William Joseph GoodsellMajor
VMO-6, MAG-36, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
07 May 1929 - 16 June 1966
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The database page for William Joseph Goodsell
When the call was given, the men of KLONDIKE VMO-6 were there ... Major Goodsell answered the call of C Co 1st Recon Bn on June 16th 1966.
He flew into the history of 1st Recon Bn that day and give his life trying to save the men of our Battalion.
To this day the sound of helicopter prop wash brings your memory to us - 35 years later.
A memorial initiated by a fellow Marine,
Virtual Wall NoteThe battle on 16 June 1966 on Hill 488 (Nui Vu) involved a full battalion of North Vietnamese Army regulars assaulting 18 men of the 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Recon Battalion, led by Staff Sergeant Jimmie Earl Howard. The Recon Marines had established an observation post atop Nui Vu in order to identify and prosecute by remote fire VC/NVA forces operating in the mountains west of Chu Lai.
The operation was sufficiently effective to get the NVA commander's attention and sufficiently dangerous for him to commit a fresh battalion to eradicate the Marines. He failed.
The NVA assault on Hill 488 began in late afternoon and continued through the night. The beleagued Marines were assisted by Marine and Air Force helicopter and fixed wing air support, but it was sheer courage and determination that permitted the Marines to hold until morning. Charlie 1/5 Marines were airlifted onto the reverse slope of Hill 488 and relieved the Recon Marines. Of the 18 men in the Recon Platoon, 6 died and 12 were wounded. Two men of Charlie 1/5 Marines and one each from VMO-2 and VMO-6 (Marine UH-1 squadrons) died. One Medal of Honor (Staff Sergeant Howard), 4 Navy Crosses, and 13 Silver Stars were awarded.
Immediately after the battle, Captain F. J. West, USMCR, interviewed men from Howard's platoon, Charlie 1/5, airmen from the squadrons which supported Howard, and others. In 1967 the History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, published his account of the fight on Hill 488. Captain West's account is available on The Virtual Wall at
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a Marine of the 1st Recon Bn,
11 Feb 2001
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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 11/30/2002