Joseph Kenneth FishLance Corporal
H&S CO, 1ST BN, 1ST MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
06 September 1947 - 19 February 1968
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The database page for Joseph Kenneth Fish
Joseph Kenneth "Jody" Fish lost his life in the February Tet offensive of 1968. He was killed in Phu Bai in house-to-house fighting.
Jody had just two weeks to go before his tour was over. He wrote me just a few days before his death. Jody was looking forward to getting on the freedom bird and coming back to the real world to resume his civilian life. I didn't write back and to this day that has haunted me.
Maybe with this small effort I'll be able to let Jody rest in peace.
Jody was a person that you could not help but like. He was my best friend and I loved him like a brother. Not a day has gone by that I have not thought of him. I've often spoken to my family about him and what a caring person he was. Whatever Jody did he did with his heart and soul.
I met with one of Jody's friends who was with him when he died. At the time I did not realize what that young man was going through. I only wish I could speak with him again. Possibly, someone will see this who was in the Marines with Jody and will contact me.
Like Jody said to me once during a high school football game, "Hey, Bull, meet you at the quarterback".
Well, my friend, you have been gone a long time but will be in my heart forever and yes, I will meet you once again.
Your friend Bryan,
May God give you peace!
From a cousin,
Life and Death are always full of purpose. You will never know the purpose you have given me.
A Note from The Virtual WallThe first entry above says LCpl Joseph Fish "was killed in Phu Bai in house-to-house fighting." The 1st Bn, 1st Marines were indeed based at Phu Bai, south of Hue; they were in the midst of relocating from Quang Tri Province when the 1968 Tet Offensive began. On 31 January 1968 only a small part of the battalion had actually reached Phu Bai; the remainder was strung out along Highway 1. None the less, Alpha 1/1, Bravo 1/1, and a command group were immediately pressed into service in the fighting around Hue and remained engaged in that fight through February.
The 1/1 Operations Log for 19 February identifies a single death within the Battalion in an entry which reads:
"191732H - Mill B to Big Flower: Spot report #9 - unit received rockets and 1 KIA."The Phu Bai detachment's report for 19 Feb 1968 says they had no casualties on that date; it follows that LCpl Fish was with Bravo Company ("Mill B") in Hue rather than with the battalion rear ("Big Flower") at Phu Bai.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Jan 1999
Last updated 02/16/2007