The purpose of this page is to honor the Marines of Bravo Company, First Tank Battalion, First Marine Division, FMF and the Marines who they supported in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War for a job well done. Especially those who were not fortunate enough to return.
click on ribbons for description
( Tim ) Matye
I entered Boot Camp on 11 Oct 66 at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego California, Platoon 2240 (Honor Platoon). I was then assigned to the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendelton, CA. After ITR it was off to Schools Battalion at Camp Pendelton for Basic Specialist Training for Tank Crewman.
In March 1967 I was assigned to Charlie Company, 5th Tank Battalion, 5th Marine Division at Camp Pendelton, CA. I stayed with Charlie Company as a Tank Crewman until January 1968 when I was selected as a FMF WES PAC Replacement. I then went to Staging Battalion at Camp Pendelton before deployment in Vietnam.
I arrived on Okinawa in late February of 1968 and stayed there until the second week in March of 1968. After arriving in Da Nang I was assigned to First Tank Battalion, First Marine Division. I stayed at Battalion Headquarters in DaNang for a couple of days and was then sent to Bravo Company, First Tank Battalion on Hill 55. I stayed at Bravo Company Headquarters on Hill 55 for three or four days and was assigned to 3rd Platoon on Hill 10.
After I got to Hill 10 I was assigned to tank Bravo-31 as a gunner. Hill 10 was located in the "Rocket Belt" southwest of DaNang and our main mission was to support the First Battalion, Seventh Marines in efforts to suppress rocket attacks on DaNang by providing direct fire on enemy rocket sites. Our mission was also to support 1/7 in operations in and around Hill 10. 3rd platoon was used for support on things like road sweeps , day time patrols as well as search and destroy missions.
In mid April Third Platoon, Bravo Company, First Tanks moved to Hill 37 in support of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, that is were 3rd Platoon's Headquarters stayed for the rest of my tour in Vietnam. 3rd Platoons mission on Hill 37 was much the same as it was on Hill 10, we supported 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines on road sweeps, daytime patrols and on Hill 37 there were also two night time guard slots for tanks that we had to man nightly. 3rd Platoon was also used in support of various elements of the Seventh Marines on operations such as "Allen Brook" and "Mamaluke Thrust" to name a couple of the major operations I participated in.
During my tour in Vietnam as a Tank Crewman I was a Tank Gunner for 4 months and during the last 4 months of my tour I was a Tank Commander. As most who served in Vietnam I witnessed and lived the horror of war as well as the death and destruction. The worst thing of all was that feeling of loss and sorrow when Brother Marines and sometimes close friends were wounded or killed. The experiences of day to day life in the Vietnam War are things I have never heard or seen explained in words that can describe or match the true reality. They say a picture tells a thousand words but in this case it is a picture in the mind that no words can explain !!!
On 12 Nov 1968 I was seriously wounded while on a road sweep with elements of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines on Liberty Road (The Red Road) between Hill 37 and Hill 55 not far from the "dog leg" below Hill 55. I was one of the lucky ones who survived the incident four other Marines did not. The next nine months of my life were spent in Military Hospitals including Naval Station Hospital in Danang, the US Naval Hospital on Guam and finally Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California. On 29 July 1969 I was retired from the United States Marine Corps due to Combat related Service Connected Physical Disabilities.
"Some Things Change Some Don't"
[ Then and Now ]
[ Home ] [ Back ]