MARK S BLACK
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HONORED ON PANEL 6E, LINE 62 OF THE WALL

MARK STEPHEN BLACK

WALL NAME

MARK S BLACK

PANEL / LINE

6E/62

DATE OF BIRTH

11/07/1947

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG NAM

DATE OF CASUALTY

03/30/1966

HOME OF RECORD

RICHLAND

COUNTY OF RECORD

Benton County

STATE

WA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

MARINE CORPS

RANK

PFC

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR MARK STEPHEN BLACK
POSTED ON 4.15.2016

Always Remembered Marine

For the family, friends, classmates and Marines buddies of PFC Mark S. Black:

I've provided a brief history of his life in the Marines. Who am I? ... just a neighbor ... a somewhat older friend ... a mentor, maybe ... watched out for him during our football games at the corner of Stevens and Van Giesen in Richland ... just someone who wanted to remember his bravery and sacrifice by adding something to a solitary name on the Wall.

Mark enlisted in the Marines November 18th, 1964, eleven days after his seventeenth birthday, and shortly after beginning his junior year at Columbia High School, Richland, Washington. On June 30th, 1965 Mark's unit sailed from San Diego to Okinawa, then to Vietnam, arriving Da Nang on August 15th, 1965. Initially, 3/9's mission was to defend Da Nang Air Base. Starting in late Sept they moved southwest of Da Nang, taking over for 2/9. After more than 2 months of intense operations in that area 3/9 once again took over the defense of Da Nang Air Base.

December 1965 and January 1966 were relatively quiet for Mark and the 3rd Battalion/9th Marines. On February 16th, 1966 3/9 removed from Da Nang Air Base, and relieved 1/9 in the field. Operating primarily east of the Song Vinh Dien, combat got more intense during February and March 1965 for Mark's unit. On March 29th all 3/9 companies except Kilo began Operation Alabama. Mark's company was assigned to Operation Golden Fleece, which was designed to prevent the VC from stealing rice from local farmers. It was during a March 29th night patrol while on Operation Golden Fleece that PFC Mark S. Black, age 18, detonated a booby trap.

After 5 years of researching Mark's life in the USMC I had lost hope that I would find someone who was in the same outfit. Unbeknownst to me, Mark's best friend in K/3/9, PFC Joe Kennick, was also looking for information about his best friend, "Blackie." Miraculously our paths crossed! Joe only knew him as "Blackie" ... he wanted very much to know his full name so he could pay tribute to him at the Wall. At 9:45 pm that night Joe, who was in the rear of the squad, heard an explosion; Mark was down. Joe ran to help him and was with him until a helicopter evacuated him to the hospital at Da Nang. According to the letter Capt. Bob Brooks wrote to Mark's mother, at 2:45 pm on March 30th, 1966, Mark passed away.

I received a note from another Marine was said he was on the same patrol that night, was wounded during a separate explosion, and was in the hospital bed next to Mark. We are working on corroborating this information.

[The efforts of Major General James N. Mattis, USMC (1968 graduate of Richland High School) should not go unnoticed. While at the Pentagon Gen. Mattis's staff copied and sent me many documents about PFC Mark Black's tour of duty in Vietnam and the circumstances surrounding his death.]
*This was written from my dad James A. Johnson who recently passed away and knew PFC Black.*
For Private First Class Mark S. Black. Semper Fidelis.


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POSTED ON 5.26.2015
POSTED BY: Judi Johannesen

Family friend remembers

Mark's mother and mine were close when I was little, and they lived down Torbett from my house. After we moved to Seattle, I visited Mark's family when we came to Richland. Mark was the first person I knew personally who went to Viet Nam, and his death made the war real to me. Every Memorial Day, I wonder how his mother, Betty, his sister, Susan, or his brothers, John and Butch, are faring and sorrow at the cost of our wars on soldiers and their families.
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POSTED ON 3.30.2014
POSTED BY: A Marine, USMC, Vietnam

Semper Fi, Marine.

POSTED ON 12.3.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear PFC Mark Stephen Black, 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
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POSTED ON 2.16.2011

Never Forgotten

Rest in peace with the warriors.
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