Alpha Co. 1st Platoon, Who Came and Went 9/67-7/68

October 12, 2012 by  
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1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 3d Tank Battalion at Con Thien
10 September 67 – 14 October 67

A-11 Sgt. Guivara* 1102 2nd/Lt. Coan
Cpl. Hubert 4259 Sgt. Davis 2039
Cpl. Graham 3013 Cpl. Hodge 9380
L/Cpl. DuBose 3939 PFC Minch 2023

A-12 Lt. Coan 0944 Sgt. Carter 8613
Cpl. Sanders 2133 Cpl. Irizarry 3575
Cpl. Johnson* 3438 PFC Clark 6720
L/Cpl. Trevail 6546 L/Cpl. Trevail 6546

A-13 Cpl. Aranda* 4074 Sgt. Howard 5796
PFC Sudduth* 5498 Cpl. Baker 4850
Pvt. Burnett 6046 PFC Bishop 5929
L/Cpl. Bores+ 8787 L/Cpl. Coggins 2939

A-14 Sgt. Weicak+ 5125 Sgt. Weicak 5125
Cpl. Holmes 6613 L/Cpl. Brown 0633
Sgt. Shands 7574 L/Cpl. Mims 1433
L/Cpl. Woodall 0092 PFC Palazzari 3048

A-15 Gy/Sgt. Hopkins 2320 G/Sgt. Hopkins 2320
Cpl. Martin* 0960 Cpl. Jordan 7193
L/Cpl. Apodaca* 4103 L/Cpl. Workman 1597
L/Cpl. Augustine* 9398 PFC Berkholtz 0840

*Short-timers rotated back to Dong Ha on 15 September.
+WIA. Note that replacement crewmen Pvt. Manchego and L/Cpl. Murray
arrived at Con Thien on 15 September and were WIA (evacuated) less than one week
later. Replacements temporarily assigned to 1st Platoon during this time frame and then
reassigned were: Sgt. Osborn; Cpl. Crist; PFC Glass; L/Cpl Blum.
Lt. Coan assumed “command ofthe pi Platoon on 10 September, 1967. He
replaced Lt. Tom Barry who had received two Purple Hearts during his three weeks as the
tank platoon commander at Con Thien. On 14 October, the 1st Platoon’s ”time in the
barrel” was over. Lt. Brignon and Gunnery Sergeant English brought their 5th Platoon
tanks up to ”the hill of angels” and replaced 1st Platoon.

The pi Platoon rested and PM-ed their tanks at C-2 for the rest of October. Then,
just before Thanksgiving, they got the word to move up to the C-2 Bridge half-way
between the firebases at C-2 and Con Thien. Two tanks from 5thPlatoon joined them at
the C-2 Bridge, which gave them six tanks. The following crewmen were assigned to 1st
PIt. during this time frame: Cpl. Ramirez 0188; L/Cpl Blum 0862; Cpl. McCartney 6006;
L/Cpl. Ingalls 3839; Cpl. Matthews 5612; Cpl. Larson 8965. Fifth Platoon tanks were:

A-52 Gy/Sgt. English 2422
Cpl. Baker 4850
Cpl. Gehl 7387
L/Cpl. Bishop 5929

A-42 Cpl. Calderon 5066
L/Cpl. Wallace 8958
Pvt. Sudduth 5428
Cpl. Samia 9278

On Christmas Eve, 1967, 1st Platoon (-) was instructed to move back up to Con
Thien in support of 2nd Bn., 1st Marines where they remained until February, 1968. The
four tanks had the following crew assignments:

A-12 Cpl. Joe Irizarry 3575
Cpl. Howard Blum 0862
L/Cpl. L.A. Clark 6720
PFC Rael8114

A-14 Cpl. D.L. McCartney 6006
L/Cpl. lB. Ingalls 3839
PFC Myers 5561
PFC Melton 5617

A-13 Sgt. Howard 5796
L/Cpl. Pena 8973
L/Cpl. c.r, Coggins 2939
L/Cpl. Minch 2023

