Sterling Kitchener CoatesCaptain
B CO, 1ST BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
13 March 1938 - 02 July 1967
Panel 22E Line 101
The database page for Sterling Kitchener Coates
This is for you and all those brave young men who perished on that fateful day. I want you to know that you will always be honored and remembered. We miss you and think about you all the time.
REST IN PEACE
Notes from The Virtual WallAt 10 AM on 2 July 1967, Bravo Company 1/9 Marines were on patrol about 1-1/2 miles northeast of Con Thien when they made contact with what they thought was a small, well-entrenched enemy unit. Alpha 1/9, also on patrol nearby, came to help, and the two understrength companies found themselves in a meat grinder - the small enemy force turned out to be 5 NVA battalions that had crossed the DMZ. Even worse, the NVA troops were supported by artillery firing from within and north of the DMZ.
The 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, was inserted by helicopter on the enemy's left flank and the massive weight of U. S. air and artillery support began taking its toll of the NVA. By evening the NVA had broken contact, withdrawing into the DMZ.
By that time Bravo 1/9 had been destroyed as a fighting force - and Alpha 1/9 was little better off. The initial action grew into a week-long pitched battle involving two Battalion Landing Teams, one each from USS TRIPOLI and USS OKINAWA.
Overall, 92 Marines and sailors died on the first day of the battle:
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someone who was there,
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28 May 2002
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 09/03/2005