MARVIN G SHIELDS
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HONORED ON PANEL 2E, LINE 7 OF THE WALL

MARVIN GLEN SHIELDS

WALL NAME

MARVIN G SHIELDS

PANEL / LINE

2E/7

DATE OF BIRTH

12/30/1939

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG NGAI

DATE OF CASUALTY

06/10/1965

HOME OF RECORD

PORT TOWNSEND

COUNTY OF RECORD

Jefferson County

STATE

WA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

NAVY

RANK

CMA3

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REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR MARVIN GLEN SHIELDS
POSTED ON 4.5.2001
POSTED BY: CLAY MARSTON

CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR- FOR HIS FRIENDS, HE DIED AS HE LIVED, FOR HIS FRIENDS



CMA3


MARVIN GLENN SHIELDS


BECAME THE FIRST " SEABEE " TO EVER RECEIVE THE

CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR

FOR HIS ACTIONS AT DONG XOAI, JUNE 9-10, 1965.


AFTER GRADUATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 1958 HE

WORKED IN THE GOLD MINES OF HYDER, ALASKA.

THEN HE JOINED THE NAVY IN 1962 AND SERVED IN

GEORGIA, OKINAWA AND PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA

BEFORE BEING SENT OVER TO VIETNAM IN FEBRUARY 1965.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

IN SEPTEMBER 1964 THE NAVAL MOBILE CONSTRUCTION BATTALION (NMCB) FORMED A NEW 13 MAN TEAM - SEABEE TEAM 1104. IT WAS THE FIRST CONSTRUCTION BATTALION TEAM SLATED FOR ASSIGNMENT IN VIETNAM.
AFTER FOUR MONTHS OF INTENSIVE TRAINING THESE MEN DEPLOYED FROM PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA TO SAIGON.
AFTER THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SPECIAL FORCES GROUP CAMP AT BEN SOI, CONSTRUCTION BATTALION TEAM 1104 BEGAN PREPARING FOR A MOVE TO ANOTHER SITE, DONG XOAI AT THE END OF MAY.
THE MAJORITY OF THE TEAM ARRIVED THERE ON JUNE 6, 1965. ALSO AT THIS CAMP WERE ELEVEN MEMBERS OF "A" DETACHMENT 342 OF THE 5TH SPECIAL FORCES GROUP (AIRBORNE). IN ADDITION THERE WERE THREE COMPANIES OF SOUTH VIETNAMESE CIDG TROOPS - ABOUT 400 MEN - AND A REGIONAL MILITIA COMPANY OF APPROXIMATELY 100 MEN.
SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT ON JUNE 9 THE VIET CONG NINTH DIVISION BEGAN AN ATTACK WITH EARTH SHAKING MORTAR FIRE. THEIR INITIAL ATTACK WITH 60MM MORTARS SUCCEEDED IN DESTROYING THE CAMP DISPENSARY FULL OF VALUABLE MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND THE COMMUNICATIONS SHACK, THE ONLY LINK TO MILITARY HEADQUARTERS OVER 55 MILES SOUTH IN SAIGON. ALL THE RADIO EQUIPMENT WAS DESTROYED.
AFTER ABOUT 200 MORTAR ROUNDS THE " HUMAN WAVE " ASSAULT ON THE WALLS OF THE J-SHAPED COMPOUND BEGAN. INTENSIVE CLOSE RANGE COMBAT CONTINUED UNTIL 2:30am WHEN THE CIDG DEFENSES WERE BREACHED AND SURVIVING AMERICAN TROOPS RETREATED TO THE ADJACENT HEADQUARTERS. THERE THEY WERE QUICKLY SURROUNDED BY THE VIET CONG WHO EMPLOYED FLAME THROWERS - MACHINE GUNS - RECOILLESS RIFLES AND SMALL ARMS AGAINST THESE HOLDOUTS.
WHEN DAYLIGHT APPROACHED AMERICAN AND VNAF
AIRCRAFT BEGAN HITTING THE VIET CONG POSITIONS OUTSIDE THE HEADQUARTERS. EARLY IN THE MORNING OF JUNE 10 THE ENEMY SUCCEEDED IN ESTABLISHING A .30 CALIBRE MACHINE GUN POSITION IN A SCHOOLHOUSE JUST SOUTH OF THE COMPOUND. FROM THIS POSITION THEY WERE ABLE TO FIRE DIRECTLY INTO THE DISTRICT HEADQUARTERS THROUGH THE MAIN GATE.
LIEUTENANT CHARLES QUINCY WILLIAMS ASKED FOR SOME ASSISTANCE IN MANNING A 3.5 INCH ROCKET LAUNCHER, THE ONLY HEAVY WEAPON REMAINING IN AN ATTEMPT TO KNOCK OUT THIS MACHINE GUN POSITION AND ALTHOUGH HE HAD NEVER BEFORE USED A ROCKET LAUNCHER, CM3 MARVIN GLENN SHIELDS PROMPTLY VOLUNTEERED.
SUCCESSFULLY DESTROYING THE VIET CONG SITE WITH FOUR WELL-PLACED SHOTS THE TWO MEN WERE RETURNING TO THE HQ BUILDING WHEN BOTH WERE HIT BY FIRE FROM A SECOND MACHINE GUN. WILLIAMS WAS SHOT IN THE ARM AND SHIELDS RIGHT LEG WAS SHATTERED AT THE ANKLE BY TWO BULLETS.
SHORTLY AFTER NOON, WITH AMMUNITION RUNNING LOW AND THE ENEMY MASSING FOR ANOTHER ASSAULT, THE REMAINING DEFENDERS WITHDREW FROM THE HQ BUILDING TO MAKE A FINAL STAND FROM A NEARBY HOWITZER PIT WHERE ABOUT 20 SOUTH VIETNAMESE TROOPS WERE STILL HOLDING OUT.
SOON AFTERWARDS, WHILE AIRCRAFT SATURATED THE SURROUNDING AREA WITH MACHINE GUN FIRE - NAPALM - BOMBS AND ROCKETS, THREE RESCUE HELICOPTERS SWOOPED IN THROUGH HEAVY ENEMY FIRE AND SUCCESSFULLY EVACUATED MOST OF THE SURVIVORS AT ABOUT 1400 HRS.
MARVIN GLENN SHIELDS DIED ONBOARD ONE OF THESE CHOPPERS - ACCORDING TO CORPSMAN JAMES KEENAN, "Shields was joking and cutting up to the end. When he finally went under, it was very quiet, nothing dramatic, he just went to sleep. The last thing he did was to thank everyone who helped him."
ALTHOUGH THE MAJORITY OF AMERICAN FORCES WERE EVACUATED ON JUNE 10 THE ORDEAL OF DONG XOAI WAS NOT YET OVER FOR LT FRANK PETERLIN AND CHIEF PETTY OFFICER JOHNNY McCULLY. THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND THE FOLLOWING NIGHT BOTH MEN REMAINED HIDDEN FROM THE VIET CONG WHO BY THIS TIME CONTROLLED ALMOST THE ENTIRE AREA. THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT THE INTENSE BATTLE CONTINUED. FINALLY EARLY IN THE MORNING OF JUNE 11 THE ENEMY WITHDREW FROM THE CAMP AND THE TWO MEN WERE ABLE TO EMERGE FROM HIDING TO BE LIFTED OUT BY A RESCUE HELICOPTER.
FOR EACH MEMBER OF SEABEE TEAM 1104 THERE WERE APPROPRIATE MILITARY HONORS FOR THEIR PART IN THE BATTLE OF DONG XOAI.
THE ENTIRE TEAM WAS AWARDED A NAVY UNIT CITATION - BOTH LT PETERLIN AND CHIEF McCULLY WERE AWARDED THE SILVER STAR MEDAL FOR THEIR GALLANT CONDUCT AND SIX OTHER MEMBERS OF THE TEAM WERE AWARDED THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL.
FINALLY, IN A SOLEMN WHITE HOUSE CEREMONY, THE FAMILY OF MARVIN GLENN SHIELDS RECEIVED HIS POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR FROM PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON, THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION, THE " SEABEES " TO BE SO HONORED.

