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is honored on Panel 23W, Line 61 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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  • I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

    Posted on 2/15/18 - by Dennis Wriston
    Lance Corporal Douglas Wanner Barnitz, Served with the 3rd Platoon, Company D, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, Third Marine Amphibious Force.
  • Final Mission of LCPL Douglas W. Barnitz

    Posted on 12/17/17 - by
    At 9:30 AM on June 2, 1969, a six-man USMC reconnaissance team from 3rd Platoon, D Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, call sign Flight Time, was inserted approximately two miles south of Khe Sanh Airfield in Quang Tri Province, RVN. The team was comprised of commander 1LT Michael M. O’Connor, radio operators LCPL Douglas W. Barnitz and CPL William M. Wellman, CPL William A. Buck Jr., PFC Robert L. Pearcy, and grenadier PFC Harold A. Skaggs. Their mission was to locate and report on enemy activity in the area. After ten minutes on the ground, the team discovered evidence of recent enemy presence after finding still-hot cooking gear and fresh banana peels. Ten meters away, they located a bunker which could have been an observation post. There they uncovered more food, military equipment including an AK magazine, fragmentation grenades, helmets and bush hats, and a first aid kit. The team set up an overnight position near this spot. The next day, at 5:50 PM, the team observed five enemy soldiers in brown uniforms and helmets. They reported the sighting and took no action. At 2:50 AM the following morning, the team’s position started receiving small arms fire and Chicom grenades from an unknown size enemy force. They reported one member was killed and the rest wounded, and requested emergency extraction and all on-call artillery support. At 3:05 AM, an aerial observer (AO) came on station and observed that the enemy force was ten yards from all sides of the team. The team next requested a reaction force be sent to their assistance. The AO fired its ordinance at the enemy and reported secondary explosions on the ground. At 3:20 AM, contact was lost with the team. A reaction force of 12 Marines was airborne by helicopter at 4:00 AM. At 6:20 AM, the reaction force observed seeing three, possibly five, members of the team and reported that the area looked like it had been hit with a flame thrower. By 7:00 AM they found all six members of Flight Time near Hill 471. All were dead. Five members of the team were in a trench and the sixth was approximately ten yards down the hill. On sight investigation indicated the enemy came up the northeast side of the hill, firing rocket-propelled grenades (RPG’s), tossing satchel charges and Chicom grenades, and using Bangalore torpedoes and small arms fire against the team. The area was covered with powder burns from all the explosives. The reaction team leader stated that the marks on the ground and the way the equipment was scattered, the team must have been involved in hand to hand combat. The team’s rifles, M79 grenade launcher, and .45 caliber pistol were missing. Their web gear, ammunition, and grenades were found. They were missing their shirts, and one had a boot missing. Their bodies were riddled by small arms fire and torn by explosives. About 15 yards to the north, several propaganda leaflets were found written in English. An American paperback with Vietnamese writing throughout the pages was found near one of the team member’s body. The team’s two radios were recovered, one damaged. Three NVA packs, one RPG with four rounds, assorted clothing, mess and medical gear, plus a piece of a parachute were recovered and sent to Battalion Intelligence. For this mission, 1LT O’Connor was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for leadership. PFC Skaggs also posthumously received the Bronze Star for merit after participating in 28 recon missions. [Taken from and Command Chronology Report of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, June 1969]
  • Never Forgotten

    Posted on 6/4/17 - by Diane Isett Koon
    Dear Love,
    Today was 48 years since you left this earth with five of your Marine brothers, leaving behind shattered dreams and hopes for a wonderful future. You have never been forgotten even though life has moved on and taken a different course, the happy memories that I carry in my heart of us together still remain. There is a song sung by Westlife that reminds me of you every time I hear it. It is titled "I Will See You Again". I love it a lot. Missing you!
  • Reunion

    Posted on 5/24/17 - by Douglas C. Gill
    Hey Doug,
    Just thought you would like to know, as if you don't already, our 50 year class reunion is coming up and you are not forgotten. I know you will be there. It doesn't seem that it was that long ago. It also doesn't seem that you left this world in 69 to be with our Lord. I was there also, only on a ship cruising the Sea of Japan and South China Sea at the time of your departure. Take care "brother" and looking forward to meeting you again in that big military station in the sky.

    Doug Gill
    Upper Arlington High School
    U.S. Navy 69-71
  • To the Love of my Life,

    Posted on 5/24/17 - by Diane Isett Koon
    Dear Doug,
    You have never been forgotten. You are carried in my heart forever until in heaven we are rejoined. The days we spent together are etched in my heart and you will always be my hero. Miss you so much, my love.
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.