Ronald Kenneth CullersSecond Lieutenant
1ST PLT, A CO, 1ST ENG BN, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
25 July 1942 - 15 July 1966
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The database page for Ronald Kenneth Cullers
I have tried to live my life to the fullest, always remembering you, every day. You were an inspiration to me, with your dedication, hard work, perseverance and feeling of a sense of duty to our country. How ugly should be your death and the loss of honor for our country to be in the Vietnam War. You didn't die for nothing because now I believe, our nation learned that a war can never be fought like that again. We will never fight a war again, not to win it, but to create wealthy Texans and politicians. Our people will not allow that to happen again, for the best youth of our country to die for such a corroding society of leaders. I am still spiteful, my friend. I am still angry and guiltridden that I lived and you didn't; that I returned to society alive with purpose. I tried to help others, I used my talents in education and in other ways. I tried to remind others of you and that you did not die in vain, but that others will live because we cannot allow this to happen again. Be with God, Ronnie
A Note from The Virtual Wall1stLt Ronald Cullers was a combat engineer officer commanding the 1st Platoon, A Company, 1st Engineer Battalion. At the time of his death, Lt Cullers's platoon was located at Phu Bai, providing direct engineer support to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, which was operating in Quang Tri Province.
On 15 July 1966 an aerial assault was conducted into Landing Zone Crow, about 5 miles northeast of the Rockpile in Quang Tri Province. Since LZ Crow was marginally large enough to hold four CH-46s at a time, the 24-ship assault force was divided into six sections of four aircraft each. The first two sections landed witout incident, but one CH-46 from the third section landed long into a tree line but came to rest outside the LZ area. Disaster struck the fifth section when the rotor disks of two CH-46s overlapped causing severe damage to both aircraft and killing two Marines on the ground.
A CH-46A (tail number 152500) from HMM-265 was detailed to carry a reaction force to guard the three downed CH-46s at LZ Crow. According to an official USMC source
"At 1815, while inserting a reaction company to guard the three CH-46s in LZ Crow, HMM-265's EP-171, ... was hit at 1,500 feet by 12.7mm fire. Photos taken from the ground show smoke coming from the cockpit windows and flames from the rear of the aircraft. When they tried landing on Crow, smoke filled the cockpit so no one could see. They overshot the LZ and crashed ..."Fifteen men died in the crash:
"2/1 TAOR. 1st Platoon, Company "A", 1st Engineers attached to Company "B" and commanded by 2dLt R. K. CULLERS continued to support 2/1 during July. This platoon continued to provide close combat support during Operation JAY which secured on 5 July. A strength of one officer and from 20 to 26 enlisted remained in the operating area near DONG HA (XD240610) until the commencement of Operation HASTINGS when this unit supported the maneuver elements of 2/1 throughout the remainder of the month. On 15 July, 2dLt R. K. CULLERS and Cpl J. M. REID were KIA when the helicopter in which they were passengers was brought down by enemy fire."
Meanwhile, three more Marines died in the ground fighting:
Although 2ndLt Cullers was not assigned to the 3rd Engineers, his name is engraved on a plaque which hangs in the Company command post of Combat Engineer Company, Combat Assault Battalion, 3d Marine Division at Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan.
CEC was Company C, 3d Engineer Battalion, and is the only part of the Battalion which has not been deactivated.
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a life-long friend,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 21 Jun 2005
Last updated 12/06/2007