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is honored on Panel 9E, Line 7 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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  • Semper Fi Marine.

    Posted on 7/8/14 - by A Marine, USMC, Vietnam
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 7/8/13 - by Curt Carter
    Dear LCPL Ronald Lee Longanecker, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • Final Mission of LCPL Ronald L. Longanecker

    Posted on 6/20/13 - by

    On July 8, 1966 two H46's inserted a recon team SW of Cam Lo. The team made heavy contact and were successfully extracted. The same team was inserted 2 hours later. On this insertion a 46 piloted by 1LT Bert L. Nale and 1LT David W. McCleery (HMM-164) was shot down. The helo burst into flames and all on board were able to exit the bird with exception of Recon LCPL Ronald L. Longanecker who is believed to have perished in the blaze. This incident was the first of many choppers to be shot down in Quang Tri Province and Longanecker was the first Marine KIA in Quang Tri. He was also the first to be listed as KIA-BNR. (Submitted by George Neville, A3rdRecBn3rdMarines.) Narrative from 'Never Without Heroes' by Lawrence C. Vetter Jr.: 'The first patrol zone was to be about 4.5 miles southwest of Cam Lo in a pocket with ridgelines on all sides. The only openings were made by the Rao Vinh River where it flowed into and then out of the bowl. The method of operation was the same. Al Gordon was on the first chopper to land and remembers: 'The back hatch dropped, and I ran down the ramp into the grass followed by Ray. The whole squad was out and heading for the tree line when we suddenly realized that the second chopper had come under heavy fire and couldn't get in. There seemed to be a couple of automatic weapons, and I don't know how many other small arms firing away at the birds from a nearby hill not more than two to three hundred meters away. We took cover in the trees and watched our helicopters in the air trying to stay out of range, and we wondered what the hell was going to happen next. Then we got the word that jets were coming in to rip the area, and we should mark our positions. So I took a colored panel out in front of us and then just sat back and was fascinated by the air show that came in. Our squad hadn't yet come under fire, and now it was an air-to-ground battle with us as spectators.' 'The Huey gunships came in first,' Ray Strohl added. 'We always had two of them nearby during these DMZ patrols. They were the first to hit that hillside. When the jets came in, I swear they were so close I believe I saw the pilot of one of those jets wink at me.' Sitting in the trees and wondering about its fate, the first squad didn't have long to wait before the 46 returned under fire to extract the Reconners. The platoon was flown back the nine miles to Dong Ha. The men were starting to unpack when the word came that they were going back immediately. Within the hour, the platoon was back in the air. Ray Strohl stated that they had just about made up their minds that there was no need to take any chow, just stock up on ammo. In fact, at that point they started taking an M60 machine gun with them. This time the patrol insertion point was going farther south, about two miles southeast of the last attempt and at a higher elevation, a three-hill complex about 300 meters tall. They were to land in the middle and just to the side of the center knoll. The first chopper, with Gordon, Strohl, and Lieutenant Terrebonne, dropped down to the planned LZ and immediately was hit by enemy fire. Before the team was able to jump out, the chopper pulled away, under fire all the while, and miraculously made it out. The second chopper wasn't so lucky. The first tried to warn the second away but, hit by ground fire, the second helicopter lost power, tried to jettison fuel, but instead came in for a crash landing. The pilot did manage to fly a short distance to the west before bouncing down and rolling over. A fire burst out within the chopper as the Marines on board fought to get out of the bird in both directions. The lead chopper had turned and followed its crashing wingman. It quickly set down not far from the first, and the first squad scrambled out the back hatch to set a security perimeter for the Reconners trying to get out of the crashed chopper. Al Gordon and Lieutenant Terrebonne, however, both ran for the helicopter, which was lying in heavy brush on its side. Al Gordon said: 'We landed below the other 46 before those guys had been able to get out. I ran for them, and Terrebonne was right behind me. It was lying on its side, and I climbed up on the topside and looked in the window. And to this day I can still see Longanecker sitting there, on his back now as the chopper was on its side. He was dead, but his eyes were staring straight ahead. Then a little voice told me to get the hell out of there. The fire was starting to burn more, and everybody had gotten out. Some had to stumble and run through the fire. I ran, and when I was about fifty meters away, the chopper blew sky high behind me.' Strohl couldn't tell what exactly was happening at the helicopter because he was a part of a defensive position in the bush farther out. But one Marine had been killed and seven wounded in the crash.' [Taken from and]

  • I wear his name on my arm

    Posted on 1/11/09 - by
    I am looking for someone who knows him, who can tell me something about the man whose name I wear proudly on my arm.

    Michelle Marshall




    Service No. 2153617

    who served with





    was a posthumous recipient of the





    ~~~ SEMPER FIDELIS ~~~




    On 8 July 1966 Lance Corporal Ronald Lee Longanecker, age 18, became the first Marine to be killed in action from hostile causes in Quang Tri Province.

    He was a member of Alpha Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion.

    The following is taken from the After Action Report 3-66 dated 8 July 1966.

    On 23 June 1966 a reconnaissance unit was formed from Recon Group Bravo which at the time was located at Phu Bai and moved to an area near the Dong Ha Airstrip.

    The reconnaissance operation was called Task Unit Charlie.

    It was sent north to verify if the NVA had infiltrated through the DMZ.

    This task organized mission was in support of the forthcoming Operation Hastings.

    On 1 July patrols began to be inserted by CH-46 helicopters into the unknown jungle terrain.

    Between 1 - 7 July, four recon patrols were inserted but then emergency extracted because of massed troops of the North Vietnamese Army that were occupying the zones.

    On 8 July, at 1630 hours, Recon Team Partyline, a sixteen-man patrol, was inserted at YD058498.

    Upon insertion, it was taken under fire by numerous small arms and automatic weapons.

    It was extracted without incident.

    At 1815 hours the team was in the process of insertion into a different zone, at YD072468, when NVA were observed in the LZ.

    The NVA opened fire and the first helicopter pulled out of the LZ and radioed the second to do the same.

    The second helicopter attempted to pull out before landing but lost engine power.

    To lighten the load, the pilots jettisoned fuel but crashed while doing so and immediately burst into flames.

    All but one Marine was able to exit the burning helicopter.

    Ronald Lee Longanecker perished in the blaze.

    The reconners and the helicopter crew then evaded the NVA and were picked up by another helicopter at YD059465.

    During this attempted insertion seven men from the Partyline Team were also WIA.

    Ronald Lee Longanecker also became the first Marine to be listed as Killed In Action / Body Not Recovered in Quang Tri Province.

    The crash site was never searched by friendly forces.

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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.