First Battalion, Fifth Marines
First Marine Division (Rein) FMF
FPO San Francisco, California 96602
February 12, 1970
Mrs. Plynah M. Henderson
Tioga, Lousiana 71477
Dear Mrs. Henderson:
I would like to express to you the remorse and sorrow I feel over the recent and untimely death of your son, Sergeant Von Steven Anderson, U. S. Marine Corps. I try desperately to search for the words which may alleviate the anguish you are experiencing, but words are inadequate. This Company and the Marine Corps have suffered a great loss in the passing of your son. He will be sorely missed by his many friends in the Company.
Von was a squad leader with the first platoon of our Company. He was with his platoon on the evening of February 2, 1970, approximately three miles northwest of the combat base at An Hoa in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam. At approximately 6:25 p.m., as the Company was setting into a night defensive position, Von detonated an enemy booby trap and the resulting fragments severely wounded him. A medical Corpsman rushed immediately to his side and Von was medically evacuated directly to the First Medical Battalion Hospital in Da Nang. The doctors there did everything possible to save Von, but his condition deteriorated and he succumbed at 7:20 p.m., February 2, 1970.
Von was a superior Marine. He was a very sincere young man and put his heart and soul into everything he did. He was exceptionally courageous and did not hesitate to do his job even under the most dangerous conditions. I realize that all the words in the world will not bring Von back. I do hope however, the fact that others share your grief and extend their deepest sympathy, will, in some small measure, ease the burden of the loss of your son.
I am sure you would like to know that Von received the ministrations of his faith shortly after his death from Lieutenant J. J. Bevins, Chaplain, U. S. Navy. A memorial Service was also held in his honor and was attended by his many friends in the Company.
Please again accept my deepest condolences and those of all who knew Von. If I can be of any service to you, please do not hesitate to call on me.
/s/ B. J. Cate, Jr.
First Lieutenant, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve