HOTEL CO, 2/4 MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
01 February 1944 - 30 March 1967
Panel 17E Line 071
Photo courtesy of his nephew,
The database page for Patrick Gallagher
PATRICK WAS SIMPLY THE BEST MARINE I EVER HAD CONTACT WITH.
From a Marine buddy,
It is hard to believe it has been 37 years since that day in Vietnam. I had only been in-country 20 days when all hell broke loose. Being new and a Corpsman I did not know anybody except Rocky Snyder who I had followed in his footsteps. That day I temporarily switched to 2nd platoon to be with my friend Doc Rossok. When I heard all the shots being fired I didn't know what was happening. When I heard "CORPSMAN UP!" I ran up front and began to work on whoever I could. I did not know who but eventually stayed with Rocky until he died in my arms. I did not know Patrick or the others and have remembered that day throughout my life. I did not even know what day it was or where we were but I remember the day to this day. I pray for the families of those men and all the others who gave their lives for us and on this March 30 2004 I continue to remember ... they have not been forgotten.
From a comrade-in-arms,
"Patrick Gallagher from Mayo followed an Irish-American cousin through marriage, Gerald Moylan, into the Marine Corps. After Patrick's death in Vietnam, Staff Sergeant Moylan escorted his remains back to Ballyhaunis and presented the Gallagher family with Patrick's Navy Cross, the Marine Corps' highest award for battlefield bravery.
"Back in Quang Nam, Patrick's loss was also keenly felt by fellow Marine, Frank G Erwin, who was right beside the Mayoman when he was killed in an ambush on March 30th, 1967, aged 23. 'His death,' Erwin later wrote from his home in Florida, 'was a profound loss to our entire company, as everyone looked to Patrick for courage in battle'.
"When he visits the US capital, Frank Erwin always stops at the Wall. 'Panel 17 East is where they all are', he says, referring to Patrick and the 10 other Marines who perished at DaLoc, near Danang, that March morning. Erwin also honours the Mayo-born Marine in a more personal manner. To ensure a constant reminder of Corporal Gallagher's great courage and love for his adoptive country, Erwin named one of his sons Patrick."
From An Irishman's Diary
"News of this local hero caused great excitement in Ireland. It was all over radio and TV. RTÉ sent Seán Duignan to interview the family, and in Ballyhaunis great plans were laid for Patrick's homecoming. On the day he was to arrive there they buried him instead.
"On March 30th, 1967, he was shot dead while on patrol in Da Nang. He was 23. The American embassy in Dublin contacted Father Rushe, parish priest in Ballyhaunis. He told Patrick's parents following that Sunday's Mass.
"The remains were sent back to Ireland in a large casket accompanied by (US Marine) Sgt Gerry Moylan. As the Western People reported on April 22nd, 1967: 'The funeral to the new cemetery was one of the largest ever to pass through the town of Ballyhaunis . . . There was a poignant scene as Staff Sergeant Moylan laid a wreath on the grave on behalf of the US forces and then presented the American flag which draped the coffin, the Navy Cross insignia and the citation to Mrs Gallagher, mother of the deceased.'
"At the graveside were two other mothers who had lost sons in Vietnam, Mr and Mrs Michael Nevin, Brize, Balla, Co Mayo, whose son, Christopher (29), was killed in Vietnam in February, 1966, and Mrs Mary Freyne, Church Street, Ballaghaderreen, whose son Corporal Bernard (Brian Óg) Freyne (21) was killed in Vietnam about a month ago."
From Ballyhaunis emigrant ended up hero of Vietnam war
Virtual Wall Note:
for service as set forth in the following Citation:
For extraordinary heroism as an ammunition carrier in a machine-gun Team with Company H, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines near Cam Lo, Republic of Vietnam, in the early morning of 18 July 1966.
The company was set in defensive positions at 0145, when enemy soldiers who had infiltrated the area threw a grenade into the position which Lance Corporal Gallagher and three other Marines were manning. Lance Corporal Gallagher, awake and displaying keen presence of mind, immediately kicked the grenade out of the position where it exploded at a safe distance.
Another enemy grenade followed and landed in the position between two of his comrades. Without hesitation, in a valiant act of self-sacrifice, Lance Corporal Gallagher threw himself upon the deadly grenade in order to absorb the explosion and save the lives of his comrades.
The other three Marines moved to safety while two other grenades landed in the position and exploded, miraculously injuring no one. Lance Corporal Gallagher's Squad Leader then ordered him to throw the grenade into the nearby river where it exploded upon hitting the water.
Through his extraordinary heroism and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from probable injury and possible loss of life. His daring actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
A Note from The Virtual WallThe fight on 30 March 1967 cost Hotel 2/4 Marines eight lives:
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a Marine buddy,
Frank G Erwin Jr
19370 S. Tamiami Trail. Ft Myers, Fl 33908
26 May 2002
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 03/30/2004