Russell Lloyd Equi

Second Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
29 November 1944 - 26 January 1969
Easton, Connecticut
Panel 34W Line 083


Purple Heart (3 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Russell Lloyd Equi

Sunday, May 26, 2002

2LT OCS, TBS, fellow officer 3LVT Bn
Our Friend

In our Amtrac Officers School at Camp Pendleton, Russ was an outstanding leader. He was always available to help others in our tight, small group and he spent long hours helping fellow students "get" indirect fire computation. He wasn't always serious or bookish either, he was always ready to enjoy our time off with trips to Tijuana for the bullfights, renting motor bikes, touch football on the beach in front of the apartment most of us were staying in. I especially remember the day we spent together after Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

In Vietnam, he was popular with his men and a respected leader. His time on Hill 10 can be shared if you read Dan Gunether's book "China Wind". After being wounded - twice - he was taken out of the field and assigned duties at Battalion headquarters at Marble Mountain. He played a mean game of beach volleyball there, and took good care of the platoon commanders who made the occasional trip "back to the rear" to the Battalion area. He always had a cold beer for us and helped us scrounge up extra gear and other goodies we and our platoon needed. The other field Lts were surprised to learn he had gone South on an extraordinary operation with the rarely used engineering "E1" Amtracs. It was on this operation that he died.

Russ often talked about wanting to be a doctor, and his plan was to go to medical school when he he got home. And I am sure he would have succeeded in med school. He was easily one of the smartest people in our group of about 20 2nd Lts, and it was a pretty competitive group. I miss you Russ, constantly. We had so much fun and you took such good care of everyone. You were the best friend to so many of us.

A memorial initiated by a friend and comrade in arms.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

6 Feb 2003

He was my platoon leader and a very good friend and I miss him very much. One day will come when I will see him in heaven. God Bless.

Robert Such

13 Jul 2004

I was playing with Google and looked up Russ. I was a close friend and fraternity brother at Columbia. I cried so much when a mutual friend telephoned of his death. Almost 40 years later, I still miss him terribly. He had a wonderful sense of humor, was very smart and had absolutely no enemies. Whenever I dine with fraternity brothers, the first thing I do is propose a toast to the memory of Russ; it is resoundingly echoed by us all. We will be together in Heaven someday. Ave atque vale, fratre!

From a fraternity brother and friend,
Vic Obninsky
21453 Shainsky Road, Sonoma, California 95476

06 Jan 2007

I still miss Russ daily. I found a collage I made several years ago about Russ and had framed. I clipped his picture from a football program, added Columbia and Fiji (Phi Gamma Delta) decals and a rubbing of his name from the Vietnam Memorial. It has a purple mat for our fraternity's color. I have also have a signed picture of the five chapter officers from our senior year in 1966. I guess Russ had a crewcut in the Marines, but that is impossible for me to visualize. I have enjoyed (and cried) talking to three of Russ' buddies, but I have a new e-mail:

From a friend,
Victor P. Obninsky

29 Jan 2007

I was with Lima 3/26 and standing in a potato field approximately 500 meters from the minefield that was about to be cleared by a method I'd never heard of. I had my camera cocked and ready. When I heard the rocket motor that was to deploy a C-4 line charge, I waited a second or two and tripped the shutter. The photo I have is of a huge dome shaped blast of pure energy and a second one of the smoke cloud. The rumor was seven guys, all of them very short. Until now that was all I knew. Now I know their names.

If anyone wants these photos, I'll be happy to scan them to you.

James Dodd

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 16 January 1969 an AMTRAC (amphibious tractor) from the 3rd Amtrac Bn was conducting a mine clearing operation twelve miles south of Chu Lai, Quang Ngai Province. The tractor's crew was using a demolition line charge which detonated prematurely, destroying the tractor and killing all seven men aboard. The 3rd AMTRAC Bn Command Chronology for January 1969 contains the following entry:
"The last event occured on the 26th of January, at approximately 1050, when two LVTE-1s (3-H-27 and 3-H-25) were in support of M Company BLT 3/26. 3-H-25 with two line charges aboard fired its first charge and the charge, while still in flight, detonated prematurely destroying the tractor and killing the seven Marines aboard instantly. The names of the six Marines who were members of this unit are listed below:
  • Second Lieutenant Russell L. EQUI
  • Sergeant Robert L. JOHNSON
  • Lance Corporal Charles A. BREZINSKI
  • Lance Corporal Martin J. GIMBERT
  • Lance Corporal Stanley H. NEWMAN
  • Lance Corporal Bradley E. SUCHKA"
The seventh Marine was Capt Marvin Cook of North Little Rock, Arkansas, an EOD officer who was on temporary duty from the Provisional Service Battalion, 9th MAB, on Okinawa.

The seven men are buried in Section 46 of the Arlington National Cemetery, and are memorialized on a large monument stone near their graves.

Photo from the
Arlington Cemetery site

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and comrade in arms.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 May 2002
Last updated 07/12/2007