echo 2/4 and the 2/1 positions.

Thirtynine VC bodies were recovered from the battleground, and there was evidence that many more had been killed or wounded. Significant quantities of weapons, munitions, and supplies were captured. However, the actions on 25 June cost the lives of 17 Marines, five more were killed in action on the 26th, and on 27 June two Marines died of wounds received earlier. The American dead were

  • UH-34D BuNo 148053, HMM-161:
    • Sgt Donald E. Stahl, Southwest, PA (DoW 06/27/1966)
    • HM3 Edward G. Creed, Dallas, TX (Silver Star)

  • A Co, 1st Eng Bn (with 2/1 Marines):
    • LCpl Douglas Royster, Philadelphia, PA (Silver Star)

  • B Co, 3rd Eng Bn (with 2/4 Marines):
    • LCpl Wilburn H. Boyd, Carbondale, IL
    • Pfc Donald E. Gore, Ventura, CA

  • 2nd Bn, 1st Marines:
    • Sgt Richard L. Strange, Richmond, VA (Silver Star), Golf 2/1
    • Cpl James Coleman, Jacksonville, FL, Golf 2/1
    • Pfc Ronald L. Herbstritt, Bradford, PA, Golf 2/1
    • Pfc Santos Sanchez, Selma, CA, Golf 2/1
    • GySgt Robert R. Eggleston, Los Angeles, CA, Hotel 2/1
    • Cpl David E. Reyner, Houston, TX, Hotel 2/1
    • LCpl Miller J. Bourg, Houma, LA, Hotel 2/1
    • Pfc Bruno L. Martin, Wayne, MI, Hotel 2/1
    • HN Cecil E. Daw, Anacoco, LA, H&S 2/1
    • Pfc John M. Risner, Las Cruces, NM, H&S 2/1

  • 2nd Bn, 4th Marines:
    • Cpl Garry L. Reynolds, Maiden, NC, Echo 2/4
    • LCpl William Morris, Arverne, NY, Echo 2/4
    • LCpl Ronald K. Gray, Canton, OH, Echo 2/4
    • Pfc Thomas C. Edwards, Tampa, FL, Echo 2/4
    • Cpl Ernest W. Strehle, Mundelein, IL (Silver Star), Fox 2/4
    • LCpl Edward C. Zimmerman, Muncie, IN (Silver Star), Fox 2/4
    • Pfc Robert D. Wuertz, Columbus, OH, Hotel 2/4
    • Pfc Robert T. Vergano, Merced, CA, H&S 2/4 (DoW 06/27/1966)

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 Dec 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009