A-15 2ILt Coan 0944
Sgt. Osborne 0433
L/Cpl. Workman 1597
Cpl. Matthews 6512

After rotating from Con Thien down to Carn Lo Bridge for a brief spell, they
moved back up to C-2 in March, 1968. In April, they got the word that 1st Platoon of
Alpha would move back permanently to Con Thien. Crew assignments were as follows:

A-12 Gy/Sgt. Thomason 7957
Cpl. Coggins 2939
PFC Woodard 2698
PFC Kendrick 4810

A-14 Cpl. Bert Trevail3438
Cpl. Ingalls 3839
PFC Melton 5617
Pvt. Unland 5854

A-13 Sgt. Howard 5796
L/Cpl. Pena 8973
L/Cpl. Minch 2023
PFC Kohnke 5316

A-15 Lt. Coan
Cpl. McCartney 6006
PFC Miers 5561
Cpl. Workman 1597

Gunnery Sergeant Thomason was wounded along with Lt. Coan during a mortar
attack at Con Thien on May 4th. The gunny was medevaced, and his replacement was
S/Sgt. Woodward 2068. Also corning to the platoon in April was Pvt. Moad 0633; PFC
Yanos 0939; PFC Horb 7634; and PFC Wise 6594. In June, S/Sgt. Woodward returned
to Alpha Company in Dong Ha with an ailing A-12. He never returned to 1st Platoon. His
replacement as platoon sergeant was S/Sgt Tews 4792. There was another reshuffling of
crews in preparation for the anticipated regimental invasion of the DMZ by the Marines in
the summer. Crew assignments were as follows:

A-13 S/Sgt. Tews 4792
Cpl. McCartney
Cpl. Pena
Cpl. Minch

A-14 Sgt. Trevail
Cpl. Ingalls
PFC Unland
PFC Renteria

A-15 Lt. Coan
Cpl. Workman
L/Cpl. Wise
Cpl. Hunt 2468

F-31 Cpl. Wear 4788
L/Cpl Fleischmann 6292
PFC Steffe 7571

A-51 Sgt. Irizarry 3575
L/Cpl Hendon 4991
PFC Woodward 2698
L/Cpl. Jewell 1432

On July 6th
, 1968, 1st Platoon participated in Operation Thor along with the 2nd and
3rd Platoons of Alpha Company. This operation involved the entire 9th Marine Regiment in a
sweep around Con Thien up in to the DMZ, clear to the Ben Hai River, and back across the Trace
into Leatherneck Square. The 1st Platoon consisted of the following six tanks and crews:

A-13 *S/Sgt Tews(S/Sgt. Waggle) A-14 Sgt. Trevail
Cpl. McCartney L/Cpl. Wagner 0111
Cpl. Pena L/Cpl. Miers
Cpl. Minch PFC Unland

A-15 Lt Coan A-22 *Cpl. Moinette 5680
Cpl. Workman PFC Bradley 0448
L/Cpl. Wise LlCpl. Larsen 6137
L/Cpl. Melton PFC Maxwell 2906

F-31 Cpl. John Wear A-23 Cpl. Bonilla 2728
L/Cpl Fleischmann Cpl. Beeson 3810
PFC Steffe L/Cpl. Sargent 9143
PFC Clark 1475

*Two tank commanders were wounded in the DMZ by incoming artillery during
Thor, S/Sgt. Tews and Cpl. Moinette. Tank A-13 was replaced by A-II during the
operation, and that new tank crew consisted of S/Sgt Riggins 3660; PFC Shackelford
9605; PFC Spencer 2567; and L/Cpl. Madison 4684.
On 16 July, 1968, Lt. Coan was made the XO of Alpha Company in Dong Ha
and his replacement was 2nd/Lt. Frank Blakemore.
This information was provided from personal records kept by Lt. Jim Coan during his tour in Vietnam as
the platoon leader of 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 3d Tank Battalion-courtesy of Jim Coan, Sept., 2001.

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