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By Pat Lisi

Hill 100 was a battle that none of us who survived will ever forget.  The condensed version is simply this:  In the wee hours of the morning of October 12, 1968 Echo Company, 2nd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment, was positioned atop a hill that was 100 meters tall (thus Hill 100).  Our job was to act as a blocking force for any NVA who tried to get around or through us to reach Route 4 in Quang Nam Province.  On that fateful morning the enemy made a valiant try at pushing Echo Company off the hill.  We, of course, were not that obliged to turn tail and run so we duked it out for a few hours with the gooks.  In the combat that ensued we killed 47 NVA soldiers that we know of; but, they killed 8 of us Marines.  I knew them all, for they were members of my platoon (the 2nd).

Back in An Hoa, which was the Marine base of combat for 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division, we held a memorial service for our fallen comrades.  These services were conducted whenever we came in from the field, which wasn’t often.  They were somber events, of course.  The battalion chaplain would say some words of prayer, then the senior officers would in turn speak their piece.  The services would usually last about half an hour at which time we would be dismissed from formation.  They were simple, yet powerful, times when we would all pay our final respects.  It would always spur us on to get back in the bush to engage the NVA or Viet Cong and get some revenge.  I would say it worked most of the time, because we knew where to find Charlie (the enemy).  That was not a problem.



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