"He was a people person, although if he were
alive today he would be very uncomfortable
with the attention. But he was a hero. Remember
him for what he died for and why he died:
FOR HIS FRIENDS, HE DIED AS HE LIVED, FOR HIS FRIENDS
He sacrificed himself for his friends and for
that reason he's a hero in the truest sense
of the word."

These were remarks by his wife, JOAN BENNETT, at the launching of the destroyer

USS MARVIN GLENN SHIELDS (DE-1066)

Also named in his honor were -

CAMP MARVIN GLENN SHIELDS, OKINAWA

SHIELDS HALL - New bachelor enlisted quarters at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard,
dedicated on June 14, 1996.


*************************************************************


IT IS BETTER TO HAVE LIVED ONE DAY AS A LION

THAN ONE THOUSAND DAYS AS A SHEEP



Inscription on the headstone of

LIEUTENANT COLONEL CHARLES G. CLINGER, US ARMY

Section 8, ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY


*************************************************************


2ND LIEUTENANT CHARLES QUINCY WILLIAMS, US ARMY

ATTACHED TO THE 5TH SPECIAL FORCES GROUP

was also awarded the

CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR

for his actions at Dong Xoai, June 9-10, 1965

He was the second United States Army

CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR

recipient of the Vietnam Conflict.

He later became a Major before retiring

and died on October 15, 1982.

He is interred in Section 65 in

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY


"WHERE VALOR PROUDLY SLEEPS"


*************************************************************



MARVIN GLENN SHIELDS


rests in honored glory in


GARDINER CEMETERY


GARDINER, WASHINGTON



*************************************************************


The award of the


CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR


was presented to his family

on 13 September 1966

at

The White House

by the

President of the United States of America

Lyndon Baines Johnson



*************************************************************





THE PROUD YOUNG VALOR THAT ROSE ABOVE THE MORTAL

AND THEN, AT LAST, WAS MORTAL AFTER ALL





AMERICA'S BEST ANSWERED THE CALL
BUT TOO MANY OF YOU GAVE THEIR ALL






THEY FOUGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM
REMEMBER THEM FOREVER






YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN
NOR SHALL YOU EVER BE

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POSTED ON 11.30.1999
POSTED BY: CLAY MARSTON

AN ACCOUNT OF WHAT HAPPENED ON JUNE 9 - 10, 1965

The following is a newspaper account of
the preceding battle in which both

CHARLES QUINCY WILLIAMS

and

MARVIN GLENN SHIELDS

eventually were awarded the

CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR


*************************************************************


21 YANKS VIETNAM VICTIMS


SAIGON, South Vietnam (AP) -

A curtain of machine - gun fire cut down Vietnam
reinforcements today as they jumped from
helicopters at Dong Xoai, a district capital overrun
by 1500 Viet Cong.

All the 21 Americans at the nearby Special Forces
Camp were listed as dead, missing or wounded.

A U.S. military spokesman said the losses at
Dong Xoai, 60 miles north of Saigon, were the
heaviest suffered by the United States in any
single engagement of the Vietnam War.

The casualty reports varied. Official reports said
at least 1 of the Americans was definitely killed,
6 and possibly 7 were missing and 13 wounded.

But at Phuoc Vinh, an advance command post
from which reinforcements were being dispatched
by helicopters, officers said all living Americans -
only nine wounded - had been evacuated.


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