Frank Levi Swinford, IIIPrivate First Class
I CO, 3RD BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
05 January 1948 - 06 September 1967
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The database page for Frank Levi Swinford, III
A Note from The Virtual WallShortly before dawn on 04 Sep 1967 NVA and VC troops attacked US Marines in the Que Son Valley, beginning Operation Swift. As the battle escalated, both sides introduced additional forces. On 6 September two battalions of the 1st VC Regiment attacked the lead company of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. Bravo Company was isolated and nearly overrun before artillery-delivered tear gas drove the enemy back. The nearby 3rd Battalion was heavily engaged a few hours later. When India 3/5 was dispatched to attack an enemy held hill, it was isolated and nearly overrun by the 1st VC Regiment's previously uncommitted 3rd Battalion. Kilo 3/5 was sent to relieve India and, though it eventually fought through, the two-company force couldn't move because of the many casualties. That night, two assaults were repulsed. In a night attack of their own Mike 3/5 broke through to the encircled companies, completing the disruption of the enemy force. By dawn on the 7th the NVA/VC had withdrawn into the surrounding mountains.
The following men from India and Kilo 3/5 died in the fight for Hill 43:
Over all, one hundred seven Marines were dead. The intensity of the fighting can be judged by the fact that three Medals of Honor and three Navy Crosses were awarded posthumously to Marines and sailors who died in the battle.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Sep 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009